I actually still work out this way.
The magic will be when I get more consistent with my workouts, but that’s another post.
This is how I planned (and plan) my fitness routine and workouts to lose 45 pounds in 4 months.
I am currently using this same routine and schedule to reach my current weight loss goal of 50 pounds.
Below, I’ve also included ways I get more out of the gym during my workouts.
Go during a time when there’s less people, more space
I like to go to the gym when I don’t have to wait for a machine, weight, or attachment.
There’s nobody I have to dodge or wait to pass or finish their exercise so I could start mine.
I’m not feeling surrounded, crowded, or “tired” from all the extra bodies around. It’s a quieter, calmer time.
Not that I hate when the gym is super busy and avoid these times at all cost. Sometimes, I do go (if I MUST) during busy hours. My secret to getting in and getting the most done, however, has been to avoid the crowd.
I get to the gym by 4 am. At the crack of crack of dawn. When most people in there are dead ass serious about their workouts.
There’s more space to workout, of course. I can hold on to equipment for a circuit without someone needing the same equipment. And there’s less hustling and bustling around.
And did I mention that the people are serious?!
There’s just something so productive about working out around a bunch of other serious, early morning lifters that makes my workouts pretty sweet. We get out of each other’s way and limit conversation. It’s nice.
Going early has saved me time, allowed me to get more done since I can work with more equipment, and has also helped me really get the most out of my workout.
- Around 9 to 10 am
- After 12 pm until 3 pm
- 9 pm and later (I think, I’ve actually only been to the gym around this time a few times. It looked pretty thin in there.)
- Friday evenings
- Saturday early mornings – 12 am and 7 am
- Sundays seem pretty relaxed all day (might depend on where you live though)
Show up knowing what I will be doing
Showing up to the gym with a plan is crucial.
It allows me to go right where I need to go, gather any equipment I need for my circuit workout for the day, and get right to it.
I used to show up without a plan for specific exercises, but I knew exactly what body group I was doing on that day.
For example, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are my legs and butt days while Tuesdays are dedicated to back and arms, Thursdays are for chest and shoulders, and Saturdays are for legs and abs with long-ish cardio.
Then I know what my routine is when I get to the gym. I start with 10 minutes warm up, then do a circuit of 3 to 5 exercises (if I have more time, I’ll add a second circuit of 2 to 3 exercises), and I end with 20 mins of HIIT cardio.
Being that I’ve been lifting weights for some time, it was easy for me to go into the gym and know what exercises I should do for that day.
Now I have a plan of exactly what exercises I need to be doing, how many sets, and how many reps thanks to my ex which happens to be a personal trainer and body building champion. (Not that I’m bragging because I’m so not. lol)
I think he’s trying to get on my good side so I asked him for one of his training plans that he usually charges $150 for.
He put together a plan that focuses on building my legs and butt (because I like my legs thick) but will still give me sexy arms and back, cute shoulders, and a tight waist. I like it.
Showing up with a clear plan of what I will be doing has made my time at the gym pretty damn productive.
Batch body groups onto the same days
So… Like I’ve mentioned above, I batch body groups onto the same days.
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are butt and legs days, Tuesdays are for back and arms, Thursdays are for chest and shoulders, and Saturdays are legs and abs… and a long-ish cardo session if I’m in the mood.
Imagine having to do legs one day, abs the next, chest the following and so on. That even sounds confusing and like it takes way more time during the week.
I feel like I wouldn’t even get done what all needs to get done in a week at the gym.
Now, if you already workout that way, and it’s working just fine for you, don’t mind me.
What I have found by batching body groups onto the same days and having themed days at the gym is I save plenty of time, get more out of my workout since I’m working body groups that function together, and I have a more intense workout.
It’s also much more focused and easier to plan.
Group exercises into circuits
The fourth way I plan my fitness routine to get the most done during my session is put my exercises into circuits.
This looks like:
- Circuit 1: 3 sets – 12 reps
- Dumbbell lounges
- Dumbbell step ups
- Circuit 2: 3 sets – 12 reps
- Romanian deadlifts
Instead of finishing 3 sets of squats before moving on to the dumbbell lounges, I work all the exercises in 1 set.
On leg days, it takes me about 45 minutes to an hour and half, sometimes 2 hours, to complete my circuits. On upper body days, it’ll take me less than 45 minutes and sometimes as short as 20 minutes.
Working out in circuits saves me time by helping me get and stay focused without having to move to a new machine or grab new weights for a different exercise. I get started on a set with everything I need.
Set up my equipment before getting started
This helps me save hella time at the gym.
I’m not walking around looking for weights at all once I get started on a circuit.
Because I go to the gym knowing what I will be doing that day, I also know what equipment I will need and gather accordingly.
And sense there aren’t many people there, I don’t have to worry about hoarding equipment from others.
Setting up before I start makes the workout go by faster by cutting out the fluff of walking to the weight and walking it back.
It likely makes my workouts so productive because it keeps me focused to have everything I need for the circuit in one place.
Give it a try if you find yourself running around the gym looking for stuff.
Do HIIT cardio after I finish lifting
I also incorporated high intensity interval training for my cardio sessions.
For me, they’re easier to do, I get more of a workout out of them, and they take less time.
It’s a workout that takes less time, but has more benefits and is more challenging.
Incorporating HIIT cardio has definitely helped me get more done in less time.
Hope you’re able to find some pointers and tips from my routine.
My workouts work for me because they are intense, pack a lot of work into a short period of time, and are organized in a way that help me achieve my transformation goals.
Please let me know if you’ve got any questions and I’d love to know what has worked well for you in the gym.