We live in a fast-paced world where time is our most precious commodity. With Work, Home life, Children and numerous other areas of our lives vying for our time and attention it can often be difficult and over-whelming to ensure we get in time for ourselves let alone squeezing in those training sessions 3-4 days a week.
Here’s what tends to happen with those pushed for training time, see if any of these sound familiar to you:
– They do the same workout each session with the same weights as they feel confident with it and know they can get their session done in 45 minutes.
– They just focus on Cardio or HIIT due to feeling that is all 45 minutes allows as it isn’t long enough to lift weights.
– Worst case scenario, they stop going all together due to frustration, lack of results or feeling as though they just haven’t enough time to train but will get back on it as soon as their work/life settles down.
A popular misconception is that you need to train most days to achieve the goals you have or the body you want, I know Instagram often portrays that, but that really isn’t the case or realistic for most people. What you really need to do is maximise your available training time so you achieve the best results.
OK, so before we continue it is cards on the table time.
Yes, 60-75 minutes of training 3-4 times per week could be considered “optimal” for those with “normal” goals. The reason I say “normal” is because the more extreme the goal is the more time we may have to sacrifice to achieve it. I think we can all agree if you’ve only got time to train 3 times per week for 45 minutes that pursuing a goal of running a marathon is perhaps not right at this time.
But if your goals fall into what 80-90% of people want:
– Feel fitter
– Feel stronger
– Lose weight and body fat
– To look good naked
Then this is achievable in those shorter windows of training time you have available if you ensure you maximise your training time by focusing on exercises that give you the most bang for your buck. With 45 minutes, there’s no room for fluff work. If it doesn’t give you a high rate of return it doesn’t go into the session.
So, what exercise give you the most bang for your buck?
– Deadlift variations
– Squat variations
– Split Squat and Lunge variations
– Dumbbell and Barbell Bench Pressing variations
– Dumbbell and Barbell Overhead Pressing variations
– Push Up variations
– Dumbbell, Barbell and TrX Row variations
– Chin Ups and Pull Ups
Not the sexiest list I know but these exercises work!
With 45 minutes the session is going to move quickly and you must ensure you’re focused. It often amazes me how many people are wasting their training time and reducing their results by being on their phone or chatting during their workout.
This is YOUR 45 minutes to achieve YOUR goals.
It’s time to dial in and maximise YOUR training session.
As I said the session is going to move quickly so we need a time efficient structure to ensure no time is wasted in the 45 minutes.
Now to keep you on track I’ve broken the 45 minutes up into 4 focused blocks each with their own time allowance. To keep you on track with these blocks I would use a stopwatch or timer initially to help you get your butt in gear.
Block 1: Warm Up – 10 minutes
Let me stop you right there before you hop on a piece of CV equipment for 10 minutes. Aside from those 10 minutes feeling like a lifetime you can get so much more out of your warm up and better prepare yourself for the session to come. Your focus in these 10 minutes needs to be on regaining position, increasing core temperature, mobilising specific joints and preparing the body for the rigours of the workout to come. You want the warm up to flow to keep the duration short and for it gradually build in complexity and intensity.
Here’s a sample Warm Up for you to try:
Block 2: Power/Core – 10 minutes
Why power? It’s a great way to start a session as it allows you to arouse your nervous system which has a cascade effect into Block 3 allowing you to perform better. The focus here should be on things like Jumps, Medball Throws/Slams and even Kettlebell swings depending on your abilities. Core work at the start of the session? Weird hey? By front loading it in your workout it allows you to stimulate your core which also has a cascade effect into your strength work in Block 3 when bracing becomes important. By paring it with the power work it also allows us to be more efficient with the training time as it allows you to utilise what would otherwise be a rest period to get your Core work done.
Block 3: Priority Lifts – 15 minutes
Each session focus on two lifts that you’ll get the most return from. My advice would be to use these 15 minutes most of the time to focus on strength. You don’t want to turn these 15 minutes into a circuit because you want to be lifting heavy and strength work requires you to have rest periods to allow your muscles and nervous system to recover between efforts. Aim to take 60s rest between exercises and pair upper and lower lifts together reducing the effects of fatigue on each lift and allowing for about 3 minutes rest between efforts on an exercise.
Block 4: Density Work/Accessory Lifts/Conditioning – 10 minutes
This is your block to get a lot of quality work done in a short space of time to increase your overall training volume and elevate your heart rate to finish the session. Depending on your goal how you approach this block can vary. If you’re looking to increase the overall calorie expenditure of the session and improve your fitness then using it for conditioning (think getting the heart rate high doing short intervals like :20/:40) will give you the most bang for your buck. If you’re looking to work on gaining some lean muscle or bringing up a strength lift like your squat then using this time to do 1-2 additional lifts to support that goal will bring you more success.
So, what might this 3-day structure look like?
*Block 4: Exercise are performed back to back for 10 minutes
*Block 4: Exercises are performed back to back for 10 minutes
*Block 4: 30seconds of Goblet Squats, 30seconds rest / 30seconds of Battle Ropes, 30seconds rest
As you can see, no frills or fluff, just quality exercises that are going to give you the most return for your 45 minutes of hard work.
Saying you don’t have time is no longer an excuse for not taking steps towards your goals.
Focus on prioritising what needs to be done each session, stay on point during your session and GET AFTER IT!
If you have any Training questions please send them to [email protected]