When it comes to the gym, more is not necessarily better. For a long time, many people thought that the more workouts they could fit into a week, the more fit and strong they would be. But as time went on, this theory was proven to be untrue. There is good news for those of us who want to maximize our time at the gym because of a busy schedule: Fewer workouts can mean better results. Cardio, for example, was thought to be an area where more is better regarding fat-burning.

However, as exercise science progressed, it became clear that high intensity interval training is often more effective than being on the treadmill for an hour. Furthermore, creating a workout regimen of weight-lifting and really shortening the time given to cardio generally improves fat-burning results at the gym.

Let’s Talk About Weight-Lifting

To make the most of your time at the gym, you want to make sure you have exercises that stimulate the most muscle growth. That means compound exercises that hit an entire chain of muscles as opposed to just isolating one or two. For example: Concentrate on pull-ups rather than lateral pull-downs. A good pull-up session will work a large chain of muscles including abdominals. Thus, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. Another example would be to use dumbbells for your bench press instead of using a bar. The balance necessary for a bench press using dumbbells with good form is much greater than using a bar and will stimulate more muscle growth.

Another great example for maximizing time in the gym has been mentioned many times by the great efficiency expert, Tim Ferriss. He’s said in interviews that he has seen incredible weight loss results using kettlebell swings for a total of 20-40 minutes per week! That’s a lot less time than many people would think for potentially fantastic results.

It’s Not All About the Workout

But maximizing your time at the gym is not all about the workout. What you eat before you work out, as well as supplements, is just as important as the workout itself. Many trainers recommend eating a lot of protein about 45 minutes before the workout to build muscle. Specifically, whey protein can be an excellent option for pre-workout fuel.

One final tip: Leave the addictive cellphone in your locker! If you are using an app to keep track of your workout results, then you can put the phone in airplane mode.

These tips will help you make the most of your time at the gym. Remember, the person who spends the most time at the gym does not always achieve the best results! Sometimes, it is the exact opposite. Less time, spent wisely, can yield more impressive results for muscle growth and/or fat loss.