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Top 5 Best Workouts When You're Short On Time

Like many of us, finding the time to workout is just as bad as finding time for yourself after a hectic day of meetings, deadlines and phone calls. However, your workouts don’t have to take up as much time as you think. It just takes some clever programing ideas and effort to maximize the time you do have.

1. HIIT Training

The first style on this list is High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT for short. More specifically a HIIT style with an AMRAP focus. HIIT is a great way to boost your metabolism by cranking out intervals of high effort work followed by a minimal rest. You might have heard of Tabata, which is 20 seconds on 10 seconds off repeated for eight rounds equaling only four minutes worth of time. Now that’s a quick workout! Personally, it is way too difficult to push at 120% for 20 seconds with only getting 10 seconds off. Instead, try a 3:1 ratio (such as 1:30 on with :30 off) as the extra time gives you time to “get into” the movement as you can work to complete one or two exercises such as pushups for :45 and Thrusters for :45, while the added rest of :30 seconds can actually give you some “relief” (if you can call it that). Do this for 4 rounds and it will complete your workout in 8 minutes.

2. Sprint Training

When is the last time that you sprinted at 100% effort? Probably not in a long time and there’s probably a reason for that, it sucks! But that is the point, we are guessing. Short bursts of all out effort, similar to high intensity interval training can really maximize your time and results. And just think, if you happen to have a hill around, you can really push yourself and do sprint work up the hill. Yeah, go have fun with that.

Now, the best and easiest ways to work sprint training is to mark off a 40 yard lane. Sprint down and walk back as your rest. Reset and repeat 8 to 10 times. It might not seem like a lot, but if you sprint at 100% effort you will be gasping for air and wishing you walked slower. Word of caution, warm up your hamstrings and legs prior to sprinting. We all know those men who start softball leagues and pull a hamstring sprinting down to first base during the first game, so be careful.

3. Strength Training Chipper

Do you have some weights? If not, no problem.

Simply make out a list of exercises you can do, such as push-ups, squats, core work, lunges and get to work.

Set a certain number of reps for each exercise, let’s say 50 reps and chip away at repping each exercise out until all the reps from all the exercises are done. Do this as fast as you can while always focusing on form. Rest when needed. Training in this chipper style will make you realize, its not about the time you have, but the effort you put into it is what matters.

4. Stretch, Mobility and Recover

That’s right. You might not think that a recovery day is considered a workout, however some of the best recovery days are where you see the best results.

Sometimes your body just needs to have a day where it can rebuild and repair.

Just think about it for a second, when you’re in the gym working out, sprinting hard, pushing yourself to the max, all your muscles are doing are ripping apart trying to rebuild from the stress you just put on it. If you don’t think I am spitting the true, go fact check “what happens to muscles when you workout.”

How do you think your body will ever repair itself if you never give it enough time to do so? Doing a light stretch, maybe some mobility work for your thoracic spine, hips and shoulders, and toss in a nice massage, you might actually feel stronger in your next training session.

So on the next training session, maybe going hard isn’t what is really needed and maybe think about giving your body a little TLC. Trust me, once you start getting into a routine, you will realize it doesn’t take that long and will be well worth it.

5. EMOM Training

Ok….Say you only have a certain amount of time, 10 minutes, maybe 20. An EMOM style workout is a great way to stay focused while only working on a few movements, while at the same time, you max out the effort, hoping for a rest.

Now, for those who don’t know, EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute.

Essentially you take a timer and start it. Rip out the number of reps you decide to do for that one exercise in less than one minute. If you finish those reps before the minute is up you get to rest, if not you move on. Simple and to the point. So here is an example.

So let’s take a list of exercises: we will use push-ups, squats and pull-ups, and maybe if you want to, add a cardio exercise as well. In this example, let’s shoot for 15 reps for each exercise, for the cardio section use the whole minute no matter what at a pace you can handle. Repeat these 3-4 movements, minute after minute until you need to stop. In the case of having 20 minutes with 4 movements, you would get through 5 sets of each movement. Simple right? If you find it too easy, you are not pushing yourself hard enough, go up weight or increase the number of reps you are doing each round. Remember, to get the most out of a workout in a short amount of time you need to push yourself.

There are so many different ways you can train and make your workouts quick and effective. The number one thing is to make sure you have a game plan laid out so you can maximize all your effort no matter which style you use. Because the worst workout is the one you don’t do, not the one you give your effort to.

Do you have any styles of work outs that are effective and quick? I would love to hear about them!


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