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Paige Waehner

Reader Question of the Week: The Most Bang for Your Buck Resistance Workout

By January 30, 2013

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This week's reader question comes from Bob, who wrote: "I'd love to see a couple of "biggest bang for the buck" resistance workouts. In other words, for those of us who know how to perform resistance training safely, but have extremely limited time, what are a couple of resistance workouts you would design that would absolutely minimize the time needed to perform one; that would minimize or eliminate duplication of muscles being worked?"

There probably is no 'perfect' strength training workout that would completely avoid working duplicate muscles, but I will say that circuit training is probably the best bet for saving time and working multiple muscles at the same time. My best bang for your buck workouts:

  • 10-Minute Body Weight Circuit - This is a favorite 'bang for the buck' workout of mine because you don't need any equipment and it hits all the major muscles with compound movements. That means you work more than one muscle group at the same time. These big, often advanced movements will also raise your heartrate, giving you a nice cardio bonus for your trouble.
  • 10-Minute Home Circuit - This one is more strength oriented and does involve weights and other equipment (dumbbells, a step or platform, etc.). This one also includes lots of compound movements, which saves you time, works all the muscles in a functional way and keeps the intensity high.
  • 30-Minute Total Strength Circuit - If you're looking for a short, efficient and challenging workout, this tops my list. Every muscle group is challenged in this workout and I love the variety of the exercises. This workout does take longer than 30 minutes the first few times but, as you learn the exercises, you'll move more quickly and build enough resistance that you won't need as much time to rest.

I have other workouts at my Workout Center for your exercise pleasure, and I want to hear from you. If you're short on time and want to get the most out of what you've got, what's your go-to, most bang for your buck strength training workout? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

January 30, 2013 at 10:19 am
(1) StrengthCoach96 says:

The Olympic lifts. By performing snatches, cleans, and their derivatives (drops, pulls/presses, etc.) all muscle groups are engaged and all energy systems are taxed. Perform them individually or in combination with other lifts (e.g. RDL -> Clean Pull -> Power Clean -> Front Squat = 1 set – Thanks Totten) for an effective and efficient workout.

January 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm
(2) Tiffany says:

Any type of circuit workout that uses resistance bands as opposed to free weights. The bands are also easier on the muscoskeletal system.

February 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm
(3) Bob R says:

Thank you, Paige.

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