Canyon Ranch workout
“I WISH I HAD THE TIME TO EXERCISE.”  Sound familiar?

Look, I get it…life gets crazy busy with kids, work, etc.  The key is to exercise smarter, not longer.  I’ve put together your NO EXCUSES list as to why shorter, more intense workouts can get you better results, along with some tips on how to cut your workout time in half:

1. Burn More Fat: According to Shape magazine and fitness expert Jari Love, “Making your workouts shorter and more intense not only saves time, but can also burn more calories overall.”  Shorter workouts often involve quick movements and rapid muscle contractions which tap into carbs as a fuel source. “When your heart rate is elevated to the point that you are burning carbs primarily, it means you will burn more fat during the workout and even after the workout is over.”

2. Build Muscle Faster: Don’t be afraid to pick up heavy weights! The best way to build muscle and shorten your workout at the same time is to GO HEAVY! Doing one or two sets of 6-8 reps at your maximum weight will help you build beautiful muscles while cutting down on your workout time.

3. Quick Cardio Strengthens Your Heart: Getting your heart rate elevated for even just 20 minutes each day will help make it stronger and healthier.  Get your heart pumping with quick and efficient HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts.  HIIT is considered to be much more effective than steady state cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning calories.

4. Maximize Your Time: Get the most out of your strength workouts with compound exercises and supersets.  Compound exercises hit several muscle groups at the same time, such as performing a lunge with a bicep curl or a squat with an overhead press.

Supersets consist of two or more exercises done in a row without a break. You can superset exercises for opposing muscle groups (such as biceps and triceps), or you can also superset upper and lower body exercises.  Because your lower body will be resting while you perform the upper body exercise (and vice versa), you will need less rest after each superset.  This is another way to create a faster-paced workout, which will also help crank up your heart rate and burn more fat!

5. Follow a Full Body Workout Plan: Another way to cut your workout time in half is to opt for full-body workouts rather than split workouts (hitting different body parts each day).  This will allow you to hit each muscle group two or three times per week, which is great for anyone looking to lose fat and build lean muscle mass. Full body workouts can help you reach your goals and save time in the process.

6. Focus on Your Finish: If you are constantly looking at the clock, you won’t be focusing on your workout.  Knowing a workout is shorter can help you focus on getting the most out of a short amount of time, therefore increasing the effectiveness of your workout.

Featured Image Credit: martamontenegro.com