Sometimes when our workouts take too long it’s tempting to give up and choose other activities. However, the idea that your workouts need to be long to be effective just isn’t true.  

You can get great results from shorter workouts, as long as you’re performing them with proper form and using your time efficiently. Try these 6 tips to shorten your workouts when you need to pack a lot into your day.  

Superset exercises   

Supersetting is one of the easiest ways to reduce your training time, while still getting in a good workout. The idea is to perform two exercises back-to-back with no rest time in between. To do this efficiently, have a plan before you get to the gym and ensure all your equipment is set up and your machines are prepped beforehand.  

Pro tip: if you are using free weights and a machine, try to position them next to each other so you don’t have to move around too much. 

Remember to be strategic about which exercises you choose to superset. Opt for movements that use opposing muscle groups so you can get the rest you need between sets. By introducing supersets into your workout, you’re killing two birds with one stone and reducing the time spent in the gym. Learn how to superset here. 

Drop sets  

This strategy is often linked to strength-training. A drop set is completing a series of weight-training movements back-to-back from highest to lowest resistance (or weight). Start with your highest weight and after each set, reduce the weight until you get to your lowest.  

Most drop sets include 5 rounds, or 5 different weights of the same exercise. By continuously lowering the weight, you will use different muscle fibers that will help you max out the muscle burn.  

HIIT training   

HIIT training is a great way to build in an intense workout that will get your heart pumping in a short period of time. The concept is to mix high-intensity states of exercise with lower-intensity active rest periods to keep your heart rate elevated and maximize calorie burn.  

Try any of these HIIT workouts when you’re short on time or want a quick shot of cardio activity.  

Compound movements   

Compound movements are exercises that use more than one muscle group at a time, and often employ your full body. Implementing these can reduce the time you would spend on accessory work, and give you the most out of your workouts.  

Compound movements burn more calories than isolation exercises, and as you build more muscle, your metabolic rate goes up.  

Timed rest periods   

Sometimes we can get into the habit of resting longer between sets and exercises than we intended. A quick trip to the water fountain that results in a line up, or a quick conversation with a friend can throw off your workout.  

Try adding timed rest periods between your sets. Set your timer on your phone or smart watch to 60-120 seconds depending on the type of exercise you are performing. Sticking to your schedule will really help you out, especially when you’re short on time.  


Similar to HIIT training, EMOM (every minute on the minute) workouts challenge you to complete an exercise for a certain number of reps in less than 60 seconds. The remaining time within your minute of exercise, is your rest and recovery time. Once the minute is up, it is time to move on to the next exercise.  

As with any type of HIIT, EMOM workouts elevate your heart rate which can help burn a ton of calories in a short period of time, as well as continue burning calories well after your workout is complete.