Your Time in the Gym; Waste not, want not!


By Ryan Cairns

1One of the most common questions I get in the gym, is “How long should I work out for?” There are different answers to this question; It depends on the goal you are trying to achieve and how much time you actually have.

What I do see in the gym is people that work out way too long or people that don’t use their time wisely. You can get a great workout in as little as 20 minutes if it is done right.  Most people that go to gyms are trying to lose weight and build a little muscle tone. If you fall into this category then it’s simple, MOVE.

You should be doing lots of work with very short rests, trying to keep the heart rate up. Interval training is the best way to achieve the best results in little time. Interval training is the concept of doing hard work, near your max heart rate, for a set period of time and then rest or doing light work for a set period of time. If you are new to intervals trying doing 30 seconds hard with 1 min of rest. As you progress try to do 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off.  Eventually you will be able to do twice as much hard work as rest, so 30 seconds on with 15 sec rest.

Resistance training is very important as well. Full body circuits burn a lot of calories and help to build some lean muscle. A circuit usually involves 8-12 exercises done consecutively with a short rest  at the end.

So if you usually run on a treadmill for an hour, try this:

Warm-up for 5-10 mins (get sweaty).

Resistance training.
Do a full body circuit 3 times with a 30 second rest at the end of round of the circuit. (Use the machine circuit at the gym or try squats, lunges, stability ball hamstring curls, push-ups, db bent row, lat pulldown, shoulder  press, bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, sit-ups, russian twist, plank)


Pick a cardio machine (treadmill, bike, rower, elliptical).  Go hard for 30 seconds and rest for a minute. Repeat 8 times. If you need to rest through a hard set do it.

Cool down 5 mins.

This whole workout may take you 45 mins and be way more effective.  If you don’t have that much time, try doing the resistance training 3 days a week with cardio on the days off. That means you can get your  workout done in less than half hour a day.

In my next post, I’ll talk about weight training and supersets for guys (and girls) who don’t like to do cardio at all.

Yours in fitness and wellness,



  1. Great post! It sort of drives me crazy when I see people leisurely doing bicep curls while complaining to their friends about not seeing any difference. And cell phone talkers? Let’s not even go there. Do your work hard now and talk later in the same amount of time.

    Looking forward to the post on supersets! Do you like to do/recommend focusing on one body part for supersets, or do you train different parts?



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