So, we’ve heard it all before and maybe we’re even guilty of it ourselves too – that all-too-common phrase, the biggest stumbling block in almost anyone’s workout routine – I don’t have the time.
If you have a crazy schedule like most people these days, there’s lots of things you can do to maximize your time. Even if you have five kids and appointments all day long, you can employ the Tabata method and exercise while you’re vacuuming or brushing your teeth. The principle behind the Tabata method is to perform as many 20-second sets of exercises in four minutes. It’s a method used by the Olympic Japanese speed skating team and is really effective.
If you’re a commuter, try performing isometric exercises while you’re stuck in traffic.
Another way to get the most out of your time is through supersets. I’m a firm believer in supersets and I love to work out in the morning. Even though I’m not a typical morning person, it really sets up my day perfectly. I go into the office feeling strong and tall and ready to take on anything. Working out in the mornings is also a great way to burn up that nasty hormone cortisol that is especially high in the early hours. It’s what gets you out of bed and causes fat accumulation around the belly area.
When you perform a superset, you move from one exercise straight into the next with no rest in between. It increases muscle tear, which means leaner (bigger) muscles as a result.
I have two workouts that I do on separate mornings that take about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Bicycle Crunches – 3 sets of 40 and 1 last set to finish the entire routine as active recovery
- Incline push-ups – 3 sets of 10 (I use the edge of the bath tub – just make sure your hands are flat and not on the edge as this can cause bruising)
- Dips – 3 sets of 10 (again, I use the edge of the bath tub)
- Side Squats with side lateral and front shoulder raises – 3 sets of 12 reps each side. For this one, I stand with feet together, step out to one side (alternating sides) and squat while holding small weights and performing side lateral raises for 12 reps, finishing with 12 reps of front shoulder raises for the remaining 24 reps.
- At the end of each circuit, rest 1 minute and repeat.
- Plank – hold for 30 seconds
- Push-ups – perform 3 push-ups, then move straight into Mountain Climbers for a count of 24 (12 each leg) and finish with one Burpee
- Rest 1 minute after each set and repeat 3 times.
- Reverse lunges with light weights – 3 sets of 12 each leg
- Rowing with resistance bands – 3 sets of 12
- Standing, alternating bicep curls – 3 sets of 12 each arm
- Rest 1 minute and repeat.
- Curtsey Lunges – bending your front leg at a 90-degree angle, while your other legs goes behind the other, as if you’re curtseying – 3 sets of 12 each leg
- Back raises on an exercise ball – 3 sets of 12
- Triceps extensions with dumbbells – 3 sets of 12
- Rest 1 minute and repeat
You can customize your own workout to suit your own needs. Make sure to include some of your favorite exercises, since this will give you motivation and make it easier to face this workout challenge first thing in the morning. Go on, I dare you!