Ryan Halvorson

Stop Wasting Your Workout Time

Since I've only got 20 minutes on my lunch break to work out, I must make my exercise routine as efficient as possible. So I fit as much in to those precious 20 minutes as other people do in an hour.

If you think you're too busy to hit the gym, it's probably because your workout is needlessly long.

Use these tips to streamline your next session so you won't waste any of your precious workout time, and you'll be in and out of the gym before you know it.

Shorten your warm-up.

A lot of people at my gym spend 15 minutes on “getting loose.” Please. A five-minute warm-up is plenty to get your heart pumping and ready for strenuous activities. While warming up, I do lunges, squats and other moves that are part of my main routine. The only difference: In the warm-up phase, I don't do these exercises with weights.

Focus on multi-muscle moves.

Combine your exercises so they target more than one group of muscles at a time. So instead of just doing a squat, for instance, squat, stand and then do a biceps curl. That way, muscles in your arms and legs get toned simultaneously. Or add a side-raise to your forward lunge, and you'll work your butt, legs and shoulders all at once.

Rest only when you really need it.

The old-school fitness philosophy called for resting two to three minutes or more in between strength-training sets. But now, experts recommend doing multiple sets at a time and listening to how your body feels rather than resting for a specified amount of time. My motto: Work until you can't, then rest until you can.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/Primeop76


Ryan Halvorson is a personal trainer and fitness instructor, as well as an associate editor at IDEA Health & Fitness Association in San Diego.


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Health - Stop Wasting Your Workout Time