Fitness Articles

Highly efficient workouts for busy days

Maximum bang for your buck


The Fashionable One

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Yeah, you definitely know someone who does CrossFit. Maybe it’s Ryan from sales, talking incessantly about his pull-up “numbers” and eating salad out of a bag like it’s crisps. Listen, though: get past the cultish behaviour and obsession with compression-wear, and CrossFit, which combines everything from gymnastics to Olympic weightlifting into one plan is (whisper it) quite good.

Try it: At any number of official franchises around London (Shapesmiths is our pick) – or just by following the daily workouts on the main site.

The Brutal One

Highly efficient workouts for busy days

Let’s be honest: you’ve got better things to do with your lunchtimes than brave the gym every day, and too elaborate a grooming regime to waste time when you’re there. You, sir, want 5/3/1: that’s four exercises in total, three sets each, split over as few as two days a week – everything else optional. Go hard on Mondays and Wednesdays, then get back to cataloguing every burrito shop within two miles of the office with a song in your heart.

Try it: Anywhere – you just need a barbell. If you need some help with the lift, though, British Barbell can help your form.

The ‘Grammable One

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Your 5k time? Too old-media, pal. If you can’t slap a filter and a brace of hashtags on your training session, nobody cares – and there’s not much more lens-worthy than doing a human flag on the nearest metal pole. Entry-level calisthenics is easy enough to get into – do a pull-up or some press-ups and hey, you’re doing it – but even a wobbly front lever might take months of (addictive) work.

Try it: You’ll find enthusiasts wherever there’s an outdoor pull-up bar: but the Commando Temple has dedicated lessons.

The Burger Lover’s One

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You can’t out-train a bad diet, they say. Nobody needs pulled pork and avocado and bacon on a brioche, they say. But whoever “they” are, it’s a pretty fair bet that they’ve never tried German Volume Training – that’s ten sets of ten reps per exercise, following a protocol developed by Olympic weightlifters to jump up a weight class. Peanut butter or Oreo milkshake with that? Yes please both please.

Try it: All you need is a gym membership: though Embody’s trainers are experienced in this sort of malarky.

The Really Tough One

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You’ve heard of HIIT, of course – popularised by human labradoodle Joe Wicks, it’s all sprints and enthusiasm, fist-pumps and endorphin highs. HIRT – that’s high-intensity resistance training – is its bigger, angrier brother, incorporating weights and “rest-pause” sets (not actually that complicated) into a plan that packs on the beef while attacking your cider-bod. The downside? It really will make you feel sick.

Try it: Most decent trainers will be able to put together a workout: the chaps at Motus Strength know their stuff, though.