It’s a common misconception among women that a lunch break does not provide enough time for a good weights-based workout – I think that’s why you see so many of us pounding away on the treadmill day in, day out. The truth is that you can get a great strength session completed in under 30 minutes, which leaves plenty of time to have a shower, re-apply makeup and blow dry your hair, or whatever it is that you need to do. The trick is simple – be prepared.
Have a PLAN and know exactly what you want to achieve during your session – write it down and take it with you so you don’t get lost or allow yourself to cheat (taking shortcuts is much harder to justify when your plan is set in ink). Set yourself up in front of a mirror with all the equipment you’ll need for the workout and use a stopwatch to time yourself. Not only does this allow you to keep an eye on when you’re due back at work, it also gives you a time to beat next time you complete the workout.
Don’t be afraid to sweat either – if you’re finishing a session looking as good as you did when you started then let’s face it, you probably didn’t work hard enough. Dial up the intensity, cut down on your rest breaks and go for it!
The other (very) important thing is to keep your workout simple – you don’t want to be running around fiddling with weights or waiting for pieces of equipment. I would suggest something like this:
20 lunge jumps (15/leg)
30 second squat press with medicine ball
30 second mountain climbers
30 second crunches
3 push up burpees (regular burpee with push up at the bottom)
30 seconds rest
(repeat 6 times)
Another great way to ensure you can get in and out in your allotted time is to plan a timed workout. Choose mainly compound movements (movements that require more than one joint and muscle group) for maximum calorie burn. Here’s one I prepared earlier:
Workout 2 (no-equipment)
30 seconds squat jumps (or squats if you’re out of practice)
30 seconds push ups
30 seconds burpees
90 second sprint (or cardio machine of your choice)
30 seconds REST
(repeat 8 times)
Total workout time = 28 minutes
You’re not planning NASA’s next foray into space, so don’t overthink things. Choose exercises that you’re comfortable with and just go for it! Aim to fit in two of these sessions per week and you’ll be amazed at the results you can achieve.
Oh, and whatever happens, don’t feel intimidated by the men – they’re so busy checking themselves out you could probably run through the gym naked yelling ‘free beer’ and they’d still be focused on their biceps.