Ask Rocco: How to Maximize Limited Time at the Gym

Ask Rocco: How to Maximize Limited Time at the Gym

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Question: Ok, I had to cut back my workouts to 3 days per week. I weight train and do cardio. But since I'm limited to 1 1/2 in the gym max, I need to know what is a good program to do to maintain and/or build muscle while trying to cut body fat. I'm sure my diet is a major factor. Any advice?
– Thanks! Lizzie

Answer: Lizzie, I always have plenty of advice. Sometimes you may not want to hear it but I’ll give it to you any way. If you are “only” limited to 1 1/2 hours at the gym… you have way too much time on your hands. Most programs I design are between 30 minutes and no more than 1 hour including aerobic training. The problem most of the time with these longer workouts is that there’s too much time wasted resting between sets. You need to limit your time between sets to 15 seconds or less. This will create a higher level of intensity in your strength workout.

Without knowing anything about you (height, weight, age, body fat percentage and physical condition) it is impossible for me to help you with a workout because your body is totally different than everybody else’s. It would be absolutely negligent of me to tell you anything in general terms because I don’t know your limitations or your strengths, such as imbalances in your body structure. This is what makes it hard when you just pick up a book and try any workout. It usually isn’t a workout that fits you or your body.

To answer the last part of your question: It’s not a very good idea to try and build muscle and burn fat at the same time. It is better o keep the fat on your body and build the muscle first (this creates a bigger engine) so it is easier to burn fat. If you try to burn fat at the same time you usually inhibit muscle from building due to overtraining or too much aerobic activity.