Make the Most of a 30 Minute Gym Workout: Strength and Cardio

30 Minute Gym WorkoutEven serious athletes find themselves crunched for time to work out—what do you do when work, family, and other obligations leave you with only the time for a 30 minute gym workout?

There’s no reason to say it’s not worth it and skip your session altogether. If you can fit in a half an hour at the gym, you can use several different tricks to make the most to be fit.

Strength: The 30 Minute Gym Workout
  1. Time your sets and train circuit style. You can concentrate on an effective round of exercises performed in sets that last a few minutes each, select those that hit your muscles from different angles, and go around twice for a compact workout.
  2. Count your reps if you’ll be repeating your 30 minute workouts with timed sets. That way, if you end up lifting too light or too heavy on an exercise, you can make your adjustment the very next time.
  3. Work bilaterally, meaning choose exercises that work both sides of your body at once, versus one arm or leg at a time. It’s an easy time-saving tip.
  4. Use compound exercises (those that move more than one joint, like a squat or an overhead press) to activate more muscle tissue at the same time, and also to warm up your smaller muscles. For instance, your biceps and triceps may be sufficiently warm after you do your chest or back exercises.

Cardio: The 30 Minute Gym Workout
  1. Time your intervals and alternate intensity, otherwise known as use high intensity interval training as your approach. It can be as simple as breaking up your steady pace with short timed bursts at sprint pace.
  2. Go beyond pace intervals that you time to selecting different workouts on cardio equipment via the settings—incline, decline and hills in various patterns will help you make the most of a half hour by challenging your routine.
  3. Walk or bike to and from the gym if you happen to be close enough to make that happen. You’ll be warm when you arrive and you can use your pace on the way home to cool down.
  4. Switch it up if you’ve gotten into a bit of a rut on a certain piece of cardio equipment, you can progress your workouts and get new results by changing your routine to include other machines. Like the treadmill? Try the stairs!

Best of Both

Pick your battles, so you include your biggest goals and/or the most important aspects of your health and fitness to maintain. If you’re working on increasing conditioning, move through your 30 minute gym workout elements with very little rest for as long as you can maintain good form. If you’re recovering from bad back, you might want to want to focus on your abs—in fact, you can catch an Ultimate ABS class at XSport that is only 15 amazing minutes long!

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