Everyone should learn the basics of how to workout in less time. One of the real problems that I have seen with people is a lack of a good plan when getting started in a gym. You look at the big loud guys, see what exercises they are doing and subconsciously or not you start doing the same things.
Of course the big guys are breaking their body parts up and working each set until failure with lots of long breaks between sets.
Often you don’t need long rest between sets and you never need to spend more than 45 minutes doing a workout, in fact mine usually take me about 30 minutes. I think lots of people would like to know how to workout faster.
So Here Are Some Rules On How To Workout In Less Time.
1. Start with a base warmup – I start by doing one easy set of each (usually with machines) bench press, shoulder press, lat pulldowns, rowing. Many people will start with 5 or 10 minutes on a bike, treadmill, or elliptical trainer to get the blood flowing and that is perfectly fine too but I like to engage the muscles.
2. Do workouts faster – Sure we need a break between working our individual muscles but a great way to workout in less time, get more done, and get your heart working, is to do exercises back to back.
There are two methods to do this circuit training and supersetting and you can really mix these up between workouts. I personally work all my muscles in each workout three times a week.
3. Cooldown and abs – I like to do my stretching after the workout and do a few sets of abs
Then I am done. The biggest part of the time of my workout is spent doing the actual weights and the best way to save time while doing the weights is either those supersets or the circuit training so I will explain how I do those here.
Just to let you know I do both of these forms of exercise actively, I will do one for a few weeks and then switch to the other for a few weeks just because mixing it up with your muscles is so important to keeping interested and making gains continue without plateaus eating up your time.
Circuit Training To Workout in Less Time
Circuit training simply means that you are doing one long set or sets to work all your muscles. As you go between exercise you do not take a break and by the end of the set of sets you are exhausted and it probably takes 8-10 minutes to go through each one of these circuits. This is the first and most common method of how to workout in less time.
I like to start with my legs, chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps, in that order. The reason for this is that as you get more tired and winded it is harder to work your big muscles like legs or back or chest near the end.
Also after doing back your biceps are a bit tired and after doing shoulders or chest your triceps are tired so I leave those until the end.
Here is a sample circuit training set
- Leg press
- Leg curls
- Bench press
- Seated rows
- Shoulder press
- Alternating curls
- Tricep pushdowns
All of these exercises would be sets of 8 to 1o reps or so and almost until exhaustion (make sure you have a good weight that you can’t do another rep after the rep) and make sure you are doing each rep at a decently slow rate. You want to get the workout done fast but each set should be done slowly. There is very little break between exercises and after your set you will really want to take a few minutes before the next long set and get a good long drink of water as well.
Do two or three cycles of these sets to complete your workout. The last cycle though will be very difficult as you will be winded and your muscles will be weak at this point.
Supersets To Workout in Less Time
Supersets are another way to get more weights done quickly. I will do two exercises back to back and then move to two other exercises. the idea is that I am exhausting the muscle group much quicker and by the end the muscles do really hurt. This is similar in time to circuit training but much more focussed for each set of two muscle groups.
Here Is A Sample Superset Workout
I will start with chest and back in this example and I don’t usually do legs in my supersets as they are tough enough on their own.
I will do bench press and seated rows only for these two exercises and try and really kill it. I do a set of bench press with a fairly heavy for 8 or 10 reps and then as soon as I get finished I will move to the seated rows and do the same, take a little rest, after that set I go back to the bench, raise the weight by 20 pounds and do maybe 7-9 reps as I am more tired but my chest really has not recovered so I am not as strong as the first set. Then I go to the seated rows and just the same add 20 pounds and get as many reps as I can.
Those are the first two parts of the bigger set. Now that I am winded I will go back to the bench with the same weight on still and get as many reps as I can. At this point my chest is really tired and I can shoot for about 5 or 6 reps at most and then strip off the 20 pounds that I had added earlier and get another 3 or 4 reps out. My chest is burning and I am done with that. I then limp over to the seated row (breathing really deep at this point) and do the same with a few reps, stripping some weight, and then getting a few more reps in.
I then take a break and do the same thing with a similar rotation of shoulder press, and tricep pushdowns. Now that most of the workout is done I will do leg extensions or presses together with leg curls, but as a much slower pace as I am short on energy and the legs are very very hard to work heavy anyway.
After this I will take a break and then do a mini circuit of abs and biceps.
How Effective are Circuit Training and Supersets?
Doing the Supersets like this is very taxing and I am always really sore the next day but if I try doing these type of workouts for more than a few weeks I find I start really losing my motivation.
The workouts are quick but really taxing so you dread it after a while. It is really hard to do this effectively for a long time but for a quick burst for a few weeks every few months will really change things up and lead to great overall fitness gains.
As you can see from these examples there are a few ways to really change things up in your workout and in the end I am still able to work my whole body in one workout without spending too much time at the gym and really making the most of the time.
Doing circuit training or superset style workouts like this is the secret of how to workout in less time and really make you work for it. Try it out and tell me what you think of these methods below