Let’s face it – many people don’t go to the gym because it takes too much time. If you have the discipline to adhere to a workout schedule, though, you might still be frustrated by the amount of time you spend at the gym.
Fortunately, your workout doesn’t have to eat up several hours of your day. These 10 gym hacks can help you get the exercise you need while still leaving plenty of time in your day for other activities.
1. Dress Appropriately before You Go
Instead of changing at the gym, put on your workout gear at home and pack your street clothes into a small travel back. When you arrive at the gym, you’ll just need to drop off the bag in the locker room and head straight for the exercise equipment.
2. Schedule Gym Visits during Off Hours
Try scheduling your workouts after the morning rush or late in the evening after most of the members have left. If you’re a night owl, you can even hit the gym while the rest of the city is asleep. You’ll benefit from a streamlined workout with fewer unscheduled rest periods.
3. Do Lunges between Stations
You’ll have the advantage of strengthening your core and leg muscles without having to dedicate extra time to yet another exercise. Lunges also help keep your heart rate up between other exercises, which can boost your metabolism and allow your body to burn calories more efficiently.
4. Plan Your Workout around the Gym Layout
Try grouping exercises to take advantage of equipment in the same area, then moving on to exercises appropriate for an adjacent area. The grouping strategy will help cut down unproductive time and allow you to finish your workout more quickly.
5. Take Advantage of Compound Exercises
If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your exercise routine and minimize the time you spend in the gym, try incorporating compound exercises into your routine.
Compound movements, which involve the use of multiple muscle groups, allow you to get more done in less time. Dips, for example, give your triceps, shoulders and lats a workout simultaneously. Squats, rows and chin-ups are also effective compound exercises.
6. Utilize the Elliptical
By involving more muscle groups, the elliptical can help you burn more calories in less time, so that you can finish your workout and get on with your day sooner. If possible, choose the lateral elliptical, which adds lateral motion to make your workout even more effective.
7. Increase Workout Intensity
Once you reach your goal, you can move on to your next set of exercises. If you are more focused on body building than shedding pounds, increase the weight on machines or choose heavier free weights to maximize intensity. You’ll build muscle while spending less time at the gym.
8. Avoid Socializing during Your Workout
The good news is that you can achieve the same results while spending far less time at the gym by simply cutting out socializing. Grab a set of quality headphones and stay focused on your workout to get the job done as quickly as possible. Socializing can wait until after your workout routine.
9. Pack a Shower Bag
Your shower bag should contain a razor, shave gel, a towel and any other necessary items. You can keep the bag with you during your workout or quickly grab it out of your locker on your way to the shower area. Having a shower bag also lets you beat the shower line if you must exercise during peak times because you won’t have to stop to gather necessary items after your workout.
10. Download Audiobooks on Your Phone
Cue up your audiobook during your workout to train your brain while you train your body. Ideally, you should opt for non-fiction or educational audiobooks. If you can find audiobooks appropriate for your career, such as sales or inspirational titles, you can further your business or employment potential while you work out.