By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
Do you think that unless you can get a 45 to 60-minute weight training workout in, then you might as well not even workout at all? Or that if you can only get 2-3 workouts in a week, it won’t make a difference, so why even bother?
DON’T THROW IN THE TOWEL
You might be surprised at what you can do with a just 20 to 30 minutes for a weight training workout. And, believe it or not, your body can, indeed, progress even with just 2-3 weight training workouts per week. Or at the very least, all of the above-mentioned will keep you fit and prevent you from losing strength and exercise endurance.
ALL OR NOTHING
I know so many people who make the mistake of falling completely off the fitness wagon because they can’t workout 5-6 times per week for at least an hour or more. Sooooo, um, not exercising at all is a better alternative to at least exercising a little bit? Hummm, there’s that “all or nothing” mentality rearing its head again.
If you really focus on making every exercise, every rep and every workout the best quality and efficient workout you possibly can, then you will – at minimum – at least stay in great fitness shape and can most certainly make amazing progress and physique changes, even with just two to three 20-30 minute workouts.
MAKE IT COUNT
Here are a few ways you can really make your workouts count:
1. Chose the right exercises If you only have two opportunities in a given week to do a strength training workout, make sure you choose exercises that will allow you to work your whole body (all your muscle groups) within those two workouts. You can choose two total body workouts to do, or one upper body workout then one lower body workout, or all of your anterior muscles (muscles located on the frontside of your body) then all of your posterior muscles (muscles located on the backside of your body) or any combination of muscle groups that will allow you to work all your muscles. The same would apply to if you are able to do three weight training workouts in a given week.
2. Focus on the mind-muscle connection This is so important any time you are working out, but especially if you’re on a time crunch and only have 20 to 30 minutes to workout. Your focus during every single rep, every single set, should on working your target muscle(s) as hard and efficiently as you possibly can so that you can get the most bang for your buck with each and every workout. You can’t just go through the motions, flinging weights around, and expect to get a quality workout in. Those 20 to 30 minutes are precious and you want to make the most out of working your muscles, which takes laser focus.
3. Form is everything Along the same lines as the importance of keeping good mind-muscle connection throughout the duration of your workout is making sure your form is correct. If you are rushing through exercises, trying to get in as many reps or sets or different exercise combos as you can, you’re likely to get injured if you aren’t paying attention to your form. You are likely also not going to work your muscles as efficiently trying to rush through to get 15 reps in as you would if you slowed down, focused on your form and really concentrated on your range of motion, squeezing and elongating, resisting the weight and really working those muscles.
You will have much better workouts – and thus better results – if you get less reps, less sets and less exercises in but really focus on your muscles working, your range of motion, your form, your body position, and know where your body is wanting to assist or “cheat,” then correcting your form (or decreasing the weights to maintain good form). It’s not necessarily working out longer or more frequently, but rather the overall quality of your workouts that will make the biggest difference in the progress of your physique, strength, exercise endurance and overall fitness.
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.