We were without power for 10 straight hours one day last week. To give you an idea of the impact of the situation, just typing that sentence made me break out in a cold sweat.

Here’s the thing. Typically, power outages occur during a severe thunderstorm, in the middle of a nor’easter or when someone forgets to pay the electric bill.

This was due to none of these things. We were thrown back into the stoneage for what the power company calls, “maintenance and upgrades to the grid.”

I’m not sure what that means, but apparently failing to cut the power during this process could result in a really bad sunburn and fried hair for employees working on the lines.

That much I understood.

Granted, we had a few day’s warning. But nothing really prepares you for the impact of being sans electricity until it happens.

Even when you think you “get it,” you find yourself flipping on light switches expecting them to work and being surprised when they don’t. 

The notice informed us that power would be turned off starting at 10 a.m. and would not be turned back on until “approximately 7:00 p.m. that night. Or longer.

Hours without electricity are dog years compared to traditional, electricity-powered hours. So in my mind this stretched into a week of living like a cave woman.

This is bad enough if you work outside the house, but I and my husband both run our businesses from home. No power means no Internet service. No Internet service means no business. No business means lots of FOMO (fear of missing out).

               I am not a happy camper

I started the day with a good attitude. “Let’s make the best of it and pretend we’re camping!” I said to my husband, who knows I’d rather be shot out of a rocket launcher naked than pitch a tent in the middle of the woods.

In reality, I was scared.

I’m not one of those people who freak out when they forget their phone at home, but I feel as if I’m back in the   1800s until I’m back on the grid.

Precisely on schedule, all power went off at 10 a.m. All electrical appliances could be heard powering down in one big collective sigh.

The house became horror movie quiet, the type of silence that immediately precedes a werewolf suddenly crashing through the front door or a velociraptor running through the kitchen.

(Clearly I need a break from the SyFy channel.)

All I heard was the ticking of my office clock.

Before my imagination got too far out of control, we packed up our laptops and went on a search for a coffee shop with Internet capabilities.  

I wish I could say it went smoothly from there, but the rest of the day was a series of uncomfortable chairs, public restroom nightmares and spotty Wi-Fi.

By 7:00 p.m. my optimistic, look-on-the-bright-side attitude was replaced by a person ready to fight a Jerry Springer guest. When the power reappeared at 7:15 I nearly kissed every lightbulb in the house.

The worst part was feeling I’d wasted a lot of time trying to do simple, everyday actions. It all took forever because I had to make adjustments every step of the way.

This brings me to today’s topic… making the most out of your time.

Let’s face it: No one has time to waste.

You want the most bang for your exercise buck, right? It’s tough enough to get yourself to work out, so when you do you want to be sure you’re doing something that will ultimately produce the results you want.

It doesn’t matter if you’re walking, lifting weights, or working out at home, a few simple tricks ensures you’re making the most out of that time.

Try one or more of these tactics to boost results in less time… 

Pyramid training

No, this does not require working out like an Egyptian, although they may have used this to get strong enough to move around those giant cubes.

In pyramid training you start off with a lighter weight and higher reps then begin adding weight and decreasing the reps with each set, hence, the pyramid.

Here’s how to do it:

–Choose weights accordingly to the number of reps that are being performed.  If one is doing 20 reps the weight will be considerably lower than lifting for 6 reps. When in doubt, choose less weight and use as an additional warm up set.

–Increase weight systematically as the sets progress.  An increase of five to 15% is ideal as the reps decrease.

–Always start off with lighter weight and higher reps when utilizing pyramid training.

Tabata

In it’s truest sense, tabata involves short four-minute bouts of explosive interval moves done for 20 seconds for eight rounds with a 10-second break between each round.

A Tabata routine burned a whopping 13.5 calories a minute and doubled the subjects’ metabolic rate for 30 minutes afterwards, according to research out of Auburn University Montgomery, Alabama.

It would take five times the amount of typical cardio exercise to shed the same number of calories that result from a four-minute Tabata.  

The downside: It’s really hard when done properly. The concept sounds simple, but the execution is killer. I suggest modifying this routine before going full out.

Choose a total body move you can do and progress from there.

  • Work out hard for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete 8 rounds

Interval cardio

Many studies show that interval training boosts weight loss in short time.

So instead of plodding along for an hour an a treadmill, alternate bouts of walking or jogging with more intense running and burn more calories in less time—and keep calories burning for long after you’re done. If you’re a newbie, walk for a minute alternating with jogging for 30 seconds. Repeat the cycle.

Mix cardio and weights

Instead of splitting up your cardio on separate days from weights, do both within the same workout for maximum use of your time.

Choose an upper body, lower body, abs and then a cardio interval. Choose a lower-body exercise (squat or lunge, for example) follow it with an upper body move (chest press or row) and complete the circuit with a short cardio burst.

An example: 15 bodyweight squats followed by 10 push-ups, 30 seconds of crunches and then 30 to 60 seconds of jumping jacks or running on a treadmill.

Compound sets

In compounds sets you perform two sets of exercises for the same muscle group.  Shoulder presses followed by lateral raises, for example, is a great shoulder workout and saves time.

Since you’re working the same muscle, your goal is to further fatigue the muscle with successive sets. You won’t be able to lift heavier because it’s exhausting.

Try: overhead shoulder presses followed by lateral raises; triceps extensions followed by triceps kickbacks also work as does chest presses and chest flies.

YOUR TURN…  Which of these will you try this week? Let me know in the comments section below… and please forward this and share with your ageless friends! They will thank you ♥.

Other posts you may enjoy:

3 Exercises that don’t do what you think they do

How to get shapely, jiggle-free, tank top worthy arms

How to use combination exercises for faster results

P.S. Mark the date! Want to get rid of belly fat for good? Then be sure to look for an email announcing my latest webinar, Blast Belly Fat After 50, on June 1, 10:00 a.m. PST. Details coming soon…

Your Ageless Body Coach,