How to Make the Best Use of Your Time at the Gym

We are all busy and probably struggle to get a workout in when we have so many other demands for our time like work, family, hobbies, and household responsibilities. Most people do not have unlimited time to spend at the gym or working out at home, so having a plan for our workout will help ensure that we are getting in and getting out in a reasonable amount of time! Here are 15 tips to make the best use of your time at the gym.

Before we begin, it is always best to vary your workouts. Your body adapts to the same routine very quickly, so it’s imperative to mix up and change your routine up. Most experts recommend changing your routine at least every six to eight weeks, or even more often if you like the variety. Plus it helps keep your motivation higher and prevents boredom. These are not one-size-fits-all recommendations, it’s always important to consider your personal goals, preferences, and abilities. 

  1. Keep socializing, social media, and texting to a minimum. It may seem like these distractions only take a minute or so here and there, but the time adds up. Plus they take your focus away from your ultimate goal of getting an awesome workout completed in the most time efficient way possible. 
  2. Have a plan before you go to work out. Start with a warm-up (five to ten minutes), then move to either cardio or resistance training and switch halfway through (if you are doing both in the same exercise session). Use a comprehensive exercise library with instructions, photos, videos, and muscles worked like on Exercise.com. Finish with a cool down and flexibility/stretching at the end (ten minutes). 
  3. Include the warm-up, cool down, or flexibility/stretching exercises in your routine, don’t skip out on them to save time. The warm-up should only take five to ten minutes and cool down and flexibility around ten minutes. Both are a very important part of your workout and very beneficial to health and well-being. Flexibility helps us move better during normal daily activities and functional movements, like reaching to grab something from a high shelf or getting in and out of our car. 
  4. Consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to save time on cardiovascular activities. Research supports the health benefits of HIIT, which usually take less time to complete when compared to steady-state intensity cardiovascular exercises. For example, spending 15-20 minutes doing intervals of vigorous effort with short rest periods has comparable health and cardiovascular benefits as 30 minutes of running on the treadmill at the same speed (Foster et al., 2015).
  5. Don’t forget about full-body cardiovascular and power exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, squat jumps, or jumping rope. They don’t take a lot of time, don’t take a lot of space or equipment, and get your heart rate up quickly. 
  6. Focus on multi-joint, compound, or combination activities in the weight room. Examples of multi-joint or compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, or kettlebell swings. Focus on combination exercises like bicep curls with a shoulder press or bench squat with a lateral raise. Body weight exercises like push-ups, lunges, planks, or wall sits are also time efficient and do not require any equipment.  
  7. Another tip for the weight room is to complete an upper body exercise, then while you are resting, complete a lower body exercise. This is what fitness professionals call a “superset” and it’s just when you alternate exercises with no rest in between. For example, do one set of bent over rows then immediately do one set of lunges. This allows the first group of muscles to rest while you are working out the second group. It is a very effective way to utilize your time. You are still allowing one group of muscles to rest while the other muscle group is active.
  8. One more tip for resistance training to keep your workout simple and straightforward. Two sets of ten repetitions is easy to remember, time efficient, and works both muscular strength and muscular endurance. 
  9. Consider taking a class where the workout is pre-designed for you, like a streaming fitness class, yoga class, spinning class, bootcamp, Camp Gladiator, OrangeTheory fitness, Crossfit, F45, or 9Round. All you have to do is show up, work out, then leave. 
  10. Find a certified personal trainer and let them know you want the most effective workout in the time you have available (30, 45, 60 minutes, etc) and let the professional design a great workout for you. Personal trainers have a wealth of experience designing exercise routines and can take the guesswork out of it for you to get a full-body workout in the time you have available. 
  11. Use a fitness wearable, like a Garmin, Apple watch, or Fitbit to track your calories and heart rate. Set a goal for your calories burned or minutes that your heart rate is in the cardio or peak heart rate zone. There are a lot of mobile apps available that can track calories burned and/or heart rate zones with your wearable device. Once you reach that goal, move on to your cool down and flexibility exercises to finish your workout. 
  12. Complete a circuit training routine with a friend. Find a workout plan online or on an app, or many fitness professionals also post routines on their social media. Take turns timing your exercises, or do them at the same time, and help push each other to the finish. 
  13. Design your workout playlist ahead of time or consider a mobile app that already has playlists ready to go, like Spotify or RockMyRun. This keeps you from stopping to change songs or playlists during your workout. You can just start it and let it play for your entire workout!
  14. Figure out the time of day when your energy levels are the highest and you feel the best working out. It might take some trial and error for a few weeks to determine this, but it will help prevent the sluggishness which might slow down your workout. 
  15. Get plenty of recovery and sleep. Recovery, rest, and sleep are the critical times when your body repairs itself from the effects of exercise, including rebuilding muscles, repairing tissues, and replenishing energy stores. Sleep and exercise have a reciprocal relationship, they both influence each other (Chennaoui, Arnal, Sauvet, & Léger, 2015). Adequate recovery and sleep ensures that you will be able to maximize your workouts and be at the top of your game!

References:

Chennaoui, M., Arnal, P. J., Sauvet, F., Léger, D. (2015). Sleep and exercise: A reciprocal issue? Sleep Medicine Reviews, 20, 59-72, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2014.06.008.

Foster, C., Farland, C. V., Guidotti, F., Harbin, M., Roberts, B., Schuette, J., … Porcari, J. P. (2015). The effects of high intensity interval training vs steady state training on aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 14(4), 747–755.

Melissa Morris is a professor by day and a part-time writer for Exercise.com. Melissa has a BS and MS in exercise science and an EdD in educational leadership. She teaches nutrition and applied kinesiology at the University of Tampa and has worked in health education, fitness, and nutrition for 15 years. In her free time, Melissa loves to workout at Orangetheory fitness and run 5K and 10K races.

Bio:

FLC-Online-App

Welcome to the brand new fitness and nutrition app from Fit Life Champions! We are so grateful for our community that has supported us over these past six years, we could not do this without you!

At FLC Online, we specialize in personal training programs and flexible nutrition programs for busy adults that want to improve self-confidence, decrease stress, and boost energy all while living their best life!

The app has been a long time coming and we are excited to launch the FLC Online training app with two special offers! First, you are invited to a free trial of our workouts to accomplish in your own gym and on our own time! Secondly, we are offering up our popular meal prep workshop absolutely free for a limited time!

In just four weeks, you will learn to prepare your meals before your busy work week so that you can save time and money all the while reaching your goals quickly and safely!

Continue reading below to see exactly what you can expect when you download our free app to help you reach your goals! Your first look at the app will be your menu guide which will help you clearly understand how to get started. You will first click Programs to get started with your free offers!

Up next we want you to take advantage of your free offers that are available with easy access through the fitness app! Click the “FREE” button to gain instant access as seen below!

Each time when you return to the app, this is the screen where you will access your initial programs. Please add riseup@fitlifechampions.com to your email contact list so that you don’t miss a single message from us that help you quickly access your programs in your mobile friendly. Take a look at the first page you will see when you sign up for the free offer!


In the upper right hand corner, you will see the three hashmarks that will guide you through the free offers plus any additional programs you purchase in the future! That’s the best way to navigate through your dashboard on your cell phone.

Welcome to FLC Online and stay tuned for more details, tips, tools, and recipes to help you reach your fitness and nutrition goals quickly! Don’t have the app yet? Click here now to get yours for free!

What Fitness Equipment Do I Need to Workout at Home?

We are excited to welcome you to the only online personal training program for busy adults that want to improve mental health, decrease stress, and boost energy!

Before you get started, it is important to make sure that you have the equipment needed to perform all of the exercises. So here is your shopping list with fitness equipment that will allow you to exercise in the comfort of your home safely and efficiently.

Must haves in order to get started right away:

– Dumbbells (two pairs ranging from 15 to 50 lbs.) – besides the 25# you have, look for 15s, 20s, and 30s to get started or select the power block feature below!
– Swiss Ball
– Bands with Handles
– Pull Up Bar

Recommended equipment to get more out of your workout experience.

– Flat Bands
– Kettlebells (two kettlebells ranging between 15 and 50 lbs.)
– Power Block (Power Blocks are essentially dumbbells with variable resistance)- as a better investment and substitute to dumbbells

Email us know if you have any questions, and enjoy you workout!

Fresh Spinach Salad

To save time and money with meal prep, we love simple green salads with chicken.  Often, we spice up our salads with veggies and fruits plus a homemade dressing, such as a strawberry balsamic vinaigrette!

The prep time and cook time for this lunch fit in with consolidating steps of meal prep perfectly.  Taking about 20 minutes to cook the chicken and 5 minutes of actually putting your lunch salads together.

  1. Handful of loosely packed fresh spinach placed in meal prep container
  2. Chilled, grilled or baked chicken portioned out to the specifications of your macronutrient guide
  3. 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
  5. 1/4 tsp of cracked black pepper
  6. Mixed veggies to taste and to the specifications of your macronutrient guide

Steps to prepare your lunches before your busy work week.

  1. Thaw and Grill chicken breast(about 1 pound) seasoned to taste.  Let chicken cool in refrigerator.  Slice thin.
  2. Grab one loosely packed handful of fresh spinach and place in meal prep container.  Easily swap out brown rice in the perfect portion called for in your macronutrient guide!
  3. Add thinly sliced chicken breast to meal prep container.
  4. Add assorted veggies, your choice.
  5. Store in fridge until the morning to grab and go, prepared for lunch ahead of your busy day!

Spinach Salad

Healthy Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

Ingredients for at least 5 servings:

2 lb chicken breast (measured raw)

1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or coconut aminos, or low sodium soy sauce)

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp red pepper garlic sauce

1/4 cup organic, raw honey or agave

1 tbsp orange zest or shaved fresh orange peel juice from 3 clementines

1 tbsp tapioca starch (or arrowroot starch) sesame seeds, green onions spray coconut oil

Steps:

In a bowl, mix Bragg’s, rice vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, honey, red pepper sauce and tapioca starch. Set aside.

Chop chicken into small pieces. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat and spray with coconut oil. Add the chicken and cook until it is about 90% finished.

Pour in the orange sauce and stir quickly. Reduce the heat, allow the sauce to thicken and continue stirring. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

Recipe modified from the original to cut down on sugar and fit into your macronutrient guide.

Orange Chicken

http://fitmencook.com/healthy-orange-sesame-chicken/

Overnight Oats

I’m a simple guy.  Really simple.

I generally pick a few ingredients and make it into a meal, breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  That particular strategy is beneficial to weight management and fueling the body for performance…  Most of the time.

Until I get tired of eating same things, all the time!

Because of PrepWars, I’ve learned how to have some fun with meal prep, and the following recipes are just the trick to change up my routine.  Follow @fitlifechampions on Facebook and Learn to Meal Prep on Instagram to learn how to make overnight oatmeal work for you and your busy week ahead!

Please check out these recipes for some fun variations on overnight oatmeal!  Remember to use almond or coconut milk instead of dairy for optimal health and performance through your busy week!

Overnight oatmeal recipes to save you time!

 

Fast and Easy Egg Cups

The purpose of meal prep ahead of your busy week is to save you time AND money.  Adding this fast meal prep recipe will save you boatloads of each!  Once your ingredients are prepped, diced, sliced, mixed and placed in the oven, you are free to grill or saute your other meals for the upcoming week.

Egg Cups

To save time and money, prepare your breakfasts ahead of your busy week!

This simple to make meal-prep breakfast is a great way to make your morning routine quick and healthy!

Items needed:

  • 6 section (minimum) muffin tin, non-stick
  • 1 quart egg whites
  • 6 pack of eggs
  • Diced vegetables of your choice (peppers, onions, brussel sprouts, zucchini, etc.)
  • Spinach sliced
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper

 

Instructions:

  • If not a non-stick pan, lightly grease tin with coconut oil.
  • Dice your choice of vegetables to smaller than bite-size portions
  • Divide veggies equally between each section of the muffin tin.
  • Crack one egg into each section of the muffin tin.
  • Pour the equivalent of two egg whites into each section of the muffin tin.
  • Sprinkle spinach over top of each section, crack black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or to desired consistency.  Eggs should be firm once fully cooked.
  • Remove from oven and quickly remove eggs, add your choice of protein (1/8 c.) and portion into containers for grab n go meals in the morning!

Egg Cups Finished

Brand Ambassador Program

Do you want to make a quick $50?!

Are you looking to make extra income in the fitness and nutrition industry?

Fit Life Champions has a brand ambassador program that’s the right fit for you!  In order for you to know exactly how to share the program with others, we will give you access to a FREE weeklong program to try out immediately!

Simply share your unique code with friends and family and earn $50 per referral!

Click HERE NOW now to apply!  And watch the video below to learn more details!