Maybe I've been having a 7-year-blond moment but it never occurred to me that the whole, "I only have ___ minutes a day to work out," complaint might have been an excuse to not work out all along. I always took it as a severe lack of motivation, good planning, and creativity. It might be both. Either way, I've never fell for it. I'm no different than anyone else when it comes to not having all the time in the world to train. Actually, I probably have a lot less (sometimes as little as 20 minutes) than most people do. In spite of that lack of training time, I walk around just a suntan-short of a bonafide beach body.
While I was eating my breakfast one morning, I read a magazine article about the famous 300 Workout. The article gave some 300-style (or, CrossFit style) workouts. I liked the circuits a lot but at the end of the circuits, you were supposed to rest 6 MINUTES BETWEEN CIRCUITS.
Was that supposed to be a joke? The workouts were 3 circuits total so you're supposed to spend 18 minutes of the training time looking like a tough guy, drinking your disgusting sports drink, or checking out some hot chick doing bent-over rows? Give me a break! A little more a back ground about me: I work for my dad. He's demanding as hell. I'm a salaried employee. Taking extra time doesn't pay me shit.
The bottom line is that I don't waste time and getting lots done in a little time is a way of life. Take last Thursday night's work-out for example. I had exactly 24 minutes to work out between the time I got home and dinner time. So, prior to getting home, I settled on this circuit:
30 single leg squat progressions, 15 each leg
2 minute wall chair
2 minutes 1 hand KB Swing (FYI, my Kettlebell is 18 KG)
2 minutes KB woodchoppers
20 wide grip pull-ups
I repeated it twice, resting, at most, 30 seconds between each exercise. I finished up in about 21 minutes. One item that I consider nearly necessary is the Gymboss. After the squats, everything was on the timer, 2 minutes of work, 30 seconds of rest. If you don't have this gem, and you're wondering how to compress your workout into a shorter period of time, then I highly suggest you spring the $20 for it NOW!
Proper mental images and mindset are paramount to getting a good workout in a little bit of time. Chip Conrad reminded his readers about the importance of psyching up prior to hitting the gym not too long ago. Mental movies help me a lot, and few force me to work harder than thinking of Buddy McGirt yelling at Arturo Gatti to give it everything in the last few rounds of his first fight with Mickey Ward. I can still hear him saying, "GIVE ME 15 MINUTES, THEN YOU CAN REST..." and it still gives me goosebumps as I type this! When I'm working out, it's just what I need to force myself through the fatigue. After all, time is short and, well, I can rest all I want in 20 minutes, after I'm done.
Well-planned circuits. Inspiring head-movies. A well thought-out gym timer. A hard-ass, can-do, and will-do attitude. It's really that simple to get a good work-out in a time crunch. Don't let anyone, including yourself, talk yourself out of it. Get your head right, plan accordingly, and get moving!