How to Get the Most Bang for Your Workout Buck

One of the most common reasons I hear for skipping out on workouts is lack of time. I get it. Life is tough to juggle. We have families to care and provide for, work commitments and obligations, and it’s just easier to push aside anything that’s not required. I understand. I will spare you any soapbox antics concerning the fact that we all have 24 hours in a day and what’s your excuse yada, yada, yada, because I know we all have different lives. My 24 hours doesn’t look like your 24 hours, nor yours hers. My goal here today is to encourage you to build a habit of getting in more physical activity and share some tips on how to get the most bang for your fitness buck if you’re crunched for time.

Boot Camp Training Workouts: If I could only do one type of training for the rest of my

rope jumping ropes human training
Boot camp training provides circuit style coaching with minimal use of equipment.

life, besides running of course, it would definitely be boot camp-ish circuit style workouts. Stacked up against other styles of cardio, this option, in my opinion, will give you the most thorough and well-balanced workout. For example, you’re getting a great mix of cardio and resistance training in one workout, you’re constantly challenging your body in new and different ways to avoid plateaus, and the daily variety makes boredom a non-issue. If you prefer a fast-paced, blood-pumping kind of workout, boot camp is the way to go. Each session ranges from 30 minutes to an hour and the transitions make the time fly by. In addition, the intensity of these classes is best suited for every other day which leaves three or so days for rest and/or less intense workouts

I’ve seen more and more of these types of gyms opening up all over the place and a quick Google, Facebook, or Instagram search should put you in touch with your nearest local options.

Vertical Loading: I’m a gym rat. There’s something about the fluorescent lights,

man in red and black shorts
Vertical loading allows for a full body workout in minimal time.

mirrored walls, rows of equipment, and the clanging and banging of weights as folks grunt through their last few reps that gets my adrenaline pumping. If you love a “traditional” gym style of training, then vertical loading is for you.

Let’s face it, most of us don’t have time to dedicate six different training days to one specific muscle group. In essence, vertical loading is also a type of “circuit” training in that you’re moving from exercise to exercise with minimal rest in between. The minimal rest here is what saves us time.  We no longer do a round of reps, rest, then another, rest, then another, but we are moving on to a different muscle group while resting another. This allows us to run through a full-body workout in a much more time efficient manner. So instead of doing bicep curls for three sets of 12 with a 45 second rest between, our workout would look more like this:

  1. Total body move
  2. Chest
  3. Back
  4. Shoulders
  5. Biceps
  6. Triceps
  7. Legs
  8. Repeat 2-3x

If you move through this circuit in roughly five or six minutes and repeat for a few rounds, you’ve hit all of your major muscle groups in less than 30 minutes.  This training method allows you to hit the weights without “wasting” time on rest intervals.

HIIT and Interval Training: HIIT or, high intensity interval training, is the new black! In a nutshell, HIIT training involves giving maximal effort for a specified interval then brining your hear rate down with a working recovery. This may look like Tabata training, speedwork at the track, or even something as simple as alternating the resistance and/or speed on an elliptical machine or treadmill. You work hard, you rest, you repeat. This designs allows you to maximize fat and calories burned in a shorter interval. These are great between less intense gym days, power walking or jogging, or thrown in here or there to really train in more intense heartrate zones one or two days per week.


There are a thousand different ways to get your workout in these days. I shared the ideas above because when I don’t have time, these are the options I draw from. I’d love to hear your recommendations as well. How do you squeeze in your training when life gets busy?

Love and Peace,


2 thoughts on “How to Get the Most Bang for Your Workout Buck”

  1. Great Article Joi!

    Personally I try to spend about 1.5-2 hours in the gym for my routine. I take plenty of rest and allow my muscles to recuperate in between sets, but some days life hits. These days I drop my rest times to less than 20 seconds and superset all my exercises. I can usually complete a 2 hour session in less than an hour, but I will be absolutely floored!


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