"I don't have time" is easily one of the most quoted answers to working out more.
However, the fact remains that, if the right exercises are chosen, a full and comprehensive workout can be achieved in whatever time frame is available.
So, below, is a guide on exercise selection, organised by available time, that can be used to get in a full workout.
0-10 minutes: Keep it Complex
Seems counterintuitive right?
But complex, or compound movements can allow more muscles to be worked in less time, and just as effectively as when isolation work is included.
So, exercises that work the legs, core and upper body are ideal.
5x15m Prowler Pushes superseded with attached rope pulls.
10-20 minutes: Get Specifically Complex
Here, we can afford to actually allocate one exercise per body part.
While isolation work is still not an option, performing one compound movement per body part is.
Varying each sessions exercise can also allow a more comprehensive program too.
Session 1: Tri-set of Bench Press, Dumbbell Rows and Box Squat - 3 sets of 15 repetitions with 60 seconds break.
Session 2: Overhead Press, (Assisted) Pull Ups and Hip Thrusts - 3 sets of 15 repetitions with 60 seconds break.
20-30 minutes: Time for Some (Calculated) Isolation
With an extra 10 minutes to work, you can start hitting areas you think are lagging.
So adding in a set of bicep curls or tricep extensions won't kill you.
But prioritise, some isolation work, like overhead extensions, offer tricep work that can't be replicated with usual compound moves.
Session 1: Super set of Bench Press and Overhead Tricep Extensions followed by Rows and Biceps curls and finishing with Box Squats - 3 sets of 15 repetitions with 60 seconds break.
Session 2: Super set of Overhead Press and Lateral Raises, followed by (Assisted) Pull Ups and Reverse Flyes and finishing with Hip Thrusts - 3 sets of 15 repetitions with 60 seconds break.
Over 30 minutes: You Officially "Have Time"
With 30+ minutes you can pretty much do any conventional bodybuilding or fitness routine.
In fact, from a performance and results standpoint, you shouldn't be going over 45-60 minutes.
So, if this is the case, look at reducing isolation work, via the above tips, or, for the more advanced athlete, splitting the session up into multiple daily sessions.
From a time perspective though, anything over 30 minutes is plenty to complete any workout.
Whatever the hell you want!
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