By Ryan Unverzagt
Today’s lifestyles seem busier than those of years past. You might find yourself saying, “I don’t have enough time to exercise.” But the reality is everyone has 24 hours in a day, and it’s just a matter of prioritizing your schedule to fit in some daily exercise. I know that getting to the health club is half the battle, but wouldn’t it be nice to know what to do when you finally get there? As a result, you need to find ways to help maximize your time at the gym. There are a few ideas I would like to share to help get you going.
- Develop a plan of action: Your individual goals will determine a plan of action. Since the majority of us are seeking to lose weight, try to burn at least 500 calories per day through cardiovascular exercise (i.e. treadmill, bike, rower, or elliptical machine) at least five days a week. Two of those days, you should add 10 to 12 resistance training exercises that work the entire body. Perform two sets of 15 to 20 repetitions for each exercise. This will help increase your total energy expenditure.
- Superset your exercises: Pair up two exercises that work opposing muscle groups. Perform these back-to-back without rest in between. For example, the bench press could be followed by lat pull-down. By doing this, your chest and triceps (bench press) will be getting a break while you’re working your back and biceps (lat pull-down). This will eliminate the time spent resting between sets that work the same muscle group.
- Add cardio between resistance training sets: This is a great way to keep your heart rate up if you are looking to increase your stamina. Instead of waiting for the next set, add three to five minutes for higher-intensity cardio, then lift anywhere from three to six weight-training exercises. Keep alternating cardio and weights, and you will definitely find yourself sweating. You can get a great workout in less than 30 minutes doing this.
- Hire a qualified personal trainer: This is the best way to make sure you are getting the most out of the time that you spend at the gym. Let a fitness professional take all the “guess work” out of your workout routine (or lack of routine). Even if you’re a regular at the gym, a trainer can provide great variety to keep workouts fun and exciting. Most importantly, workout intensity will determine how much your body will change. Trainers can ensure the correct intensity for you, depending upon your fitness goals.
Unverzagt holds Bachelor of Science degree in Wellness Management from Black Hills State University. He is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association and a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.