Workout Plans for Busy People

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Many people want to improve their physical fitness, but often lack the time to commit to a workout program due to work, family and other obligations. Optimizing your workout time in the gym or at home is the best way to achieve the results you desire from the shortest time commitment possible. This does not mean you will be able to put in less work than you would with a longer routine, but you will be able to save precious minutes that could be spent doing other things.


There are quick workouts for almost any type of fitness goal. If you are interested in burning calories and losing inches of fat, a cardiovascular workout that uses interval training is a good choice for you. If you would like some muscle building while getting weight loss and aerobic benefits, circuit training may be the best choice. Even bodybuilders can cut down on their time at the gym and still bulk up by using high intensity training.

Crank it Up

The common feature among short workouts is a cranked-up intensity that allows you to burn more calories and exhaust your muscles faster than a traditional workout. During interval training, you alternate between short periods of high-intensity anaerobic exercising and slower-paced aerobic exercise. With circuit training for general conditioning, you move quickly between weight training machines to keep your heart rate elevated and your muscles working without a break. High intensity weight training takes little time to perform because you only lift four or five exercises per session and only perform one set until muscle failure per exercise. You can use each of these routines three times a week, meaning that you will only spend one or two hours a week at the gym, but still get noticeable fitness benefits.

Home Hints

Moms are among the busiest people of all. You can save time by working out at home when the kids are at school or in bed. Pick an aerobics or yoga DVD; or if you're planning on working with dumbbells, set up your equipment in the morning in order to start as soon as you're free. A little pre-planning will cut time off your workout.


Because you are trying to cram as much exercise as you can into a 20 or 30 minute workout period with interval, circuit or high-intensity training, you must remain focused throughout your workout. Talk less, take fewer breaks and have a clearly defined workout plan before you warm up. When lifting weights, try lifting two sets back-to-back of different exercises. If you work out at a fitness club, visit during off-peak hours so you do not have to wait for your favorite piece of equipment.


Quick training programs are not right for everyone. If you have a heart condition, consult with your physician before engaging in this type of training. You must also be careful to exercise with correct form. It is easy to become tired when working out quickly, but having sloppy form on your machine or weight bench is likely to result in strains and injuries.