Stop resting and learn to mix sets/exercises.
If you watch most lifters workout you’ll notice that much of the actual workout is rest periods. That’s what ends up making a workout long or take up a lot of time unless it is specifically intended to be very long. (i.e. 100 miles on a bike is going to take a while no matter how fast you are).
So here’s the simple time saving solution, stop resting. I know, I know that ain’t as easy as it sounds and no you can’t do it completely. You can however radically cut the rest periods and get a great deal done very quickly.
Here are a few ways:
- Get in shape – if you’re in great shape you won’t need much rest between sets, even heavy ones.
- Progressively cut the rest and start slow. If you’re resting 3-5 minutes between sets right now, start cutting that by 30 seconds at a time. For a while you might need to keep the weight down, but as soon as you’re used to it it’ll come back. You really don’t always have to have a long rest between sets to be strong. I’m proof.
- Mix exercises – pick unassociated or unrelated exercises and alternate them set for set. For instance – bench press and bent rows or squats and grip work. You can keep a very fast pace, get a lot done, but the individual muscles still get a rest while you’re doing the alternate exercise.
- Mix heavy lifting and conditioning in sets. Now for this one you have to be or be getting in good shape, but there’s a great deal of benefit and it’s a real time saver. It’s also very good from a body composition stand point. Mixing conditioning into just about everything you do strength-wise will really jack that up. An example or two here might be overhead presses for low rep sets mixed with light kettlebell swings for sets of 5-100 or low rep heavy squats mixed with 1-2 minute sets on a heavy bag.
Once you’re in good shape it’ll almost start to feel unnatural to rest for more than a few seconds between sets. You’ll also find out that you can still lift very heavy even up to PR levels with little or no rest.
All of these types of workouts and conditionings can be found in Maximum Functional Mass!