One of the constants in society seems to be that people have fewer and fewer hours in the day free time and for keeping themselves in shape. As a result, people aren’t going to the gym as much. If you only have 30 minutes or an hour to work out, use these tips to get the most out of every trip to the gym.
The biggest time-eater in workouts comes when you rest between sets in the weight room. Trust me, you don’t need to rest two minutes between sets on the bench or anywhere. Instead, set up two exercises and alternate sets with (at most) 15 seconds between sets of each. An example would be setting up a dumbbell for bicep curls near your bench where you’re bench pressing. Do your set of bench presses, and then sit up and do your bicep curls. You’re working different muscle groups, so your chest will still be resting while you’re working your biceps, and you’ll be ready for the next set. You’ll finish your weight workout in half the time.
Strength training boosts your metabolic rate, because you’ll have muscle consuming calories in your body. If you add more muscle, your metabolism will skyrocket. The benefit of strength training is that it builds muscle. This will make all your workouts more efficient.
Warming up and cooling down are a vital part of the workout regimen. If you don’t warm up, you can injure your muscles when you start lifting weights, or running, or using your muscles in an unusually arduous way. The blood needs to start pumping at higher levels to those muscles, and you need to build a little flexibility first. At the end, cool down so that your muscles get used to the more limited motion of relaxation — again, without injury.
Hydration is important in a number of ways. First, it helps keep your kidneys functioning properly, whether you’re working out or not. When your body has the added stress of exercise, though, all its systems are working at a level of higher intensity, and water is the lubrican’t that keeps everything moving smoothly. Lack of hydration can make you suffer in a hurry, particularly if you’re working out in the heat or doing a distance run.
Come into each workout with a specific plan. Maybe you’ve put together some routines based on some magazine articles you read, or your own personal experience. If you know what you want to do when you hit the gym door, or when you hit the track, then your workout will be more focused — and will pay bigger dividends. Planning will make your workout more efficient, and your results more consistent.
You don’t have to be in the gym for three hours to get a great workout — instead, you can really get a great workout in an hour, or even 30 minutes, depending on the plan you have in place. Use the tips in this article as a starting point.