Is a busy schedule getting in the way of your fitness goals? We get it. Between long hours at the office, prepping meals, cleaning and taking care of little ones, time is precious! But don’t throw in the sweat towel just yet. With a little bit of know-how, you can get in a productive sweat sesh in very little time. Try out these tips and tricks to help you get those gains and be home in time for dinner.
1) Turn up the intensity
You’ve probably heard of HIIT (high intensity interval training). It’s a favorite of spin coaches and Orange Theory instructors alike—and for good reason. It turns out that short bursts of high intensity exercise are a really good way to improve your fitness—fast! In fact, HIIT-style workouts improve fitness better than moderate intensity exercise, according to research. So, when you only have 15-20 minutes to spare, they should be your go-to. How do you do it? For best results, try 4-6 reps of 30 second sprints, leaving ample time to recover in between sets.
2) Mind your movements
When your gym time is limited, you’re going to want to choose your exercises wisely. Stick with exercises that hit multiple muscle groups in the same movement (these are called compound exercises). Some of the best go-to’s are squats, deadlifts, and bench press. In the same vein, avoid exercises like bicep curls, triceps or leg extensions, since they only target one muscle group (these are called isolation exercises). Want even more bang for your buck? Take those compound exercises and add an explosive movement (like a squat jump). This does double duty by not only building strength but also improving your cardiovascular health.
3) K.I.S.S (Keep it simple, silly!)
Mixing up your exercise routine is a great way to keep things fun, but when time is tight, keep it simple and stick to what you know. Choose a few familiar exercises and keep things interesting by upping your weight, doing an extra set, or speeding things up. Adding challenge in this way—called progressive overload—is the key to getting stronger and making the most out of a short workout. So ditch the #fitspo sessions, stick with what you know, and add a bit of challenge without overthinking it.
4) Rest up
If there’s one thing that can make or break your workout, it’s recovery! Hitting the gym when you’re tired or sore is probably going to leave you slogging through your workout. Show up to your session rested and ready to go by getting enough sleep, staying well hydrated and fueling up in between workouts. Don’t be afraid to take an extra rest day when you need it. Remember, those muscle gains happen while you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix, not while you’re in the gym. So go ahead, tell Netflix ‘you’re still watching’.
5) Power up with Phytoplankton
Phytoplankton is chock full of antioxidants—specifically one called Superoxide dismutase (SOD)—which is as cool as it sounds! SOD is a type of antioxidant that is found throughout your tissues. Its job is to protect you from free radical damage which is naturally occurring after exercise. Try adding Oceanix to your routine for better recovery and stronger workouts.
Allie has a master’s in nutrition science from Framingham State University. She has worked as a Health Educator and Personal Trainer, and has a passion for helping people lead happier, healthier lives.
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