Making time to workout is a common struggle for many people, and it seems the busier your schedule gets with life, work, and other responsibilities, the easier it is to cut back on the smaller commitments like exercise.
It’s common to just tell yourself, “I don’t have enough time to work out” and leave it at that. Instead, I want to challenge you to try something new and ask yourself a different question: “How can I get the most out of the time I do have?”
This small shift can keep you on track with your workout program and allow you to get the most out of your workouts. So here are a few simple tricks that will allow you to spend less time in the gym while still maximizing your calorie burn and strength gains.
Focus on Quality over Quantity
First, I want to talk about cardio training. It’s easy to get caught up in the trap of thinking that doing more and more cardio is necessary to lose weight and reach your goals. The common belief is that more is better. So it may seem that unless you have 45, 60, or 90 minutes of time to get in your cardio each day, it’s not even worth your time to work out.
However, the truth is that MORE cardio doesn’t only waste your time but it can actually hinder your goals!
For one, doing too much cardio can actually increase your appetite so you end up eating extra calories and constantly feeling hungry. The end result? It becomes even harder to stick to a healthy diet and it’s even easier to eat extra calories without even realizing it. So that extra 300 calories you burned is simply replaced with food. Now that
sounds like a never-ending cycle to me…
Secondly, endless hours of cardio are NOT the best way to burn calories. The real result is actually spending more time working out with less results to show for it.
So, instead of focusing on time when you do cardio, shoot for quality cardio. This means maximizing your time so you burn more calories in less time. The easiest way to do this is to pick up the pace and work harder. Additionally, a more advanced technique is to incorporate interval training instead of steady state cardio.
Working harder means really pushing and challenging yourself during your cardio workouts so at the end of 15, 20 or 30 minutes it’s difficult to keep going. This old idea of slow, steady cardio to burn more fat is outdated and may very well be keeping you from getting the results you desire. If you’re not sweaty and out of breath during your workouts then you’re simply not using your time as effectively as you could be.
Only Rest When You Need To
Did you know that the goal of your strength and interval workouts should be to take a break? Seems a bit crazy, but when working out intensely and maximizing the time you do have, you’re going to need a break from time to time.
When you’re working this hard it means you’re burning more calories, really challenging your body, and activating hormones that cause your body to burn fat and build muscle.
Forget structured breaks or sitting on a machine in between sets doing absolutely nothing. This is just a waste of time that’s keeping you in the gym longer than necessary. Instead only take a break when you really need one. When you need to catch your breath and regain your energy so that you can push hard during your next set or exercise.
For instance, it’s common to see a workout program where you do a circuit and then see a “one-minute break” scheduled on the workout.
But why waste time taking a break if you don’t need one? Or on the other hand, why pace yourself, possibly not working as hard as you could be, so that you can make it to your next break?
Instead, only take breaks when you need them, and only long enough until you feel ready to give it your all again. So whether that’s 20 seconds, 30 seconds, or a minute, it doesn’t matter. You’ll naturally increase the intensity and work harder just knowing you can take a break anytime. Additionally, you’ll get through your workout even quicker.
So I encourage you to give it a try. Select a workout you’ve done in the past and complete it with a different spin. This time make it your goal to work hard enough that you need to take breaks, but only when you need to for only as long as you need to.
Sidney Wilson is a Las Vegas-based celebrity fitness trainer and lifestyle coach dedicated to providing his clients with the tools needed to “Get Vicious.” Through rigorous workouts and extensive nutrition coaching, Sidney trains clients at The Get Vicious Training Center located at 5693 South Jones Blvd. Suite 103, Las Vegas, NV 89118, or remotely around the world through his website www.sidneywilson.com. Sidney can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-226-6359.