Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Five Ways to Maximize your Gym Time

5 Ways to Maximize Your Gym Time

It can be difficult to squeeze in gym time when you have a full schedule.

There are days you can relax, chat with your friends, and take your time. But sometimes, you have to get out there. How can you accomplish this without skipping your workout? These are some tips and tricks to make the most of your time at the gym, without sacrificing your effort.

1. Get warm on the way

Although we understand that you are busy, warming up is essential for your workout. You can save time by getting to the gym prepared. Gretchen Zelek (AFAA group fitness instructor, functional aging specialist and co-founder, Donuts and Pie Fitness) suggests that you do walking lunges between your house and the car. She says, "Skipping and hopping, brisk marcheing -- whatever it takes for your heart to beat faster."

Warm up mentally while you are at it. Chris Shelton, a qigongteacher who has almost 20 years experience, says that world-class athletes imagine themselves as victorious. This is how you can apply the same principle to yourself. Take a deep breath and imagine how you would feel when you enter the gym, after your workout, and for 10 minutes afterwards.

2. Camp Out

How many minutes are you spending training, versus moving around or waiting for equipment? You can cut down on wasted time by grabbing a few essential pieces of equipment, such as dumbbells, medicine balls, benches, jump ropes, bands, and jump ropes. -- and setting up camp within one area. You can choose moves that utilize that gear and arrange them in a time-efficient workout like a Tabata, Tabper, Chipper or Circuit.

Samantha Clayton, a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and former Olympic sprinter, says that she loves using a push-pull combo for the upper body. You can be really creative with only two pieces of equipment and put together an eight-move work out.

Photo by Getty Images

3. (Stop) Watch the Gap

Because perception is not always accurate, you might not be aware that you are wasting your time. You can test your rest by recording the time between sets for a few workouts. Then analyze your results to determine if they are consistent with your current training method. Clayton states that the heavier you are, the longer the rest between sets is required. This can be anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes. It takes your body's phosphagen system a long time to recover so strength-focused athletes, such as powerlifters, should opt for longer rest periods. For the average fitness buff, a 1:1 to 1:2 ratio should be used to keep you on track and train your body to deal with the lactate buildup. Clayton says that a 30- to 60-second rest between sets is often enough.

4. Chip Away

You can increase intensity and stimulate metabolic change by condensing your work load into a shorter time frame. For example, you might ditch the set/rep system and establish a time limit for each set and rep of an exercise. A shoulder press might require you to do five sets of 10 reps. This takes approximately 10 minutes including rest. Instead, make it a goal to complete all 50 reps in five minutes. Perform as many sets as possible at one time, and then rest for just enough time to catch your breath. This will save you 25 minutes if you do five exercises.

5. Drop, Rock and Roll

Drop sets are a time-saver as they double or triple the intensity and workload of a single set. Clayton states that tension keeps your muscles working harder, which can help you burn more calories and improve your muscular endurance. Start with a moderately weight, and then do as many reps (until you fail) as possible. Next, "drop" (reduce the weight by 10 to 15%), and then again perform it until you fail. Drop sets are intense and should not be done in excess. Jason Kozma PROPTA-CPT, IFA–CPT, sports nutritionist, and owner of High Performance Personal Training Los Angeles, says that drop sets should be done only on the last set. Overtraining can also lead to lingering soreness and persistent fatigue.

The post 5 Ways to Maximize Your Gym Time appeared originally on Oxygen Mag.

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