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How to Squeeze a Workout into Your College Schedule

If you’re like me, you hate missing a day of working out. Yet, now that the school year is in full swing, you find yourself having a hard time finding the time or energy to get to the gym. Don’t panic! I’m here to tell you three simple ways that you can squeeze in a workout amid all the college chaos.


HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is a great way to get your heart rate up and takes only 20 minutes, tops! Plus, there are many ways to perform HIIT, so you aren’t confined to a particular machine.

If you have time to get to the gym in between classes, a great way to do HIIT is by running intervals on the treadmill and alternating with 30 seconds of sprinting, and then 30 seconds of walking (or complete rest off the treadmill) for 10 to 20 minutes. You could also do this on the elliptical or stair master. Give it your all for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat!

HIIT workouts can even be done right in the comfort of your dorm. Youtube and Instagram have endless body weight HIIT workouts that involve no equipment! This is a great way to work up a sweat in between classes and doesn’t require you to leave your room.

2. Bands

If strength training is something you enjoy, but you don’t have time to make it to the gym, bands will be your best friend. You can get a pack of bands easily online. Using these bands, you can perform a variety of upper-body, lower-body and even core-focused exercises, all without needing a set of dumbbells. This is an easy way to challenge your muscles quickly and effectively in between classes.

3. Super-setting

If you have limited time, but still want to go to the gym and strength train with specific dumbbells or machines, super-setting is the way to go. This is when you move from one exercise straight to another with no break in between for however many sets you desire. For instance, performing a squat and then doing deadlifts right after—with no rest in between the two exercises—is an example of a lower-body super-set that allows you to do more in a shorter amount of time.

Along with super-setting, a great way to squeeze in a quick and effective workout is to use your rests in between sets to work another part of your body. For instance, if you were to do a back exercise, rather than taking a break between each set, you could perform an ab exercise or squats and repeat this pattern until you’re done with your sets. This is another way to make your workout shorter, yet more effective!

Once classes start, it’s hard to find the time to take a break and be able to get a workout in. It’s easy to pile on the excuses, and neglect making time in our schedules for our physical health. But, there are many ways you can squeeze in a quick and effective with plenty of time to still dedicate to your coursework and schedule!


Kristen Hand

Columbia Barnard '21

Kristen is a sophomore at Barnard College studying psychology and economics. Outside of class, Kristen enjoys to exercise, cook, sing, and listen to music. Her Instagram is kristenhand.
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