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As many of us can attest, going to the gym is one thing but working efficiently while you are there is another thing entirely.

We’ve all seen him. The guy who is in the gym practically every time you are there. He spends his time sitting on a workout bench staring at his phone, or becoming further acquainted with the mirror as he flexes in the latest, hippest workout gear available in sporting goods shops. But is he actually getting any work done?

That is questionable. Each gym is packed with people who spend hours there each week but without actually doing anything of note with regard to furthering their personal fitness. Three to four hours per week is a very respectable amount of time to spend working out but some people can spend as much time as that PER DAY, when the amount of actual productive time is significantly below that.

How can you make sure that you’re not wasting time? Below are five tips:

Cut Out Social Calls

Sure, your mates might might also have memberships but it’s not exactly the time or the place to catch-up. Save the conversations about work, or your favourite sports team until after your shower. You’re there to work.

Know What You Want To Do

Have a defined plan of action set out in advance of walking through the doors as it can be a huge waste of time to arrive in your facility and only decide then what you would like to work on. If you have your workout already mapped out, it will save those valuable minutes otherwise sacraficed to the gods of procrastination.

Cut Out Breaks

Try and root out those little time-wasting tactics that we have all used at one point or another. Repeated trips to the water fountain, for example, can be cut out by bringing your own water bottle. Every minute is valuable.

Cut Your Rest Breaks

If you’re not a power lifter (who require prolonged breaks between sets), you can save time by keeping an eye on your rest breaks. Long breaks aren’t exactly necessary for low weight, multi rep sets which are proven to be the best way to increase your overall strength.

Workout at Off-Peak Hours

Most reasonably busy gyms will see a surge in attendance in the after-work hours of 6-7pm when those of us stuck in the rat race will try and squeeze in a workout before heading home for the day. The trouble with this is, the more people in the gym the longer the wait time for the various workout machines will be. You can avoid this by attending at off-peak hours in the morning or late afternoon where, depending on how popular your gym is, you will have the best chance at an uninterrupted session.