How much time do you spend at the gym? If you're looking to cut those minutes down—like so many of us are—Bay club vice president of fitness and certified personal trainer Jennifer Beaton has some tips for you. After all, she says, "Almost everyone could benefit from getting a more effective workout in less time—and reaching their goals sooner."
Jennifer says you can save minutes—and even, eventually, hours!—using these workout methods:
1: Don't rest so much. "If you can sit down and read the paper between sets, you're likely resting too long," Jennifer says—and wasting your own time. In order to see great results with the same moves—and save time—try "super setting" exercises such as push-ups and squats, so that one muscle group rests while you work another one. You can also switch out resting time with 30 seconds of high-intensity cardio, which can burn more calories and even help in muscle recovery.
2: Forget "steady-state cardio." Don't hop on the treadmill or the elliptical and do the exact same intensity and amount of time every day. "We see many members who do the same 60 minutes of cardio at the same intensity every day for 15 years," Jennifer says. "These individuals no longer see improvements and often start to see declines in overall condition. They would benefit by mixing up their routine, adding intervals and high intensity work."
3: Do dynamic exercises. Instead of heading to the abductor machines or working just your biceps, use movements like squats, lunges, and pull-ups—exercises that use lots of joints and muscle groups. "To get the most bang for your buck, focus on performing movements that recruit as many muscles as possible; those smaller secondary muscles will get plenty of work as they support the larger muscle groups during those movements," Jennifer says.
Skip the hundreds of crunches. "I often see people doing 15 to 20 minutes of crunches in hopes that it'll deliver six-pack abs," Jennifer says. "But their time would be better spent on nutrition, a solid full-body strength routine, and a balanced cardiovascular program."