The demands of your job are endless. The family commitments are constantly tugging at you. And as you're shuffling from one priority to the next, you think, "Where on earth can I find an hour to get a workout in?"
You're not alone, and the good news is, you don't necessarily need an hour.
If you approach your workouts properly, you can have beneficial sessions that are as quick as 20 minutes. Todd Durkin, the owner of FitnessQuest 10 and author of The IMPACT! Body Plan, constantly sees time as a hindrance with his clients.
"I like circuit training," Durkin said. "You can get in your full-body workout in 30 minutes or less. You can get your heart pumping. It's time-efficient, and you can diversify the heck out of your movements."
With that, Durkin takes out a piece of paper and draws up a couple of basic circuit workouts. The key, he says, is to rotate swiftly through the exercises, because "tempo is one of the most underrated aspects of strength training."
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Keep it Simple
Here's an example of a body-weight circuit workout, one you can do anywhere. Do 10 repetitions of these exercises, move on to the next, and do the circuit three times:
"This is a very simple body-weight circuit you can do," Durkin said. "It's lower body, upper body and core. If you do that 2 to 3 times, that's a nice little circuit."
Even if it's just 20 minutes, Durkin says circuit training increases lactic acid, which helps burn fat. He also mentions that a quick workout still releases endorphins that make you feel better, and it may be short enough to keep you wanting more.
"It's OK to have a little (energy) left," Durkin said. "That's going to keep you coming back tomorrow. Frequency, especially as you get older, is more important than intensity sometimes. If you only get in two intense workouts a week, versus five workouts that are 20-minutes long, I'd rather have the five 20-minute workouts."