Five tips to avoid wasting your time at the gym

Time. Despite all of the high-tech advances in our society, it seems more and more that we have less of it.
It can be hard for many of us to find time to go to the gym, so when we do it’s important to be as efficient as possible.
In order to help people get as much as they can out of each trip to the gym, here are five tips to avoid wasting your workout time.
1. Spot training — There are a lot better ways to spend your time in the gym than doing isolated exercises for areas such as your biceps, triceps or abs.
Instead, perform full-body exercises that include your target area, such as pushups, bench presses, clean and jerks and the plank for core work.
2. Going through the motions —It’s important to concentrate while weight training or even doing cardio and talking on a phone is not going to help one focus. Lifters should focus on their breathing and form and avoid other distractions.
3. Breaking too long — It’s important to rest between sets, especially if they’re overly intense.
However, a 5-10 minute rest during which you go to the drinking fountain twice and shoot the breeze with others in the gym isn’t going to cut it. Limit rest periods to 1 1-2 minutes.
4. Low-impact cardio — Avoid trudging along at the same slow pace for 20- , 30-minute periods – often on what’s called the “fat burning” – setting on treadmills and ellipticals.
You’ll get a lot more from your time by increasing the speed and-or resistance and doing interval workouts in which you bump up the effort level for 3-4 minutes, back off for 1-2 and repeat the process.
5. Poor planning — If you don’t schedule in a solid time slot in your day to work out, the odds really go up that you’ll get busy with other stuff and put it off or shortchange your session.
Also, if you don’t have a workout plan to follow, you’ll be less focused once you’re at the gym.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at