I know it sounds good to say you just spent an hour or two in the gym, but whenever I hear that, two questions immediately come to mind:
Were you working out the entire time?
How long do you think you can keep it up and devote that kind of time to an individual workout?
In most cases, the people who say they live in the gym either aren't using their time wisely or they're working out so hard for so long, they'll probably burn out and eventually give up the gym entirely.
If you're doing some strenuous outdoor activity such as kayaking, tennis or 3-on-3 basketball, then devoting an hour isn't such a big deal. The activity takes whatever time the activity takes. But when you're in the gym, you should always put efficiency at the top of your list of goals. Why spend 30 minutes running on a treadmill when you can do sprint intervals in 10 minutes and possibly get more of a benefit? Why do four sets of bench presses followed by four sets of bent-over rows when you can alternate the push/pull sets of benching and rows and complete the eight sets in half the time? Why do a set of lunges and then a set of dumbbell curls when you can combine them into one exercise?
The point is to get in and get out because, and this is a sobering fact, you have to do it again tomorrow or the next day or the day after that and keep doing it for the rest of your life. I realize most people don't think this way, but the only finish line in fitness is the permanent one. That's why I invented the 20-in-20 workout. It's a way to train the entire body for golf in just 20 minutes, plus raise your metabolism, lose weight and avoid injuries. Whether or not you do the 20-in-20, it should serve as a reminder that gym time should be efficient time. Not only will this make exercising more challenging, but it also will keep you from getting burned out from spending too much time working out. Think of exercising like brushing your teeth. It's a daily habit you do your entire life.
To get you started on a more efficient workout, click on the video below to see me demonstrate an exercise that trains several muscle groups.
Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor for Golf Digest*
*(Photo by **Dominic Chavez/Getty Images)