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How to make 20 minutes at the gym really count

I hadn´t planned to already write another article on the subject of minimal save workout sessions – in other words, workouts that can be performed in under 15 minutes those days when the circumstances doesn´t allow for more time at the gym – but today I found myself improvising a minimal workout session which I´d like to share with you in order to underline how intensity can be used as a time saver.

Before I give you the details of today I’d like to mention once more that earlier I published part 1-3 of a series of articles, all containing different examples of minimal workouts that will ensure that you don’t lose muscle during periods of less workout volume. You might even develop from these kinds of minimal efforts – they are a great way to change things up.

In those articles I wrote about, in order: 1. A special kind of push ups workout routine. 2. A sprint workout. 3. A core workout.

All these can be performed outside of the gym. In the case of no 2 – the sprint session – it must be performed outside the gym (a treadmill is, in my opinion, not suitable for true sprinting, for obvious reasons).

Today’s minimalistic save workout was performed at the gym. I was there, but I only had 20 minutes. I wanted to train back, shoulders and forearms. It went as follows:

Chins 3x6-12

Seated shoulder presses with dumbbells, 3x8-12

Seated bent-over lateral raises, 3x8-12

Forearm curls with dumbbell, 3x8-12

That was it. Not much by the look of it. But in order to make it count I made sure to keep the intensity really high. When performing the chins I had rest intervals of only 20 seconds – and the following three exercises were performed in a non stop cycle: presses, raises, curls, presses, raises, and so on – without any rest at all in between the 9 sets.

9 sets with decent weights will go a long way when they are performed like this, with no rest and 8-12 reps/set.

As I said to begin with, this session underlined for me how I can use intensity as a quality-increasing factor and a time saver when the circumstances forces me to keep things brief at the gym.

/Daniel Schou

Daniel Schou Intensity as a time savor

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