Time Crunch Workouts!

Happy Weekend everyone!!! I hope you all are having a wonderful Saturday morning. It felt good to sleep in for me until 6:30am this morning! I am usually up and at 'em by 4:45/5am, so it was a treat to wake up and realize I had slept till 6:30! I went to the gym this morning and was able to workout for a little longer than usual, which got me thinking about how hard it has been to fit in my usual long workouts into my new work schedule. As many of you know, I just started my first real job in mid-January! I am working for WIC, which is a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children! I am in love with this job and feel so blessed by the Lord for this opportunity to work with, and serve the most amazing people! I have always been an early riser, so waking up early to get my workouts in before heading to work has not been too challenging. However, I have not been able to get in those long workouts that I was accustomed to before starting my job. I used to workout for about 60-90 minutes daily because a.) I loved it! and b.) I had allllllll the time in the world! :) Clearly, this is not the case anymore! Since I am definitely not an evening worker-outer, I have developed some strategies and tricks in order to get the most workout-bang for my time-buck these past couple of weeks. Here are some tricks if you are in a time crunch and looking to still get a great workout in the AM!


1.) Tone it Up workouts!

I love Tone it Up (TIU) workouts! They are usually between 10-20 minutes long and work all your major muscle groups. The trainers, Karena and Katrina, use strength training and toning moves that work multiple muscle groups at once, so you get both a cardio and toning workout! Check out their website (www.toneitup.com) for a complete list of their workouts! You can also search them on YouTube!

2.) Resistance, resistance, resistance!

I have learned that duration is not everything when it comes to working out! I could go on the elliptical for 60 minutes and barely break a sweat, or 30 minutes and be drenched by the end of my workout! It all depends on what resistance setting I have used. I have done my elliptical HIIT workout (check previous posts!) multiple times the past 2 weeks and always come out feeling like I did a major hour-long workout! I am drenched and my heart rate goes way up, which is the mark of any great workout! Play around with the resistance and crossramp settings on your machine and try 2-3 minute intervals of raising and lowering the resistance to keep your heart pumping and those calories burning!

3.) Toning large muscle groups

My third trick is to tone the largest muscle groups in the least amount of time. I usually try to work on my shoulders, back, chest, or legs EVERY day since the moves for these body parts usually get my heart rate going. I also include some biceps, triceps, and abs as supplemental exercises, but I always make sure to get those major muscle groups done! I do shoulder presses, which raises your heart rate since any movement lifting your arms above your head helps get your heart pumping. I do the chest press machine at the gym, as well as lat pulldowns and lat rows, which leave your back looking and feeling great! I also do deadlifts at least 3 times a week. I have worked up to a 30 lb bar (I started at 5 lb dumbbells...take that for progress!) and am loving the results. I also try to do the leg press machine or squats and lunges, depending on how my knee is doing (still nursing that injury...)!

In a typical workweek, my workouts usually last about 35-45 minutes every morning, depending on my schedule how much time I have before I have to get ready for work. Below are some examples of what my workouts have consisted of the past couple of weeks:

1.) TIU workouts: I absolutely love the new "love your total body 2 workout" which is 20 minutes long. I also do some of their more focused 10-minute workouts, which work specific muscle groups. I usually do these TIU workouts if I am staying home to exercise instead of heading to the gym!

2.) Bike for 30 minutes, chest press, deadlifts, biceps, triceps, abs

3.) Elliptical HIIT for 20-30 minutes, shoulder press, shoulder raise, lat row, leg press

4.) Bike 15 minutes, elliptical HIIT 20 minutes, lat pulldown, squats, lunges, abs

I hope this post gives you some ideas on ways that you can maximize your workout time with a busy schedule! Any workout is better than no workout, so even if you lift some weights in your bedroom for 15 minutes before getting ready for work, that counts and positively impacts your health! Planning out your workouts also ensures that you get them done in the morning so you feel energized throughout the day and don't have to worry about fitting them in at night! So get up and get moving people! And if you need some added motivation, here you go! :)