Fitness Articles

8 Ways to Build Maximum Muscle in Minimal Time

Double-Duty Strength Training

The Best of the Rest: 4 More Tips for Strength-Training Efficiency
  • Add exercises between sets. This efficient approach can cut your workout time by 10-15 percent. Allow yourself 60 seconds between sets and use this time to train other muscle groups such as the abdominals and lower back. You can also spend this time stretching.
  • Bring a water bottle. Not only does this strategy save time by reducing the number of trips to the water fountain, it helps keep you hydrated, thus increasing performance during the workout.
  • Avoid peak hours. Most gyms are crowded between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Planning your workout outside these times reduces your wait time for equipment (and prevents you from chatting with other gym-goers).
  • Work your core. If you have only five minutes to work out, focus on your abdominals—arguably the most important muscles in the body. These muscles serve many functions: They protect the lower back, aid digestion and play a key role in maintaining posture.
In his Advice to a Young Tradesman, Franklin said the way to wealth was dependent on two things: industry and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money. The same might be said for your health. Incorporating these efficient workout strategies will help to maximize your fitness level with a minimal investment of time. These techniques may not lead to riches in dollars and cents but to something better—improved health, which is priceless.

Selected Sources
Brzycki, Matt and Fornicola, Fred. 2006. Dumbbell Training for Strength and Fitness. Blue River Press.

Franklin, Benjamin. 1905. Advice to a Young Tradesman. In Albert H. Smyth, ed., The Writing of Benjamin Franklin, vol. 2. New York: Macmillan.

Zhou, S. 2000. Chronic neural adaptations to unilateral exercise: Mechanisms of cross education. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 28: 177-184.

This article has been reviewed and approved by SparkPeople fitness expert, Jen Mueller, M.Ed., Certified Personal Trainer.
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About The Author

Glenn Kent Glenn Kent
Glenn is an ACE-certified personal trainer who motivates clients to perform their best, both physically and mentally. He earned his doctorate in health psychology and is the owner of Fitness Motive, a wellness consulting company located in Cincinnati. Glenn also works as an adjunct university instructor at the University of Cincinnati. He enjoys the outdoors, reading, and has developed an affinity for the taste of dark chocolate.

Member Comments

    You had 100 + pounds to lose. The PO did not so can not compare it with yourself. For people who do not have a lot of weight to lose 10 pounds a month is unrealistic. Also consider that the OP wants to go from obese to skinny enough to lose 109 pounds at 5'3 ". If it were that easy everyone would do it. 109 would also be made very little lbm which is not a good idea to begin with.
    http://magrodie - 5/20/2014 11:48:49 AM
    I agree with what u said about Aaron Clarke, but I also believe you have to raise your legs in style in order to compete with flex! Seriously, Aaron was looking sick ass f ** k! Once those legs come ..... beware Flex .... I just finished watching the Open class and "WOW" what a surprise .. Uncle Cedric McMillan is always a problem nailing his conditioning, but not tonight ! Honestly, I think I should s runner behind the big bad wolf! Dennis has a little more size and conditioning a little sharper which is why he still chose. I think that even if Dennis did not nail his conditioning that will definitely Cedric! Unfortunately I know the judges will see it differently and Shawn placed as runner-up, but I personally think that Cedric should s second.
    com/ - 5/20/2014 7:44:19 AM
    Excellent tips. Even with great exercises it can still be difficult to stay thin as well. Here's a great supplement to add: http://weightloss - 3/3/2014 10:04:44 PM
  • The best tip of all was: skip the exercise machine .. holly glory ! I loved this so much . I am not losing then by skipping the boring machine exercising and attending other classes that I enjoy better . . Thanks !! - 12/29/2013 2:07:41 PM
  • Thanks for sharing. - 11/7/2013 5:10:29 AM
    good information .......very useful - 11/3/2013 3:23:58 PM
  • This article gave me a lot of things to think about!! Brilliant! - 10/30/2013 12:35:39 PM
  • I love this article, and Sparks for helping me be smarter about my health. - 7/11/2013 12:33:43 PM
  • Love Article. Thanks Suntoot I saved it. - 5/14/2013 10:26:55 AM
  • Love this article. To answer your question on how to save it. Look on the left right by the article you will see the save button along with other ones. I saved it myself. - 1/31/2013 10:59:50 AM
  • How can I add this to my "favorites" folder? I really like this article and it should help me start strength training. - 10/5/2012 9:39:17 PM
  • A couple days ago I read a Sparks Article on 8 Exercises Never to Do. It mentioned using the leg press machine, and specifically letting the knees come towards the body more than 90 degrees, explaining that this type of exercise is apt to put too much stress on the knee area and ruin your knees.

    So I was surprised to see the photo that illustrates this article shows a man doing what we were told not to do! - 10/5/2012 8:16:24 AM
    Do you have a demo video to watch? - 10/5/2012 8:07:35 AM
  • Excellent advice! - 10/5/2012 7:14:46 AM
  • I got exhausted just reading this... gonna have to try it! - 4/7/2012 11:40:08 PM

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