Workouts for busy people are specifically focussed on being time efficient as the people theyâ€™re designed for often have very little spare time.Â Unfortunately, what should be their strength is often the thing which makes them completely useless!
The reason is, the people who put them together try to push the boundaries of time so much that they end up short-changing the effectiveness of the workout itself.
So whilst you donâ€™t need to spend hours everyday working out, try to push the limits too far and you wonâ€™t be able to get an effective workout done.
For busy people this is a mortal sin.Â After all, the time investment demands results so completely wasting their time isnâ€™t good enough.
In this article weâ€™ll take a look at time-efficient workout strategies which busy people can use to get maximum results in minimum time!
Whatâ€™s The Minimum Workout Duration?
4 minute workouts based on the Tabata studies are popular and whilst itâ€™s true the studies did show great results in just four minutes thereâ€™s a problemâ€¦.
99% of people canâ€™t work hard enough to actually do Tabata
And while their workout will be intense, itâ€™ll be more like high intensity interval training (HIIT) which wonâ€™t get the job done in just 4 minutes.
Realistically, you need at least 30 minutes.Â This will allow you to maintain strength by giving you a proper warm up and adequate rest between sets.
What Exercises Are The Most-Effective?
Compound exercises are going to deliver the most â€œbang for your buckâ€ as they work multiple muscles at once.
For this reason you should make these the focus of your workouts and drop isolation exercises as much as possible.
The choice is obvious, work one muscle at a time with a lighter load or work multiple muscles at the same time with heavier loads.
Here are the best exercises:
The most important 3 exercises
Other Key Exercises
- One Arm Dumbbell Row/Barbell Rows
- Weighted Tricep Dips
- Pull/Chin Ups
Youâ€™ll note that I didnâ€™t include direct bicep training, this is intentional.Â Doing weighted chin ups with a weighted belt around your waist and rowing exercises work your biceps more than enough.
Donâ€™t waste time doing more work, muscle growth and muscle maintenance is the result of intensity (e.g. weight on the bar) not the volume of work you do.
Sample Workout For Busy People
So how do you use these exercises in a workout that gets the job done in just two sub-30 minute workouts per week?
Hereâ€™s a template I would use:
Bench Press â€“ 2 Sets of 6 reps â€“ rest 3 minutes between sets
One Arm Dumbbell Row â€“ 2 sets of 8 reps â€“ rest 2 minutes between sets
Weighted Tricep Dips â€“ 2 sets of 6 reps â€“ rest 2 minutes between rest
Squats â€“ 2 sets of 6 reps â€“ rest 3 minutes between sets
Deadlift â€“ 2 sets of 6 reps – rest 3 minutes between sets
Chin/Pull Ups â€“ 2 sets of 8 reps â€“ rest 3 minutes between sets
The Key To Making Any Workout Effective
The workout is simply the tool, how hard you work and your overall progression dictates the results youâ€™ll get.
To ensure you get the best possible results hereâ€™s what you need to do:
- Increase the weight used â€“ Progressive resistance is the fundamental principle of effective workouts.Â Choose a weight heavy enough that you fail after the target reps, next week increase the weight by a small increment and record the number of reps you do.Â If you canâ€™t do the full target reps, start with the same weight next week and shoot for an extra rep.Â Youâ€™ll always be getting better and stronger than the week before and this is the key.
- Warm up properly â€“ Donâ€™t jump straight into the heavy stuff in order to save time, youâ€™ll be weaker and more susceptible to injury.Â Warm up slowly by following a proper gym warm up and youâ€™ll be stronger and youâ€™ll have practiced correct form with the lighter weight.
- Donâ€™t cut short rest periods â€“ When youâ€™re working with strength training exercises such as those in this workout you need to rest between sets properly.Â It takes a minimum of 3 minutes for your body to get ready for another all-out set, if you try to lift heavy weights with less rest your strength will suffer.Â Less strength means progressive resistance is compromised and youâ€™ll stay at the same weight for weeks on end and progress will grind to a halt!
Use these tips and strategies to ensure that any workout you do delivers the results you need as quickly as possible.Â If your workout has you lifting lighter weights with isolation exercises youâ€™re likely to be wasting your time.
Focus on the heavier, strength training exercises and get more done in less time.Â Ensure youâ€™re diet is set up accurately and the 80/20 principle of effort to work will be reversed!
Youâ€™ll be able to reap 80% of the benefits from just 20% of the effort and as a busy person myself thereâ€™s nothing more you can ask for!
Skye Khilji is the editor of Free Workout Plans For Busy People, home of workouts that work around YOUR busy life!