Whether you’re a beginner who’s on your first week of going to the gym or a dedicated gym buff who’s been at it for a couple of years, chances are there are a few things you can do to make your workout sessions more time efficient and effective.
This includes using more productive workouts — something as simple as following a strict routine to get in and out of the gym faster. Whatever the case, there will always be tweaks, be it big or small, that you can do to make your training better, leading you to achieve more than what you thought was possible, or surpassing goals that you set for yourself.
So to help get the most out of a workout, here are tips and tricks you can follow to make sure your time in the gym is maximized to its fullest:
Walk inside with a workout plan
This is perhaps the most basic tip we can give you, but it’s also one of the most important if you want to make every minute count when you’re hitting the weights. It’s also a no-brainer, as walking into the gym with a good plan of action will help minimize the chances of you wandering aimlessly around and thinking what to do next, or even how to start in the first place. Do I do cardio today? Or do I focus on my core workouts? Such indecisiveness will only lead to wasted time and let your heart rate drop.
Know what you need to do, and where you’re going to do it. Having a plan B also works, especially if the machine you need to use is taken. This includes having backup exercises, or simply moving forward with your routine and just coming back to it later.
Limit your seat workouts
A lot of people already spend too much time sitting. We sit on the way to work, sit for more than 8 hours a day in the office and sit when we’re trying to relax once we get home. It’s not a problem, but it certainly doesn’t help our posture at all.
So the next time you’re at the gym, make sure to incorporate more standing exercises and workouts into your routine, or do more standing variations of your seated exercises. Doing so will both involve more muscle tissue activation and help realign our already poor posture.
Standing exercises also help improve your balance, as well as burn more calories than most traditional floor exercises. In fact, metabolism is known to work better when a person is standing up.
Utilize compound movements
This point always gets brought up, but that’s only because of how incredibly important it actually is. The idea is that for those who want to maximize the time they spend on the gym, choosing exercises that target the most amount of muscle is the way to go.
This includes bench presses, rows,or even squats, as these workouts are made to target more muscle mass, as opposed to smaller exercises that isolate a specific muscle group. Naturally, the result is more progress in the gym, helping you bag those goals much quicker than you initially intended.
It’s also a good thing to start your day at the gym with a variation or compound movement. As you have the highest energy level when you’re just starting, it’s best to spend this energy doing the most energy taxing workouts.
You might be surprised to learn that cardio machines are the biggest time consumers when it comes to gym machines. So if you’re trying to reduce your gym time, or at least use what you have more efficiently, then one good way to do it is to alter your cardio sessions to make it more effective.
Of course, when you say “make cardio more efficient,” this automatically gives a picture of you doing a few extra miles on the treadmill, or even cycling for an extended period of time. However, this doesn’t need to be the case at all.
In fact, exercises like weighted sled pushes and sprints can be just as effective and can get your heart racing after just a few minutes.
At its most basic definition, a superset is essentially a workout routine in which you do two exercises back to back without any rests in between. Usually, these two workouts work in contrast against each other and target different muscle groups.
Supersets are usually recommended when you’re pressed for time, because you’re using all the time you have to get some work in. An added benefit to it is your recovery times, which serves as active recovery for each of the two exercises that you choose to do. This alternating active recovery then provides an extra layer of both intense pump and fatigue. In turn, this pump and fatigue is then used by your body to help your muscle growth and encourage it further.
So not only do you effectively use your time to the very second, but your workouts also get an extra boost without you changing too much.
These five methods will help you effectively maximize your time at the gym, making it more efficient and straight to the point. Of course, we don’t recommend you running to the gym and trying all the workouts you need while setting a timer for yourself. None of that at all.
What we do recommend, however, is a carefully planned guide like this one that will still keep you focused, while also pushing you ever forward and challenging your routine at the same time. This requires focus and discipline, something every gym-goer should have in and out of the facilities.
So wear comfortable clothes, pack extra ones and ready that workout playlist, we are about to go all-in, folks.