3 Workout Tips That Will Save You Time And Get You Gains Faster
Certain things fall squarely in the "more is better" category – days off from work, sex – but strength training isn't necessarily one of them.

September 3, 2018

ripped and strong man working out outdoors to get you gains faster

Certain things fall squarely in the “more is better” category – days off from work, sex – but strength training isn’t necessarily one of them. It might not even help get you gains faster.

“There’s no reason to spend hours in the gym unless you want to,” says strength and conditioning coach Eric Cressey the co-founder of Cressey Performance in Massachusetts, and author of Show and Go. “Many of the world’s top athletes are in and out in less than 60 minutes.”

Related: Do BCAAs Actually Build Muscle? Not As Much As You Think

Learn their secrets and you can do the same. Stop wishing for more hours in the day to workout and start building more muscle in the time you have.

1. Don’t Spin Your Wheels

If you typically warm up on the treadmill, stop. It chews up workout time and targets only your legs. “Get rolling faster by focusing on multi-joint, total-body movements, like the squat-to-stand with reach,” says Cressey. In addition to increasing your bloodflow, you’ll jumpstart the signalling between your brain and your muscles, boosting performance from the get-go. The result: a faster warm up and a more efficient workout.

Related: How To Do The Ultimate 5-Move Warm Up

How to do it: stand tall with your feet slightly beyond shoulder width. Lower yourself into a squat and grab your toes. Keeping your chest and shoulders up, raise your right arm high and wide. Repeat with your left. Now stand up. That’s one rep; do eight.

Time saved: Five minutes

2. Multitask Your Muscles

Ditch the old “one exercise at a time” routine for supersets or trisets – two or three exercises done back-to-back. “While one muscle group recovers, another is working, reducing the need for rest,” says Cressey. You’ll also reap a metabolic boost, burning more kilojoules per minute both during and after your workout than you would with a more traditional weightlifting routine with rests, according to Syracuse University scientists.

Related: This 25-Minute Workout Will Build Your Mental And Muscle Strength

How to do it: target noncompeting muscle groups by pairing push and pull exercises (dumbbell chest press and cable row, for example) or upper-and lower-body exercises (dumbbell alternating shoulder press and barbell straight-leg deadlift).

Time saved: 15 minutes

3. Reduce The Repetition

Instead of doing three or four sets of 8 to 10 reps each, start off with a few lower-rep sets using a heavier weight. “It’s called a stage system,” says Cressey. “The nerves that stimulate your muscles are amped up from the heavy sets, so they’re able to lift more weight than normal for a final higher-rep set.”

Related: Low Weight, High Reps v Lifting Heavy: You Won’t Believe The Results For Muscle Gain

How to do it: do three sets using a weight you can lift only three times in a row and then lighten the weight by 10% and do a final set of six reps.

Time saved: 10 minutes