It’s October, which means that, at long last, it’s finally the lead up to Christmas – quite possibly one of the most exciting, but also one of the busiest times of the year.

With endless to-do lists, social commitments and a hefty workload to contend with, getting in a good training session can be a massive struggle. Who has time to spend hours in the gym when there are halloween parties to plan, and Christmas presents to buy?

Luckily, here at Health Greatness, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you have a speedy, but super-successful workout.  

Before:

1) Plan

It seems obvious, but so many people skip this uber-important stage of working out. Make sure you have a list of exercises in your head that you want to complete in your session before you arrive at the gym, including number of sets, number of reps and workload. Ideally, it is good to have a few back-ups as well, just in case the machines or weights that you want to use are already taken. This will give you focus throughout your session and help to avoid that “deer in the headlights” look when you step onto the gym floor.

2) Warm Up on the way

Driving to the gym might seem like the quicker way of doing things, but actually it’s ten times more efficient to walk, jog, run or cycle instead of taking the car. Although the travel time might be slightly longer, the body will be in a much better state of readiness to exercise because the muscles will already be warm and the heart-rate increased. This means that you can jump right into your session.

3) Leave your Phone at Home

Phones are a ready-made distraction. Social media, funny videos, texting and taking selfies don’t help run that extra mile, hit that PB or smash that ab-routine. So leave it at home and spend every minute of your workout focused on working out.

During

4) Superset 

Supersets during a session. They involve doing two different exercises back to back before resting. Any two exercises can be chosen, working either the same muscle group or opposing muscle pairs. It basically means you’re doing double the work in pretty much the same amount of time.

5) Check Your Rest 

Rest periods between sets are really important, and the length of your rest will depend on what sort of training is taking place. Strength training requires approximately 3-4 minutes rest between sets, so if you’re short on time try training endurance instead, which only calls for a 30-60 second rest period. Most of all, make sure you actually count it, don’t get distracted and end up spending ten minutes daydreaming…

After

6) Cool Down 

Too many people rush out of the gym at the end of their session or class, desperate to get back to work, or get home for dinner. Who can blame them? But cooling down at the end of every workout will actually increase your exercise efficiency, even if you do have to spend that extra 5-10 minutes in the gym. This is because an effective cool down reduces risk of injury and encourages quicker recovery, which means that instead of struggling, taking half an hour to walk up a flight of stairs the next day, you’ll be full of energy and ready for your next session!