Whether you need a break from the barrage of inspirational mantras your cycling instructor calls out or just want to design your own workout playlist,a change in your normal class routine is a good thing. Adding some gym time to your schedule is one great way to mix up your workouts, but stepping back into a large, crowded gym can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re accustomed to a smaller, personalized class experience.

Where should you start? What is proper gym etiquette? How can you get a full-body workout, shower and change all during your lunch hour? Don’t sweat it (or do)! Here are a few ways to maximize your time at the gym from the moment you walk in the door.

Come With a Plan

Walking into an open gym space without a goal in mind for your workout is like walking into the supermarket without a shopping list. For the latter, chances are, you’ll spend far too much time walking up and down the aisles browsing food you don’t really want rather than efficiently shopping for the items you need.

Before heading to the gym, write up a short workout plan for yourself. You can even borrow moves and exercises you’ve learned to love from some of your favorite classes. Once you’ve created your plan, don’t stray from it!


Superset your exercises. What is a superset? The back-to-back performance of two separate exercises without resting in between. The key to performing a successful and safe superset is choosing two exercises that work opposing muscle groups; think push and pull. For example, if you were planning an upper-body workout, you could superset a row exercise with a press exercise. Try this quick upper-body superset during your next gym session:

1- Dumbbell bench press/Lat pull-down
2- Standing dumbbell shoulder press/Seated cable row
3- Push-up/Pull-up

Wear Headphones

You might have all the right intentions at the gym, but there will always be other gym goers who forget that gym-time is not happy hour. Politely put up your do not disturb sign, and stay focused on your workout by popping in your earbuds and jamming out to your favorite tunes. Check out the ClassPass Spotify page for some killer workout playlists.

Do Cardio Between Sets

Maximize your time and keep your heart rate elevated by doing your cardio in the middle of your workout. Drop those dumbbells, and hustle over to the nearest treadmill and bang out five to seven minutes of speed work. Or if you prefer plyometrics, hit the floor for some burpees and squat jumps. Try one of these quick cardio sessions between your supersets:

Treadmill HIIT
1- Warm up by jogging at a comfortable pace for 90 seconds at 1.0 incline
2- Sprint for 45 seconds at 1.0 incline
3- Recover by jogging at a comfortable pace for 90 seconds at 1.0 incline
4- Sprint for 30 second at 7.0 incline
5-Recover by jogging at a comfortable pace for 60 seconds at 1.0 incline
6- Maximum effort sprint for 30 seconds at 1.0 incline
7- Cool down by walking for 60 seconds at 1.0 incline
Total time 6 minutes 45 seconds

Burpee Waterfall Ladder
1- 10 burpees followed by 10 mountain climbers
2- 9 burpees followed by 9 squat jumps
3- 8 burpees followed by 8 mountain climbers
4- 7 burpees followed by 7 squat jumps
5-  6 burpees followed by 6 mountain climbers
6- 5 burpees followed by 5 squat jumps
7- 4 burpees followed by 4 mountain climbers
8- 3 burpees followed by 3 squat jumps
9- 2 burpees followed by 2 mountain climbers
10- 1 burpee followed by 1 mountain climber
11- Rest!

Bring a Water Bottle

This one might sound silly, but those walks back and forth between the water fountain and your workout station tack on unnecessary seconds. Worse, you might return to your bench or machine and find that another gym-goer has taken up residence! Bring your own bottle of water and take a quick sip between sets while resting at your station. 

Skip The Shower

Unless you find yourself drenched in sweat head to toe, chances are you can get away wit skipping the shower the shower line and just changing your clothes and heading back to the office. Just make sure to practice proper hygiene and use a post workout wipe such was these fro these from Mio.

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