Get the most out of your workouts by structuring your time.

Our lives are determined by time. We wake up early to go to work, we hurry to catch a bus or drive to an appointment, and we rush to get home. Time is precious and it flows away like a river. That means we also have limited time at the box.

CrossFit workouts are designed to use time efficiently. If you join a class in your affiliate, you can finish working out in less than an hour, including the warm-up, mobility, strength, metabolic conditioning, and a cool down. But what happens when you workout on your own or with a friend, especially when you train for strength? You may know these sessions: You sit around talking and joking. You check the time and wonder where it went. Then you hurry to finish so you can take care of other responsibilities. So in the worst case, you rush through your workout or even cut it short.

But your WOD does not have to be this way. Here are a few ideas to use your gym time efficiently:

1. Have a workout plan.

When you get to the box, be prepared. Structure is everything! If you know what to do, your gym time won’t be ineffectual. Your trainers can help you create a plan.

2. Stick to it.

Having a plan is one thing, but the important part is sticking to it. You could have the best training plan, but it’s worthless if you are doing other stuff.

3. Be smart with your warm-up.

You should always start with a general warm-up, such as rowing or running, to prepare your body and mind, and follow it with a specific warm-up depending on your ensuing exercises. If you practice the same routine every time, try optimizing your warm-up time by focusing on exercises that prepare you best for the main workout.

4. Mobilize between sets.

Mobility work is important, but it’s also a big time killer. The idea is simple: Do the mobility exercises between your workout sets, especially if you use it as rest or chat time. Set a timer for a minimum of two minutes. A timer might be useful for the next point as well:

5. Watch the watch.

Set an alarm for your rest periods so you do not waste time dreaming or talking. Of course, the length of your rest periods depends on the exercise, the intensity, how you feel that day, and many other factors. Because your body needs at least 2 to 3 minutes to restore creatine phosphate, which is crucial for your energy stores, your rest periods should be at least equal during high-intensity strength work.

Super sets or EMOM (every minute on the minute) workouts are a time-efficient way to train and provide a feeling of metabolic conditioning. Super sets are performed directly in succession – without resting. For example, you can alternate push and pull movements, agonist and antagonist muscles, or even the same body part, depending on your goal.

On the other hand, EMOM might be the more famous workout routine in CrossFit now. You pick one or two movements to perform on the minute or alternate on the (even/odd) minute. During the remaining time, you rest. This routine might be perfect for skill work. If you do strength work, I recommend extending the rest periods because this might be too taxing.

6. Reduce the chat.

It might be fun and important for you to chat with other people, but try to reduce it to a minimum. Better yet, save it for after your WOD. The same applies to smartphones. You’ll have time for Instagram or Facebook action after you have done your work – business before pleasure.

7. Get organized.

Be prepared when you arrive at the gym so you do not waste time looking for your stuff. It starts with your tidy gym bag and ends with your water bottle already filled up. Wear your workout outfit under your clothes, if possible. Organization will prevent any preoccupation with your belongings.

I hope these ideas will help you improve the efficiency of your time in the box. Don’t be the guy or girl who wastes time. Be productive, be efficient and get it done!

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