We don’t have to wash our clothes in the local river or chop down trees to heat our homes anymore but where does all the time go? I’m of the opinion that technology has mostly served to empower us to waste more time rather than save it. The upshot that between work and family I have less and less time to go to the gym so when I do it’s a) a treat and b) needs to be optimised.
It would certainly a) make me turn up and b) make me work harder (except for the times we’re chatting about the parties they’ve been to and the dates they’ve been on!).
But it doesn't necessarily have to be a PT that costs £50. It can be you.
If you’re an experienced gym user you will have a good idea of how to train, what you like doing and how to put together a training plan. If you don’t even have time to do that then use your smartphone to download some training plans – the problem is that there is so many that it might take ages to find one you.
It's easy to get lazy in the gym. For years I did 20 minutes cardio and 20 minutes weights with a rushed stretching session at the end and no noticeable results. That was pretty uninspiring, hard to get motivated for and even harder to make the time for.
So for a super hour of maximum gym satisfaction I take all the best bits of my favourite exercises and gym classes and concoct a...
1. Warm up by running to the gym
2. 12 minutes of boxing on the punch bag
3. 12 minutes of hard circuits: press ups, burpees, sit ups etc.
4. 12 minutes of light weights: bicep curls, chest press etc.
5. 12 minutes swim followed by stretches in the steam room – if I’m really treating myself and the steam room is empty.
It’s a tight schedule, you’ve got to work fast and stay focused to fit it all into that precious hour. But that's why it works, you haven’t got time to slack or chat if you want to complete the objectives you’ve set yourself.
The short sessions per activity let you maximise your effort rather than tail off over 20 or 30 minutes of one exercise.
If you're worried about whether you're doing the exercises right, check out exercise clips on YouTube - just don't get distracted and waste time on clips of dancing dogs and what happens when you put a Minto in a coke bottle.
The above is just my routine, swap boxing for Pilates or swimming for Step or Body Conditioning or whatever you want to treat yourself to. It will give you a physical boost but also a confidence boost that you can DIY PT and achieve an optimum time blasting gym session.
(If training by yourself isn’t your thing, take it turns with your gym buddy to design the training plan, alternating each session to mix up your training plans and keep your gym sessions interesting).
by Kath Webb
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