Workout Tips When You’re Short on Time

6 ways to have a quick, yet effective workout


Life can get busy and time slips away from you. So trying to squeeze in an effective workout can be quite a challenge. I get it.

Over the past 2 months I’ve been able to dedicate most of my mornings to almost 2 hour, highly intensive workouts. I’ve started to feel a bit sad when I realized that soon that will have to stop while I’m back at work full time and going to school part time. So I made up a tentative plan that I am going to start this coming week. I could easily just say, well I can’t workout at all. I’m going to be too tired and I won’t have enough time. However, there are some loopholes to those statements.

Here are some ways to have a quick, yet effective workout when you are crunched for time.


Supersetting is when you do more than one workout within a set. So for example, I might do 10 weighted pistol squats on each leg and then do 10 weighted elevated lunges on each leg with no break in between the two exercises. Supersetting gets your heart rate up and you accomplish more in a shorter time period than if you were to have done it as 2 separate exercises. You can do this with a lot of workouts that use the same equipment like cables. You could do bicep curls with the cable down at the bottom of the tower and then superset with the cable at the top for tricep push downs. Supersetting can be tiring and you may feel out of breath, but that just means you’re working hard…and that’s a good thing in case you didn’t know! 🙂


Less sets/reps; heavier weight

If you’ve read my previous post about effective workouts, then you know that I typically do 4 sets of an exercise. However, if I’m going to the gym before work and I want to be mindful of the time, then I can decrease my sets or reps while increasing weight. So let’s say I typically curl 12.5 pounds for 10 reps and 4 sets. Now I might go up to 15 pounds, but 6-8 reps for only 3 sets. That way you aren’t losing out on effectiveness or time.

Use machines that you don’t have to clean

Now it’s just proper gym etiquette to wipe down your machines and equipment after each use. One of the main reasons I like using the standing cables is because I don’t have to spend time wiping them down! So when I’m short on time, I’m more likely to use the cables, free weights, or steppers. If you can come up with a workout that will not require any machine cleaning, then that’s even better!

Plyometrics (at home or the gym)

Plyometrics (means jump training) is a form of exercise in which you primarily use just your body. For example: burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squat jumps, etc. Sometimes equipment may be involved like a stepper for box jumps, but machines are not involved. I like including plyometric exercises in my workout because my heart rate goes up just within the first set. I usually pick 4-5 different exercises to do per set without a break. Then I take a 1-2 minute break to catch my break and start the next set. I’ll do 3-4 sets depending on the level of difficulty and time. The great thing about plyometrics is you don’t even need a gym membership since you could use simple things at home or just your body to get in a good workout. has a ton of different exercise ideas, so check it out!

Plan the night before

Before you go to bed the night before a workout, be sure you have an idea of what you are working out and the exercises you will do. I think it’s best that you write the exercises down and take that notebook or paper to the gym. This will help with wasting time wandering around the gym figuring out what you should do next.

Have your outfit set out & everything ready

You are less likely to make an excuse for the gym if you already have everything you need laid out. Plus, it’ll save you time the next day! Get your workout clothes, shoes, headphones, and water bottle prepared the night before a workout. If you are exercising prior to work, then you may want to have your work clothes and items prepared as well. This will save you time with running around trying to figure out what to wear for the day as well.