Time-saving summer workouts

May 30, 2015

Q: I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a faster, more intense workout that I can do in the summer, so I can get in and out of the gym in a short period of time?

A: For many people living in a resort area, the cold winter months can be a time to refocus on getting in shape and burning off extra pounds, but free time in the summer is premium and not to be wasted on countless hours in the gym. Therefore, a faster, more productive workout routine can help you maintain the shape you worked so hard to achieve. Here are a few suggestions to help you accomplish this task.

2-in-1 combo exercises

Long gone are the traditional workouts of one exercise per body part. Instead, try doing 4-5 combo movements - exercises combined together - that work groups of muscles for maximum efficiency, such as dumbbell squats with overhead press, dumbbell stiff leg deadlifts with calf raises, dumbbell lunges with hammer curls or a Swiss ball pike with pushup. These exercises work a variety of muscles at the same time by combining two exercises together in a hybrid format, giving you much more bang for your buck and allowing you to get more results in less time.

Tri sets with core movements

Add some spice to your routine and shorten your time in the gym by adding triple sets with core movements. A tri set is a grouping of three exercises in a mini circuit and doing one set of each with no rest in between. To make it more interesting, try sandwiching two traditional weight training exercises around a challenging core movement. After you complete a set of each, you can rest approximately 40 to 50 seconds and repeat the process. Try setting up three different tri sets for a great day’s workout in a short period of time. A good example would be on chest and bicep day to do incline dumbbell chest press 10 reps, bicycle crunches 25 reps and straight bar curls 10 reps back to back. Then rest for 45 to 50 seconds and repeat two more triple sets.

Bar complexes

Bar complexes are a quick, intense way to get a great workout. The best part is all you need is a set of dumbbells or a straight bar to get it done. To get started, choose five to six exercises that can be done with the same weight so you don’t even have to put the bar down. Complete the desired number of reps for each exercise until you complete a set of each, then rest for 90 seconds and repeat. A great example with dumbbells would be hammer curls, push-up rows, standing overhead dumbbell press and bent dumbbell rows.

Interval training

If you want to get a great cardio workout in less time, add interval training to your routine. Interval training means working out at a challenging pace and incorporating bursts of speed periodically throughout the workouts. This technique can be much more intense and can be done in shorter sessions with the same result. A great example would be doing 15 40-yard sprints with short rests in between or doing the elliptical for 25 minutes at 80 to 85 percent effort, but going as fast as you can every 2.5 minutes throughout the session.

Metabolic interval training

Some people love cardio while others love weight training, so why not combine them for a fast-paced hybrid workout? Metabolic interval training is an intense combination of weight lifting, calisthenics, body weight exercise and different forms of cardio that give you the benefit of building muscle while increasing muscular and cardiovascular endurance. A couple sets of these babies and you don’t need to do cardio. A good example would be a set of dead lifts, pushups, jump rope and bicycle crunches done in consecutive order and then resting for approximately two minutes and repeating the process for a desired amount of sets.

Remember, there’s no need to spend your summer in the gym. Instead, try incorporating some of the above techniques into your routine, and you’ll get a great workout in less time.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter