How to Maximize Your Time In The Gym
As much as we’d love to spend more time in the gym, sometimes our schedules don’t allow it. We don’t always have 1.5-2 hours to be in the gym for our sessions, so how can we maximize the time we have in the gym to make sure our training is still good?
Isolation Movements First
Using isolation movements before your big lifts allow you to stimulate your muscle, but can also serve as a great warmup for muscles and joints. This means you spend less time warming up for your bigger compound movements later in the session. This cuts down on time spent in the gym, while still stimulating your muscles!
Using super sets is another great way to cut down on time in the gym. For the uninitiated, supersets are when you do one set of an exercise, and rather than resting you immediately go into a set for a different exercise. Generally, people do this with opposite muscle groups, but you can do this with any 2 muscle groups! For example, rather than doing 4 sets of dumbbell curls, with 1-minute rest between sets, and then 4 sets of tricep extensions with 1-minute rest between sets, you could do your set of dumbbell curls, immediately followed by a set of tricep extensions, then resting for a minute. This cuts your total rest time from 8 minutes to 4 minutes!
Drop sets are a great way to extend your set, make it more stimulative, and allow you to do fewer total sets! Drop sets are when you finish a set of an exercise, grab a lighter weight, and immediately move into another set of the same exercise. Because of how fatiguing these are, you can’t do your normal amount of sets. Since each set, and drop, you hit failure multiple times, you don’t need a ton of sets to grow!
HIIT cardio vs LISS Cardio
When we think about cardio, we often think of bodybuilders hunched over, moving slowly on the stair mill. We, unfortunately, don’t have the time to get hours of cardio in, but we still need to get in enough work to improve our heart health, and help burn some fat. Luckily, we can do high intensity interval training (HIIT) to save on time. HIIT is doing repeating intervals of high output, maximal intensity work, followed by a short rest. An example of this is 60 seconds max effort on the bike, followed by 20 seconds of rest for 12 repetitions. This allows us to drive up a ton of caloric expenditure in a short amount of time, and get our heart pumping for the cardiac benefits for cardio training!