As daily living becomes increasingly hectic, the more important it becomes for you to squeeze in a workout to rid yourself of pent up tension. A quick session in the gym will relieve stress, give you more energy and allow you to think more clearly. If you have 15, 20 minutes tops, you have time for one of my quick yet grueling workouts. Primarily consisting of compound movements, these workouts are designed to target both large and small muscle groups while keeping your heart rate elevated throughout. So, when time is short and you feel up to it, give these a try:
Chest, Delts and Tris - Go into the free-weight area and commandeer an incline bench. Grab the 15, 10, and 5-pound dumbbells. Perform a close-grip dumbbell press with the 15s. Work the muscle until exhaustion ever concentrating on controlling the resistance on the eccentric phase. After completing the final rep, without resting, perform a dumbbell fly. Again, work the muscle until exhaustion. After you execute the final rep, move right into a seated dumbbell press for the delts and then perform lateral raises.
Finish the routine with laying triceps extensions. Perform this routine four times and only take 30 seconds of rest in between cycles. If the resistance is too heavy, then drop the resistance when necessary to complete the routine. When your muscles begin to fatigue, never compromise form to grind out the final few reps. Instead, reduce the resistance and insist on impeccable form.
Back/ Biceps - Drag a flat bench into the area of your gym that contains the lat pull-down machine and the low-seated cable row. Bring the 15-pound and 10-pound dumbbells along too. Select moderate resistance and perform a lat pulldown until the muscle fatigues. Without resting, perform a seated cable row and again, work the muscle until exhaustion. Right after you complete the final rep of the seated cable row, then perform a pull-over with the 15-pound dumbbell.
When you get to the pullover, really concentrate on getting a good stretch on the lats. After performing the pull-over, perform one set of dumbbell curls for the biceps. Take only 30 seconds of rest in between each cycle. Complete the routine four times reducing the resistance where necessary to maintain proper form.
Legs - Get a medium size fitness ball and find wall in an area in the gym that is relatively uncongested. Perform ball squats until you cannot possibly eek out one more rep. Concentrate on driving through your heels on exertion and on the negative phase; drive your heels into the ground.
This will help you maintain continuous tension throughout the entire range of motion. Immediately after you complete your final rep, perform walking lunges. On the lunge, as you descend, concentrate on leaning back and really making the quads work.
After your final lunge, perform good-mornings using a wooden stick across your back. Concentrate on stretching out the hamstring on the negative phase and contracting your glutes on the concentric phase to return to the start position. When you cannot perform another good-morning, then move directly into a seated leg curl. Again, concentrate on form and maintaining continuous tension throughout the entire range of motion. Take only 30 seconds of rest in between each cycle. Perform this routine four times and drop set where necessary to complete the routine.
These workouts take fifteen or 20 minutes at the most. And, believe me, the world will not go into a holding pattern for these 15-or-20 minutes that you devote to your health and well being. Although they may sound easy, these workouts are designed to elevate your heart rate and keep it elevated throughout the entire workout and thus require substantial endurance. Don't let lack of time keep you away from the gym or otherwise cheat you out of a good workout. The next time that the world's demands threaten to keep you out of the gym, for 15-or-20 minutes, make yourself a priority and give one of these workouts a try!