Not everyone can regularly dedicate 90 minutes at the gym, we all have busy lives and we all know that 'time is money'. But can you get maximized results by training for a minimum amount of time? Actually, yes, you can! Of course, you know that cardio burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time, but what about strength training?
With a smart training plan, you can increase your gains in half the time you are used to spending at the gym. If you work out 3 times a week with higher intensity and greater discipline, you will have better results than would would from a faulty workout that goes on and on for 90 minutes. In just 30 minutes, you can stimulate muscle growth with high intensity, explosive rep speed and big, compound movements.
Smart Training Tips
- High Intensity
When the body is stimulated by maximal heavy resistance exercise, blood levels of testosterone and the growth hormone will increase significantly and that will lead to more gains. Training muscles with a higher frequency triggers an anabolic reaction and growth. So, focusing on your major muscle groups 2-3 times a week will increase protein synthesis and build more muscle mass. Adding weight progressively over time will trigger even greater anabolic response which is necessary for muscle growth.
- Disciplined Rest Periods
Don't stop as soon as you finish your set, instead continue working out at a slower pace by continuing the exercise with moderate intensity or stretching. Use this rest period as a way to warm-up for the next set. This way, you'll boost your performance, decrease the risk of injury and maximize efficiency.
- Explosive Reps
Explosive training will aid greater gains by maximizing force and maintaining good form throughout the movement. Lift heavy with controlled acceleration to generate maximum tension, and lift lighter weights faster to recruit more muscles. Don't jerk your movements, but control the acceleration through a complete range of motion.
- Compound Movements
Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that train more muscle systems to work together. They recruit many muscle fibers and stimulate anabolic responses, which allows you to lift even heavier weights. So, add heavy weights progressively and remember that they are most efficient when you use proper form and correct technique.
- Proper Gym Gear
While ‘athleisure’ is a very time-saving trend, you will maximize your results if you wear garments designed specifically with the purpose of supporting your muscles throughout your athletic performance. Compression gear helps distribute consistent pressure over your muscles, promote blood flow and elevated oxygen levels, while keeping the muscles warm throughout the workout, therefore ensuring a pain-free and sped-up recovery.
Smart Training Exercises
- Dumbbell Jump Squat
This exercise recruits your entire core and targets your quads. For more efficiency and quad protection, make sure you wear compression shorts that will compress your muscles.
- Stand with your back straight and with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointing outwards and knees slightly bent.
- Grasp a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip and let your arms hang down with your palms facing your thighs.
- Squat down until your upper legs are parallel to the floor by pushing your hips and glutes backwards.
- Once you reach the bottom, push through your heels to jump upwards, while keeping your arms fully extended as before.
- Land on the balls of your feet back into the starting position.
- Incline Plyo Push-Up
This exercise improves upper body strength and works on your shoulders, chest and triceps. Wear a compression shirt for full-torso protection, warmth and proper circulation.
- Stand facing a bench or elevated platform and place your hands on the edge, slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Extend your forefeet back and keep your arms and body straight.
- Maintaining the posture, lower your chest to the edge of the bench by bending your arms.
- Explosively push yourself away from the bench and keep your shoulders still. When your arms are fully extended, release the edge of the bench from your hands for a short moment.
- As you fall back, push away again!
- Power Clean
This compound exercise uses the force of your articulation and engages your core. It's important not to jerk the weight off the floor, instead steadily raise it, then accelerate.
- Position your feet hip width apart under a barbell, squat down and grip the bar with an overhand, slightly wider than shoulder width grip, and position your shoulders over the bar with a slightly arched back.
- Extend your hips and knees to pull the bar off the floor.
- Pull the barbell to your knees, and powerfully raise your shoulders to bring it mid-thigh. Keep the barbell close to your body at all times.
- Jump upwards by extending your entire body. Shrug your shoulders to pull the barbell upwards with your arms, allowing your elbows to flex to the sides.
- Pull your body under the bar by rotating your elbows around it. Catch it on your shoulders before your knees bend lower than 90 degrees.
- Immediately stand up, so your thighs wouldn't reach lower than parallel to the floor.
- Bend your knees slightly and lower the barbell mid-thigh, and until you reach the floor keeping a taut lower back and almost vertical trunk. If you are experienced, you can just unload, or drop the bar from your shoulders.
- Front Plank
This bodyweight exercise targets your abs and uses your quads and other upper body muscles as stabilizers. Wear a compression shirt and leggings to support your muscles throughout the hold.
- Lie prone on a flat surface with your elbows under your shoulders, and place your legs together, with your forefeet on the floor.
- Raise your body upwards by straightening your entire body in a straight line.
- Hold at the top for as long as you can!
- Barbell Bench Press
This compound exercise targets your pects and sternal muscles. It also recruits your pects, delts, triceps and biceps into the exercises.
- Lie supine on a bench and dismount the barbell from the rack over your upper chest. Use a wide oblique, overhand grip.
- Lower the weight to your chest and press the bar upwards until your arms are fully extended.
- Lower and repeat!
If you complete your top 5 exercises for your training day using the smart training tips, you will be able to see quick results. Make sure you squeeze in more work between your sets, by continuing the exercise with moderate intensity and a slower pace, or by stretching to prepare for the next set.
Cardio is very effective when you have little time and want to burn calories fast, but if your goal is to gain more muscle mass, your focus should be on lifting and the recovery days in between your training days. However, you can incorporate 20-30 minutes of low-intensity cardio twice a week if you want to.
Make sure that you control your acceleration and use explosive and faster reps when lifting lighter weights. Wear compression gear for maximized results. This will ensure the elevation of oxygen levels, proper blood flow and keep your muscles warm and compressed throughout the workout. Take advantage of your 45 seconds rests in between sets and maximize your results by stretching. You will see amazing results in no time!
Click here to learn more about how you can boost your weightlifting sessions by enabling your sixth sense! Knowledge is power, quite literally in this sense, so knowing what makes weightlifting different from other physical activities, will help you boost your performance in order to achieve your goals!