Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Time Saving and Body Enhancing Workout Tips

Sounds like a dream-come-true right? How many of you like to go to the gym, but like it even better when it’s over and done with? I LOVE working out; however, I have the attention span of a gnat, so usually my workouts last only a half hour—no more, no less. Sometimes this results in me doing two workouts a day, but other times I learn how to use my time wisely and get the most out of that half hour as possible. Here are some tips to maximizing your workout, and still get you in and out in a timely manner.
Combine you Cardio and Weight Training: Instead of doing your weight training, followed by your 30-45 minutes of steady-state cardio, try adding your cardio to your workout! Do one or two exercises, and during your rest, do three to five minutes of higher intensity cardio, like cycling or jogging. If you did that between every set or two of exercises, you would accumulate 20-30 minutes of higher intensity cardio in less time!
Take it Outdoors and Just Keep Moving: Try a track, beach or even mountain workout. Go for a brisk walk or a jog, and intermittently add squats, push-ups, lunges, mountain climbers, and planks. Burn some calories, tone your body, and get outside in nature!
Add HIIT to Replace Your Rest: After each set of exercise, instead of sitting there twiddling your thumbs and watching the clock for your rest to be over, add do some high intensity interval training. Do squat jumps, jump rope or other plyometrics. If you can, hope on a treadmill or a bike and do 30 seconds of an all out sprint.
Opposing Sets:  While you are waiting for one muscle group to rest, work the opposite one!  If you are working your back and just finished with a seated row, go immediately into a dumbbell chest press. It will keep your heart rate elevated and still allow your muscles the appropriate recovery they need.
Quit Focusing on Reps and Just DO IT (often called Drop-Sets): Sometimes the same old 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions can get boring and repetitive, plus it can take a while. Add more weight than you are used to and just pump out as many as you can! Once you have fatigued your muscles, immediately reduce your weight by 5-10-lbs, or 10% if lifting very heavy, and do the same thing. Repeat without stopping 4-5 times or until you have reached the lightest weight.
Train that Stubborn Body Part during Active Rest!:  Everyone has that stubborn area body part they really just want toned! It might be your abs, butt, biceps, shoulders, etc. Do your normal training split, but in your rest time, add a light exercise that targets your trouble spots. It may be chest day, but do crunches or planks while you are waiting for your chest muscles to recover. You may be exercising your back, but do dips, pushups, or triceps extensions while you recover. You'll start to see those muscles shine through in no time!
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Happy Training!

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