How To Train When You’re Short on Time

Posted on Posted in Olympic Weightlifting

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had an unlimited amount of time to train? Of course it would be! But the reality is that most of us have jobs, families, school, and many other responsibilities that keep us from the professional athlete slash insta-famous status that we all desire. So if you’re finding yourself at the gym wondering how you’re going to get through your entire training session, then this article is for you.

The average Weightlifting training session can take up to 90 minutes. If you start adding extended warm ups, mobility work, cool downs and stretching sessions, we’re talking 2ish hours easy, so if YOU’RE LIMITED ON SESSION TIME, here are some ways that you can maximize your time spent in the gym:

  1. GET OFF YOUR PHONE — If you’re training for the thumb Olympics, keep up the scrolling. If you’re trying to get through a training session, put your phone down and focus on your lifts. All it takes is opening Instagram once and all of a sudden, you’ve been scrolling like a zombie for 11 minutes and you’re dead cold so good luck with that next lift.
  2. DON’T SKIP THE WARM UP — Yeah, that’s 10-15 minutes gone, but that’s better than weeks or months gone if you injure yourself after not warming up properly! WARM! UP!
  3. FOCUS ON BAR/LIGHT WARM SETS — While technique work may not get the likes on social media, doing technique work is what helps your technique get better. I know, shocker.
  4. SPLIT ONE SESSION INTO TWO — If you have a big session scheduled, don’t be afraid to split it into two days. For example: A session that includes warm up, bar/technique work, main lift, strength work, accessory work can be split into: (Session 1: warm up, bar/technique work, main lift) – (Session 2: warm up, strength work, accessory work). Yes, that might mean that you have to move/miss another session in the week, but remember, we’re not a professional Weightlifting TikToker with unlimited time and no responsibilities. YET!
  5. DO YOUR SQUATS — If you have to modify your training, just make sure to always do your squats. There’s no other bang-for-your-buck exercise that will help you increase your strength quite like back/front squats.
  6. TALK TO YOUR COACH — When all else fails, talk to the person that is specifically tasked with aiding your personal development. That’s literally what they’re there for and I’m sure they have some insight!

“OK, that’s all well and good, but what if I can only make it to the gym three days per week?” What a great question! Realistically, that’s WAY more common than you think, so if YOU’RE LIMITED BY THE NUMBER OF DAYS YOU CAN ACTUALLY TRAIN, here are some ways that you can maximize your time spent in the gym:

  1. ALTERNATE YOUR MAIN LIFTS — One day, do a snatch session. Next, do a C&J session. If you have another day left, dealer’s choice!
  2. SPACE OUT YOUR SQUATS — Yes, they’re important, but I would recommend NOT squatting two days in a row. Space them out so you’re not completely destroyed. Unless you’re doing Smolov or some other dumb Eastern Bloc sounding internet program…then nothing you do will really matter.

Bottom line, don’t feel like you have to get through everything on your program to be successful. Do your best to maximize your time even if it means compromising!