So, your New Year resolution to get fitter and healthier is now well and truly in the past as we are on the verge of the new Spring season and now the question is are you sticking to your exercise goals and making progress? If the answer is yes then that's great (still read on as you may find some helpful tips in this post) but if you are finding it difficult to make progress or have hit a bit of a rut then this post will be perfect for you!
In this post we give you three ways to freshen up your gym sessions to get the best from them in the shortest amount of time, which means you can shake up your workouts and get better results whilst not having to spend more time than necessary in the gym. So here we go...
1. Introduce Circuit Sessions into Your Workouts
Circuits are a great way to work the whole of your body in a short amount of time and are, typically, performed in a class environment but there's nothing to stop you putting them into your gym sessions. The idea is to choose a number of exercises, let's say eight for our purposes today, that cover your upper, lower body, core and cardio and then repeat those exercises 2-3 times depending on how you are feeling and how much time you have.
Image author's own
Circuit training is a great way to improve strength and fitness
An example circuit could look like this :
Press Ups x 12, Lunges x 12, Ab Crunches x 12, Treadmill x 400mtrs run or walk
Lat Pulldown x 12, Kettlebell Squats x 12, Ab Crunches x 12, X-Trainer x 3 mins
You would need to work out your weights/speeds to make each exercise hard enough and as we said, it can be repeated 2-3 times and it shouldn't take you more than 20-25mins!
2. Superset Your Weights Sessions
So, if you are currently performing one set of weights and then resting for 45/60secs before doing the next set all this rest time can build up to quite a few minutes which could be saved. Obviously, rest time is important but you can reduce this time and still have an effective workout by introducing supersets in to your workouts.
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Basically, supersets are two sets of exercises for two different muscle groups performed back-to-back without any rest so that whilst one muscle group is working the other one is "resting" but you are still working on the opposite set of muscles.
So, here are a couple of example superset sessions
Upper Body :
Chest Press/Seated Row 3 x12 of each
Lateral Shoulder Raise/Upright Row 3 x 12 each
Bicep Curl/Tricep Pushdown 3 x 12 each
Lower Body :
Bodyweight Squats/ Leg Curl 3 x12 each
Walking Lunges/ Leg Ext 3 x 12 each
Step Ups/ Ab Crunches 3 x 12 each
You can, of course, mix these two sessions up to suit your personal preferences and not just keep them as upper and lower body.
3. High Intensity Cardio
If you have ever spent half an hour slogging away on the treadmill or the cross trainer then I have good news! You dont have to any longer as it is more effective to perform high intensity short bursts with short rest inbetween than to plod along on the treadmill for ages and ages (unless you are training for a marathon of course!).
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So you can create your own high intensity cardio circuit to do in the same session as your weights or in a seprate session, whatever suits you best.
Also you can do this on the same piece of equipment or on several bits of kit, again depending on your personal preference. So a typical high intensity cardio session could look like this :
Option A :
Bike or Treadmill for 20mins, 30 secs riding hard & fast/sprinting, 30 secs resting at low level/walk
Option B :
Bike 10 mins 30/30 as in Option A
Treadmill 10 mins 30/30 as in Option A
Rower or X-Trainer 10 mins 30/30 as in Option A
With this workout you have a 20min or 30min choice of some high intensity cardio split up to make it a little more interesting and it's more effective than long, steady state cardio.
So, these are our three ways to improve you efficiency & results when you go to the gym. Try them next time and let me know how you get on. Feedback is always welcome.
This post was first published on the Bodyline Fitness WebsiteSuggest a correction