Best Quick Workouts to Do When Gym is Packed

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Productive Work

triceps pushup

Getting in a workout at the gym when it is completely packed can really throw your routine off track. You are frustrated because all of the machines and benches are taken and you know it is going to take you twice as long to get in the workout that you want.

Instead of skipping your workout you need to think instinctively. You need to think high-intensity, fast paced, minimal yet productive. You need to think laser sharp focus so you can get in and out and not get annoyed by the crowd. All you need is one piece of equipment and you can do a lot of damage.

SEE ALSO: 10 Swell Substitutes for Crowded Exercise Machines

The following workouts are perfect for those looking to keep their gains even if it means going outside of your workout routine. If you work hard enough during these workouts, you will see some progress that you didn’t think was possible during busy times at the gym.

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Chest: Dumbbell Flye Press Combo

The Dumbbell Workout

This stretch and press combo has been known to produce some great pec growth. It also allows you to use minimal equipment and achieve a great chest workout in minimal time. 

How to Perform:

Grab a weight where you can perform 15 chest flyes with good form. Then, perform the following superset with the same weight for all sets. Rest 1-2 minutes between supersets.

Workout can be done on the ground if there are no benches available. 

  • 15 Chest flyes and 15 chest presses
  • 12 Chest flyes and 12 chest presses
  • 10 Chest flyes and 10 chest presses
  • 8 Chest flyes and 8 chest presses
  • 6 Chest flyes and 6 chest presses

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Chest: Quick Pec Blast on Floor

man doing pushup

Floor presses and pushups are underrated and appreciated exercise when looking to build a bigger chest. Just grab a pair of dumbbells and find some space on the floor and get after it. 

How to Perform:

Perform 5 rounds of the following superset. Rest no more than 2-minutes between supersets.

  • 10 Dumbbell floor presses
  • 20 Pushups 

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Back: Chinup Ladder


Nothing hits the lats and biceps like the chin-up. Racking up a lot of quality reps can be tough and the ladder method is a great way to pace yourself and accumulate a lot of volume. 

How to Perform: 

Perform 3 sets of this chinup circuit. Reps are as follows: 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2.

Rest 60-90 seconds between sets. If you do not complete the prescribed number of reps without coming off of the bar, simply come off the bar, wait 10-20 seconds, and repeat until you reach the prescribed amount of reps. Then rest 60-90 seconds.

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Back: Single Dumbbell Lat Blast

5 Reasons You Need to Do Pullovers

Pullovers provide a great stretch and contracts for the lats and the row finishes them off. Again, just one dumbbell to a wider and thicker back. 

Perform the following superset with minimal rest between supersets. 

10 Dumbbell pullovers (using single DB)
15 One-arm dumbbell rows 

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Legs: Quad Crusher

Dumbbell Reaching Lunge with Lateral Raise

This workout is sure to bring new life into your leg routine. If you are used to doing low reps with high weight, this complex will tap into some new muscle fibers and conditioning levels you never thought you had. 

Perform 3 rounds, rest 2-3 minutes between rounds.

  • 22 alternating forward lunges (11 each leg)
  • 22 bodyweight squats
  • 22 split squat jumps (11 each leg)
  • 22 squat jumps

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Legs: 100 Rep Goblet Squats

Grab a weight where you can easily perform 10 goblet squats. With minimal rest and sets, complete 100 total goblet squats. 

I often use this when traveling and am forced to use a small and busy hotel gym. You get a ton of volume in with out having to think about it. 

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Arms: High-Rep Dumbbell Arm Blast

hammer curl

A classic agonist and antagonist superset pushes a ton of blood and nutrients into the muscle and allows you to hit your entire arm with just two moves. Superset the following exercises using the same dumbbells for each exercise for all 3 sets. Rest as little as possible between supersets. 

Lying dumbbell triceps extensions: Rep count:  20, 15, 12, 10, 8
Hammer curls: Rep count:  20, 15, 12, 10, 8

Extensions and curls are marvelous for the arms but compound movements that also isolate the biceps and triceps hit them even harder. Using a close grip on both of these forces your biceps and triceps to do a lot of work and less with the chest and lats. 

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Arms: Diamond Pushup + Chinup Superset

Superset these two bodyweight exercises for 5 sets with minimal rest. 

  • Chinups 5 x failure 
  • Diamond pushups 5 x failure 

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Shoulders: Boulder Shoulder Circuit

lateral raise

You may have to use a smaller dumbbell but don’t let that fool you. This circuit will blow up your shoulders and hit every muscle in the deltoid area. You will feel like your shoulders are on fire when you are done. 

Perform 3 rounds of 15 reps each. Use the same dumbbells the whole time. Rest 2-minutes between each circuit completed.

  • Front raise 
  • Lateral raise
  • Rear delt flye
  • Shoulder press  

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Shoulders: Hang Clean & Press EMOM

Get Explosive with the Hang Clean

High-rep Olympic lift variations can oftentimes be unsafe. The EMOM method allows you to get a high amount of reps for muscle growth while also keeping safety in mind. 

How to Perform:

Load a barbell up with 45-95 pounds depending on your strength level. Perform 5 reps every minute on the minute. So, if you complete the 5 reps in 30 seconds, you will have 30-seconds to rest before you pick the bar back up and repeat. Start with 8-10 minutes and work your way up to 15-minutes. 

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Abs: Old-School Ab-Shredder

Shawn Perine Situp

While crunches and hanging leg raises have decreased in popularity due to a more functional core training approach, performing some old school isolation movements for the abs worked for many of the legends like Zane and Colombo. 

How to Perform: 

3 rounds of 15 rep each, resting minimally between exercises.

  • Hanging leg raises 
  • V-ups
  • Side plank with hip raise 
  • Situps 

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Full Body: Dumbbell Complex

Full-body complexes have been popular in the track and field and strength and conditioning arenas for quite some time. Bodybuilders have now taken notice of complexes for many great reasons. They put the boy under load (time under tension) for a long time and crush your cardio and burn a ton of fat. 

How to Perform: 

For all of the full-body complexes, the goal is to hang onto the dumbbells the whole time until all of the reps for each exercise are finished. Rest 1-2 minutes between complexes. 3 rounds of 8 reps each. 

  • Bentover row 
  • Squat, curl, push press 
  • Reverse lunges 
  • Romanian deadlifts 

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Full Body: Barbell Complex

4 Reasons to Front Squat More

How to Perform: 

The goal is to hang onto the dumbbells the whole time until all of the reps for each exercise are finished. Rest 1-2 minutes between complexes. 3 rounds of 8 reps each. 

  • Bentover row 
  • Hang clean
  • Push press
  • Front squat
  • Deadlift 

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Full Body: Man Maker Circuit

burpee exercise

How to Perform:

Grab a pair of dumbbells that you can press overhead for 15-20 reps. 

Perform 10 reps and then rest 1-2 minutes. Then perform 8 reps, rest, 6 reps, rest, 4 reps, rest, and then 2 reps. 

  • Plank (renegade) row
  • Pushup
  • Squat jump
  • Curl and press 
  • Burpees 

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Cardio: Bodyweight Met Con

Connect Four Bodyweight Workout

It’s amazing what you can do with some old-school bodyweight calisthenics that you did in gym class. One reason why they work for fat loss and conditioning is because most bodybuilders neglect these simple movements in favor of the weights and traditional cardio. This circuit will wake you up. 

How to Perform: 

3-5 rounds of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off of the following exercises. 

  • Jumping jacks 
  • Mountain climbers 
  • Burpees 
  • Squat jumps 

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Cardio: Bike Sprints

Faster Muscle Recovery

The bike can be quite boring if you jus hop on and pedal. Wit this sprint circuit, you won’t be bored but you will be gasping for air and fill your thighs up with tons of blood. Heavy squat workouts do wonders for the thighs but until you tried a serious bike sprint workout, you may think twice about that. 

How to Perform:

Warm-up for 5-minutes at a moderate pace. Then, perform the following:

60-second sprint, rest 120 seconds
45-second sprint, rest 90 seconds
30-second sprint, rest 60 seconds
60-second sprint, rest 60 seconds
45-second sprint, rest 45 seconds
30-seocnd sprint, rest 30 seconds

Perform a 5-minute cool-down at a slow pace. 

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Cardio: Jump Rope/Mountain Climber Combo

These High-Intensity Finishers Will Amp Up Your Workout

Again, and old-school gym class type conditioning workout. The jump rope never goes out of style for a good reason; it works. 

How to Perform: 

Jump Rope 1-minutes
50 Mountain Climbers
Jump Rope 2-minutes
25 Mountain Climbers
Jump Rope 3-minutes
50 Mountain Climbers
Jump Rope 4-minutes
25 Mountain Climbers
Jump Rope 5-minutes
50 Mountain Climbers 

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