Traditional cardio and resistance training can get monotonous and time-consuming – both things most people just don’t have time for. Get the most out of your gym time by trying one of these time-saving strategies. Superset Working two opposing muscle groups back-to-back with no rest in between. (Example: bench press and bent over row, or an upper and lower body exercise). With the short rest periods used during supersets, it’s 100% okay to lift less weight than you normally would when you’re trying to keep the intensity up and the workout duration down. Supersets are meant to allow a certain muscle group to rest while you work the opposing group; no waiting around needed. This is not recommended for lifting very heavy loads, as form is likely to be compromised. Circuit Training Performing a set number of exercises (~6-10) using various types of equipment with minimal to no rest in between lifts. Structure them as “push, pull, legs, core, repeat” so the same muscle groups don’t get worked twice in a row. Circuit training is the “lazy person’s cardio”. You spend all your time lifting, focusing on breathing, good technique with moderate to light weights and moving swiftly from one exercise to the next, only resting or getting a drink after completing your circuit. If you want to get leaner and stronger without getting “big”, all while saving time in the gym, consider the benefits of circuit training. Again, this is not recommended for lifting very heavy loads, as form is likely to be compromised. Pre-Exhaustion (for more experienced lifters) Performing a single-joint exercise immediately before a multi-joint exercise, both targeting the same muscle group. (Example: chest fly before dumbbell bench press). This method is higher intensity and should be done with lighter weights to start. It is commonly used in the body building world to elicit gains in hypertrophy and strength. If you don’t feel a shoulder press in your shoulders, try a lateral dumbbell raise right beforehand and you’ll immediately notice the difference. Cardio Burst Performing short (20-45 seconds), high-intensity bouts of cardio in between sets of resistance training exercises. (Example: jump rope, tuck jumps, sprints, rowing, etc.). Cardio bursts can work to give you the benefits of HIIT, without the mental challenge of going 15-20 minutes straight. If you also like the benefits of circuit training, adding cardio bursts to lifting days when you’re short on time will give you the spike in heart rate you’re looking for while conveniently fitting it into your planned workout. Be “anti-social” This isn’t necessarily a technique, but if you’re at the gym to get a quick workout done there’s nothing worse than Jan from accounting chatting you up in the middle of your workout for 7 minutes about her new garden. Kindly remind people when you need to that you’d love to talk, but are in a hurry. Headphones in and a hat pulled over your eyes works just as well. Joe is a high school hockey and tennis coach, strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer and business owner from Minnesota. He strives to coach others to be their best selves - through sports, fitness, and habit-based nutrition coaching. lifetimelean.com