Training in Half the Time…

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Question: I am trying to get back in the gym but have much less time than when I used to train. Previously I worked out about 2 hours but now find myself with only half that time at best. What is a routine I can use to get in and out of the gym and get the job done?
Answer: By maintaining a quick training pace you should need only an hour to get your training done without changing too many of the exercises you are accustomed to using. By alternating exercises invloving opposing muscle groups you should be able to train half your body in 45 minutes to an hour and even get a mild cardio effect and stimulate your metabolism to burn more calories than normal for a period of time after you complete your workout. Since time is an issue, begin with abdominal exercises using a crunching or sit-up movement combined with a reverse exercise like hanging leg raises or reverse crunches. Do two sets of each with no rest or minimal rest between the combos. For upper body crank it up with pull-ups or pulldowns and incline dumbbell presses doing 3 to 4 sets of each. Follow those with low pulley rows and a machine chest press or bench press, again doing 3 sets of each. Remember to alternate those exercises and keep a good pace. This method increases your heart rate and pushes your recovery at first, but your body will adapt to the stress. Do one more chest/back 3 set combo with dumbbells flyes and single arm dumbbell rows. For shoulders superset side laterals with seated shoulder presses for three sets of each and rear laterals with dumbbell upright rows with the same number of sets.
Leg training is simple to do on paper but even more challenging than upper body because of the energy demands of these large muscle groups. Combine leg curls with calf raises for three sets. Lunges of some type are fine to combine with leg presses These are going to be challenging for three sets. Finish leg training with squats for 4 sets and start arm training after that. Barbell curls work well with triceps pressdowns and finish with alternating dumbbell curls and skullcrushers doing three combos of each. If you are really pressed for time some days, then use large multi-joint exercises like cleans, clean/presses or clean/press/squats. Three to five sets of those will take you to another level whether you are trying to beat the clock or not. Push-up rows, which are done on a set of dumbbells, and pull-ups are other big body movements when done with moderate weight provide a full-body workout and really work your cardiovascular system within 20 to 30 minutes. What ever your time limit you can find a way to get it all done if you want it badly enough.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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