How To Get The Most Out Of A Short Workout, According To A Fitness Expert
Having as much time as your heart desires to leisurely fit in your workout each day sounds great in theory, but in reality, you usually have about a lunch break's worth of time to get your sweat on. You get to the gym, pull out your phone, struggle to find a good playlist, and ultimately, you find yourself scrolling through Instagram while half-heartedly jogging on the treadmill — and before you know it, time's up. Getting the most out of a short workout can be tricky, but it's not impossible. It's all about budgeting the time you do have and prioritizing what matters most to you in your workout — that, and you know, not spending the first 10 minutes at the gym just scrolling through Twitter.
According to Adam Son, a fitness and nutrition coach at AchieveFit, getting the most out of a short workout is all about efficiency. And in order to be efficient with anything in life, workout or otherwise, you have to plan ahead. Ask yourself what your goal is for your workout, Son tells Elite Daily, and how you're going to accomplish that goal. How can you structure and organize the exercises in your routine in a way that makes for the best use of your time?
Son says one of the best ways to get the most out of a workout is by performing full-body, circuit-training exercises.
"This involves performing multiple exercises back to back with minimal to no rest in between," Son tells Elite Daily. "After the circuit is finished, a longer rest can be taken, but only enough to catch your breath and be prepared to do it all again." Wow! Sounds like a great time! Not.
OK, I'm (kind of) kidding. Circuit training actually serves the great purpose of allowing you to fit a lot of activity into a small amount of time, which is awesome if you only have about 20 minutes to spare for your entire workout.
"In a circuit workout, you can perform the exercises for reps, time, or a combination of the two," Son says. "The goal is to use as many body parts as possible, structuring the workouts around compound movements [aka movements that target multiple muscle groups at once], and movements that will elevate the heart rate and challenge the lungs."
But the most important thing to do in a short, efficient workout, the fitness coach tells Elite Daily, is to push, push, push for the entire time you have available.
"This could mean setting a goal on the number of reps you do, rounds you perform, or restricting the amount of rest you take," he says. Easier said than done though, right? The temptation to grab your phone in between sets when you're out of breath is too real, and sometimes, the motivation to keep going just isn't there.
When you feel yourself dragging during your workout, Son suggests listening to music that excites you, has an uptempo beat, and that simply makes you want to get up and move around. Cardi B, anyone?
However, he cautions, "Music is great, but many times we play music off of our phones. If that's the case, it's a good idea to put your phone on airplane mode if you struggle to ignore calls, texts, emails, or other notifications." Guys, it's like he knows.
And if you need a bit more than kickass beats, Son says working out with a friend can be a great way to challenge yourself, especially if that friend has a bit of a competitive spirit. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, right? When it comes down to it, being short on time doesn't mean you have to skip your workout altogether; it's all about that hustle, girl. It might be a bit of a challenge to stay disciplined and focused in the moment, but when you're done, you'll feel so damn accomplished and proud that you managed to stay in the zone that whole time.