Most people only have time for gym before or after work (which is the perfect time to de-stress), but as a personal trainer I have heard every excuse by clients to skip gym all together.
“I’m just too tired after work”
“The traffic is too heavy”
“I finish work too late”
“It’s too dark or too cold”
But the number one excuse that keeps people away: “The gym is too busy”.
Training at peak times can cause more stress than the stress of actually getting to the gym… and can definitely counteract (and leave you feeling more tense) all the stress-busting benefits that a good workout can provide. Queuing for a treadmill, fighting to get a machine or bench, looking for weights strewn across the entire gym, battling for space in overcrowded classes or gym floors; these are all things that have left my clients and even me as a personal trainer more tense and frustrated at the end of a long day. So how do you maximise your limited time and make the most efficient use of the gym space to give yourself a fun and stress-free workout?
TRAINING IN THE BOX
Every gym has dead spots; these can be spaces between machines, unused studios or squash courts or that funny corner in the back of the gym or even a passage way. All you need is approximately a 2×2 metre space and it doesn’t need rubber matting or mirrors to make it work… so get clever, be inventive and start looking at your gym in a different way. This is your box and you should make it your little gym. Once you have your box, the gym is full of unused and portable equipment if you know where to look:
- Floor mats
- Aerobic steps
- Skipping ropes
- Exercise balls
- Power pump bars and dumbbells
- Kettlebells and powerbags
Once you have your space and equipment ready, you can tailor your programme to fit any fitness goals. Try two of these space-saving workouts to suit your goals. Do each workout twice a week or add to your current programme for some variety.
TONING AND WEIGHT LOSS
Perform each circuit (A, B, C and D) three times with one minute recovery between sets.
Set 1 20 reps
Set 2 15 reps
Set 3 12 reps
Push-ups, crunches, lunges with side
raises, squat jumps
B Prisoner squats, box jumps. Squat with press, tricep kickbacks
C Shoulder press, crunches, lunges with front raises, squat jumps
D Bent-over rows, box jumps, squat with press, hammer curls
FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH TRAINING
Perform each circuit AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) for 20 minutes
Spiderman push-ups x 10 reps
; Kettlebell swings x 20 reps;
Mountain climbers x 30 reps;
Deadlifts with dumbbell x 10 reps;
Mountain climbers x 30 reps;
Kettlebell swings x 20 reps;
Squat with press x 10 reps
B Burpees x 15 reps ; Crunches x 20 reps; Powerbag slams x 20 reps; Burpees with jump x 12 reps; Crunches x 20 reps ; Powerbag slams x 20 reps ; Burpees with push-ups x 10 reps
For more information to educate and motivate you on this topic, visit Brett’s website.
Originally published in the July/August 2013 issue.