My future brother-in-law sent me a text yesterday in which he asked for some fitness advice. His goals are simple, but he is only able to work out for 30 minutes thrice a week—does that make his goals unachievable, he wondered? And I'm sure many of you wonder the same thing about your own goals and how they fit into your busy schedules.
In my opinion, every last minute counts for something. Especially when the minutes are few and far in between. Like everything else in your life, you must budget your workouts wisely and that makes efficiency key. And there are a variety of ways you can be efficient in the gym. Starting with intervals on your cardio machine of choice, as they tend to burn more calories in less time. More importantly, take a look at your strength routine and ask yourself if there are any exercises that can be combined into one. Or if there are any exercises that can be eliminated in exchange for others that work more than one body part at a time—it shouldn't surprise you that efficient exercises, like intervals, also burn more calories. Some examples:
1) JUMP SQUATS WITH SHOULDER SHRUGS: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and shoulders.
2) WIDE-LEG SQUATS WITH UPRIGHT ROWS: Glutes, hamstrings, quads and shoulders.
3) WIDE-LEG SQUATS WITH MEDICINE BALL CHOPS: Glutes, hamstrings, quads and abs.
4) SPLIT LEG SQUATS WITH BICEP CURLS: Glutes, hamstrings, quads and biceps.
5) SPLIT LEG SQUATS WITH TRICEPS PRESSES: Glutes, hamstrings, quads and triceps.
6) REGULAR SQUATS WITH SHOULDER PRESSES: Glutes, hamstrings, quads and shoulders.
7) HAMMER CURLS WITH LUNGES: Glutes, hamstrings, quads and biceps.
8) BICEP CURLS WITH SHOULDER PRESSES: Biceps and shoulders.
9) SEATED SHOULDER PRESSES WITH LIFTED LEGS: Shoulders and abs.
10) STRAIGHT LEG DEAD LIFTS WITH BENT ROWS: Glutes, hamstrings and upper back.
11) BENT ROWS WITH TRICEPS EXTENSIONS: Upper back and triceps.
12) PUSHUPS WITH ALTERNATING ONE-ARM ROWS: Chest, back, core.
If you have any technique questions regarding the above, please don't hesitate to contact me. And if you have a favorite efficient exercise that I didn't list, do share!