Time-Crunch Workout Ideas, Protein-Packed Snacks & The Art of Perseverance
Scroll down for the "1-Minute Rundown" if you're short on time!
Exercise is the first thing to get the boot when schedules are tight. I get it-- time is precious, but isn't your health also?
I also get that not everyone has the same flexibility in their schedules or just plain enjoyment for working out that I have, but regardless, it's still a choice & "I don't have time" should never be your only reason to skip out on working out.
Here are some ways to maximize your efforts in the gym in minimal time:
"Supersets" are 2 movements paired back-to-back with little to no rest in-between. One of my favorite superset workouts when I'm short on time is to pair an ab movement with a weight movement.
For example, I'll do 12 bicep curls, then hop down and do a plank, or do walking lunges towards an exercise ball, hit some crunches, then pick my weights back up and lunge-walk away.
You can also think about pairing 2 strength movements together (dumbbell rows X push-ups) or a high-intensity cardio move with a strength movement (kettlebell swings X goblet squats w/ KB.)
2. Giant sets/timed circuits
"Giant sets" are basically supersets with more than 2 movements. An example of a giant set might go something like: 10 squats, 10 curls, 10 tricep dips - repeat for 3 rounds.
You can also combine 3, 4, or 5+ movements together into a giant set, essentially making a circuit, and rather than performing the movements for reps, perform them for time. I use this app for all of my timed workouts and exercises. Switching to a timer instead of reps for workouts is a GREAT idea to help you keep it short and effective!
3. Compound movements
If you're super pressed for time or just aren't feeling a lengthy workout today, stick with some compound lifts, like squats, deadlifts, power cleans, thrusters, etc. Grab a barbell and string together two movements and perform them for time or in a nice, slow and controlled manner to focus on form and muscle recruitment.
Think of compound lifts like 2 or more muscle groups being targeted in the same movement. Try to incorporate 2 or 3 of these into your workout when you're short on time!
4. One-Place Workouts
This is a great tip for crowded gym hours, too! When space or time is limited, I like to try and stay in one space for my entire workout to avoid waiting for machines or having extensive rest times! Consider doing a "barbell only," "dumbbell only," "kettlebell only," or "cables only" workout so you can save time but still get a good lift in!
I shared my latest fave & crave snack that's packed with protein in an instagram LIVE video last week. If you missed it, you also missed some QT with me irl (kinda) but since this is too easy & too delicious for you to miss, I'll share it with you here!
You literally need TWO ingredients, but can use more if you want.
- Oikos fat free plain Greek yogurt
- seasoning of choice (Cavender's, ranch powder & Mrs. Dash's sun-dried tomato are my faves!)
Scoop a spoonful of yogurt into a small bowl & stir in a generous amount of seasoning to make a yummy and protein-packed dip for chips, crackers, veggies or a spread for some toast or a sandwich!
Feel free to experiment with different seasonings/flavors and let me know if you come up with any new creations!
There are so many parallels between working out & how we live in general, but a recurring theme for me is my tolerance for discomfort.
I started running after college when the university gym membership disappeared & love handles started re-appearing & though I'm no marathoner or anything, I do enjoy running for the most part.
When some people hear this (and when I used to hear people saying they liked running,) they think, "Oh my gosh, how can you LIKE that?!" I thought of this the other morning on my run when I was drenched in sweat (thanks, humidity) & way shorter on breath than I wanted to be. I kept going and thought, "Why don't I just stop?"
But here's the crossover between running and life: you don't always get to just quit when it gets hard. Working out has taught me how to be comfortable in discomfort, how to keep going when I don't want to, and so much about the art of perseverance.
The next time you're working out, running, biking, or just hiking up the stairs instead of the elevator in a building & want to quit, think about the crossover between life & working out and the art of perseverance.
TL; DR ?
Here's the 1-Minute-Rundown:
DOING: "I don't have time" is not a legitimate excuse. If you're short on time, consider things like supersets, giant sets, circuits, compound lifts, or one-place workouts.
EATING: Plain Greek yogurt is a hidden gym in the snack world, and it's LOADED with protein! Check out my snack recipe with just two ingredients!
THINKING: Working out has taught me a lot about the art of perseverance. You don't just get physically strong in the gym, you also get mentally strong.
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