We’re all busy, but that’s no excuse for not making time for the gym. Here are 5 easy tips to getting you in and out of the gym and be productive while there.
1) Have a Plan
I can’t tell you how many times I see someone in the gym waste a ton of time because they have no idea what they want to do. I literally finish half my workout while these people are still debating over what they want to do. Before you walk into the gym, have a plan. You’ll get there, do what you need to do, and get out.
2) Stop Socializing
At the gym I currently go to there is a certain guy that spends 90% of his time talking to everyone else in the gym and/or talking on his cell phone. The guy spends hours in the gym everyday when he could get in and out in a half hour with the amount of actual working out that he does. Unless you have all the time in the world and no other commitments throughout the day, you don’t need to find out every detail about everyone’s day that’s in the gym at the time. I personally always have my IPod with me, yet I very rarely ever have it turned on. However, people see my ear buds in and rarely try to start a conversation with me (see how smart I am).
3) Super Setting
This one is pretty simple but it can be very effective. Instead of performing an exercise and then waiting around for a couple of minutes before doing another set, pair or superset the exercise with a second exercise. For example, if you’re doing some type of pushing exercise (i.e. bench press) pair it with some type of pulling exercise (i.e. chin ups) or even pair it with some type of core exercise like a plank or a Pallof press. Now you’ve knocked off two exercises in the same time frame as you normally would have finished one exercise.
4) Eliminate Useless Exercises
One way to become more productive and make every minute count when you’re in the gym is to eliminate all the crap. Long cardio sessions on the elliptical (talking to you girls), the adductor and abductor machine (still talking to you girls), the leg press, biceps curls (for all the bro’s out there), and many more exercises. Instead of long cardio sessions, try some interval training or make your lifting a cardio session by doing some circuits. Instead of relying on the adductor/abductor machine and the leg press to build some lean and muscular legs, how bout squatting, whether it be a front squat, traditional back squat, goblet squats, or even some rear foot elevated split squats. And if that entire gym session you dedicate to biceps curls isn’t workout out well for you (guys), maybe focus on some bodyweight exercises like pull ups and chin ups or even some type of rowing exercise…trust me, it’ll be just as effective as those curls for building your biceps.
5) Find a Training Partner
Maybe the best way to make a gym session more effective is to find someone to train with. I typically train alone, but when I train with someone else I always have a better workout. A partner will push you to finish that last rep that you wouldn’t have otherwise and could introduce you to some exercises that you aren’t familiar with. Furthermore, I always like training with someone who is stronger than me in a certain area. I’m not a great squatter and training with someone who is always motivates me, no one wants to be that weakling. And if nothing else, having a training partner can motivate you to show up so you don’t leave them hanging, and showing up is half the battle.