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How to get more from your workouts, in less time

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

One of the least talked about training tools is workout density, which is the amount of work you do in a given time frame. The greater your density, the greater your caloric expenditure.


The best way to increase workout density is to decrease rest periods as you do in HIIT and Tabata training.


The longer you drag out your workout, the less likely you can keep up the intensity. An easy way to do this is to set a time limit of say 20-30 minutes and try to get your workout done in that time frame. Each time you do that workout, try and beat your previous time.


So if you are trying to lose body fat, get out of the mindset that you have to work out for hours and hours. The harder you work in less time will equate to a higher metabolism and a much more effective weight loss program. Keep it short and sweet, yet intense.


THE PROGRAM


Your goal will be to get in three workouts a week. One HIIT on the bike, one on the Concept 2 rower, and one Tabata workout of your choice. You can do more than three, just make sure you keep an eye on overtraining and getting burned out. Everyone has their own level of intensity. Start slow and build up as you see fit. As always, consult with a physician if you have any health issues that may hinder you from doing more intense exercise.


HIIT #1: CARDIO-BASED HIIT WORKOUTS


When it comes to #cardiovascular exercises that produce the most results with the least time invested, sprint-type cardio workouts reign supreme. The actual act of sprinting on two feet can be tough for many. If you are not a runner or a sprinter, I advise you to proceed with caution and build up to proper #sprinting.


If you have a lower-body injury or have had one in the recent past that hinders you from running, actual sprints may not be for you.


So, instead, I like the #airdyne/ assault bike or concept 2 rowers. These two pieces of cardio give a great bang for the buck, without injury, if you are looking to keep your body #healthy but get the tremendous benefits from sprint workouts.


CONCEPT 2 ROWER

  • Sprint workout week 1: Do 10 100-meter sprints at 90% intensity resting 60s between each sprint.

  • Sprint workout week 2: Do six 300-meter sprints at 80% intensity, resting 90s between each sprint.

  • Sprint workout week 3: Do eight 200-meter sprints at 90% intensity, resting 75s between each sprint.

  • Sprint workout week 4: Do eight 200-meter sprints at 100% intensity, resting 75s between each sprint.

"AIRDYNE" BIKE

  • Sprint workout week 1: Do ten 10-calorie sprints at 90% intensity, resting 60s between each sprint.

  • Sprint workout week 2: Do six 30-calorie sprints at 80% intensity, resting 90s between each sprint.

  • Sprint workout week 3: Do eight 20-calorie sprints at 90% intensity, resting 75s between each sprint.

  • Sprint workout week 4: Do eight 25-calorie sprints at 100% intensity, resting 75s between each sprint.

TABATA-STYLE WORKOUTS


For a recap on Tabata intervals, it's a high-intensity interval training protocol originally created by Japanese researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata. Each Tabata interval consists of 20 seconds of high intensity (as hard as you can go) exercise followed by a 10-second rest. This is repeated for 8 rounds, totaling 4 minutes time. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to increase your total work capacity and workout density in a short amount of time. I prefer strength-based exercises such as goblet squats, kettlebell swings, push-ups, TRX rows, farmer's carry, and ball slams.


TABATA WORKOUT #1


Perform each exercise for 20 seconds, as hard as possible, and then rest 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence for 8 total rounds. Rest 2-4 minutes, as needed, between exercises.

  • Goblet Squats 20 seconds on/ 10 seconds off for 8 rounds

  • Rest 2-4 minutes

  • TRX Row 20 seconds on/ 10 seconds off for 8 rounds

  • Rest 2-4 minutes

  • Ball Slams 20 seconds on/ 10 seconds off for 8 rounds.

TABATA WORKOUT #2


Perform each exercise for 20 seconds, as hard as possible, and then rest 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence for 8 total rounds. Rest 2-4 minutes as needed between exercises.

  • Kettlebell Swings 20 seconds on/ 10 seconds off for 8 rounds.

  • Rest 2-4 minutes.

  • Push-ups 20 seconds on/ 10 seconds off for 8 rounds.

  • Rest 2-4 minutes.

  • Farmer's Carry 20 seconds on/ 10 seconds off for 8 rounds.

TRIPPIN' OUT ON THE TREADMILL


If you really want to get the most out of your treadmill time, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Leave your phone in your gym bag. Texting and tweeting on the #treadmill is distracting and you could wind up sliding off the track.

  • Hands off the rails while doing inclines. It’s not good for your back and will not help you get any stronger. If you feel the need to hold on, you’re probably going too fast. Slow down, get acclimated to the pace, and try no-hands again.

  • Step back from the display #console. It causes you to shorten your stride and run with an unnatural posture, all of which means you aren’t running as efficiently as you could be. Inch back and give yourself some more room.


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