I Don't Know if We'll Have Enough Time (we do...for Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and for Muscles).
Close to the top of the list of concerns of everyone everywhere.
We live in a fast-paced world, and we’re all trying to get everything done RIGHT NOW, mostly because all of our to-do lists seem 10 miles long. Oh, you just got off work? Perfect! Dash to the bank to get some cash, get groceries, put them away but no time to cook because 17 of your friends are having drinks tonight so pop by there, oh- did you leave laundry in the washer this morning?, now you’re home and starving, so quick- make something- oh, forget it, just order takeout, flip through a few pages of that book you were supposed to be reading “for fun,” which now feels like a chore…and, wait, weren’t you supposed to start going to the gym (again) today?
And forget throwing pets (or KIDS!) into the mix. Things get crazy really quickly, so much so that it seems like a lot to even sit down and hear ourselves think.
Adding a strict strength or hypertrophy program to the chaos here can seem daunting, especially if we’re not in the habit of ascribing to a program that requires us to spend time in the gym regularly (or if we are and just don’t do it…been there, done that, about 38098 times.). Not all of our goals are to get super huge or totally shredded. Many of us want a few simple things: to look a little better (naked or otherwise), to feel a lot better, to prevent injuries, and to make life easier on ourselves.
We can *totally* accomplish this goal in less time than you’d think.
My favorite class I’ve ever taught was a 30m class over a lunch break (ironically, at a tobacco company). At first, it was a huge challenge for me to write a bunch of workouts when I didn’t know who would show up that day, or how many people, with limited equipment and limited time. It quickly became my favorite class of the week (arguably my favorite non-one-on-one thing I’ve ever taught); we had a core group of people who showed up 3 days a week, which was, essentially, a testing grounds for #metcon (metabolic conditioning) experiments. How quickly can we get the most work done safely?
You’ll find workouts like this all over the interwebz, some better than others. My favorite way to look at them is what Metabolic Effect calls “rest-based training” : “push until you can’t; rest until you can.” Meaning, we go super hard until we can’t go anymore, then take however much rest we need to get back in the game at the same level of intensity. It’s a self-regulating mechanism that ensures you’ll get the best workout for you…and that you’ll get to meet the deepest, most intense parts of yourself. All in about 30m.
Added bonus: a lot of keyboard warriors will tell you that cardio strips us of our muscle, which can be true, but #metcon workouts under 40m that are based in resistance training actually preserve muscle and regulate our appetites (ever notice that after a 10-mile run (kudos, sidebar, because I’ve never done that), you’re ready to eat anything that’s put in front of you, whether it’s chicken or pizza?).
Using heavy weights will help us change the look of our bodies, building muscle and burning fat. Performing circuits like this- especially as an accessory to higher-volume, heavy lifting sessions, but still effectively on their own- will help us achieve the look most of us are after: tighter and leaner, while also achieving the other important goals: better heart health, stronger and more stable joints, the endorphin rush.
Enclosed is an example of one of my go-tos when I want to start heavy, but finish quickly. It works the posterior chain, primarily: all of the muscles up and down our back halves (which, for most of us, is underworked from sitting at a desk for the vast majority of the day. I’m doing my part to prevent a nation of hunchbacks.).
After warming up (I prefer to do a few lunges in all directions (forward, side, reverse), some bodyweight bridges, single-leg deadlifts, and banded hip thrusts…about 5m worth, in total), load some weight on the bar and do a few lower-volume deads, then grab some dumbbells and/or kettlebells and hit a quick and dirty circuit, blasting our muscles and torching fat (using a rep scheme that’s pretty common in the CrossFit world, but that I enjoy, because I get bored with 20m AMRAPS, and it counts down, not up. Brain stimulation.). Fun, a little bit of everything, in and out in about 30m.
There’s always time for *something,* but the rub is, we often convince ourselves that if there’s not time for a traditional long body-part-split workout or hour-long class that we might as well do nothing. When we find something we enjoy and know we’re getting a big bang for our buck, we realize that 30m really *is* enough time for us to see a difference.
I can’t wait to hear how it goes! Reply and let me know- your feedback is so much fun for me. :)