Being short on time, or at least the perception of being short on time, is often the number one reason people don't work out.
I could give you some spiel about 'if something is that important you'll make time', but I'm going to save it.
See, when people think about working out, they think about laborious workout sessions consisting of miles upon miles of cardio or gruelling weight sessions.
It doesn't have to be like that though. Exercise doesn't have set time boundaries, it doesn't have to have a set structure - you can be in and out in 30 minutes if you're training intensely enough.
Maybe you are physically too busy to fit in a work out, or maybe you're just looking to fit in shorter workout sessions without sacrificing results too much - what can you do to save some precious time in the gym?
#1 - Control Rest Times
Being strict with your rest times will ensure that you're not wasting time whilst you're in the gym.
How many times have you seen someone whip out their phone after doing a set and continue to spend two minutes on Facebook or Instagram. Alternatively they sit and chat to a mate for five minutes.
Depending on your goals you may not look to incorporate much rest time in to your workout at all. If you are looking to increase strength or power than rest times of 2-5 minutes will be an essential part of your training. However, if you're looking to simply increase calorie burn, you ideally want to be moving as much as possible without effecting performance, so rest times of 15-45 seconds are absolutely fine!
Alternatively you might take no rest in between two exercises - something known as a superset.
#2 - Focus on Compound Movements
Compound movements work multiple muscles at the same time and therefore are a time efficient choice when compared to isolation movements.
More muscles working means that you are going to get a better response from these muscles in terms of strength and growth (as long as your load and and rep ranges are correct) - for example in a squat your quads, hamstrings, glutes and core are all working at various stages of the move.
From a weight loss perspective, more muscles moving means more calories being expended which is obviously the goal with weight loss in mind.
#3 - Utilise Minimum Equipment
Find one or two pieces of equipment and use just those for the whole of you workout.
It could be a dumbbell, kettlebell, cable stack or a barbell - as seen in this video:
Using minimal equipment means that there is no need to keep swapping between machines or waiting for other people which saves precious time over the course of a full session.
#4 - Go with a plan
Planning what you're going to do during your workout means you go in to the gym knowing what you're doing, without standing there thinking 'Errrrr.... what should I do next'
When it comes to planning, be sure to plan alternative exercises just in case there is limited space or equipment. For example if you're planning to do barbell bench press and it's being used you could switch it for a dumbbell chest press from the floor, or even push ups if there's no dumbbells.
So, if you're are hard pushed for time, or putting off training because you think it's going to take too much time - it doesn't have to!
Try one or two of the tricks from the list above and transform your workouts.
And remember - 20 minutes is better than 0 minutes!