In today’s world, we all seem to be crunched for time and addicted to instant gratification. So the thought of working out for 5 hours a week, only to reach our goal in 6 months, seems incomprehensible to most of us. The truth is, exercise and proper nutrition are the only real solutions for a sustainable healthy lifestyle. And while instant gratification is not possible in the realm of working out, here are 5 tips to maximize your workout time, so that you can achieve the most results in the least amount of time.1. REST LESS
Your workout is not the time to talk about the driver who cut you off earlier, your boss stressing you out or what your kids are up to these days. You are there to workout, so make the most of it. If your goal is fat loss, then your rest between reps should be no more than 60 seconds at a time. One way to take this a step further is to perform and take active rest. This can be an exercise or movement that allows you to recover and catch your breath without sitting down and doing nothing. For example, windmills, wall sits, deep rotational lunges or hip circles.
2. TRAIN THE FULL BODY
You will never get a 6 pack from just doing sit-ups and crunches. To get lean and achieve that 6 pack, you need to lose fat from your entire body. The body doesn’t store all its fat in one place nor would it drop fat from the one spot you work the most. By training your entire body in one workout, and using all the larger muscle groups (pecs, lats, glutes, quads), you increase your metabolism and thus your fat burning potential.
3. GO HEAVY OR GO HOME
Lifting those little pink weights you have at home won’t do much in the fat loss department. If it isn’t challenging you, it isn’t changing you. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to do high reps with low weight to lose fat. Building and maintaining lean mass should be your focus. If your goal is fat loss and looking sexy in a bikini – More lean mass = Higher Metabolism = Lower Body Fat %.
A good measure of if you’re lifting heavy enough is how many reps you can do. With the right weight or resistance, you should be able to do between 5-10 good reps with excellent form but no more than 12. This rep range ensures you are challenging yourself appropriately. The exception to this is when doing timed circuits and cyclic exercises like kettle bell swings where there is no break between the beginning and the end of the exercise.
4. PROTEIN BEFORE & AFTER
Having some protein before and after your workout will help keep your metabolism running high and prevent the loss of lean mass (ie. muscle) after an intense session.
5. HAVE A PLAN
Going to the gym and trying to wing every session, or worse, doing the exact same thing every time wont get you any closer to your goals. Having a plan written or printed out is the best way to track your progress and see how much stronger, faster and fitter you have become. I would suggest sticking with a particular plan for at least 3 weeks before changing the main exercises. Of course, you can increase the resistance and load within each program. But sticking with a plan or program for a few weeks allows your body to adapt without plateauing.
Ryan Couri is a Strength, Conditioning and Fat Loss Coach and Head Coach of Instinctive Performance. He is a Martial Artist, Movement Explorer and Master Trainer for Fitness Kickboxing Canada. When he is not watching Netflix he can be found at the gym practicing gymnastic movements, lifting weights or doing Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu. Instinctive Performance specializes in Small Group Personal Training, both online and offline, for women who are looking to get stronger, fitter and feel more confident.