As an entrepreneur and business owner I have often empathized with my busy clients who struggled to get into the gym due to their hectic schedules. It can be frustrating and overwhelming to be chasing fitness goals with limited time in the day. However, succeeding is still possible. You just have to approach your goals the right way. Whether you are a mother, an entrepreneur, or simply just find that you don't have a lot of time in the day. Here are four tips to maximize your workouts and achieve your goals while working out for only 30 minutes per day.
1) Prioritize resistance training over cardio
Resistance training should be the backbone of your fitness regimen whether your goal is to gain muscle and strength, or to lose body fat. Resistance training will stimulate muscle mass and strength gain far better than any cardiovascular activity will. Additionally if your goals are fat loss centric, resistance training should still be prioritized. Any fat loss success is going to come from diet first, however resistance training will counter the natural catabolic aspects of weight loss. What this means is that their will be inevitable muscle loss during any fat loss protocol. By prioritizing resistance training, you can minimize the muscle loss that occurs consequently enabling oneself to end their fat loss phase with a faster metabolism and more muscle mass. This means you will look better and be able to eat more.
2) Increase workout frequency
This is fairly straightforward. If you only have 30 minutes per day to spend in the gym, performing 30 minute workouts 6x a week will allow you to get the same amount of total work performed as if you were to do 1 hour workouts 3x per week. Results will be the same, or potentially slightly better.
3) Always prioritize technique over weight
You will stimulate the target musculature better when using proper technique and your likelihood of becoming injured will be reduced. This means improved recovery and less potential injury induced training breaks where you won't be able to make progress. It is completely normal for technique to breakdown slightly as we push close to our limits. However, if it becomes egregious you are going to need to check your ego and reduce the load you are using.
4) Get rid of your "all or nothing" mindset
This is the biggest obstacle to many people's success in any pursuit. The thought of, "If I don't get into the gym and do a full hour, then I might i as well not go at all." Something is always better than nothing. Most successful people make peace with imperfection and prioritize consistency above all else.
Example Workout Structure:
1) 5 Minutes of Pre workout mobility/dynamic warmup (2-6 movements)
This portion is all about preparing your body for what you are about to do. This is very individual. I recommend creating a warmup routine that works for you and your individual needs. Some examples are If you have tight hips and are about to perform squats, this is where you would want to work on your hip internal and external rotation with a dynamic hip warmup like a 90/90. If you are going to perform squats with the goal of building your glutes, this is where you could prime the connection with your glutes with an exercise like a bodyweight hip bridge/thrust.
2) 20 minutes focused on 1-2 compound movements (3-5 sets each)
This is going to be the meat and potatoes of your workout. Once you have prepared your body for these movements, it is time to execute with intention, focus, and effort.
3) 5 minutes focused on 1 corrective or isolation exercise (1-3 sets)
This last portion is about supporting the areas of your body that need extra work. If you are focused on bringing up the size of your biceps, this is where you would put in a bicep isolation exercise like a bicep curl. If you are experiencing back pain and are looking to increase the strength and resiliency of your lower back, this is where you would perform a lower back strengthening exercise like a superman.