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Rack up a barbell for a better body on the double

Strapped for time? Cutting back your weights routine is the last thing you want – it’ll only mean trimming your workout gains. So, what can you do to save precious minutes in the gym? Cut short the amount of time you spend not working, of course. 

Instead of frittering away your session adjusting weights, going to and from different areas of the gym and resting between moves, try this short and sharp workout. Doing a complex routine – when you choose one weight and perform exercises back to back using the same piece of kit – is the best way to get a quick fitness fix. Give it a go.

How to do it

Load a barbell with a weight you can safely use for the sets and reps of each of these moves. Perform one set of each move back to back without resting or putting the barbell down. After you’ve completed one full circuit, rest for 30 to 45 seconds before repeating for the number of sets allocated for your level. Remember – do not stop moving in between moves!

Kit you’ll need

Barbell

Beginner: 2 x 10 reps
Intermediate: 3 x 10 reps
Advanced: 3 x 15 reps

Clean

Areas trained: Legs, bottom, back, shoulders, upper arms
Hot tip: This is a great all-over fat-burner

Technique
-Holding a barbell in front of your thighs, bend your legs to create momentum, then row the barbell up towards your chin.
-Rotate your grip to drop your elbows under the barbell.
-Reverse the movement and repeat.

Straight-leg deadlift

Areas trained: Bottom, rear thighs, lower back
Safety tip: Keep your shoulders back and your gaze forward

Technique
-Keeping knees soft but legs straight, hinge at your hips to take hold of a barbell on the floor.
-Push your heels into the floor and extend your body to an upright position, keeping the barbell close to your body throughout.
-Lower and repeat.

Squat

Areas trained: Bottom, thighs
Safety tip: Keep your chest up throughout

Technique
-Rest a barbell on your upper back. Bend at your knees and hips to lower your bottom, pushing it back and squatting as low as possible.
-Push up through your heels back to the start and repeat.

Shoulder press

Areas trained: Shoulders, rear upper arms

Technique
-Hold a barbell in front of your shoulders with both hands.
-Extend your arms to push the barbell overhead.
-Lower slowly and repeat.