12 Ways To Effectively Waste Time At The Gym

By Dave Bonollo

April 19, 2017   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

gym workout tips

Is your workout the odd man out when you plan your day because there just isn’t time? Have your clothes gotten a little tighter as a result?

Great bodies don’t need hours of gym time. In fact, a focused full body workout can be completed in just 30 minutes.

If you want to start making your health a priority, it’s essential that you know the most effective gym workout tips. It can also help if you’re aware of the most common things that can eat away your time in the gym.

Here are some of them:

Social Media

Social media is great for selfies and finding out what people you barely know are up to. However, it’s not good for an effective workout.

Stay off social media while you are in the gym to avoid getting lost in a news feed purgatory. Ten minutes can pass quickly while scrolling Facebook so save the updates for after your workout is done.


talking during workout

Some people use the gym like a water cooler. Next thing you know, 20 minutes have gone by and you have to rush home to make dinner.

Stay cordial, but save the conversations until you are done. If the person still wants to talk, just be honest with him. Tell him that have to get your workout done and you don’t have a lot of time.

Not Having A Plan

As Alan Lakein said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Before stepping on the gym floor, you should know what exercises you’ll be doing, in what order and what weight you’ll be using. Doing a short pre-planning can save you a lot of time and a bad workout.

Too Many Warmup Sets

Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

Warming up is a good thing and should be done before you hit the weights. However, a warmup that lasts more than 2-3 sets is just taking time and strength away from your workout.

Get the muscles warm and get right into the workout. This will help you lift heavier weights and increase muscle endurance.

Using The Wrong Weight

Gaining muscle can only happen if you overload them. If you aim for 3 sets of 10 with a certain weight and can perform all 30 reps without breaking a sweat, you used the wrong weight.

Pick a weight where you struggle on the last few reps of the last set. That is the right weight. Using the wrong weight is a waste of time and won’t give you the results you are after.

See Also: 5 Ways To Use The Mind Muscle Connection For Better Workouts

Using Bad Form

Having a bad form will not only put you at risk of injuries, but it can also lighten the impact of the exercise to your target muscle. You should feel the target muscle working and not feel it in your joints or other non-targeted muscles.

The Broken Record Workout

The human body is very adaptive. Doing the same workout month in and month out will lessen the effectiveness of it.

Switch up your workout every 4-6 weeks to avoid this. Simple changes, like going from a barbell to dumbbells, might be all the change you need.

Watching TV

There is no debate that TV is addicting. A quick glance during a rest period can make 5-10 minutes fly by. Resist the temptation and focus on the reason you are at the gym.

Changing At The Gym

The gym locker room is like a black hole. What seems like five minutes in the locker room is actually 20 minutes everywhere else.

If possible, wear your gym clothes to the gym or change at work. The time lost in the locker room could be better spent working out.


Splitting your attention between using an elliptical and the latest issue of Cosmo is a surefire way to waste time.

The natural tendency is to slow down while reading so you aren’t going to be able to maximize your cardio. Keep your mind on the task at hand and the fat will melt off.

Using Machines

using machines

Machines are essential in a workout routine, but avoid using them for the entire session.

Machines allow you to isolate a muscle group. However, they won’t give you the most bang for your buck. Free weights should make up the bulk of your workout. Leave the machines for the end.

See Also: Get To The Grind: Hop on, Hop off Treadmill Sprinting

Endless Cardio

If your goal is to become a hamster, then run your little heart out on the treadmill. If you are planning to lose fat or chow down on that cookie later, opt for a full body workout.

Lifting weights is superior to cardio when it comes to weight loss since it can boost your metabolism for hours after. Channeling your inner hamster does not.


If you can make more hours in the day, then totally ignore these tips. If you are stuck in the same 24 hours we all have, then try applying these to your workouts. You’ll suddenly find that time is no longer an excuse to skip the gym.

Dave Bonollo

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