Work. Social life. Relationships. The never ending to-do list. Is it just me or has it been harder than usual to find time for working out as of late? If your schedule has been anything like mine, it has been challenging enough to get to the gym let alone keep my mind quiet once I’m there. These tips have helped me maximize my time in the gym and keep my productivity just as high as my heart rate.
Shut Down: The do not disturb feature or airplane mode is the first thing I do before turning on my workout playlist. By eliminating distraction from email, text and social media notifications, buzzing or alarms are put on pause. Unless I’m looking at my workout program, or shuffling music, there isn’t a need to look at my phone.
Know Your Gym: Get the lay of the land and familiarize yourself with the equipment your gym has available. If it isn’t realistic to do a walkthrough before hand, give the gym a call or check out the website to make sure they have everything you’d need. Don’t make an assumption. If you can, plan your workout around the peak-times. Rush hour is typically between 7-8:30am and 4:30-6:30pm.
Have a Back Up: If you’re planning on utilizing gym equipment there’s a pretty good chance your desired machine will be in use at one point or another. Be prepared to be flexible. If you can’t get on the cable machine to do a row, find a stand alone row machine, or use a bench and dumbbells. Unless you’re on a strict program, you’ll be getting the same gains from a similar range of motion. Likewise, if there’s a line for the treadmills, have a total body plyometric workout in your back pocket to get your HIIT without.
Example: A few months ago I was traveling for business. My schedule was slammed so I didn’t have the luxury of taking scheduled gym classes.
I found a box gym (Planet Fitness) and was super excited for a rowing based workout.
Of course they’d have a rower, right?
No, they didn’t. I was basically f*cked.
After a moment of brief panic/disappointment, I quickly replaced all the rowing drills with sprints.
Know Your Plan: Write, print, save, pin your workout before you even leave the house. The more time you spend putzing around the locker room or gym floor trying to figure out what to do the less time you’ll have to actually spend working out. Also, the more time you spend walking aimlessly the greater chance gym intimidation will set in and you’ll want to walk from your workout all together. Be prepared. I would go so far as to say memorize it. If you don’t have to rely on your phone or other external source you’ll be that much more efficient.
Set Time Limits: After you get settled in the locker room ear mark your goal to have your workout completed. That’s not to rush you through you workout, but rather to keep you motivated and focused. You’ll be less likely to dog your sets, extend your rest or socialize if you know you’re up against the clock.
Watch Your Rest: Speaking of rest, don’t take forever. Know how much you need for the drill or type of workout you’re doing and use it to set yourself up for success for the next round. Don’t use it for procrastination.
Be Mindful of Mirrors: Mirrors line nearly every wall of every gym for one purpose: safety. They’re there so you can monitor your form and have a line of sight to those around you (like the gym dropping his weights at the bench next to you). Don’t get caught up in your reflection or appearance. Ladies, you can only re-do that ponytail so many times. Also, no one cares what you look like, you’re at the gym.