With the holiday season now upon us time becomes an even more valued commodity. Life is always busy, but it seems that during the holiday season it is especially difficult to squeeze in all those needed activities. So, with that in mind I thought I would share with you some time-saving ideas that you can use while you are in the gym.
Work opposites Train opposing muscle groups during your normal rest periods. For example, when you get done doing a set of bench presses for your chest, go immediately to the seated rows and do a set to work your back. This method not only helps to save time, it helps to keep your heart rate in its target range maximizing fat loss during your weight training.
Change your foot placement I know this sounds simple, but changing your foot placement can change a simple leg press into a total leg workout. Placing your legs close together will work more of the outer quads, shoulder width foot placement the center of the quads, and a wide stance, with feet pointed out at approximately 45 degrees, will work the inner thighs and gluts. You can also lower your feet on the platform to work the lower part of the quads, and raise your feet to work the upper quads and gluts.
Stay focused (This is for you Ed, and Dick) Wandering around the gym wastes huge amounts of time (so does hassling your instructor). And over socializing not only wastes your gym time but also that of those you are talking to. If you want to save time, plan your exercise routine, and stick to it. Socialize after you (and your friends) are finished.
Bring a bottle This may sound simple, but it helps. By not walking to the drinking fountain between every set you not only save time by avoiding the trip, but it is also easier to avoid the conversation trap. You are also more likely to keep properly hydrated, increasing your workout performance.
Avoid peak hours If you are interested in getting your workout done as quickly as possible, try to avoid your gyms peek hours. This will keep you from spending time waiting on equipment.
Use a bench A single adjustable bench allows you to do many, many exercises, even with a room full of people. You can do bench presses, flies, shoulder press, crunches, rows, triceps, biceps, etc. The dumbbells and barbells are nearby and you save time not having to wait on machines.
Warm-up intelligently It only takes 5 - 10 minutes to increase heart rate, increase your blood flow, lubricate your joints, and decrease your risk of injury.
Cross-train aerobically If your gym enforces a time limit on its treadmills (usually 20 minutes, 30 if you are really lucky) then switch from the treadmill to a bike or elliptical trainer and get 40-60 minutes of aerobic training without having to leave the area.
Race the clock When you are really trying to hustle, try taking only 15-30 second rest periods between sets. Watch the second hand closely and when it's been 30 seconds, get back to it.
Plan ahead Preparing for your next exercise between sets will save time. For instance, if you are using the dumbbells, then pull them from the rack and place them next to your bench. This not only prepares you for your exercise, it also lets others know that you are using that equipment.
These are just a few examples of time saving ideas. Don't be afraid to come up with some of your own. Be creative, but be safe. Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday.