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Summer is coming up and I don’t have the time to work out!
What do I do?

So, after booking a holiday with my girlfriend Frances, she immediately fell into a blind panic about being on a beach in swimwear, and I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of you who can identify themselves with her, especially at this time of year. As a Clapham Junction Personal Trainer, I know well that this is definitely the time when we all are thinking of holidays, and with spring well and truly sprung, even if we are not heading out of the country, trips to the seaside and local parks will be high on most people’s agenda.

The problem, for most, is that throughout winter we have been covered up and perhaps not as careful as we could have been with our eating because we do not “see” ourselves all that often.

I have just got back from a walk around Hyde Park and it’s beautiful today and with the sunshine, most people were wearing a lot less. I think it is this that sparks the massive interest in Personal Training at this time of year. People become more aware of any excess they may have gained over the winter.

Having the time for an effective workout

If you are sat thinking “This is all true but I just do not have the time to workout”, I can absolutely say you are not alone.

Most people believe that you need to spend an hour in the gym 3-4 times per week to get good results, and I think – to be honest – most Personal Trainers “tell” you that’s what you need to do.

While I think that if you can spend an hour that’s great, I think for a lot of people, with their work, family and social lives, they will find it extremely difficult to factor in that time every week.

This is definitely true of Frances, she is making headway into her career and works long hours and gets home late at night. So to put another hour on top of an already busy day seems a large task for anyone!! We need to make workouts short and efficient so they can be fit into your day easily.

Exercise density and efficiency

So what can we do? Well, I think looking at making workouts as efficient as possible is a bloody good start. In a lot of “Gym sessions,” people may only work out for 15-20 mins in the hour they train. So the exercise density is only about 25-33% of that hour.

What I mean by that is that they may do 1 exercise for 30 seconds then have over a minute rest then start again. If you did this for an hour you will only have worked for about 15-20 mins. Traditional “bodybuilding” exercises are done in “straight” sets which means you only do one exercise at a time because you have to wait for that one muscle to recover so you can go again.

For most of us this is not a good use of our time in the gym and there is a better way:

  • I would suggest for most of us looking for shape and tone (including Frances who wants a body befitting of a beach), working for around 45 seconds would be better with only 15 seconds rest.
  • Also if you were to “circuit” the exercises (i.e. do them all one after another), you can switch from one area of the body to another letting the first rest. This allows you to continue your workout with as little rest and therefore “time” as possible.

So even with a 20-minute workout you could easily get 15 minutes of actual work this gives you and exercise density of about 75%.

This is obviously much more efficient, and let’s face it: 20 minutes of working out is much more likely to happen in your day.

If you can do 20 mins per day over a week, that adds up to 2 hours and 20 mins: that’s a heck of a lot more than some of those going for their traditional workouts.

Exercise density is great, but what do you do if you don’t have access to a gym?

So, it’s all well and good understanding how long to do each exercise for, in what format to do them and to condense as much into a short space of time as possible. But I am sure most of you are beginning to think: “What can I do at home if I do not have access to a gym, Paul?”.

The answer is simple: a body weight circuit you can do at home that requires no equipment at all.  

In the video that I have attached to this blog, I have started off my “Short Sharp Shock series of workouts and the very first one is going to be using no equipment at all, literally just your own bodyweight.

Titanium Bodies “Short Sharp Shock” series by  Clapham Junction Personal Trainer – Paul Chipp

Simple and easy to follow, plans get done. That’s what I’ve done with this series of workout videos:

  • Each of the videos has 6 exercises, which you will complete 3 circuits of.
  • Each exercise will be done for 45 seconds with a 15-second exercise before the next.
  • Doing resistance exercises in this format means you get all the benefits of the “toning” along with the cardiovascular element of a workout.
  • All of the exercises are multi-muscle and multi-plane which means you are using more muscles and more ranges of motion clocking up more calories burnt.



For the Bodyweight Training Plan the six exercises are as follows:

  1. Squat to jump to the middle            45secs work, 15secs rest, next exercise
  2. Pushup
  3. Lunge to reach to the floor
  4. Twisting plank
  5. Mountain  climbers
  6. Ice skaters

Please do not worry if you cannot do a full 45 seconds of each exercise, just do as many in that time as you can. If you struggle with the timing please download an interval training app which will do all the timing for you with “beeps” and all.

I have put 3 circuits in this which should take 18 mins however if you have time, please feel free to add more circuits which mean more calories burnt.

Doing something is always going to be better than doing nothing!

Seriously, there is no such thing as a bad workout. Every time you workout you are conditioning yourself.

Over time through this conditioning, you will be able to do more. So every workout is a good one!

What I want to get across:

  • Time is a very important factor in fitting exercise into your life.
  • You do not have to workout for hours if you are efficient.
  • Exercise “density” is about the amount of work done, not time spent in the gym.
  • Circuit training is more efficient for those looking for shape and tone.
  • You do not need a gym or a Personal Trainer for doing this!
  • Multi-muscle, multi-planar exercises burn more calories!
  • Something is better than nothing.