By: @chrisbardwil founder of @coreflexpilates
This article is for either the busy person who does not have much time to spend in the gym or someone who would simply prefer to be efficient with their workouts. It is a framework to get you in and out of the gym in 20 to 30 minutes, while still maximising the health benefits that come from strength training.
Time efficient workouts require some preplanning and good habits. That being said there is a price to pay for the shorter workouts and that is intensity must increase.
If time efficiency is your goal then you won't be doing what 95% of people do in the gym, you have to move from exercise to exercise keeping breaks short and know exactly what you're going to do next.
The structure of the workout is Pull, Push, Legs, Stretch.
Pull: I like to start workouts with pull ups. If you struggle to do pull ups any sort of row will work well (lateral row or bench row, even dumbbell row). Alternatively, assisted pull ups work well too.
Push: Any pushing exercise works here. Think: bench press, dumbbell press, pushups or shoulder press.
Legs: When doing legs I prefer compound movements like squats, lunges and deadlifts as they work the entire body and raise the heart rate.
My suggestion for exercise selection is to pick the exercises you're most comfortable with and feel are the most effective for you.
The best way to work through these is to do a set of each exercise in that order: pull, push, legs. Take a short break to get your breath back and let the muscles recover. Repeat 3 times. So in total: 3 sets of each exercise with 10 to 15 reps of each.
Finish your workout with 5 to 10 minutes of stretches and some foam rolling and you're done. It also helps if you have a short walk to and from the gym as that will get the blood flowing around the body and aid recovery.
So there you have it! This has been my go to routine in the gym for the past few years. It's a routine that will keep you fit and healthy while giving you time to focus on living your life, playing sports, hiking, or whatever everyday activities you enjoy.