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I don't have time to workout

Are you one of those people who lead a very busy life? Do you have a job that demands 50+ hours a week? Or possibly demanding kids that take up much of your time? Finding the time for exercise is one of the most common excuses when it comes to not reaching your health and fitness goals. Squeezing in just 30 minutes of exercise 2-3x per week can get you in great shape giving you that toned and lean look most crave.

Here are 4 ways to make the most of your time when working out in just 30 minutes!

Compound Exercises

Whether your workouts are aerobic or resistance training orientated, to get the most out of your time you should be doing compound exercises. These are all the multi-joint movement exercises that will engage the most muscles. For strength training these include movements such as squats, bench press, deadlift and barbell rows. For more HIIT based training this may include movements such as burpees, squats and press ups.

Focussing on the small stuff will likely take you far longer to reach your weight loss/ muscle gain goals. The biggest culprit exercises include bicep curls and various forms of sit ups which people tend to think will ‘tone’ the stomach area.


In order to be efficient with your cardio training in a short space of time you will need to do some form of interval training. This is basically periods of high intensity exercise followed by periods of low intensity (sometimes just rest). The intervals of high intensity can include multiple exercises. An example may be 10 burpess followed by battle ropes for 15 seconds. You can start with high/low intensity ratio of 1:2 if you’re a beginner and gradually decrease rest intervals until they are the same length as your high intensity periods e.g. 45 seconds of high intensity followed by 45 seconds of low intensity. As you become more advanced you can bring the rest intervals down further so you are resting even less time to increase difficulty.

The great thing about HIIT is that it can be applied to nearly any exercise. Enjoy doing resistance training and want to lean out and lose a few kilos? Do some barbell complexes. Enjoy more aerobic style training? Do various forms of agility and sprint training that you enjoy. Like doing boxing style and skipping ? Then stick to that!

This is a far more time efficient method when compared to lower intensity cardio training jogging. It will burn more calories during and after workouts.

Be sure to try it out!

Set Goals

Ensure that you set goals even when performing 30 minute exercise sessions. This will ensure that you are staying on track and will keep up your performance in the weeks ahead. Don’t pick an arbitrary goal that is not applicable to you, choose something that you can work towards.

Here is a good way to set a goal at the start of your training program. After you first session, pick something that you CAN’T do at the moment and work towards accomplishing it. It may be that you can’t perform a press up or a chin up and you work over the coming months to achieve this. This gives you great satisfaction when you achieve it and spurs you on to a bigger and better goal as you gain more confidence. Tangible goals like these will make a big difference in your journey and give you direction and purpose.

Consider having your goals around you all the time so you are constantly reminded of where you need to be. Notes on the fridge, white board or even your phone will ensure you never lose focus.


A very important factor when considering your training plan is your progression scheme. This is very important even during a 30 minute exercise session. Make sure your not just going through the motions and exercising for the sake of it during your sessions. Make sure that you are increasing difficulty over time, whether that’s increasing weight & repetitions, decreasing rest times or choosing more challenging exercises. Do this to make sure your body is adapting to a new stimulus.

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