All of us are always trying to find ways to make our lives easier. Whether it’s a robotic vacuum cleaner, a self stirring mug or twirling spaghetti fork, we have designed myriad gadgets to save time or cut down on the hassle.
The problem with us folk who like to lift or run our way through the day, is that there are very few time saving, hassle slashing gadgets around, if it all.
But there are plenty of things you can do to make the most of your time on this earth, and by that I mean of course the time you spend staying in shape.
Let’s start with your music.
1. Only make your playlist as long as your workout
Popular culture has largely led us to believe that music is good for you, and good for you workout. Some studies have shown that music can improve your workouts, and some have shown the effects to be negligible. Either way, if you make a playlist that is about the same length of time that you plan to workout for, then you won’t have to clockwatch. We made a rock workout playlist that is well worth looking at!
2. Turn your workout into a game
If you can find an app to gamify your workout then half of the work is done. Zombies, Run! is a particular favourite, and in it, you hear music, recordings and learn about what “happened” as you become runner number 5 in a post-apocalyptic world. If lifting is more your thing, then of course you have the PBs to look for. But have a look at pyramid training, it’s a great way to gamify things.
3. Always have a spare kit ready
My older brother once told me that Prince always had his amps on, so he could play guitar at the drop of a plectrum. Though I am not 100% if this is true, the same can be said for your training. Always have a spare bag of kit ready, whether that’s in your porch or in your boot. If you are stuck for time, or have a sudden inclination to exercise, nothing can get in the way. Make sure to chuck in a protein flapjack for an on the go hit of aminos too!
4. Sleep in your workout gear for early morning sessions
Whether you wear super hi-tech, designer gear, or something more in line with the clothes I wear for decorating, kip in them. You are just going to make them sweaty in the morning anyway. This will save you a bit of time in the morning, and it’s one less thing to worry about.
5. Overnight oats are king
Overnight oats should be a regular part of your evening routine. They’re healthy, you can throw in protein powder if you like and they save you a big whack of time in the morning. Breakfast is normally the hardest meal to do right, so take the hassle out of it with some oaty goodness!
6. Embrace the toss and wash
An in office thing to do, and one that sounds a bit odd to the uninitiated, but why bother mixing your creatine powder into a protein shake or a drink when there is a simpler way? Just get a teaspoon of creatine powder and a glass of drink, then almost at the same time, place the spoon in your mouth, tip out the powder and neck the drink. Time saved, creatine consumed.
7. Lunge between stations
You will look like a grade A moron, but one day, everyone will be doing it, and you can go all hipster on them and say you did it first. Lunging between sets is a great way to keep your heart rate up and engage muscles.
8. Sunday is the new Monday
Sunday is normally the busiest day in the gym, and it’s also the day where the majority of people go back to work, and therefore just want to go home, watch Frank Underwood be a bastard in House of Cards and eat a big plate of sausages. So cut through the business and go around the lethargy of a Monday by doing the tough stuff on a Sunday. Less people means you can do it quicker, and then you can justifiably make Monday your rest day. Sausages and Netflix are optional.
9. Small plates rule
After a seriously big weight, say your new PB, lifting that 25kg plate is difficult. Your arms are wobbling like Mr Tickle standing on a washing machine and all energy seems to have abandoned you. So use more small weight plates to make loading and unloading easier. Likewise, if you are cutting, use smaller plates to help regulate your portion size.
10. Think about getting a home gym
We covered in detail how to make your own home gym, and though this is possibly the least “hackiest” of our hacks, it is a great way to ensure you get more done. No commute, no etiquette to worry about, no other pesky people, just you and your gym.
Hack at us
Can you think of any time saving, muscle enhancing gym hacks that we missed? Let us know!