Do you want to gain muscle but you’re finding it difficult to schedule in those workouts? Are factors such as work schedules and school runs biting into your gym time? Before you give up on those muscle building or maintenance goals, let’s talk about a few things you can be doing to maximise and squeeze the most out of your training.
Let’s be clear – to keep on track and deliver the results you desire in limited time takes discipline!
Time constraints in mind, you need to get smart about how you are training. You need to get clever and efficient to decrease time in the gym whilst increasing your results.
Before we dive in, it’s important to be clear that in order to gain muscle with limited time, weight training will become the main focus of your training program (if it’s not already). Structure is also very important, try to dedicate 2 – 3 times per week, use your time effectively and be efficient with your workout.
Set yourself 3 ground rules:
1. No Cheating or short-cuts – you’re only cheating yourself out of your results given your restricted time.
2. Become the yes man! – this coincides with rule 1 - don’t give up! If you have an injury be smart about alternative exercises, don’t automatically become defeated.
3. No posing – No workout has time for vanity, especially when trying to squeeze the most out of your training.
Now that’s been cleared up, let’s dive into the 5 things you can be doing to help yourself:
1. High Frequency Muscle Stimulation
In layman’s terms, attack those big muscle groups to increase protein synthesis. This will enable your muscles to grow bigger.
2. Big Moves
Prioritise those multi-joint compound exercises such as cleans, squats and deadlifts. These types of exercises work multiple muscle groups at the same time, maximising your results in the restricted timeframe.
3. Rep Speed
Try to increase your rep speed with maximum force, but more importantly without losing technique. Create maximum tension with each rep by doing these explosively. As your weights increase so will your muscle fibres – a win win for all!
4. Ramp or Progressive Loading…
…or gradually increasing your resistance. This is fundamental to your achievements. Progressive loading enables your body to grow and improve over time, localising your training. When coupled with shorter workouts and rest periods, this should increase your exercise quality. Remember to focus on technique and gradually you will soon be able to achieve more with less time.
5. Planned Rest
Your body needs time to recover and repair as your glycogen levels deplete. So rest is important, not just between reps and sets but between workouts. It is easy to overlook the importance of rest when you are strapped for time and trying to achieve those ‘gainz’. However, this is short-term thinking inviting increased muscle fatigue and injury in through the back door. Try scheduling your rest days around some of your busiest days of the week – let’s get smart!
If you manage to follow these 5 tips you will be able to train less but above all achieve more. Remember to remain smart and disciplined. I hope you can see that a shortage in time need not limit your muscle and strength goals. Happy Gainz-day!