While having a busy work schedule is awesome for productivity, it can sometimes mean that other things have to get pushed, like sticking to our New Year’s resolution to get healthy. Even with the cutest fitness gear and workout playlists, finding time during our busy work week to hit the gym can seem downright impossible. But according to a new study, having a jam-packed work schedule doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up your fitness goals for good. In fact, cramming all of your workouts into the weekend is still a major benefit to your overall health.

working drinking water

So in order to help out our fellow weekend warriors, we sat down with DIAKADI personal trainer Austin Lopez to chat about how we can make the most out of our weekend workouts. Here are his top five tips to help slay your weekend fitness game.

1. Prep your body during non-workout days. Because cramming all your workouts into two days can be mega-hard on your body, it’s important to prepare yourself during your non-workout days. This includes thinking critically about your diet, hydrating and getting up from your desk every hour or so to mobilize your joints and stretch tight muscles.

2. The more intense, the better. “When you undergo intense exercise, your body gets put into a state of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC),” says Austin. “This basically means that your body has an increased rate of calorie consumption — for up to two days — following the exertion.” Try doing a whole body HIIT workout including sprints, lifting moderate weights relatively fast and doing bodyweight exercises.

3. Do resistance training AND cardio. “Like more intense exercise, resistance training produces a rehabilitative effect that can last for days,” notes Austin. Couple your cardio with several resistance exercises to really make the most out of your workout. Use your own bodyweight, or pick up some dumbbells, a kettlebell or resistance bands to work your muscles.

kettlebell pushup workout gym

4. Eat and drink strategically. Say goodbye to Saturday night pizza, weekend warriors. “Your diet on the weekend should support your goals,” Austin reminds us. “Make sure that carbohydrates are eaten around your workouts and the rest of the day is relatively low carbohydrate (for fat loss) or high carbohydrate (for muscle gain).” It’s always all about the carbs, isn’t it?

5. Find time to relax. “When your work schedule is crazy, it’s important for both your body and your mind to relax,” Austin counsels. “High levels of stress mean high levels of cortisol. This can decrease the effectiveness of your workouts and lead to increased levels of body fat.” Yeesh. Whether it’s a cool-down yoga routine or some strategic meditation, equip yourself with tools that help you zen out.

Are you a weekend warrior when it comes to working out? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)