6 Must Try "Tri-Sets" For Time Strapped Gym Goers

Life is busy. We live in a fast paced, ever changing world. Monday seems to flow into Tuesday and before you know it, the week is over. It’s a wonder we get things done at all. Too often busy-ness gets mistaken for productivity.  I am not the right person to go to when it comes to restructuring and reorganizing your daily schedule, habits or commitments; I can, however, provide you with a few efficient workout options to maximize the short time you are able to commit to your workout regimen.


For the average North American – finding 20 minutes to workout is a challenge. As a professional fitness coach I usually see 1 of 2 potential uses of this elusive 20 minutes. A select group of people feel that 20 minutes is far from adequate so it’s not even worth the effort. This group of people is misinformed. 20 minutes is more than adequate if planned effectively. The second group of people puts that 20 minutes to what they perceive to be the most effective use of time, the one style of training that makes them sweat the most: steady state cardio (ex. Jogging). I will be the first to acknowledge that something is better than nothing. I will also be the first person in the room to place my overzealous vote for weight training to be prioritized over cardio.


In short; lifting weights promotes the development of further muscle tissue which results in a more efficient metabolism. A more efficient metabolism means that you have a higher probability of reaching your physique goals AND sustaining them long term. Cardio might make you sweat more but sweating doesn’t translate to a better physique OR an improved health profile. Furthermore; with the Tri-Sets outlined below not only will you manage an effective full body workout but you will also manage to elevate your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular health. Two for one. You can’t beat that!


The following Tri-Sets:

·         Require very little equipment (they can often be utilized with as little as a few dumbbells and a bench)

·         Require minimal space (great for large commercial gyms during busy hours)

·         5 rounds will not only provide an extremely challenging workout BUT you can complete all 5 rounds in under 20 minutes (15 minutes if you’re an absolute machine!)

·         Increase muscle tissue (make certain to use a challenging weight – adjusting on a set to set basis is allowed!)

·         Improves your cardiovascular health (Due to the fast paced, circuit style tri-set structure – your heart rate WILL be elevated!)


**NOTE** If you are not familiar with any of the exercises listed below, simply click on the name and it will bring you to a demonstration video!

To complete a TRI-SET effectively:

1. Perform 10-15 repetitions of each exercise making certain to utilize a challenging weight.

2. Complete all 3 exercises in a row before taking your first block of rest. (Rest 1-2 minutes)

3. Complete 5 total rounds of the TRI-SET.

4. Complete 1 TRI-SET for a short high intensity style workout (The goal is NOT to complete all six options)

Next time you find yourself time strapped and beginning to formulate an excuse as to why 20 minutes of training isn’t worth the effort anyways, simply choose and use one of the circuits listed above and very quickly you’ll realize that 20 minutes is more than adequate in terms of completing an effective training session!

Ben Graham PTS, Pn1

Fitness & Lifestyle Coach

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