You are reading this because you want to know what you can do to maximise the time you spend in the gym. You may be new to fitness, or you may have been going to the gym for years now, but you feel like it is taking too long to see real results. There are a number of things you can do to make the most of your time in the gym, and improve your progress.

You’re half way done with your workout, but you’re still not finished. Your muscles are burning and your heart is racing, but you’re not quite finished. Why? Because a great workout is not just about the workout, but also about how you feel about yourself. Good things to do in the gym include taking selfies, having a drink, chatting with friends, and taking in the scenery. However, you’re only going to feel great if you allow yourself to look and feel good while you’re there.

In this quick blog post, I’ll give a few tips for making the most of your time in the gym. The gym is great to help you achieve your goals, but sometimes you may not be able to fit in all the training you want, or you may not have access to a gym.. Read more about what does it feel like to have energy and let us know what you think.

Many people stick to the same fitness routine week after week. This is a blunder.

The body craves a test. That is why, in order to improve our fitness, we must use exercise progressions.

Let the discussion about HIIT vs. steady state go.

For the past few years, the argument between high-intensity interval training and steady-state cardio has raged in the fitness community. So, what’s the verdict? There appears to be agreement among the most experienced and knowledgeable instructors. It appears that a combination of the two is optimal, depending on your goals and/or sport activity.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles:

Why and How to Do an Extensive Exercise

The Programs for Intense Exercise

Are You Using Interval Training?

While I believe the steady state vs. HIIT argument was valuable, all of the focus on it detracted from a much more essential subject; a question that is rarely posed; a one that is critical.

Unanswered questions

The most important question, in my opinion, has nothing to do with whether one should practice high-intensity or steady-state exercise. Rather, the finest question, and the one that goes unasked the most, is this:

I’m not sure what form of cardio progression I should use.

Progression? You know, how you gradually increase the amount of work you do from one aerobic session to the next in order to maintain your fitness and decrease body fat.

Your body, you see, is a remarkable, adaptable piece of hardware. When you put a demand on it, it adjusts in incredible ways so that it can meet that demand in the future.

So, if we do the same 30 minutes of steady state cardio from one workout to the next, we’ll be well adapted to those precise aerobic demands within 2-3 workouts. In fact, those 30 minutes will only be somewhat better than sitting on the couch.

The same can be said for high-intensity work. If we don’t increase the demands on our bodies from one session to the next, we won’t see any of the benefits we observed when we first started the program.

So there’s a “secret” to a constantly improving health profile, a constantly improving body composition, and never-ending performance gains. It’s known as progression.

Progressions in weight training

Most individuals nowadays oversimplify the concept of progression. They believe that in order to “make it harder” from one week to the next, they must exercise for longer periods of time. That isn’t always the case, though. Sure, this form of volume progression is one way to move your program forward. However, it is not the only option.

There are numerous ways to build programs in our weight training arsenals to ensure development toward a number of goals, such as greater strength, increased power, increased muscle mass, and so on.

Here are a few examples of how to build a proper weight-room progression.

#1 A straightforward load progression

Classic progressive resistance training (or basic load progression, as I refer to it) is based on the need to gradually increase the amount of weight we lift while maintaining the same repetition range.

We strive to increase the weight lifted from week to week in order to continue to progress, just like Milo, the Greek wrestler who supposedly walked around the circumference of the Coliseum with a calf on his back, gaining stronger and stronger as the calf progressively grew into a bull.

#2 Load progression that is complex

Periodization models introduced the concept of gradually increasing the weight lifted while decreasing the number of repetitions. This approach uses steadily increasing loads (or intensities, expressed as a percentage of 1 rep max) while lowering volume (measured by the total number of repetitions performed during a workout). Intensification sessions are the name for these types of sessions.

Of course, even within a periodized program that emphasizes intensification (heavier loads and fewer reps per a workout), the concept of basic load progression remains. Even if you just utilize the same rep range for two consecutive training sessions for that movement, you should increase your load used if you employ a similar repetition range from week to week during an intensification phase.

#3 A straightforward volume progression

Simple volume progression is the polar opposite of the simple load progression described above. Instead of raising the load week after week, you increase the volume (measured by the total number of repetitions completed during a session, whether that means adding a few reps to each set or a few total sets).

So, instead of 6 reps at 200 pounds like you did in week one, you’d perform 7 reps at 200 pounds in week two. Alternatively, instead of three sets of six reps at 200 pounds, you might do four sets of six reps at 200 pounds. In each case, volume increases while load remains constant.

#4 A volume progression that is complex

In the same way that complex load progression is the polar opposite of complex volume progression, complex volume progression is the polar opposite of complex load progression. Instead of gradually increasing the weight lifted while lowering the number of repetitions (intensification), you’d increase the volume (number of repetitions and/or sets) while lowering the intensity (measured as a percentage of 1RM, otherwise known as load). This is referred to as buildup.

#5 Other routes of growth

These are just a handful of the progression strategies that use a systematic approach to change load and volume in order to drive progress. When time elements are factored in (time between sets, overall workout duration, etc. ), we have yet another set of variables to play with.

Other instances, which may or may not be useful depending on your objectives, include:

  • In order to improve between-set recovery, reduce rest time from week to week.
  • To handle larger loads on following sets, increase rest time from week to week.

Charles Staley’s EDT is another example of using time as a variable. This type of training requires you to increase the amount of reps you accomplish while maintaining the total workout time consistent from week to week.

Cardiovascular progression

So, now that we’ve gone over some of the different weight-training progressions, do you have any suggestions for how to develop your cardio work to keep progressing and avoid stagnation?

Let’s look at some of the options available to you, whether your goals are to improve overall fitness, aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, or body fat loss.

#1 Cardiovascular volume progression

The most prevalent strategy employed by leisure exercisers is volume progression. Is it time to slim down? Then start walking, jogging, or riding your bike a few times per week. Are your results staying the same? It’s time to get to work.

Here’s an example of how you may go about increasing your cardio volume:

  • Weeks 1 and 2 — 60 minutes of cardio total (1 x 60 minutes or 2 x 30 minutes or 3 x 20 minutes)
  • Weeks 3 and 4 — 90 minutes of cardio total (2 x 45 minutes or 3 x 30 minutes or 4 x 22.5 minutes)
  • Weeks 5 and 6 — 120 minutes of cardio total (2 x 60 minutes or 3 x 40 minutes or 4 x 30 minutes)
  • Weeks 7 and 8: 150 minutes total cardio (3 × 50 minutes, 4 x 37.5 minutes, 5 x 30 minutes)

So what if you’re doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT)? Is the same volume progression effective? Obviously, it does.

Note: You should use outcome-based decision making to assist you decide what to do with your food and exercise, as taught throughout the System. In other words, your growth should be guided by your outcomes. Slow down your pace if you’re losing too quickly or starting to feel exhausted. Accelerate the evolution if you’re not losing or adapting rapidly enough.

#2 Cardiovascular intensity progression

So what if you’ve already utilized a volume progression and don’t have any more time? What if you don’t want to utilize a volume progression and instead want to use an intensity progression? What if you want a little bit of both?

So, let’s just start with intensity progression. When aiming for intensity progression, rather of increasing the number of minutes spent exercising, you would increase the average intensity of those same minutes.

In this instance, you’ll want to progressively raise the intensity of your efforts by speeding up during steady state cardio. For example, if you’re getting used to riding the stationary bike for 30 minutes three times a week at level 5, you can increase the intensity of your exercise by going to level 6. And, as previously stated, the process should be orderly. Consider the following scenario:

  • 3 × 30 minutes at level 5 in the first week
  • Week 2 — three 30-minute sessions at level 6
  • 3 x 30 minutes at level 7 in week 3
  • Week 4 — three 30-minute sessions at level 8

Note: Progress is determined by outcomes; if you’re losing too quickly or starting to feel exhausted, slow down your progress. Accelerate the evolution if you’re not losing or adapting rapidly enough.

Also, don’t be scared to alter up your progression methods. If you can’t acquire 3 × 30 minutes at level 7 during week 3, the ideal method is to start at 3 x 20 minutes and work your way up to 3 x 30 minutes at this level.

Is this also applicable to HIIT training? Can you do this type of cardio with these intensity progressions? Yes, once more!

You can boost the intensity of your workouts in one of two ways while using HIIT. To begin, maintain your work-to-rest ratios while increasing the intensity of the work interval. Second, you can shorten your rest time while maintaining the same intensity in your work interval. In any case, your session’s average intensity will be higher, and you’ll use a cardio progression to assure consistent outcomes.

#3 Cardiovascular load progression

Increase your cardiac load, which is a relatively underappreciated means of progressing. Do you have a high cardio workload? When you practice weight-bearing cardio, you’re dragging that much weight around with you.

For this, I wear an X-vest (a weighted vest). To use a load progression for cardio, simply add modest amounts of weight to the vest over time while walking, stair-climbing, or doing any other activity to increase total resistance. This is the Milo situation we addressed earlier.

This method is especially helpful when you’re trying to lose weight. In a sense, rather than loading your cardio, you’re actually replacing the load you’ve lost. And this is a major benefit because the same amount of cardio is ineffective once you’ve reduced weight.

After all, 30 minutes of walking four times a week when weighing 200 pounds is more calorie-dense than 30 minutes of walking four times a week while weighing 185 pounds. So, regardless of how much body weight you’re carrying, why not walk at 200 pounds for a few weeks, then 210 pounds, and so on?

(Interestingly, when decreasing weight, unweighted chin ups at 185 pounds are considerably easier than unweighted chin ups at 200 pounds.)

High-impact activities, on the other hand, should be avoided. You don’t want to rip your joints out when jogging with hefty loads strapped to your back. Athletes should also avoid using this type of load progression during most agility drills or top-end speed work because it will teach them to be slower.

Rather of taking the example above as gospel, remember that you can change your cardio load just as you can change your cardio intensity and duration.

Amanda provided the cardio.

Amanda Graydon, PN Director of Customer and Expert Relations, demonstrated a few high-intensity aerobic workouts.

This is a basic but challenging first workout. Amanda sets the treadmill to a 15% incline and an 8mph speed. She sprints for 20 seconds before taking a ten-second break. She alternates between work and rest for a total of 5 minutes (or 10 total sprints). She didn’t start off with this level of passion, of course. With careful progression, she gradually built up to this. Every week, she makes the workout more difficult by increasing the speed, the incline, or the amount of sprints she performs.


Amanda’s second workout is one of her most well-known. She chooses 5-6 exercises and does them in a circuit. She usually works for 30 seconds and then rests for 30 seconds. She alternates between working and resting for a total of 5-6 cycles. She didn’t start off with this level of intensity. With careful progression, she gradually built up to this. Every week, she increases the intensity of the workout by raising the work time to 35 or 40 seconds, decreasing the rest period to 20-25 seconds, increasing the load of each exercise, or doing extra rounds of the exercises.



Hopefully, you’re now aware of a number of variables you may tweak to improve the effectiveness of your cardio workouts, whether you’re aiming for enhanced fitness or fat loss. In many cases, much as weight trainers employ progressions with their lifting, they should be doing the same with their cardio activity.

Give some of these cardio progression tactics a try if your fat reduction efforts aren’t quite what you expected, even if you’re following the extremely effective concepts.



personal – it’s all about you.


Your time in the gym is important and time is something that we never have enough of. When we spend too much time in the gym we can lose out on other activities and in the end not get to the results we wanted. It is important to be efficient in your time in the gym and to maximise the potential of your workout. Here are some tips that will help you to achieve that goal.. Read more about best free workout programs and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make the most 30 minutes at the gym?

This is a difficult question to answer, as there are many factors that can affect how long you spend at the gym. However, one thing that may help is if you focus on your form and technique when doing exercises.

How much time in the gym is too much?

It is best to find a healthy balance between exercise and rest. If you feel like you are not getting enough rest, it may be time to cut back on your workouts.

What is a good amount of time to spend at the gym?

A good amount of time to spend at the gym is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • how to work out at the gym
  • gym exercises
  • best gym workouts
  • how to get maximum results from workout
  • top gym tips
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