You’re fitting workouts in between everything else you do. Want to get a lot done, break a sweat and reach your goals to be fit? Here’s a plan to streamline your time at the gym.
- Have a Game Plan
Streamlining starts with knowing what you’re trying to accomplish – in other words, what are your goals? You should know these for each workout! For example, you might have finally performed a pull up, so this week you’re working on two. Or, you’re bench pressing 125 pounds, now shooting for 130.
- Keep your Head in the Game
You can’t streamline your time, or accomplish specific goals, if you spend too much energy looking at everyone’s body, engaging in idle chatter, or wandering around the gym deciding what you feel like doing next. Know your game plan, and the route you need to take to make it happen.
- Come in Prepared
Aside from knowing your goals and workout plan, you should also be sure that you’re well-rested, well-fed and well-hydrated, in general. When you’re trying to get a lot done within an efficient schedule, it’s counterproductive to try to push your way through the gym when you’re sick, low on energy or fuzzy in the head.
- Be Consistent
You don’t need to be there two hours every day, anyway. You can visit the gym for 45 minutes, consistently three times a week, and build plenty of strength and stamina. If you focus on the right exercises, you can lose weight and fat, too. Go for higher intensity to make the most of your time.
- Do the Right Stuff
Train at the gym according to your goals. Get some personal training advice if you can, to help you choose the right kind of workouts for what you’re working on! It’s not necessary to learn all of the strength and cardio machines, either. You could take a high intensity class a couple of times a week, and choose your favorite compound exercises for the other workout days. Be selective.
A Sample Plan
- Keep it simple—you can do all your strength exercises with free weights, dumbbells, or just your body weight to develop good form.
- Focus on exercises that recruit as many muscle groups as possible, which are compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, shoulder presses, pull ups, chin ups and inverted rows.
- Take a week to double check your form, learn your reps and weights, and update your workout so you can follow that game plan more easily from now on.
- Warm up before—move around, get your heart rate going, try some calisthenics, a light jog, some simple drills. You don’t want to jump in cold.
- Stretch after—your cool down can be composed of all over stretching to help create some space for those muscle fibers. Let the recovery begin!
- No need for crunches or extra core exercises when you go with compound moves and challenge yourself. Your abs get a workout keeping your body in balance. To add a little extra core, elbow planks are a streamlined choice.