Since modern life is hectic, we have very little time to workout. Make every minute count with these helpful tips.
Leave your phone in your locker or car. It is usually our biggest distraction in every setting, not only the gym. You won’t miss much by spending an hour away from social media, SMSes and instant messaging, and you’ll boost your time efficiency in the gym substantially. If you use your phone to listen to music then place it on in- flight or airplane mode before you hit the gym floor.
2. Have a plan
Aimlessly walking from one machine to the next or wandering over to the dumbbell rack to see what weights are available before deciding on what to do are serious time wasters. Have a plan before you walk in to the gym, and execute that plan precisely. Don’t waste time thinking about exercise selection or set and rep structures. Move swiftly from one exercise to the next without hesitation and according to your programme.
3. Avoid the rush
Try going to the gym during off -peak hours to avoid the crowds and the queues for equipment that inevitably accompany peak gym times. You may also get an added benefit if you switch your training times, as midday sessions have been shown to boost workplace productivity. Many people also choose to use Sunday as their rest day, but that is the ideal time to get in a big session as the gym is often empty. Rather take Monday off, as that is usually the busiest day of the week for most gyms.
4. Be prepared
Pack your gym bag the night before to ensure you have everything you need for an efficient gym session. Packed the wrong shoes? Forgot your water bottle? No earphones? Any of these eventualities has the potential to negatively impact your gym-time productivity.
5. Be primed and ready
Hitting the gym when you feel lethargic or lack energy isn’t conducive to a productive session. It is therefore best to ensure you’re fuelled for the session that lies ahead, and that you have something on hand to get you through those high intensity sessions. A great pre-workout supplement is ideal to give you a boost before a workout, with various intra-workout products also available to keep you going when you need a lift. A lack of sleep will also detract from your intensity and effectiveness in the gym so make sure you’re getting your seven to eight hours a night.
Instead of resting between each set, rather skip, do burpees or jumping jacks, or perform another form of cardio exercise to keep your heart rate elevated throughout your session to burn more calories, and use your time in the gym more effectively. You’ll also miss the queues for the treadmill or stationary bike as you’ll get your cardio in with these active recovery intervals.
7. Tune out
Earphones and your favourite songs aren’t just a great way to keep motivation levels high during your workout as various studies show that listening to the right kind of music while working out can help you train harder and faster. In addition, having earphones in your ears and sticking to the grind is a subtle way to tell those around you that you’re focused on the task at hand and don’t want to be disturbed.
8. Superset me
Combine exercises in a manner that best meets your goals, and can save you some time too. Rather than separate sets of various exercises, combine a big and small muscle group together and use interesting combinations to work both in one combination set, or target one directly after the other with a superset or giant set.
Article written by managing editor of fitness magazine, Pedro Van Gaalen.