Last night, I was in a hurry to get in some gym time before we went and took center stage.  Travis usually walks through the door around 5:15, our gym is 10 minutes away (so 20 minute round trip), which left me with about 45 minutes of time to get in a full body workout!  In a hurry?  Yes.  Worth the trouble?  Absolutely!

Any longer than an hour lifting weights is a waste of time.  Let me say that again:  you’re wasting your precious time when you turn into a gym rat.  Time that could be spent on Facebook or Twitter or if you’re like me, polishing your trophies.

Numerous studies agree with this view.  According to the NASM, “training programs that exceed 60 minutes are associated with rapidly declining energy levels.  This causes alterations in hormonal and immune system responses that can have a negative effect on a training program”.  In fact, you can see significant improvement in your strength with just two or three 20- or 30-minute weight training sessions a week (source).  I know for me, I’m much more likely to stick with something that I can still do even when I’m short on time.  Or need to “become one” with Dorothy.  (I’m a shoo-in for that part, btw).

I’ll admit, there are some days when I workout twice, cardio in the morning and weight training at night.  I would NEVER lift twice in a day, or on consecutive days, because that wouldn’t allow my body to repair the muscle tissue that I’ve broken through lifting.

One of my favorite ways to get a great lifting workout when I’m rushed – CIRCUIT TRAINING!!  Circuit training consists of a series of resistance training exercises that you perform, one right after the other, with little to no rest.  I like to have active rest in almost any lifting workout I do.  And you’ll want to make sure you do an upper body move, followed by a lower body move, so you’re allowing different muscle groups to rest.

Here’s how it went down last night:

  • 5 minute warmup – StairMaster – Level 13
  • 10 minutes of core work


  • Ball Dumbbell Chest Press
    • 15 reps, 30# each hand
  • Lunge
    • 20 reps, 10# each hand
  • Lat Pulldown
    • 15 reps, 80#
  • Plie Squat
    • 15 reps, 35#
  • Seated Row
    • 12 reps, 80#
  • Woodchop Throw
    • 10 reps each side, 15#
  • Hammer Curl
    • 15 reps, 15# each hand
  • Leg Extension
    • 15 reps, 75#
  • Tricep Kickback
    • 12 reps each arm, 12#
  • Overhead Press
    • 15 reps, 20# each hand
  • Repeat circuit 2-3X through.  Active rest in between circuits.

Last night, I only had enough time to go through the circuit twice but I usually like to do it three times through.  My active rest is typically jump rope, high knees, prisoner squats or high kicks.  Just something to keep my heart rate up.  Pull out your wallet sized photo of Ryan Reynolds.  That should do the trick.

I’m now on my way to go interview for a personal training/fitness class instructor position at our local fitness club.  If I get the position, it’ll mean a free membership and also teaching a 6AM Bootcamp class.  I’m hoping I can convince them that I can function that early.

Or maybe I’ll just sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow“.  That’ll wow ’em!


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  1. Oooh good luck with the job! We have a free gym membership because Meeker is a personal trainer. It rocks. Also, lifting heavy weights for a short amount of time is just my style…I couldn’t imagine lifting for over an hour. Boring.