THE BEST WORKOUTS FOR THE TIME CRUNCHED
Updated: Mar 22, 2019
In this post, we’ll focus on workout modes for people looking for time saving workouts.
In an ideal world, we’d all have all the time we need to meet all of our goals:
we’d be able to spend hours a day in the gym sculpting our dream bodies, hours in the kitchen preparing the most delicious, fresh, healthy meals and, we’d have endless hours to spend relaxing, resting and recharging.
But where time is concerned, for most of us, we’re living in anything but an ideal world.
So how can we make sure that we’re getting the most out of the time we do have to spend in the gym? How can we make sure that we’re using our time as effectively and efficiently as possible to get the best possible results? What are some workable tips for time saving workouts?
We know that the perfect fitness program consists of four key components:
The most common mistake that people with tight schedules make is by limited their focus to only one or two of these components instead of figuring out how to incorporate all four into their full schedules. A great time saving workout includes at least three of these components. So let’s figure out how to get the full benefit of all the components while still getting in and out of the gym as quickly as possible!
As an example, let’s assume that you have 30 minutes to workout, three days a week. How can we make sure that you’re getting maximum benefit from that time?
When you work with a personal trainer, they’ll adjust your workouts using four important variables:
In this case, we can eliminate frequency (because we’ve already established that we only have three days a week) and duration (because we only have half an hour to spare on our gym days). If you’re looking for the most time saving workouts possible, definitely consider working with a personal trainer.
That leaves us with mode and intensity – these obviously become our most valuable tools in creating the ideal workout for our full schedules.
Intensity is simply how hard you’re working, or how much effort you’re expending in your workout. The more effort required of you, the higher the intensity. Making sure your intensity is appropriate to your goals is key in making the most of your gym time. We HIGHLY recommend heart rate training as an ideal way to monitor and adjust your intensity to your goals. Read more about heart rate training here.
If your goal is weight loss, the ideal intensity is to be working in the 80-90% range of your maximum heart rate, as this will trigger the afterburn response in your body, allowing you to burn more fat at rest in the hours immediately following your workout than you would otherwise.
What is mode of training? Simple – it’s the manner or way in which you’re choosing to exercise. Spinning Class is a mode of exercise, running on the treadmill is a mode of exercise, lifting weights is a mode of exercise, etc. So mode become important in this scenario because we want to choose the modes of exercise that will give us the biggest bang for our buck and offers the best opportunities for time-saving workouts.
For most individuals who are looking to lose weight, or simply tone up, the best option for mode of exercise is going to be interval training. Interval training consists of alternating periods of high-intensity work and recovery. By increasing intensity, we’re getting cardiovascular exercise, and by making the exercises we’re doing full-body bodyweight exercises (think burpees and jump squats and pushups). Interval training is the basis for the very popular HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts you see everywhere.
Interval training allows us to address both cardiovascular exercise needs and strength training needs – two of our four components of a successful exercise program! That leaves us with flexibility training and rest/recovery.
We’re going to incorporate these two components in one of two ways:
We’ll either plan a 20-minute interval workout finishing up with 10 minutes of flexibility (stretching) and core work or, We’ll plan two 30 minute interval workouts and one yoga workout per week.
Either strategy will ensure we’re giving all four components the attention and focus that we need to be successful in the gym.
If you’re looking to see the maximum change in your body with minimal time in the gym – for most of the population, this is going to be the best strategy.
Let’s use a different example and say that you have an hour to spend in the gym three to four days a week. This makes programming your workouts even easier at Elevate Fitness Clubs.
In this case, we’re going to recommend that you combine our popular Cross Training or Group Power classes with our Mind Body classes. (Check out the schedules for these offerings here.)
This option will also address all four components of a solid exercise plan while taking all the responsibility for planning a workout off your plate.
Simply use the schedule to determine which classes you’ll be attending, show up, slap on your heart rate monitor (ensuring you’re working in the correct zones during your classes) and watch your body start to change in as little as a month.
It’s easy to turn program design into a super complicated juggernaut that prevents you from ever getting started. Why not sit down with your calendar instead, try to carve out three or four windows a week when you can hit the gym and get started on your journey to your best body ever?