By Jason Dobson, certified personal and group trainer
All too often, people equate the word “workout” with “tedious,” “boring,” or “monotonous.” And that’s too bad—because if I could give everyone one piece of advice, it would be this: “You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get the results you want.”
Here’s what is required, though: You have to have fun. If you don’t like your workout, you won’t be able to maintain it. Luckily, at my gym—and many other fitness centers around the country—trainers know this. They’ll help you find a plan you love, and they’ll help you fit it into the time you have.
Want more ways to make the most out of your routine? Check out these tips:
Skip The Cardio
Or at least save it for the end of your workout. I see a lot of people spending 30 minutes to an hour on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. And while those are great ways to boost your stamina and endurance, you can burn more calories by doing resistance training instead. So don’t shy away from weights—once your start using them, you’ll see huge results. Then, if you want to hop on the treadmill, go for it—but consider it icing on the cake.
Use Hand Weights
You don’t need to bench your body weight for 100 reps to see results. If you want to lose pounds, a short, focused, intense workout is all you need. You can do this by performing total-body, 3-dimensional exercises. For example, do dumbbell alternating leg lunges, quickly followed by shoulder presses. Or, try dumbbell squats with calf raises followed by bicep curls.
You don’t have to rest during your “rest periods.” (Unless you really do need the break.) Instead, try performing some pushups, jump squats, or high knees in between sets. Doing so increases the intensity of your workout—sure, you’ll be tired, but you’ll also burn more calories in less time than you ever thought possible.
Jason Dobson is a certified personal and group trainer. He is also the fitness director of Island Gym, in New Jersey. He worked with the Avagliano family during the first two months of our challenge.
Now that you’re striving for 10,000 steps a day and walking regularly, you may want to give your workout a little boost. Easy moves–like knee lifts or arm pumps–can turn a simple stroll into a power walk or be used as warm-ups before you get going. See all our beginner power walking exercises here.
What’s your favorite power walk move? Tell us in the comments below.