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Smark Healthy: More Work, Less Time


Hello there, it's February. By now, some of you may have fallen with your New Year's Resolutions. Here at Smark Healthy, we simply can't have that. Your new workout gear isn't going to end up as athleisure clothes, that's for sure. That gym membership isn't going to go to waste. It's time to address the problem. And actually, the problem, or the perceived problem, is time.

"I don't have two to three hours to spend in the gym."
"There's not enough time in the day."
"My workout takes too much time."

If you have an hour, you have time to work out. That's the God-forsaken truth. An hour is more than enough, when used wisely. Let's see why.

In a recent interview with Bodybuilding.com, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle shared his transition from preparing for the 1996 Olympics to working out while with the WWE.

"My training for the two are worlds apart. When I was getting ready for Atlanta, I treated training like a full-time job, because that was the only way to do it if I was going to win. I trained more than eight hours a day between weights, cardio, mat wrestling and isometric exercises. I also only took one or two days off a month.
When I got to WWE, I trained more like a bodybuilder. I had different splits so that I could train every body part in a week. One day was back, one was legs and so on. I never trained longer than an hour after I started in WWE, and normally I trained 4-to-5 days per week.
Now that I'm a little older, I have to think more about function and health. I try to get as much done in as little time as possible, so I do everything in superset or giant-set fashion. By not resting between sets, I get that cardiovascular benefit. I may do up to 30 sets plus cardio in an hour, but those 30 sets cover all my muscle groups. I still train 5-to-6 days a week, but I feel like I'm getting so much more done."

As wrestling fans, we all know that professional wrestlers have hectic schedules. There's tons of traveling, media duties, practice, and whatever. How do they find the time, then, to go to the gym? Given that it's literally their job to look good and entertain the crowd, they have to squeeze in a workout whenever and wherever they can.

What, then, can we learn from the pros and apply to our own workout routine?

Make A Plan

One of the biggest contributers to wasting time in the gym is not knowing what you'll do for the day. Don't be that guy who wanders around and tries random machines or weights. Know what you have to do before you even set foot in the gym. Write it down your workout on your smartphone, a notebook, or even just a small sheet of paper. When you already know what needs to be done, you can always work around it if needed.

An added benefit of jotting down your exercises is that you can visualize the amount of time you'll spend, and be able to plan accordingly.

Be More Efficient

What are you doing in between sets and exercises? More often than not, you're just sitting down and checking your phone. When the rest period is over, that's when you start setting up for your next set, right? Stop that. Once your set is done, start setting up, THEN rest. You might think those few extra seconds won't mean much, but the temptation to keep scrolling through your news feed continues to build because you're not yet ready for the next set. You can end up prolonging the rest period and wasting even more time.

Yes, I do take gym selfies and post on social media during my workout sessions. Guilty as charged. But I do make it a point that when it's time to crank out the next set, the bar is ready and waiting for me.

Rest Less

While being efficient with rest periods is important, the question must also be asked: Are you resting too much? Yes, you do need rest between sets. No question about it. However, the tendency is that there's too much resting and not enough exertion on the body. Unless you're lifting heavy, you don't really need more than one to two minutes of rest.


Warmup sets, for example, do not need much rest, if any at all. Its purpose is to get you ready for your working sets. Rest before your last warm up set and after it, but that's it. Even during your working sets. Cut your rest by about 25%. Will your reduced rest time make you more tired? Likely. You're working out. If you're not getting tired, you're not pushing yourself enough.

The Gym Is A Place To Work... Out. So Do That

If you're trying to squeeze in a workout within a limited amount of time, then you need to focus on getting that done. You don't have the luxury of chatting with other people, scrolling through your news feed, or watching random YouTube clips. Once you've cut out all of the unnecessary distractions, you'll realize how much of your workout session is eaten up by these things.

I can honestly say that I've gone through multiple workouts without uttering a single word to anybody. The most your vocabulary will consist of would be to ask if someone is using a rack or a machine. All you need is a pair of earphones and a good workout playlist, and you'll drown out everything else.

These tips aren't meant to insinuate that you'll always have time to work out. Even the most proficient in time management will encounter situations where the workout has to be sacrificed. It's simply to give you advice on how to squeeze in a workout when the opportunity arises. When professional wrestlers have to make time in their busy schedules to take care of their bodies, they get creative. And you know what? You can too.

(Most of these tips come from Alan Thrall of Untamed Strength. The full video of this tip video can be seen below.)

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