If you love being a gym rat and hanging around the gym 24/7, this may not be for you. But if you're somebody who's looking to cut down the time they spend at the gym, you have found a goldmine!
There are three excellent reasons everyone should be cutting down their workout sessions if they want to build muscle.
1. Growth hormone and testosterone levels peak at about 40 minutes into a workout and start declining after an hour. After one hour, muscle building hormones begin stopping and muscle eating hormones begin starting up. People that trains 90 minutes to 2 hours are “taking two steps forward, 1 step back”.
2. Cutting down marathon gym sessions gives you the extra time to pursue your other goals, gives you time to hang out with your family and friends, go to a movie or do something different all together.
3. Your enthusiasm towards working out will be negatively effected by prolonged training sessions. Even if you truly enjoy working out, you'll probably lose motivation to train altogether if you spend all your time in the gym.
The simple techniques below can be implemented immediately into your next workout. Not only will they let you experience better muscle gains but you'll also have more time to concentrate on the other important areas of your life.
1. Cut the chit-chat – You don't come to the gym to talk about last nights episode of Prison Break or who is the all time Mr. Olympia, you come to the gym to train. If people approach you to talk, start wearing earphones. Unless they have a really important question they won't bother you anymore.
2. Plan your workout – Don't come into the gym unprepared. “Not planning is planning to fail”. Make sure you plan your workout before you enter the gym so you know exactly what your going to do. This will let you concentrate on pumping iron rather then wondering what exercises to do.
3. Cut the amount of breaks – If you find yourself constantly going out of the weights room to the drink tap, your wasting time and losing precious pump. Start bringing a large bottle of water with you to eliminate the need to go to the drink tap, unless you need a bottle re-fill.
Another way to cut the amount of breaks you have is to turn off your cell phone while working out. Not only does receiving a call interrupt you, it annoys people around you. You can always call people back once you finish your workout.
4. Reduce rest time between sets – Unless your power lifting, you don't need 5 minutes rests between each set. As a bodybuilder doing 8-12 reps you only need 90 seconds for your breathing to get back to normal and lactic acid to clear from your muscles. Anymore then 2 minutes and your just wasting time and losing your pump.
5. Use Supersets – Supersets are when you do one exercise after another without rest for opposite muscle groups. eg.bench press followed by bicep curls. If your interested in doing supersets, I suggest you learn more about them as there isn't enough space to cover them well enough here.
6. Don't hit the same muscle angle with a different exercise – There is no need to do bench press, DB bench press, and machine bench press all in one workout. All three of these exercises target the same muscle angle, so you should only use one of these exercises instead of all three and you'll still get the same desired result. By using one exercise instead of three, you'll save time by not needing to wait for machines to free up and not needing to constantly adjust the weights on a barbel or keep switching to different sized dumbbells.
7. Train at off-peak hours – This is a no-brainier, if you have the opportunity to train in the morning, early afternoon or late at night when the gym is near empty, you'll save heaps of time by having instant access to unused machines, benches, and treadmills.
8. Use more machines – All you hardcore bodybuilders will argue that free weights kick ass over machines, and I agree with you 100%. I'm suggesting that if you're pressed for time, you should use more machines then free weights. Its a lot faster to change a pin on a machine then load and unload barbells with plates and then secure on collars.
9. Focus – Focus on the reason you came to the gym. I'm assuming your answer may be ‘to have a great workout’. To achieve that goal you must focus on what matters to you until you finish. While your working out try not to think about the amount the guy over there is benching or whether you should start flirting with that hot girl doing lunges. Instead you must focus on your own workout and you will not only have the right mindset to lift intensely, but you'll finish your workout faster too!
If you implement just a few of these techniques, I guarantee you're time at the gym will be more efficient and more effective.
James Penn is an expert at planning fitness training programs and especially abdominal routines. You can learn exactly what he teaches for free at http://www.firmupyourabs.com including abdominal workouts and abdominal exercises to help you lose abdominal fat.