Gym loiterers are an absolutely fascinating species. Predominately of the male variety (though I have seen female loiterers), this subspecies considers the gym a social excursion more than a physical experience.
These men and women spend hours of free time kibitzing in the sweaty confines of a fitness facility, bending the ear of anyone ( typically uninterested members but occasionally staff) unlucky enough to be without earbuds. Occasionally they’ll work in a set of actual exercise, one which doesn’t involve the flexing of the jaw.
Grab an application, scratch down your social and slip on a corporate approved polo. You might as well get paid for all the hours your logging, fool.
Fuck that. I want to get in and out of fitness hell as quick as possible and so do you. Get in. Get moving. Get the hell out. But even though you’ve been hitting it hard for years, there are still simple little activities sucking up your gym time. The extra gym time is impeding on your important “me” time. You need to slice and dice your workout time the same way you’re trying to cut up your body.
Here are four stupidly simple actions that will speed up your workout time — five if you count “avoid the loiterers at all costs” but that suggestion seems like a given at this point in the piece.
Cut Workout Time In Half
Step #1 — LAY IT OUT
Studies suggest that morning is the optimal time for exercise. If you’re a morning person, never wake up for the gym without planning out what you’re going to wear and what you’re going to bring along. This isn’t for fashion purposes — though it’s never a bad idea to look at least semi-human even in the early morning hours — but more for time.
Put out a shirt, shorts, socks, clean drawers and sneakers. Put a bottle of water, a towel and your earphones next to your cell phone or keys.
Wake up, stretch, chug some water, toss on the gym gear laid out the night before and get your ass to the gym. The quicker you’re inside the place, the quicker you’re outside when it’s over.
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Step #2 — LOCK IT UP
You’re at the gym in record time. You’re tossing your stuff in a locker. Before you shut the door (AND ALWAYS LOCK UP YOUR SHIT) take a second to think about your cell phone. Do you really need it?
If the answer is easy, these are usually the reasons:
1) I listen to music/podcasts
2) I use it to track my workout
3) I use it to check my workout plan
4) I just like having it with me in case of emergency like phone calls and @ replies from people on Twitter I’ve never met
And to those I give the answers:
1) Buy an iPod nano
2) Flex the muscle called your memory
3) Write it down with paper and pen
4) Detach from the world for 45 minutes. You won’t miss much, I promise.
If you’re constantly checking your phone for countless (and usually pointless) reasons it’s adding time to your workouts. Want to get more from your workouts? Keep the breaks to a minimum and keep the heart going. You can crush an hour workout down to barely a half hour and get on with your life.
Step #3 — HAVE A PLAN
Imagine, the website dedicated to a plan of attack is suggesting GETTING A PLAN OF ATTACK. Fascinating. If you read the last suggestion, scanned over excuse number three for having a cell phone during your workout and thought “who uses a workout plan?” then I feel incredibly sorry for you and your body.
Don’t EVER enter the gym without a strategy. And by strategy I don’t mean “ehhh, I think I’ll do biceps and back today” because COME ON! You should know exactly what you’re going to do in the gym before even stepping foot inside those walls. If it’s biceps and back, know EXACTLY which exercises you’re going to do. Don’t wander and ponder.
Step #4 — JUST LEAVE
I’m just as guilty of this last habit but I’ve been slowly training myself to break myself of it in an effort to spend more time doing things I love and not just the things I have to do.
Your workout is complete. You hit everything on the plan. You feel pretty good, but, there’s this nagging feeling that you just haven’t done enough. Maybe you’ve lost the pump in your biceps so one more set of curls or another few sets of crunches wouldn’t hurt, right?
I’m about to quote a Disney tune, fair warning. Just be glad I’m not going to sing it but….
Let it go. You’re done. Good job. Grab your stuff and go live a life. Say goodbye to the gym rat bending the ear of everyone behind the counter on the way out. Tell him you’ll see him tomorrow. You’ll be back. So will he.
Just kidding. He never leaves. HE NEVER LEAVES!