Keeping New Year’s Resolution: Here’s how to get more done in the gym in less time

January 2, 2020

Getting into a fitness routine is hard enough on its own. Your hectic schedule with work, kids, and maybe even a social life can tempt you to put your fitness on a back burner for good. It’s no wonder why skipping your gym session is so tempting, when making it to the gym can take up so much time out of your day.

You have to get dressed, hop in the car, sit in traffic, lock your stuff up, and then find the machines and equipment you need to complete your workout. When all is said and done, the whole thing can take several hours of your very valuable time.

Fortunately, we’re sharing tips to shorten your next gym session to make it easier to stick to a regular work-out routine. Keep reading to find out how you can get in a great workout, and save some time in the process.

Don’t come without a plan:

When you make a plan to hit the gym, you probably don’t have a detailed plan for your workout. You might decide that you want to get in some cardio, and then maybe do a little strength on a couple of weight machines or with free weights. While there’s nothing wrong with free-styling your workout, you can be in and out of the gym much faster if you come up with a plan before you head out.

Think about these things when planning your workout:

What do I want to focus on at the gym? Strength? Cardio? A mix of both? If you plan to focus on cardio, jot down in your phone how much time you want to spend on your favorite cardio machine. You can take it a step further by giving yourself cardio intervals. For example, walk or jog for 3 minutes then sprint for 1 minute. The more detailed your plan, the less time you’ll spend thinking when you get to the gym.

Next, figure out what equipment you need to finish your workout: Barbells, treadmill, leg press machine, steps, etc.? Pick a few pieces of equipment that you need and use that to map out your workout and cut out the time you would normally spend wandering around.

Put your phone on airplane mode:

You can cut out a lot of wasted time at the gym by eliminating distractions from your workout. Your workout might be impossible without your phone and your music, but your phone can also be a huge distraction and time-waster at the gym. Don’t be that guy who takes up the leg press machine scrolling through Instagram and taking selfies without actually breaking a sweat. Instead, download your favorite playlist and turn your phone on airplane mode. This will keep you from falling into the cellphone trap and make sure that you can get in and out of the gym in less time.

Limit breaks between exercises:

Regardless of whether you circulate between machines or spend all your time in the weight room, you can get the most out of our your gym session and save time by moving quickly from exercise to exercise. For one, you can keep your heart rate high, which ultimately leads to more calorie burn and some cardiovascular benefits. What’s more, rather than pausing to chat with a friend or check your email, you can get your complete workout done and get back to your life outside the gym faster. The best way to stick to a fast-paced workout is to set a timer on your phone and allow yourself 1-2 minutes between exercises. That’s enough time to towel off, sip your water and set up for your next move.

Arrive dressed and ready:

One of the common time wasters at the gym is getting in and out of the locker room. However, if you can minimize the time you need to find a locker, change clothes, fix your hair, you can knock off precious minutes in the gym. Before you leave for the gym, get dressed and pack everything you need in a small bag you can carry around the gym so that you might skip the locker room altogether before you jump into your workout.

Simplify your workout:

Big box gyms make it ohso- tempting to try out every piece of equipment and shiny new machine in the building. But when you’re pressed for time, it’s best to keep your gym session as simple as possible. If your focus is strength training, then head to the free weights, grab a bench and few sets of weights, and get your workout done. You can get all the same work in less time if you stick to just a few pieces of equipment.

An example of a simple leg strength workout can be done in just 5 moves with a heavy set of dumbbells: (1) Du Goblet Squats; (2) Deadlifts; (3) Lateral Right Lunge; (4) Lateral Left Lunge (5) Hip Thrusters. Repeat each move in a pyramid set, starting with 20 repetitions each, then 15, then, 10, then 5, then back up incrementally to 20 repetitions.

By working on making all of these changes to your gym routine, you’ll have fewer reasons to skip your next workout and more time to spend living your life.

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