Wondering how to get the most out of your workout?
Time isn’t really the key.
Spending two hours or more at the gym is a really long time, unless fitness is your job or you’re training for something. Yet, so many people feel that if they don’t spend hours at the gym working out, the trip is wasted.
I think it’s time to start getting more efficient with your workout routine if you are a 2-hour gym-goer. Spending that much time at the gym isn’t really sustainable. So, if you want to make fitness a lifelong practice, here are some tips on how to get the most out of your workout in the gym.
Cut The Fat Out of Your Routine
Let’s face it — almost everyone who spends two hours at the gym isn’t working out the entire time. Instead, they are fiddling on their phones looking for their pump-up songs, scrolling through social media, taking phone calls or just considering what exercise to do next.
If you recognize yourself in any of these time-wasting situations, it’s time for you to cut the fat out of your gym routine. Some of the things you can do to resist fiddling with your phone and focus on your workout are:
- Create one or more playlists that are full of music that you can easily workout to without touching your phone to find the next song you want.
- Make plans before you go to the gym on what you are going to do, whether it’s arm day, core or something else. Along with having a clear idea of your exercise focus, you may want to plan exactly what exercises you want to tackle.
- Put your phone on silent so that you resist the urge to answer texts, calls or scroll through social media.
- Go tech-free with your workouts and just focus on what you are doing.
Without all the fiddling and distraction, you may find that you can cut out at least 30 minutes out of your workout time at the gym.
Add High-Intensity Workout Days
If you have mainly focused on endurance workouts when you are at the gym, then it may be time to add some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your routine.
Often, HIIT workouts are around 25 to 30 minutes long. It can get you in and out of the gym a lot faster than usual. Even better, you can actually improve your fat loss speed and develop muscle faster than a long, dragging workout.
In fact, researchers looked into the efficacy of HIIT workouts and made a clear point that HIIT exercises are excellent in reducing body fat levels. Also, the explosive movements of the interval training allow you to continue with your muscle-building without needing hours of exercise.
Lift Heavier Weights To Failure
Many people focus on endurance lifting where they do 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions of a weight lifting exercise. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with endurance lifting, it does take a good deal of time to do it correctly.
Instead, you can opt to lift heavier weights until you fail. You don’t need to do heavier lifts for every workout if you enjoy endurance lifting. You can just replace one or two of your regular lifting days with heavier weights, which you can lift until you cannot anymore.
Focus On Compound Exercises
Instead of doing exercises that focus on a single movement, you can do compound exercises to reduce the time you spend at the gym. For example, instead of doing just bicep curls, you can make it a compound exercise by combining bicep curl and transitioning to the military press, then back to bicep curl. If you also do all these while standing, you can help improve your stability.
Also, if you are concerned that combining exercises will reduce the effectiveness, don’t worry about that. There have been studies that show that whether you do single-joint exercises or multi-joint exercises, you will still enjoy the same benefits.
Take Your Exercise Outdoors
Working out outside takes some inventiveness, but once you get the hang of it, you can see the endless possibilities. For instance, take your average park with a jungle gym, winding track, grassy field, and swings.
You can build a unique workout — one that starts with bodyweight fitness using various bars and platforms there. Follow that up with a HIIT workout and end your workout with a bang.
As bodyweight exercises cause you to use more muscles than just lifting weights alone, you can dedicate half the time you normally would in the gym to your outdoor workouts.
By making these changes to your gym workout routine, you can cut down on the time you spend at the gym without making a negative impact on your fitness gains.