The average busy executive doesn’t have time to do a ‘Rocky-style’ training montage each day, even if he does have the perfect soundtrack to go with it. No matter how organized you are, you probably don’t have the luxury of spending hours a day in the gym or devoting as much time as you might like to leisurely get into shape.
Many have found that they can only visit the gym 1-3 times a week and spend every time about 45-60 minutes there and that this time often ends up unproductive or it doesn’t produce the desired results. How to get the most out of your workout?
1. Revise Your Fitness Bag
If you only have an hour or so to go to the gym, you need to prepare in advance. Have a bag packed with everything you need. Finding you forgot your clothes, shoes or socks is sure to discourage you from making the extra effort to hit the gym. Don’t forget to pack essential items, such as clean workout clothes, gym shoes and socks, towel and shampoo if your gym doesn’t provide them and other toiletries like deodorant and hair products.
Most people like to listen to music when they work out. If the gym’s sound system selection isn’t working for you, create a playlist on your phone and buy some gym-friendly headphones so your tunes are ready when you are. Many enthusiasts prefer Bluetooth headphones since there are no wires, which provides better freedom of movement while exercising.
2. Minimize Your Commute
Even a ten-minute drive to the nearest gym cuts into the time you can spend working out. If you work in a large city business center, there are usually gyms on site. Although they often charge more than one that may be down the street, the time you save can make it well worth your time.
Occasionally there are physical therapy businesses that also allow a limited number of people in the building to pay to work out there as well. Whatever steps you can take to minimize the time it takes you to get to and from the gym, the more likely you will have a productive workout.
3. Be Clear on Your Workout Goals
We’ve probably all seen the guy in the gym who is clearly aimless. Usually, he’s out of shape, wandering randomly from one machine to another and absorbed in his phone. You should apply the same time management techniques you do to meetings and organize your schedule for your time in the gym. You wouldn’t schedule an hour-long meeting with no agenda, and you shouldn’t go to the gym without one either.
Make a plan in advance. It may be as simple as some notes on your phone about what body groups you will work out each day. Others use apps like Seconds in order to create time-based workouts ahead of time.
Another way to optimize the limited time you have is to hire a personal trainer. Their advice will help you be more productive in the gym. You can find some great 45-60 minute workout routines to try.
4. Avoid Distractions
If you keep your phone with you during your workout, it will likely distract you. Put it on do not disturb mode or airplane mode so you can devote your attention to the workout. A good workout needs to keep your heart rate elevated for at least 30 minutes to have a lasting impact on your metabolism. If you stop to take a 5-minute phone call or put together a quick email, you will cause your heart rate to drop down again.
It can take some self-control, but try to view it like you would a meeting. The workout has an agenda, you aren’t going to deal with other things during it and you’re going to give it the attention it needs.
5. Fuel up After the Workout
Post-workout, your goal is not just to get back to your desk before your next appointment but also to fuel up. In the first 45 minutes after a workout, you should have some protein and a small number of carbohydrates in order to refuel efficiently.
You’ll, of course, also want to give yourself time to shower, redress and clean up. Depending on your hairstyle, this can be a few minutes or a larger amount of time. You should calculate this into your time for working out.
Many like to take a few minutes to cool down after cleaning up and listen to some relaxing music before going back into the normal rigor of work life. Many “lunchtime” fitness enthusiasts enjoy the flush of endorphins the workout gives them and use this to fuel their afternoon.