Time Restricted Workouts

Ryan Heuser
You call that a squat?!?

Does your busy schedule leave you low on time? Well then we got a workout for you! Only an hour out of the day is needed to knock out six different lifts that will help keep you in shape, while you’re still able to accomplish your never ending list of tasks. The following 6 lifts are aimed at getting the most out of your time restrictions. The main theme of the follow lifts is the ability to get multiple muscles working together lifting heavy weights, with isolation at a minimum. Good form and technique is key to any workout, so make you’re able to perform the lift properly before getting into heavy lifting. NOTE: Make sure you have a spotter, as some of these lifts can be quite dangerous without one.

Bench Press Bench Press

(3 sets of 8 reps)

One of the best upper body lifts is the bench press. It’s great because it works a large mass of your muscles extremely hard, some of those muscles include the: triceps, anterior deltoids, pectoralis major and minor. Knowing that it seems obvious that benching does much more for the body than just simply pumping up the chest. Bench press is a relatively easy lift to master in terms of proper form, but of course the heavier the weight the more intense and difficult the lift becomes. If you plan on benching a large weight, I would recommend a lighter weight warm up to prepare your muscles and increase blood flow. You will lie face up on the bench and position yourself so that the bar is below your chin on the rack. A solid comfortable grip that is greater than shoulder width is optimal. Make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground and push or press the bar upwards off the rack. Bring the bar down steadily to your chest and push it back upwards until you can lock your elbows for repetition number one.

Variation(s): Incline bench press or dumbbell bench press (free weights)

Lat PulldownsLat Pulldowns

(3 sets of 10 reps)

Probably one of the most neglected areas of the body is the group of muscles that make up the back. A great way to get the back muscles ( specifically lats and traps) going is with some pulldowns. Proper technique will allow for the best use of  time when doing pulldowns. To perform a pulldown, you’ll want to be seated facing the machine with feet firmly planted on the ground. Grab the bar with a firm grip just outside the width of your shoulders, lean back slightly and pull down to the chest. Slowly release the bar back to the start position, while keeping it from resting to finish the first repetition.

Variation(s): Close grip pulldown

Squats Squats

(3 sets of 8 reps)

The greatest lift you could possibly do is squat.  I repeat the absolute best exercise you can perform is squatting! It is one of the only full body lifts out there, meaning you use nearly every muscle group when performing a squat. This is the lift that separates the men from the boys; cause unless you’re wearing your grandpas shorts, you (and none of those people you’re trying to impress) will see the results of your hard work. It is extremely important to have proper form, meaning your back is straight, your feet are pointed forward, and your actually squatting. Position the bar on the “shelf” of your upper back and lift the bar off the rack. Maintain a straight back and squat down using your legs until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Return to the upright position to complete the first repetition. Again, if you’ plan on squatting a large weight, I would recommend a lighter weight warm up to prepare your muscles and increase blood flow.

Variation(s): Front squat

Upright-RowsUpright Rows

(3 sets of 10 reps)

Uprights rows hit on the front, top, and rear of your body. That is it works your biceps, deltoids, and your trapezius. It’s important to use good form when doing any kind of rowing, as they tend to be pretty violent movements. A solid straight and balanced stance is key to good form when doing upright rows. You’ll want to get a close grip on the bar and bring it upward until you reach your shoulders. Maintain proper back posture and steadily bring the bar down until your arms are straight to complete the repetition.

Variation(s): N/A

Hamstring Curlshamstring curls

(3 sets of 10 reps)

Hamstrings, you know those things below your butt? Yeah they’re pretty important and as such deserve some attention. Hamstring curls are probably the most isolated lift of this entire workout, but its included because it covers a large mass of muscle. For this exercise you’ll need a machine (or a bench with an adaption), of which you can adjust the position to best fit your body. Once set up you will lie face down and position your legs under the padded arm. You’ll want to wrap your hands around the provided grips (or end of the bench) and bring your feet as close to your glutes as possible. Slowly return the padded arm to the start position to finish one repetition.

Variation(s): N/A

Military Press Military Press

(3 sets of 10 reps)

A commonly neglected area of the body are the shoulders, primarily the deltoid muscle. Military Press is another lift where there a couple muscle groups working together every rep besides the deltoids, such as the triceps and pectorals. For this lift a solid seated posture is preferred with the barbell in front of you. Grip the bar outside the shoulder width and lift it up above the head until the elbow is locked. Proceed by bringing it down in front of the face to just above the chest, and push it up over the head with full arm extension to complete a full repetition.

Variation(s): Standing press, or dumbbell press (free weights)

In this workout the bench and squat are the primary lifts, while the other four are the auxiliary. The aim is to set the weight high enough that you cannot complete 3 sets of 10 reps for the primary, whereas the last rep of your third set should be nearly impossible. The whole idea and key to lifting is this: the greater the breakdown of the muscles, the bigger and stronger it will become when it heals. Results will take time and extreme perseverance, that means lifting at least twice a week. Remember to maintain proper lifting technique when increasing the weight load and difficulty. This will help to keep you safe and avoid injuries. You should be able to crank out a workout like this even with time restrictions, which means no excuses!

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Ryan Heuser is an avid SEO who runs InshapeSEO.com . In his free time he enjoys music, Chicago sports teams, and the occasional drink. You can contact him at ryan@justaguy.us

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