The things that make life worth living can also steal precious time away, limiting your ability to achieve your fitness goals. David Kingsbury has the tactics you need to maximize your gains when you’re short on time.

In the exercise world, there are people working hard to achieve thousands of different goals each day. Whether it’s to become healthier, have larger muscles or improve for a specific sport, I find there are often two distinct groups: those who want a quick fix and those who enjoy the training journey as much as the end result.

Do you need to spend every hour in the gym to achieve your targets? Or are all those hours really just filler and detrimental to your end goals? Are you just training for the sake of training? The answer is not always a simple one, because different challenges require diverse approaches and training volumes to achieve success. Someone who’s training for a marathon will require more hours of work than someone who’s training for improved health. Whatever your goal, don’t let limited time stop you from achieving it.


outline of a man runing infront of a clock

Walk in and get down to business

Training at an effective and appropriate intensity for your objective is important. A lot of people do too much training at the wrong intensities for their goals. Make sure every session has a purpose and stick to achieving it with single-minded intensity.


Target one goal per session

If your goal requires you to do weight training, then focus on compound movements like squats, deadlifts or clean and jerks. For someone who’s time crunched, these big lifts will give you better results than if you isolate small muscles like with bicep curls. If you need to add cardio into the mix to reach your goal, your first priority is to understand what the ultimate focus of your session is. If it were to improve aerobic fitness then you’d use a different approach to a fat-loss-focused session.

Intervals are a great option for any goal if you’re short on time. Adjust your intensity, interval length and rest periods to suit your objective and use them as tools
for progression.


Eating isn’t time consuming

If you’re someone who eats four meals per day, you have 28 opportunities every week to get results through intelligent nutrition. Although diet alone isn’t quite enough, it’s important to emphasise that you can work towards your goals during the day with optimal nutrition – even if you have limited time to train.


shadows of mean running with briefcases in front of a clock and cogs


Recover quickly

Just like solid nutrition plays a part in achieving fitness goals, recovery is equally important. Good nutrition is part of the recovery process, but there are also a number of other things to consider. Quality sleep will help you recover from exercise and boost energy levels during your workouts so you can use the maximum intensity needed for short, sharp sessions. Try to avoid alcohol because it will affect the quality of your sleep.

Spend some time doing prehab and rehab exercises to help training performance, recovery and reduce your risk of injury. Five minutes of foam rolling before and after exercise will do the trick. Or, if you’re really struggling for time, you can set up on the floor in front of the laptop or TV for some foam-roll, multi-task action. These tricks and tips will help you make the most of the time you have and turn your lifestyle into one that’s geared towards transformation.


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