How To Get A Good Workout In Quickly & Effectively

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Getting in an amazing workout can make you feel awesome. It's a great feeling to know that you can start or end a day with an enjoyable activity. However, getting a good workout in a short amount of time can be tricky, as we are often so busy in today's day and age, where it's challenging to find time to squeeze in a gym session or run, explain fitness experts with Huffington Post. Thus, quick and efficient workouts are a great way to find time to power the body and produce fitness results, without stressing about your other appointments and work load that could be taking up that space.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on finding movements that work for their bodies and schedules, and I often hear "I don't have time," or "I can't finish a whole workout, so why bother?" from people, as an excuse to not do something to get the body going. This "all or nothing" idea can be detrimental, as it can prevent us from being active and sticking with an exercise program on a consistent basis. Every little bit counts, and sometimes shorter workouts can be more effective than longer ones anyway! Here are 11 ways to get in a great workout in a short amount of time, as advised by key experts in health, fitness, and exercise.

1. Work Out With A Buddy

To get motivated early on and be productive in a short amount of time, it's important to find the exercise to be enjoyable, advises Alonzo Wilson, founder of Tone House over email with Bustle. Thus, Wilson says, "I always recommend working out with a group or partner. It also helps to give yourself a goal. You'll stay motivated and feel accomplished as you get closer to reaching it."

2. Ramp Up Intensity

As you become more competent in some areas of fitness, it's important to amp up intensity or workout routines in order to see gains in progress over time, explains Wilson. Thus, Wilson advises to "get out of your comfort zone and push the limits" in order to maximize your time and get the most effective, results-producing workout.

3. Start With Moves You Dislike

There's bound to be some moves in a class or a body-weight circuit routine that you have a hate-love relationship with, right? For me, it's burpees. However, they can be efficient for getting quick results in a short period of time. Wilson suggests ending on a high note, so that you'll gain motivation as you move through the workout. "Start with the exercise that you like least. I used to hate running, so I would start with that before I lifted any weights," Wilson says.

4. Do Tabata

As explained by Courtney Paul, celebrity trainer at RIPPED Fitness in NYC and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York over email with Bustle, tabata training can be a great way to get an efficient workout in a short period of time. "Tabata training is one of the most popular forms of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It consists of eight rounds of ultra-high-intensity exercises in a specific 20-seconds-on, 10-seconds-off interval. For example, this form of training can be performed on a treadmill with sprints, body weight movements or dumbbell exercises," Paul says.

5. Do Compound Movements

"A major benefit of using compound, or multi-joint lifts is the systemic stress they exert throughout the target muscles and neighboring areas. Since you don't have much time, you're going to be lifting heavier weights with great intensity," says Paul. "You should be using weights that allow you to complete only about five repetitions per set. Squats and deadlifts are great exercises to accomplish this. The whole body is forced to work systemically, resulting in an efficient, total body workout," Paul explains.

6. The 15/15/15 Workout

Paul suggests doing a 15/15/15 workout, where you select fifteen of your favorite bodyweight moves and you do the circuit fifteen times, for fifteen minutes. Paul recommends choosing movements like plank jacks, mountain climbers, jump squats, Russian dips, jumping jacks, bicycles, and more.

7. Have A Goal In Mind & Track

By having a goal in mind for each session (for instance, amp the speed on mountain climbers), and a more generic goal (go up five pounds in weights for renegade rows within two weeks, or stick with a workout 5 times a week each morning, for a month), you'll be more focused and productive in your shorter session and work to maximize your time and energy to gain greater results, advises Angela Mader, founder of fitlosophy, over email with Bustle.

8. Work With A Trainer

Over email with Bustle, personal trainer and owner of Body Coach Personal Training NYC, Chris Aronsen, says that working with a trainer can "help guide and motivate you towards accomplishing your goals and making the most out of your sessions in the gym." If it's in your budget, work with a trainer to help you optimize your time when working out.

9. Fuel Right Before A Workout

Aronsen also recommends eating something that will provide fuel before a strenuous workout, which could be a circuit or HIIT class that is done in a short amount of time, for instance. A quick snack should do, that has complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats in order to provide immediate energy to get through a workout, without overwhelming the digestive system.

10. Stay Hydrated

Over email with Bustle, running coach and personal trainer Susie Lemmer stresses the importance of staying hydrated during a workout in order to get the most of the time and have the greatest energy and stamina to keep going. "When we are dehydrated, our bodies cannot perform as well, and so drinking during a workout can boost endurance," Lemmer says. Have a bottle with you during a session.

11. Stay Positive

Saying positive mantras, such as, "keep going" or "you got this" when working out can boost intensity, endurance, and motivation, which can be especially helpful when energy is dwindling and your body is getting tired, expresses Lemmer. Lemmer is all about the positive mantras to build confidence and drive, and so you can say it silently or shout it out loud, either works for an uplift.

To get the most of out of workouts in a short period of time, it's important to pay attention to what exercises you are doing and how effectively you are using that gym session to reap the benefits and find progress. Providing the body with fuel, intensity, variety, and rest can help you feel eager and motivated to break a sweat.

Images: Pixabay (8); Pexels (4); Dawn Foster/Bustle