Let’s face it, when you have the time to work out you can’t really afford time. Stop wasting time mulling around the weight room! Before you head to the gym, know what your goal is for that day, assess the amount of energy you have to devote, and then implement habits that utilize your time completely. One such format that helps to do this is high intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT is a standardized series of exercises done with minimal rest time. Its intention is to exhaust your muscular and cardiovascular system and in the process, increase your metabolism. They can be done on your own or in a class setting. Post-HIIT workouts often create what’s called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), or “after burn.” This is where there is a small window of time, 1-2 hours after your workout where you burn extra calories. Not a bad deal!
Combine the fat-burning, heart-pumping benefits of HIIT with these helpful training tips and you will reach your maximum workout time and potential!
Write it down
When you have a plan, you won’t waste time trying to figure out what to do next. Pick up a small blank notebook or with a workout journal like the BodyMinder. Write down your main lifting exercises by order of completion and the number of reps completed. Also important, write down how much weight you use. And don’t forget to date it. Keep to the plan and soon you’ll see your efforts increasing week-by-week!
Get better at your form
Within each exercise, it’s important not to rush. In weight-training, momentum is not a muscle. So, be intentional with every move! If you continually exercise with bad form, or with ballistic, out-of-control motions you not only will likely injure yourself, you won’t develop proper muscle tone or strength. Be purposeful, ask a trainer if you have questions, and lift safely and strongly!
Superset, superset, and superset!
What is a superset? A superset is when you complete one lift immediately after another without rest. Its purpose is to exhaust your body in little time. Working one muscle group, like say biceps first and then immediately going to a triceps extension (the biceps’ opposing muscle group), will allow the biceps to rest while you work triceps. It’s doing the maximum in minimal time! Plus, you’re more likely to get more reps in and increase your physical size faster.
Focus on the eccentric
Lifting weights includes the concentric, or the lifting phase, which shortens the muscles. Lifting also then includes the eccentric, or lowering phase which lengthens the muscle. The eccentric phase helps you to control the movement so that you do not drop the weight or injure yourself. It’s because of this, this is where a good part of your strength comes from. Execute a lift phase, and then move slow during the eccentric phase. This will increase your stabilization and strengths efficiently, and also help you to get that lean look.
Work in isometrics
Isometrics include moves like a wall sit, plank, reverse plank, or side plank. There is not change is muscle contraction or overall movement. The hold recruits several muscle groups at once. Isometrics benefit people of all fitness levels and have added benefit for those needing muscle rehabilitation. Work in 1-3, 1-minute exercises to your weekly plan.
HIIT + one or more the above = powertrain
If you’re trying to shred, but at the same time maximize your muscle gain, in between your circuits do a quick HIIT cardio move. This could mean completing 3-10 30-second sprints on a treadmill, doing a minute of jump rope with a 1 minute break 3x, or doing 10 burpees 3x followed each by a 30-second rest.
Decide what your goals are, write them down, complete them correctly, and then maximize your efforts each time you work out. There’s no time like today! What boosts your training?