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Maximize Your Gym Time

Maximize your intensity at the gym to get a hardcore workout on a time crunch.

By Eric Falstrault

Everyone would benefit from 30-hour days. Although we can't add more hours to the clock, there are some tricks you can do at the gym to maximize your results and minimize the time you spend there. As opposed to popular belief, you don’t have to spend endless hours at the gym to get results.

Get the most bang for your buck

When you have to hit one particular muscle group, look for an exercise that can give you the most effective stimuli. Goal-oriented gym trainees get the most results. They choose training that will get them to their destination faster instead of just going with the flow of things.

For example, when building a program, I always choose a pull-up rather than a simple lat pulldown. The overall nervous and muscular demand of the pull-ups is much greater than the seated high pulley pulldown. Pull-ups also recruit your abdominals more than a simple Swiss ball crunch. A great pull-up session will always leave you with sore abs. Another example would be to substitute the barbell bench press with dumbbells. It's subtle, but the dumbbells offer a greater demand on the nervous system because of the instability of each arm compared to the bench press. They also allow a greater range of motion. Using compound exercises hits chains of muscles functionally, the way they are supposed to work.

A list of compound movements

Legs and lower body

Squats
Deadlifts
Lunges
Split squats

Upper body

Pull- or chin-ups
Bench press
Dips
Bent-over barbell rows
Overhead press

Full-body and technical lifts

Olympic lifts
Deadlifts and all its variations

 

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