With the seasons changing, time for outdoor workouts is slowly slipping away. I like most people find my motivation to workout waning with the setting sun. With less daylight, it becomes more difficult to fit your exercise routine into your day. Exercising outdoors after dark can definitely be a safety issue not to mention the chilly temperatures. So with fewer hours to exercise, how do you fit in a great workout? There are a varieties of ways to fit your workout in whether it be in a gym or outdoors. Below I will give you an example of how to manipulate time and how to adjust frequency to fit a quick workout into your lifestyle.
Thirty Minutes or Less
As I have mentioned many times before, high intensity interval training can be your best friend when in a time crunch. After 20 - 25 minutes of high intensity intervals, I am ready to tap out. Tabata workouts have become very popular and can be extremely effective at whipping you into shape. A tabata style workout has a set work and rest period with most workouts having a 2 to 1 ratio. So for example: 20 seconds of jumping jacks and 10 seconds of rest or 40 seconds of rope slams and 20 seconds of rest. Here is a great example of a body weight tabata workout that you can do outdoors or in a gym.
Build A Pyramid!
A pyramid workout is another great workout style that can be done in less than 30 minutes. Basically, pick a few exercises and start at either end of the repetition pyramid. I generally have my clients either start at 1 rep or 10 reps. If you are feeling extra ambitious, start at rep one. This workout can start at the opposite end of the pyramid by starting at 10 reps of each exercise and working your way down. Here is an example of a pyramid workout using the exercises in the tabata workout.
Another great way to fit exercise into your busy schedule is to manipulate your exercise frequency. When I am time crunched I like to break my normal upper body and lower body exercises into smaller workouts. For example, if you normally do 8 upper body exercises in your workout try splitting your workout into two days of 4 exercises. I suggest putting all your “push” exercises on one day and keeping all your “pull” exercise on a separate day. You can also keep your “horizontal” exercises on one day and do all your “vertical” exercises on another day. By splitting up your horizontal, vertical, pushing, and pulling exercises you will be effectively training your muscles without the overuse risk. Here is an example for a two day upper body workout that should take you 30 minutes or less.