Image by: PeterJBellis
By Jake Bradshaw
For the busy guy, it can be difficult finding time to work out. With our hectic schedules, getting our work done is usually a top priority, however we shouldn’t sacrifice our health and fitness. A great workout doesn’t mean spending three hours in the gym, instead it’s all about how you spend the time while you’re there.
Building muscle isn’t about the heft of your weights or the amount of time spent looking in the mirror in the weight room. When you have a set routine, you will be able to get the body you want while maintaining productivity in your social and work life.
Set A Time Limit
When you have a time limit, you will be more motivated to get things accomplished, which will push you to configure a clear routine each day. Let’s say you have just thirty minutes – with this in mind, you can assign 5 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of upper body, 10 minutes of lower body, and 5 minutes of abs. Already you have a whole body workout.
Here’s a tip: limit the use of your iPod. Lifting needs more focus since it takes adrenaline. When we have our iPods on while lifting, we tend to get lost in the music and lose focus in what we’re trying to do.
When you are rushed for time, you will probably have a better workout than the alternative because you are forced to use lighter weights which creates more muscle fatigue. A study done at McMaster University proved that fatigue will keep your muscles twitching longer than heavy weights will which will in turn allow more time for them to build – especially if you take protein and glutamin afterwards.
Have you ever helped a friend move from their apartment and that find your arms are fatigued for a couple days afterwards? This is the science of muscle building.
Cardio (Five Minutes)
This can be either on an elliptical or treadmill. Try to go at least 75% the whole time. Break a nice sweat and get the heart rate up a bit for the remainder of the work out.
Upper Body: Dumb Bell Increments (10 Minutes)
Grab two sets of dumb bells. One should be half of what your limit is in regards to a plain bicep curl, the other should be half of that. For example, if your limit is 45 lbs, your two dumb bell sets should be 27.5lbs and 15lbs (give or take).
- Bicep Curls – Start with the 27.5 pound weights. You won’t it a problem since they are half your limit. Alternate right arm, left arm. Make sure they go all the way down to your side and all they way up to your chest at a medium pace – the extension is a big factor in hitting all the muscle zones. Do this until you are close to failure. You may find that you can do up to thirty lifts per rep.
- Lateral lifts – With little rest, grab the 15 pound weights and do lateral lifts. Start with both weights at your hips and lift your arms to their sides, over the shoulder. Keep your back straight and your neck aligned with your spine as to prevent tension. Do this until your close to failure.
- Vertical Butterfly – Immediately after the lateral lifts, bring the 15 pound weights together in front of your head like you’re in a “praying” position. While keeping your arms in an “L” shape, extend them to the sides and bring them back together, keeping the distance between your shoulder and elbow parallel to the ground – this is one rep. Repeat this until your close to failure.
All of the above should be one whole set. Repeat steps 1 – 3 two more times, completing three whole sets. All together, this shouldn’t last longer than ten minutes.
Lower Body: Squats With Dumb Bells (10 Minutes)
- In-Place Squats – Grab your Half-limit weights, in this example the 27.5lbs, and go into a corner and do squats. Keep the weights at your side and bring one leg in front of the other and touch the opposing knee to the ground, like your “bowing”. Then come back to standing position and switch to the other leg.
- Alternate Positions – For the first five minutes do the squats directly in front of you. The second five minutes, do them to the side. This will target all areas in your legs and also get your abs ready for the next routine.
Tip: This can be an opportunity to put in your iPod for a song or two. It can distract you from the strain.
Abs: Ab Ball (5 Minutes)
- Ball curls – Grab hold of an Ab-Ball and sit it in front of a clock. Bring your hands around the back of your head and keep your elbows spread on either side, like a butterfly. Make sure the curl of the ball is meeting the curve where your lower back and the top of your butt meet. The top half of you should be off the ball – this gives your abs more tension to hold to hold the balance.
- Alternate – For one minute curl to the left side. After that, spend one minute curling to the right side. Next, spend the third minute doing curls directly in the center. Finally, spend the remainder doing slow curls – holding the strain at the top of the curl for a few seconds, then releasing.
The point of the Ab exercise is not to think of the number of reps, instead only focus on the time. Remember, it’s all about the fatigue.