In summer your days are longer, you’re no longer weighed down by schoolwork and sports team obligations; the sun feels blissful, and you have the luxury of fitting in a full hour and a half gym routine at the end of your day. You can stretch and foam roll idly before your workout, make the decision to throw a last minute cardio session in at the end of your lift, and even consider stopping for a protein smoothie on the way home.
And then, suddenly, without quite knowing how it happened, your much-anticipated college life has arrived! But, the weather starts taking a turn for the worse, your life becomes jam packed with papers and midterms, your various social obligations and Greek life, and soon, the long hours at the gym you enjoyed over the summer are not much of an option anymore. With your schedule running rampant, you’re left to ask yourself: how can I maintain my workout routine when I only have 30-40 minutes in the gym on a good day?
This is the exact same question I asked myself a week into school when it became apparent that making time for everything would require one, often very difficult feat to balance: effective time management!
So, here are some tips to help you make every minute you spend in the gym worth it:
- Plan your workouts out ahead of time. Decide what muscle group you’re going to train, and then list out the exercises, reps, and sets you’re going to do, and write it all down. That way, all you’ll need to do is take a quick glance down at your phone to know what your next move is.
- If you’re unsure of the proper form of any exercise, look it up on Youtube or do a quick image search before you hit the gym! Having a good idea of how to properly execute each exercise will save you some precious moments during your session.
- Incorporate circuit training into your routine. While you may have to lower the weight so as to prevent injury, the fast-paced style will see you jumping between exercises and torching calories in the process. Staying active when you’re on a time crunch is key for finding that added burn.
Get jumping: try adding plyometric exercises to your routine. Interspersing jump squats, jump lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, etc are great ways to keep your heart rate up for the duration of your workout.
Opt out of your typical LISS session for a HIIT workout. Tack off ¾ of the time, kick out some intervals, and effectively promote fat loss in just under 15 minutes.