4 Strategies To Maximize Your Gym Time
Whether you are brand new to the gym or a seasoned exerciser, your energy and time is valuable. With the busyness of day to day life, losing sight of keeping ourselves healthy and moving can easily go to the wayside. I’m here to give some of my best advice on how to maximize your gym time, making an efficient and effective workout an easy to accomplish priority!
PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN
The gym should be your time to focus on YOU, not check on recent Tweets or Instagram stories. I can’t say this enough, your status can wait, the photos can wait, the videos can wait. If you were to take a log of how much time you actually spent working out and compared it to how much time you spent filming/selfie-ing/texting, I bet you would be shocked at the amount of focus you aren’t giving your workouts.
If you struggle with stepping away from your phone for more than a half hour, start turning airplane mode on. This will shut all the distractions off. It’s OK to give yourself time away from responding and viewing everyone else’s life, and it’s OK to not share your every move with the public. The emails, texts, updates and notifications will still be there when you’re done with your workout.
I challenge you to try this for one week and record the differences in your daily exercise routine’s focus, energy, stress/distractions, time from start to finish, and overall performance.
MINIMIZE REST PERIODS OR UNNECESSARY BREAKS
As a personal trainer, I know how important it is to take adequate rest periods between sets. There is certainly a time and a place for implementing these, and you can easily maximize your training efficiency by timing your breaks. If your exercise routine calls for heavy compound movements (we will discuss these next), then I would encourage you to time your rest anywhere from 45-90 seconds. This will allow your body to recover and rejuvenate its output power and strength.
On the contrary, rest periods can also become socializing opportunities. So it is important to keep yourself in check with the chatter. The gym is a great environment for getting to know others who have similar interests and perspectives, but be mindful of how much time you are investing into conversing vs. exercising.
INCORPORATE COMPOUND MOVEMENTS INTO YOUR GYM TIME
There are two main categories of training movements: isolation and compound. Your isolated movements focus on one joint or muscle group (for example a tricep pushdown; tricep = muscle and elbow = joint). With over 650 muscles in the body, going one by one seems a bit extra. So we shift our focus onto compound movements, these are exercises that move multiple joints and muscle groups at the same time (for example squatting; both upper and lower body engagement is required).
By incorporating compound movements we are using more muscles and targeting multiple muscle groups, resulting in more calories burned! These exercises are not only smarter for time management, but also for functionality purposes as well.
PLAN OR INVEST
I want to start this tip off by asking a few questions…
- How often do you find yourself twiddling your thumbs thinking about what to do next during your workout?
- When you’re working out, do you find it hard to keep yourself moving and motivated?
- Are your workouts purpose driven or just going through the motions?
- Do you waste more time thinking about your workout plan vs. actually planning it?
If you want to get in and out of the gym, never go without a game plan. This means mapping out your workouts in advance or investing in a training program. Here are my top 3 resources:
- Local fitness professionals
- Online fitness professionals
- Phone apps.
If planning your workouts isn’t something you want to do and investing in a program doesn’t seem worth your while, you may want to consider working with a personal trainer. You will have scheduling accountability with a specific time slot for your workouts, so no wasted time! As an added benefit, your trainer may also write you an exercise program to keep you moving on your non-training days – – now that’s a win-win!
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