Working out is great. Your mood improves, you burn calories, and you get to maintain good health. Plus, you become more capable and independent, better able to tackle everyday tasks.
The trouble is, we don’t always have the time to train the way we want. Sometimes, all we have is 15 or 20 minutes.
So, what should we do? Give up because we don’t have an hour for a workout? Absolutely not. There are many great ways to train and get fit, even on a tight schedule.
Let’s explore some strategies.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
As its name suggests, high-intensity interval training is an exercise modality that mixes short bursts of intense activity with brief recovery periods. Sprint training is one such example. You can sprint for ten seconds, then walk for a minute to recover, and repeat that several times.
The great thing about high-intensity interval training is that you can apply the principles to numerous activities, including:
- Using a battle rope
- Jumping rope
- Doing bodyweight exercises
Despite the relatively short workouts, HIIT is effective because it pushes you to your limits. Sure, you might only train for 15 or 20 minutes, but you will be sweaty, breathless, and panting by the end of it.
Use Circuit Routines to Blast Your Body In As Little As Seven Minutes
Circuit routines are another popular way for busy people to train effectively in just a few minutes.
In a traditional gym workout, you would do an activity, take a break, do another bout, rest again, and so on. Doing so allows you to spread your training over a longer period and do a lot of work without pushing yourself to your physical limits.
Circuits are beneficial because they string together various activities, and you have to do them back-to-back. While more challenging, doing so saves you time and allows you to get fit on a tight schedule. Plus, you can manage your fatigue well by programing each workout intelligently.
The 7-minute workout became popular a few years ago because it allowed people to do circuit training intelligently, do almost non-stop exercise, and manage fatigue well. With that routine, you get to do 12 exercises, perform each for 30 seconds, and rest for up to ten seconds in-between. Here are the movements:
- Jumping jacks
- Wall sits
- Ab crunches
- Chair step-ups
- Chair triceps dips
- High knees
- Push-ups with rotations
- Side planks
Take Advantage of Two Intensity Techniques At The Gym
You can rest assured that certain tactics can help you intensify your gym workouts and do more in less time. While not always ideal, these techniques allow you to accumulate enough volume to spark muscle growth and strength gains.
The first technique is the superset, which is about combining two exercises and doing them back-to-back. For example:
- Bicep curls with tricep extensions
- Bench press with lat pulldowns
- Leg press with seated hamstring curls
The goal is to pair agonist-antagonist muscles to prevent excessive fatigue. For example, you wouldn’t want to do hammer curls with bicep curls.
The second technique is called drop sets. You lift weight close to failure, then immediately remove some of the resistance and do another set. For example, you bench press 225 pounds, get up, remove 50 pounds, and lie back for another set. You can drop the weight two, three, even four times until you exhaust your muscles.