Spending hours at the gym is daunting for even the most hardcore health heavies, so if you’re finding that time is not on your side most days, we offer a tried-and-true workout plan that will have you looking your best in 30 minutes or less. Tina Ceroni, an Oakville-based personal trainer and owner of PersonalFit recommends combining muscle groups with cardio intervals to burn calories and maximize your time. Here, her top tips:

First, you need to warm-up your body by choosing a cardio interval that gets you moving. You can achieve this by running on the spot, climbing flights of stairs or jumping on your favourite cardio machine for 5-8 minutes. This will increase your blood flow and warm-up those muscles. You want to start a small sweat, but you should not be out of breath at this point.

Interval #1:

Wide bent-over row
With legs shoulder width apart, hinge at your hips keeping you back flat and abdominals tight, bend forward with your hands hanging on either side of your knees. Make sure there is a slight bend in your knees and that they are not hyper-extended. Raise weights so your elbows come out wide and are parallel to your shoulder blades, squeeze the shoulder blades then lower slowly.
(Repeat 10-15 times, or until you reach fatigue).

Return to standing position with knees soft and go straight into upright rows with alternating lunges. With the same weights in both hands, bring your arms up straight towards the chest with your elbows raised above your shoulders. Simultaneously alternate your lunges (from left to right) with each upright row.
(Repeat 10-15 times, or until you reach fatigue).

Cardio push: Skipping rope
A short burst of cardio with help increase your heart rate and burn calories. Grab a skipping rope and try skipping for 10-12 minutes straight. This will not only add variety to this 30-minute workout, but it will help maximize your time by adding cardio into your strength training exercises.Squats with shoulder press
Adding a shoulder press to your squat will not only increase your power, but will work the glutes, quads, hamstrings and abdominals all while giving you an upper body workout. Genius!

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower into a squat position (Look at your knees: they should not move forward too much so they’re over your toes.) Suck in your abdominals and stick your hips back when you go into your squat position. Lift (with the same weights) and extend your arms high above your head into a shoulder press while performing the squat.
(Repeat 10-15 times, or until you reach fatigue).

Cardio push: Lateral skating
Do like the speed skaters do, find an open spot on the gym floor and perform a lateral skating motion from side-to-side for 1 minute (working your way up to 2 minutes). Make sure the step is wide (5-7 feet), hold the abdominals tight and swing your arms side-to-side to coincide with your feet jumping from the left to the right. Keep hips low to the ground. This is a challenging exercise that will increase your heart rate, but also work those glutes. To lower the intensity, bring the hips higher as you jump.Push-ups with forward plank
Push-ups are one of the most effective exercises to strengthen your chest, front of shoulders, triceps and abdominals.

Starting in a full push-up (a.k.a “man’s push-up”), your hand should be wider then your shoulder. If it is too difficult to do this push-up, drop your knees on the floor and perform the exercise this way. Keep your abdominals tight and watch that you don’t sink through the hips. Perform 10-15 push-ups or until fatigue.

Cardio push: Planks
Immediately after you are done your push-ups, drop your elbows onto the floor (raise your feet if they were dropped) and hold the abdominal plank position for 30-60 seconds (depending on level). When performing this plank you want to keep your entire body parallel to the floor.

For more on these exercises, or if interested in speaking to Tina Ceroni about personal training, please contact her at: [email protected].