Mastering the Workday Workout


April 5, 2012 by Danielle

This March issue of Runner’s World included a fun article on lunch time fitness-something that I have come to love and master. I technically have one hour for lunch between 8:30 and 6 p.m. and my  gym is conveniently located across the street, presenting the perfect opportunity for a midday workout. It’s great to get a sweat on in the middle of the day just when you start to drag and a lunchtime workout session event benefits office work-studies show that midday exercise boosts employee productivity, so workers can hit the ground running (ha!) when they return to the office.  An added bonus is the view from the treadmills, which is a lifesaver in an office with no windows (at least where I sit)-

If I'm going to workout inside-I might as well pretend I'm outside. Not too shabby.

The March  issue of  Runner’s World included a fun lunchtime workout guide with tips for beginners, so in the spirit of fitting a workout into your workday, here is my crash course on mastering the lunchtime workout. If you take away one bit of advice, remember that efficiency is key to being a midday master.

1. Avoid “normal” lunchtime hours-Don’t think you’re the only person who wants to head to the gym at 12 p.m., aka the traditional lunch hour. The gym will most likely be packed. Either go early at 11 a.m. or wait until 1 p.m. (or even 2 or 3 p.m.), so you can beat the lunchtime rush and have access to equipment.

2. Don’t Go In on Empty-Most people know that they probably shouldn’t eat an entire meal before they go into the gym for a workout, but you don’t want to go in starving either. One great Runner’s World tip I use is splitting your lunch-eat half of your lunch about an hour before your lunchtime workout and the other half after.

3. Shower Power-If there’s one thing I’ve mastered it’s the quick shower. If you shower and wash your hair in the morning (or at night for that matter-please say you do one or the other), you really don’t need to bother with washing it again after your lunchtime session. Just scrub down so you’re not stinky at the office, blowdry your hair and get friendly with headbands and my favorite-the side braid, which banishes any unruly fly-aways.

4. Small Steps Save Big Time-The moment you hit the locker room, start taking small measures that will save you time when you have to get ready post workout. I like to make sure my pants are turned the right way out, my clothes are hung in the order I’d put them on (i.e. bra and underwear hung on top, then pants, shirt etc.) It might seems silly but it saves time!

5. Have a Plan-Make sure you have a plan of action before hitting the gym. There’s nothing worse than breaking away from your desk only to wander around the gym aimlessly because you didn’t actually plan your workout. Fitness Magazine and Runner’s World have entire sections devoted to speedy, yet effective workouts and here are two that I did this week*-

Workout #1

Warm-up: 1 mile

Interval Time Speed
1 1:00-2:00 8.7
2 2:00-3:00 6.0
3 3:00-4:00 8.8
4 4:00-5:00 6.0
5 5:00-6:00 8.9
6 6:00-7:00 6.0
7 7:00-8:00 9.0
8 8:00-9:00 6.0
9 9:00-10:00 9.3
10 10:00-11:00 6.0

Cool-down: .5 mile

Total Miles: 4

Workout #2

Circuit 1 Cardio (treadmill) Circuit 2 Cardio(elliptical) Circuit 3 Cardio(erg/stairmaster)
Squat to overhead press 1 minute at6 mph8 mph6 mph9 mph6 mph Side lunge w/ front raise 5 minutes @ 15 resistance Lateral raise in chair pose 5 minutes with 10 second power bursts
Hand release push ups Plank to leg raise Boat pose w/ chest press
Deadlift to upright row Alternating front lunge w/ bicep curl TIU Tummy Tuck

So put your lunch break to use and start breaking a sweat!

Do you work out during your work day? If so, what are your best tips?

*These workouts are my own-remember I’m not a fitness professional yet, so adapt these workouts as you see fit.


4 thoughts on “Mastering the Workday Workout

  1. Sara Katherine says:

    Hey you guys, this summer I’m working about 35hours a week, give or take (mostly give) as a receptionist and going to summer school. Which leaves me with not a whole lot of me time, slash go to the gym workout time. Combine that with helping around the house or catching a nap and I’m all out of time! I was wondering if y’all had any in office suggestions for small but helpful excersises you would recommend. I don’t really have a chance to leave the office.

    • Danielle says:

      Totally understand! I’ll do a post on it later this week, but try out squat, seated leg raises (great for your core) and generally try to get up and stretch often. Look out for a post later this week! Thanks for dropping by!

  2. […] I finally got back in the proverbial saddle and did a Tabata workout during lunch and attended Barre Pro at Pilates Pro […]

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