ATHLETIC CLUB will help you improve your results by incorporating compound exercises, super sets variations, HIIT cardio and a personalised nutrition plan.

From using more productive workouts to getting into and out of the gym faster, there are always ‘tweaks’ you can make to your training that can help you achieve more than you might have thought possible. As a strength and conditioning coach, we are continually running into new ways to do just that—achieve a greater level of workout efficiency.

Tips and tricks to help you improve your results often come from some surprising sources. In this series of articles, we plan on showing you how to maximize your gym time based upon experiences we’ve had with our clients and in our own training.

1. PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN

The gym should be your time to focus on YOU, not check on recent Tweets or Instagram stories. I can’t say this enough, your emails can wait, the photos can wait, the videos can wait. If you were to take a log of how much time you actually spent working out and compared it to how much time you spent filming/selfie-ing/texting, I bet you would be shocked at the amount of focus you aren’t giving your workouts.

If you struggle with stepping away from your phone for more than a half hour, start turning airplane mode on.

This will shut all the distractions off. It’s OK to give yourself time away from responding and viewing everyone else’s life, and it’s OK to not share your every move with the public. The emails, texts, updates and notifications will still be there when you’re done with your workout.

We challenge you to try this for one week and record the differences in your daily exercise routine’s focus, energy, stress/distractions, time from start to finish, and overall performance.

2. MINIMIZE REST PERIODS OR UNNECESSARY BREAKS

As a personal trainers, we know how important it is to take adequate rest periods between sets. There is certainly a time and a place for implementing these, and you can easily maximize your training efficiency by timing your breaks. If your exercise routine calls for heavy compound movements (we will discuss these next), then we would encourage you to time your rest anywhere from 45-90 seconds. This will allow your body to recover and rejuvenate its output power and strength.

On the contrary, rest periods can also become socializing opportunities. So it is important to keep yourself in check with the chatter. The gym is a great environment for getting to know others who have similar interests and perspectives, but be mindful of how much time you are investing into conversing vs. exercising.

3.INCORPORATE COMPOUND MOVEMENTS INTO YOUR GYM TIME

There are two main categories of training movements: isolation and compound. Your isolated movements focus on one joint or muscle group (for example a tricep pushdown; tricep = muscle and elbow = joint). With over 650 muscles in the body, going one by one seems a bit extra. So we shift our focus onto compound movements, these are exercises that move multiple joints and muscle groups at the same time (for example squatting; both upper and lower body engagement is required).
By incorporating compound movements we are using more muscles and targeting multiple muscle groups, resulting in more calories burned! These exercises are not only smarter for time management, but also for functionality purposes as well.
Instead of sitting around between sets texting or just generally wasting time, try using supersets to get more work done in a shorter period of time.

4. Try High Intensity Forms of Cardio

Cardio machines can be the biggest time-consumers of them all. If you’re trying to reduce time in the gym, one way to do so is to make your cardio sessions more efficient.

Many people think they need to grind out miles on treadmills, or cycle for extended periods of time, to gain a cardiovascular benefit. This doesn’t need to be.

You can achieve great cardiovascular health in ways that are far less time consuming. Exercises such as sprints or weighted sled pushes can get your heart racing in just a few short minutes.
One of our preferred methods of cardio is called tabata training. Tabata consists of 20 second all-out bursts of intensity followed by a 10 second period of active recovery, usually repeated for 6-8 rounds. This will get your heart rate up, as well as help you build muscle. Tabata also speeds up recovery by promoting blood flow.
Some of our favorite exercises to do when performing tabata sets are battling popes, air bike and rowing machines.

5. PLAN OR INVEST

We want to start this tip off by asking a few questions…
  • How often do you find yourself twiddling your thumbs thinking about what to do next during your workout?
  • When you’re working out, do you find it hard to keep yourself moving and motivated?
  • Are your workouts purpose driven or just going through the motions?
  • Do you spend more time planning your workout than actually working out?
If you want to get in and out of the gym, never go without a game plan. This means mapping out your workouts in advance or investing in a training program.

If planning your workouts isn’t something you want to do, you may want to consider working with a personal trainer. You will have scheduling accountability with a specific time slot for your workouts, so no wasted time! As an added benefit, your trainer may also write you an exercise program to keep you moving on your non-training days – – now that’s a win-win!

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