It’s not always easy to find time for the gym. The duress of long work days and utter distraction can make it difficult for some active gym-goers to execute their commitment of a weekly workout regimen. You don’t need a gym membership to maintain that sleek figure you’ve worked so hard to attain, though. Infomercials that brag about 20-minute workouts, which are supposedly tailor-made to get you ripped, might be exaggerating to a certain extent, but 20 minutes of exercise everyday will help you stay in shape without forcing you to grind for time during the five o'clock rush.
Rev-up Your Workout Intensity
Revving up the intensity of your workout will help you achieve fitness goals in a shorter amount of time. Although most gym-goers don’t have a ton of exercise equipment at home, high-intensity circuit training that incorporates body-weight exercise will fuel strength development, and also increase your muscular endurance. You don’t need to spend hours upon hours in the gym to maintain an athletic build. Instead, you need the mental tenacity to handle intense bouts of continuous exercise without rest. Circuit training is a highly efficient exercise strategy that enhances fat loss and promotes muscular development throughout the entire body.
Body Weight Exercise
Your 20-minute exercise plan should include a variation of different strength-building exercises that target each major muscle group in the body. Pushups are the foundation of an at-home circuit training program. This body-weight exercise targets muscles in the shoulders, arms and chest, and also helps stabilize muscles in the core. Pull-ups are another solid example of an at-home body-weight exercise. This upper body strength-building activity works similar muscles as pushups, but also trains the lats and forearms. If you do not own an at-home pull-up bar, you can substitute another exercise for additional variation, such as high knees or triceps dips, or use monkey bars at the local playground. Finally, execution of plyometric jumps, which commonly include the act of jumping vertically, and performance of planks, can help complete your customized circuit training program.
Executing the “Circuit”
A “circuit” is a group of exercises performed with minimal rest time in between each activity. Your customized circuit should include six to eight exercises. You should perform at least 15 to 20 repetitions of each activity before resting for approximately 20 seconds, and then proceeding to the next exercise. For example, a circuit that includes high knees, pushups, plyometric jumps, pull-ups, planks and triceps dips would be performed in sequence as one set. You will need to complete multiple sets to execute a full circuit training session.
Completing Multiple Sets
Time yourself for 30 seconds using either a smartphone or stopwatch while performing exercises such as high knees. You should then briefly rest and drop into the pushup position. Perform 20 pushups, rest, and then jump continuously for 30 seconds. The second tier of this sequence would require you to perform 15 to 20 pull-ups, record a comfortably timed plank (e.g. 30 seconds), and finish with 15 to 20 triceps dips. Each sequence of exercises should be performed three to four times over a 20-minute time period. It is recommended that you rest for two minutes in between each sequence. Proper execution of each exercise will ultimately help you stay in shape without feeling guilt about not getting to the gym in time.