When it’s time to hit the gym, you need to maximize your time. Whether you’re the gym rat who spends hours a day at the gym or the person complaining about not having enough time to go, use these six tips to get your workout in and get out in as little time as possible!
1. POOR PREPARATION
Some people waste time before they even get to the gym. Plan ahead and make sure all of your gym gear is packed and your pre- and post-workout nutrition is ready to go in order to ensure you have time to get your full workout in!
2. SLOW WARM-UP TIMES
Everyone knows warming up is important, but a lot of people are doing it wrong, or worse, not doing it at all. Spending 20 minutes leisurely pedaling on the bike while reading a gossip magazine is not a very efficient warm-up. Instead, take about 5 minutes to do some effective warm-ups, like arm circles, hip rotations or jumping jacks–anything to increase your body temperature and get your muscles fired up and ready to go.
3. RESTING TOO LONG
Many people waste too much time in between sets and exercises. Unless you are lifting extremely heavy weight for low reps with a focus on strength (1 to 3 reps), you should really only be taking a minute to a minute and a half of rest between sets. Keep track of your resting time between sets with a stopwatch to keep yourself honest and maximize your time!
4. MOBILE DISTRACTIONS
Cell phones can be a huge distraction! There’s nothing worse than someone hogging the bench press while talking on their phone. Do yourself–and others–a favor and leave your cell phone in your car, where all temptations to scroll through your social feed will be eliminated.
5. TOO MUCH CARDIO
Adding some cardio to your weight lifting routine is a great way to shed those extra pounds and keep your heart healthy. The problem is, many people opt for low-intensity, steady state cardio; however walking on a treadmill for 45 minutes to 1 hour is extremely time-consuming. Instead, try doing 5 to 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) at the end of your workout to maximize your cardio efficiency! To do HIIT using a cardio machine, you must perform at a very high intensity for a short period of time, then lower the intensity for a brief rest, and then repeat. For example, on an elliptical, begin at a leisurely pace for 1 minute, then for 30 seconds go as hard as you possibly can. After 30 seconds is up, slow back down to your regular pace for another minute. Repeat this cycle for about 10 to 15 minutes for a fast and much more efficient cardio session!
6. BAD TRAINING PARTNERS
A bad training partner can be one of the biggest time wasters of all, so make sure you choose one that brings the same level of intensity and focus to the gym as you do. If your training partner is more interested in socializing between sets, it may be time to cut them loose and go solo.