6 Tips to Help You Spend Less Time Exercising While Getting Better Results - Diligent Fitness

6 Tips to Help You Spend Less Time Exercising While Getting Better Results

9th October 2017 by Kieran Igwe Exercise 0 comments

Part of my job as a fitness pro is helping people figure out where its all gone wrong for them (exercise-wise) in the past.

Not to rub their nose in it.

But to help them avoid making the same mistake in the future.

One of the most common mistakes people discover is that they’ve over committed early on.

When they’re motivated they try to do too much. Getting to the gym most days seems okay. And it’s all good while the stars align.

But what happens when the kids are ill? Or work needs you to stay late? Or when your motivation takes a nosedive?

What then?

Five days a week in the gym? Forget about it.

Give yourself a break

When you over commit you put a huge amount of pressure on yourself.

Which often leads to beating yourself up for not achieving something that was never realistic in the first place.

I want to encourage you to adopt a different approach.

Commit to less

Being successful with your health and fitness long-term is about working smarter with the time you have.

And that’s what I’d like to share with you in today’s post;

6 tips you can use to spend less time exercising while getting better results.

1 – Set a limit on your exercise time

The key to being efficient with your exercise is to set a limit for how long you’re going to train. And keep it short.

It’ll force you to consider what’s the best use of your time.

I like 20 mins as a starting point. It’s not a barrier to getting started. And you can always build on that overtime… but only if you need to.

The key to efficient workouts is what happens AFTER the session.

Let me explain

We need what you do in the 20 minutes to provide a strong enough stimulus that your body goes about making progressive adaptations in the hours and days following.

And the best form of exercise to do this…

2 – Resistance Training: make it a priority

Resistance training (lifting weights) not only impacts your body during a workout. But done correctly it effects your body for a few days following.

When you lift weights you’re causing micro damage to the muscle. After a session, your body goes to work on repairing the tissue, making it stronger for next time.

Workout, recover, repeat

This repair process takes energy and nutrients. Which means your body burns more calories in the hours following the workout.

But there’s a caveat to this; you need to earn that extra calorie burn by taking your muscles beyond what they’re normally capable of.

Here’s how;

3 – Focus on working large muscle groups

There are certain exercises that are more taxing – and therefore more efficient than others.

If you’re short of time focus on the movements which utilise the most amount of muscle in the shortest period of time.

Do this regularly and you can cut your workout time in half.

At Diligent Fitness personal training we break it into 5 key moves to focus on;

1 – Bend (like a deadlift)
2 – Squat (like a… well, squat)
3 – Push (like a push up)
4 – Pull (like a seated row)
5 – Core (like plank)

Once you’re working big muscle groups together the next step is to…

4 – Keep your rest periods short

When you jump straight from one exercise to another you not only keep your muscles working, but you get your heart and lungs working hard to help you recover too.

This is just one way you can improve your cardio fitness using resistance training. And it’ll help keep the time of your workouts down to a minimum.

5 – Progress a little each week

Your body gets used to the intensity of the workout, which means once it has adapted in no longer needs to change.

While adding more exercise is one option, it’s not always practical (or necessary).

We’re pressed for time as it is. And adding more exercise time makes our workouts more of a burden and less achievable.

The beauty of resistance training is we can increase the intensity by gradually upping the weights.

This doesn’t take any more time, but it continues giving your body a strong enough stimulus to have to keep getting fitter and stronger.

6 – Finish up with short bursts of intervals

If we’re tight for time and the goal is to change our body and improve our fitness in a meaningful way then running at the same speed for 20 minutes or more perhaps is NOT the best use of time.

Instead, we can get a really good training effect by doing a burst of hard work, followed by a period of recovery (AKA interval training).

Any equipment can be used for interval training. At DF we prefer to use low impact things like battling ropes, spin bike sprints and mountain climbers to keep injury risk as low as possible (most of us aren’t 20 year old anymore, so we need to consider what’s appropriate for our body to avoid injury).

What does a sample interval training session look like?

Complete a 30 second burst of work. Rest for 30-60 seconds then repeat 2 to 3 times.

A few rounds is usually enough to elevate your metabolism and keep you burning calories for several hours following your workout.


In a world where we have more demands on our time than ever before it’s important to know how to get the most from any time you spend exercising. My top 6 tips are

  1. Set a limit on your exercise time (forces you to stick to whats most effective)
  2. Use resistance training (keeps your body working after your workouts too)
  3. Work large muscle groups (focusing on the 5 main movements)
  4. Keep rest periods short (to give your heart and lungs a workout too)
  5. Progress a little each week (to keep your body changing)
  6. Perform short intervals (to burn a few extra calories)

Want some help getting your health and fitness on track?
Call us on 07766 808553 or Click the ‘request more info’ button below to request a Personal Fitness Consultation and let’s chat 🙂

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