4 Ways to Get Toned With as Little Effort as Humanly Possible

You don't have time to workout. I know it. You know it. We are all nodding slowly in understanding. (See also: 7 Ways to Get the Best Morning Workout)

When it comes to fitness, we all must face the ever-restrictive bully that is time. Too often, we let that ticking clock get the best of us, but I'm about to share some super-secret methods that will help you finally beat time at his own game.

1. Implement Interval Training Principals

Interval training is the secret to time-efficient training. It involves replacing breaks with alternative activity that keeps the heart working without overloading any given muscle group.

Instead of jogging for 30 minutes, you can spend 10 minutes doing 15 second sprint/45 second jog intervals and burn the same number of calories. Instead of an hour and a half lifting at the gym, do 30 minutes of supersets.

Most people fail at their fitness goals because intense workouts are uncomfortable. I'm not talking about physical pain. I'm talking about that heart/lung discomfort you hit after about five minutes of running hard. To make your body better itself, you have to consistently hit the point of discomfort in your workouts, and that's what interval training will do for you.

2. Multi-Task Your Fitness

You don't need to budget time for fitness if you can incorporate your workout into pre-existing responsibilities. Have to walk the dog? Make it a jog. Have a 15 minute commute to work? Wake up a 20 minutes earlier and make it a 30 minute bike ride followed by a five minute shower (if your workplace has showers).

There are a lot of possibilities here, so get creative. I'm not talking about squats next to your desk a couple times during the day. I'm talking about a legitimate workout that pushes you past the point of cardiovascular discomfort.

One of the best ways to make time for physical activity is to incorporate it into your relationship building activities. Instead of dining out with the family, pack a healthy picnic style dinner and go play a sport at the park. Not only is better for the relationships and easier for your wallet, but you'll also being getting exercise without having to budget the time.

3. Eat Clean With a Cheat Day

Getting toned has far more to do with your diet than your workout plan. Your workout will build your muscles, but your diet will let you cut the fat covering them up. Eating a clean, low-carb diet will help you actually cut those annoying fat pockets.

One of the most frustrating parts of eating clean is seeing no progress despite the forfeiture of your favorite goodies. For those who are relatively fit but trying to reach a new level of sexy tone, plateaus in your progress are common. Combat these lags with a cheat day once per week. By eating high-calorie foods, you can kickstart your slowed metabolism back into gear, allowing you to benefit from the drive the rest of the week while you're eating clean.

4. Be Consistent, But Not Too Consistent

The worst thing you can do is change up your workout or diet before any progress is made. If you are not seeing results in two weeks, hold steady for another three. Often, your body needs a good five or six weeks to start gaining.

On the other hand, doing the same thing week in and week out for a year won't do you much good. Change up your workout every six weeks to keep the body guessing. Change up your diet from time to time too or your body might start developing an aversion to certain oft-devoured food items.

Go, Go, Go!

That's it. Short and sweet. Now why are you still reading this? Go ahead and get 'er done!

Do you follow a short, intense, and effective workout routine? What's your secret?

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