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5 Easy Tips To Help You Cut Your Workout Time In Half
5 Easy Tips to Help You Cut Your Workout Time in Half
We’re all pressed for time. We want to get more done with less work. But that shouldn’t
mean compromising the quality of your workouts or your results.
That’s why I’m writing this post where you’ll learn 5 ways to cut your workout time in
half without losing the benefits of working – guaranteed!
Let’s get started.
1. Use Heavier Weights
The heavier the weight you lift, the fewer reps you’ll be able to perform. Naturally, if all
else is equal, your workout should be a lot shorter.
For instance, instead of doing 3 sets of 12 reps at 100 lbs, do 3 sets of 8 reps at 120 lbs.
Let’s assume that it takes 5 seconds to perform 1 repetition. Doing 12 reps means that
you’re working for 1 minute per set. However, going heavier and cranking out 8 reps
automatically knocks off 20 seconds per set.
If your entire consists of a typical 18 sets (6 exercises at 3 sets each), you would shave
off 6 minutes just by lifting heavier!
Lifting heavier is also more beneficial for improving your strength and burning more
2. Lift Faster…Concentrically
A lot of people talk about lifting tempo. Personally I can’t stand that kind of nonsense.
Take 2 seconds to lift, hold for 1 second, and then take 4 seconds on the way down.
What the heck is that? I know a lot of experts talk about time under tension as an
important factor for building muscle but I’m interested in burning fat and training like an
Here’s my thinking. Lift as fast as you can (in a controlled fashion) during the concentric
phase of the lift and go a bit slower on the way back to the starting position.
I’ll tell you why this important in a second.
But let’s go back to our example above. Instead of using a 2-1-4 tempo, which wastes 7
seconds for each rep, I’m asking you to just lift as fast as you can, while controlling the
weight a bit more on the eccentric phase.
So it might look like this 1-1-2. You’ve just saved 4 seconds per rep. That’s 32 seconds
in an 8 repetition set, which saves you another 9.6 minutes over the course of an 18 set
Now, the reason that an explosive concentric contraction is important is that we want to
train our bodies to respond faster, not slower, right?
Why on earth would you perform a squat in slow motion when in “real life” that same
movement would be executed at full speed (ie. standing up, jumping, running, etc…)?
That’s the difference between training like a bodybuilder and an athlete. I choose the
When you lift explosively, you teach your nervous system to fire faster and recruit more
muscle fibers to execute the movement. Overtime, this means that you build greater
strength, have more power, and burn more calories as more muscles are involved in your
Makes sense to me. How about you?
3. Take Away 1 Set From Each Exercise
For some reason we’ve been brainwashed to believe that 3 sets of 12 repetitions is the
holy grain of strength training.
The funny thing is that that is based on research from over 50 years ago. And the newest
studies are showing that even 1 set per exercise is good enough to maintain strength
Now, I don’t personally think 1 set is enough but I do believe that 2 sets of all out effort
can lead to huge improvements in your strength and fitness level.
Plus, doing 2 sets instead of 3 will save you even more time. Now we’re talking about
doing 12 sets instead of 18 – using the previous. That’s 1/3 of your workout.
Now we’re starting to get a much better workout in less time. Can you see it?
But I can’t stress this enough…
4. Raise the Intensity of Your Workouts – Limit Rest
As we continue to shave the minutes off your workout, you need to remember that we’re
still trying to accomplish a lot of high intensity work within that time.
If you continue to lift light weights with stupid slow tempos but reduce the number of
reps and sets that you’re doing, then you’re essentially doing less work, which means
you’re burning less calories and getting less benefit from your workout.
Instead, as you lower the reps and sets, you need to increase the pace at which you’re
working out and increase the weight you’re lifting (already discussed).
By increasing your workout pace, I mean taking less rest between sets and using a faster
tempo on dynamic bodyweight exercises like push-ups, lunge walks, pull-ups, among
So if you’re used to taking 2 minutes rest between sets, then throw that out the window
right now. You’ve got to limit the amount of time you’re sitting around or socializing.
Not only will this save you tons of time but it will also force you to work harder.
And, limiting your rest intervals will also induce a greater cardiovascular response since
your heart rate will be much more elevated throughout the workout. Now, you don’t have
to do as much cardio! Bam!
5. Combine Your Exercises Efficiently
One way to help you limit how much rest you take, while ensuring you get the best bang
for your lifting buck is to combine your exercises properly.
For instance, using non-competing super sets is the easiest way to do so. A push-up and
pull-up super set is one example. Doing squats followed by bench press is another.
The idea is to choose 2 exercise that don’t compete with one another and then pair them
together so you don’t have to rest in between each.
However, if you’re only doing a chest workout featuring “exclusively” pushing
movements like push-ups, bench press, dumbbell bench press, etc.. you will be forced to
take several minutes of rest in order for your pectoral, shoulder, and triceps muscles to
recover enough to even finish your workout!
So there are 5 easy tips to help you cut your workout time in half. Apply these to your
workouts today and not only will save a lot of time in the gym (or at home) but you will
also get much better results from your training!
Got any other strategies? I’d love to hear them.
In the meantime, why not start training like an athlete…