If you’re like every other person in the world, you’re a bit short on time. And when time is scarce, sitting down between sets to watch the clock seems frustrating and a little bit daft. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of top personal trainer and co-founder of Evolve353 gym Ashton Turner to help you make the most of every second you have. Take his advice below to reduce your training time and fast-track your results.
1. Do AMRAP workouts
AMRAP stands for as many reps as possible and, Turner says, “it allows you to do a full-body workout in a short space of time. You can pick a squat movement, a hinge, a push, a pull and some cardio. You can do that for 15 minutes, say, and cover all the main bases. It’s not great for building strength – that takes more time – but it’s good ideal for fat loss and general fitness.” Do as many reps as you can for 30-40 seconds per exercise.
2. Couple up to cut rest
Doing two exercises back to back reduces the time you spend doing nothing during your workout. “Instead of doing three sets of ten reps on the bench press and waiting for a minute between sets, do a bent-over row after your bench press set,” says Turner. Beginners should pick moves that work different muscle groups; more advanced lifters can pair exercises that target the same muscle group.
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3. Mid-session mobility
No-one really enjoys doing mobility work, so get it done between your standard sets. “Between sets is a great time to do things like mobility and core drills – all the things that you’d otherwise have to do another time,” says Turner. “It’s a much more effective use of your time than sitting around doing nothing.”
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4. More isn’t more
“I find lots of people think more is always better,” says Turner. “But that’s hard to sustain. If you train six times a week already, are you going to train seven?” Instead, reduce your gym time by focusing on quality rather than quantity of sessions. Three or four times a week is plenty for most people and training goals.
5. Use the time you have
Never give up on training because you don’t think you have enough time. “If you’re short on time, doing some kind of exercise is better than nothing,” says Turner. “Some people think that unless they’re doing five sessions a week there’s no point in even starting, but that’s not the case. Even training once a week is better than not doing anything.”
6. Go for big moves
If you’re short on time, focus on exercises that hit multiple muscles groups, such as the press-up renegade row, which works your chest, back and core. “I like the clean and press too because it contains all of the big movements in one exercise,” says Turner. “You get the hip hinge with the swing part of the move, and you catch the bar in a squat position. You get the row element of the clean, and then you press it overhead.”