Monday, 12 December 2016

Where There’s a Will There’s a Way - Training With Injuries

Recently I’ve picked up on one or two awkward injuries that have in some ways interrupted my training.
I don’t want any trophies and you can hold the applause but... it didn’t stop me from training. 
While I never want to encourage people to train when injured and worsen the issue, I DO think it’s important to:
  1. Learn to listen to your body.. PROPERLY!
  2. Be flexible and work around issues 
I always say to my clients: “If you only trained on the days when you feel full of energy, you’ve slept well, eaten well and have no aches and pains then you’d probably exercise about 5 or 10 times a year.”
It would be naive of me to encourage people to “just get on with it” or “ignore the pain.” Far from it. Acknowledge the pain and figure out a way to stay active while resting the injured body part.
When it comes to exercise and making regular progress consistency is king. If you take regular breaks from training because things “aren’t quite right” then you’ll constantly be taking one step forwards and one step back again.
  1. Listen to your body but BE HONEST! Don’t look for the first excuse to skip a session.
  2. If a joint hurts – stop! 
  3. If you’re injured – that’s not the end! Find a way to work around it. Use alternative equipment, try using cable machines, incorporate more cardio work, get creative!
  4. Focus on other areas: cardio, mobility, isolation work. Just keep active!
  5. Be patient! Don’t rush recovery! I’ve tried it before and regretted it every time!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter(@MichaelD_PT)

Saturday, 12 November 2016

15 Things You Can Do With a Kettlebell

Any of my clients and former clients will confirm that I always tend to incorporate some form of kettlebell work into most sessions.


  1. There are some exercises which are only suitable for kettlebells
  2. Kettlebell variations of traditional gym exercises often add an element of skill to a workout
  3. Some kettlebell exercises and flows can allow your body to move freely unlike many traditional gym exercises

I have my own kettlebells at home and I am one of “those types” that enjoys spending my free time in the garden throwing them around and moving around through a variety of movements. I love kettlebells... there... I said it!

Here are 15 exercises that have helped me fall in love with kettlebells.

NOTE: If you’ve never had any in-person guidance with kettlebells then PLEASE do so. Do NOT use images in magazines (and blogs like this) as enough guidance.

2) Kettlebell Goblet Squats -

3) Double Kettlebell Push Press -

6) Kettlebell Clean and Press -

7) Single Kettlebell Front Squat -

8) Kettlebell Reverse Lunge -

9) Kettlebell Sumo Squat and High Pull -

10) Kettlebell Windmill -

14) Kettlebell Suitcase Deadlift -

Or.. one of my favourite things to do (especially if you're short on time or doing a quick home workout) is a Kettlebell flow / complex like this: 
Click Here

They’re fun, different and challenging. If you DON’T use kettlebells on a weekly basis then you’re missing out!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@MichaelD_PT) and YouTube

Thursday, 27 October 2016

FUN!.. Yet Cardio? F.Y.C

"But I hate cardio!" Said almost everyone at some point.

It's because these people are probably thinking specifically: "I hate the idea of jogging on a treadmill for 30 minutes with nothing else to look at but the mirror in front of me."

Well if that's the only cardiovascular work you do then no wonder you hate it! If you want to have some fun with cardio why not try some of these options below?

Idea 1: Break down your distance into high intensity intervals. Instead of rowing 2,000m or 3,000m why not set up to row 250m, rest for 30 secs and repeat 10 times. A tough, more engaging and high intensity 2,500m.

Idea 2: Row for repetitions. Perform 10-15 strong strokes, jump off the rowing machine and perform a compound movement such as 10 kettlebell swings or 10 dumbbell thrusters. Jump back on to the rowing machine and repeat. Keep going until your total distance reaches 2,000m. The harder you pull, the less rounds you need to do.

Idea 3: Row for calories. Set the monitor to read calories rowed. Row until you achieve 1 calorie. Reset the monitor, count to 5 and repeat for 2 calories. Reset, count to 5 and row for 3 calories etc. Keep going finishing on 10 or more calories.

Idea 1: Deadmills / manual sprints / skill mills. This is much more challenging and interesting way to use a treadmill. Even better: it's quick! Below is a "how to" video for deadmills. Why not try getting the treadmill up to top speed, sprint for a count of 5 then jumping to stand on the sides. Rest until the treadmill belt stops moving. Jump back on and repeat. Try this 5-10 times.
Deadmills: HOW TO 

Idea 2: Hill running intervals. Run for 15 secs, rest for 45 secs. Start on incline 5% and increase the incline by 1% each interval. Repeat for 10-15 mins or until you can't complete the 15 secs.

Idea 3: Get off your feet and use your hands. Try some treadmill crawls like these: Treadmill Agility Work

Idea 1: Hills, Sprints, Rest, Repeat. Start with a heavy resistance to replicate a hill climb. Pedal standing out of the seat, against a slow, heavy resistance. Then reduce the resistance and pedal quickly for a 30 second sprint, then pedal very slowly for 30 seconds of recovery. Repeat for 10-15 rounds.

Idea 2: Spin and pump. Rest 2 x dumbells on the bike handlebars. Pedal quickly for 30 seconds, then, while keeping th epedals moving slowly, take the dumbells and perform 10 x dumbbell curls or 10 x shoulder presses. When the next minute comes around, repeat this until you have done 10 x 30 sec sprints, 50 x dumbbell curls and 50 x dumbbell shoulder presses.

Idea 3: Add in some powerful bursts. Break up a 15 minute bike session by throwing in some sprint intervals. Try sprinting with maximum effort between 25-30 secs of each minute and again from 55- the end of each minute. ie: 2 x 5 sec sprints per minute.

If you'd like some more ideas on creating fun and interesting training sessions have a look here: Workout Ideas 

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter - @ MichaelD_PT

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

What motivates you to exercise? Why do you go to the gym?

I've recently returned from a relaxing holiday in Thailand. The hotel was fairly remote and not particularly near to anything.

When the issue of "exercising on holiday" came up myself and my girlfriend had very different feelings about it (I won't go into it!).

It made me begin to think: "What motivates people?"

Over the years I've had an array of clients each with differing needs, experience, abilities and levels of self-motivation. By training an array of people I've developed skills in identifying different characteristics to help me keep people engaged with their sessions and help to motivate them.

But you can't always have someone guiding you through every step; so, it's important for you to understand what motivates you so that you can tap in to this and develop a decent and sustainable gym routine and workout intensity.

"I feel good afterwards"
This is me (mostly). Myself and the majority of people I train are aware of their body, emotions and energy enough to acknowledge the positive impact that exercise has on these areas of their lives. If you can tap into this emotion it can be a real help on those days when you miserable or tired or feeling uninspired.
If you don't know what I'm talking about then take time to consider the difference in your energy levels and mood on days when you do and don't exercise. How you feel before and after a session.

"I enjoy it"
Some people really enjoy themselves DURING their gym sessions. They like to feel challenged, they like to learn new skills and they see the gym as a playground. Don't worry if this isn't you; these people are a minority.

"I've always been active"
Some people can't manage being inactive. Don't get me wrong, I like to be a sofa slob some days as much as the next person but, if I'm still for a long period I get the fidgets. For this group of people it doesn't even need to always be structured exercise in order to satisfy their needs; just moving around and not sitting can be enough.

"I like the way it makes me look"
These people can remember their "before" stage and like the results that their efforts have created. If you fall into this bracket then it's essential that you don't allow progress to stall as your motivation will begin to waiver.

"I'll get fat" / "I'll get small"
This fear is probably the most useful trait to have. If you're genuinely worried about the impact of NOT exercising then, you'll probably develop a very consistent exercise regime. Just be sure that you're spending your time wisely and not over-doing it for your body. Many people with this mindset won't have the education to get the results they desire so they'll just do loads of exercise; some suitable for their goals, some less so. Train smarter - not harder!

"I do it because I have to"
If going to the gym is like community service to you then you have a long and testing relationship with exercise ahead. You need to find your passion and find something to float your boat. There will be something, you just need to look hard enough. Maybe it's a style of training (strength training, circuit training, Olympic lifting), or group exercise style (bootcamps, spinning, boxing), maybe a new sport or maybe some new equipment that you've not done much with (kettlebells, clubbells, TRX).
If you still can't find your addiction then try this article:

"I train with one goal in mind"
Some people can only train with specific goals and challenges in mind. Perhaps it's something they can measure in the gym: a bigger deadlift, a quicker 10k run, mastering skipping. Perhaps it's with their physique: dropping body fat percentage, fitting into old clothes. Perhaps it's lifestyle based: being able to play football with their children. Perhaps it's a fitness challenge: running a marathon, finishing a "Tough Mudder" event. This is a great way to stay engaged as your can alter your goals and training at regular intervals. Just be sure that you always have the next challenge in mind as these people are very susceptible to a moral crash once the events are finished. With that down goes the training, up goes the poor food, down goes the happiness and feelings about themselves as up goes the weight.

"I have an event coming up"
This is predominantly a scenario as the summer months approach or perhaps a wedding. Any time that you're going to be on show basically. The problem for this set of people is that more often than not, there will only be one summer holiday per year, one time that you're forced to wear less clothing and reveal your body in front of others, one short period where you're made aware of just how unhappy you are with your physique. So what do you do the rest of the year? Rather than putting stress on yourself 4 weeks before holiday, try to starve yourself and ultimately, end up stressed, anxious and unhappy with your appearance on holiday, why not "stay ready"? Remember the last time that you felt those horrible feelings of being conscious of your body. Next time you think about not training with intensity or not training at all call back these emotions.

What now?..
Whatever your motivation, it's important to acknowledge it and understand how to tap into it in your times of need.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@MichaelD_PT)

Monday, 29 August 2016

You will NEVER look how you want to look

I’m not one to be a detractor from people trying to better themselves; if you’re going to work hard, eat well and be honest with yourself about the effort that you’re going to put in then that’s great!
However, for the other 95% of gym users, it’s important to realise “You will NEVER look how you want to look.”
Here are some reasons why:
Miss-sold perceptions of how much work is necessary
If you take a glance at the magazine rack at your nearest shop you won’t need to look far before you see promises of a “6 week body” or “simple plan”. In reality there is NO “simple” route and NO way you can look like the person on the cover in 6 weeks (unless you are already in very good shape). Being healthy and getting the body you desire is a long-term plan that requires consistency and commitment for months on end... not a few weeks!

Miss-sold perceptions of what actually went on
Most leading health and fitness magazines have at some stage featured a plan claiming “This is how (insert celebrity) got into shape.” However, there are some things that have been overlooked: 1) There is often insufficient information on the nutrition required for these results. 2) The trainer involved is unlikely to offer all of their methods and techniques they used for free. Instead, this is probably an example of one workout that they used (or, in many cases, just a random workout), 3) This is the job of the celebrity. They were able to focus their entire day on exercise, proper rest and nutrition. You probably have a full time job to contend with so it’s unlikely you can put in the same level of effort, 4) There was probably some supplements involved. Some legal and often some illegal. That’s the truth.

You don't train hard enough
In reality, the physique that you have in mind takes a LOT of hard work. Training with a purpose and a relevant plank and intensity is something that a lot of people overlook. Chatting to people while you train, using your phone at regular intervals, watching TV or entering the gym without a clear and distinct session plan are all guaranteed to leave you not achieving the results you want.

You don't eat well enough
The quality of your training is only half of the battle. The other side is your nutrition. It’s essential to invest in your nutrition and focus on planning your meals and snacks. I often tell clients: “When it comes to nutrition - Common sense doesn’t always apply”. You may think that you’re “eating well”, however your efforts may be misguided. It’s always best to seek professional nutrition guidance and take away all of the guess work. Some of the food you need to focus on may be more expensive but look at it as an investment. Remember: Eating well isn’t expensive. Eating bad food is cheap!

You're not consistent enough
This is where you need to be honest. If you’ve ever “tried” something, did you just “try”? Or, did you give it your full effort? Did you stick to your eating plan 100%? Did you never miss a single gym session? Did you ever have a good week then a bad week? Or, a good day then a bad day? This is not to say that you can NEVER have a treat or enjoy yourself but... you don’t instantly have treats and things you shouldn’t. If you’re seriously trying to lose body fat and you’re more than 14lbs away from your ideal weight then for now, you should minimise “cheat meals”; especially if they keep on appearing time after time. Don’t have the logic “I worked hard at the gym today so I can have this pudding.” That kind of habit building will get you nowhere.

You're not applying enough time to your goals
Again, you’ve been fooled by the sales of these “6 week plans”. Give your body time to adjust to your changing lifestyle. If you’ve suddenly reduced your calories and/or increased the amount of exercise you’re doing then your body will take some time to understand this and establish a routine. If you’re consistent with the amount of calories you consume and the amount of exercise you do then your body will be able to regulate calorie use and hormone levels in order to help you gradually improve body composition. If you don’t apply yourself for at least 3 months then this won’t happen and you won’t see any changes and yet again, you’ll pack it in.

It doesn't actually matter enough to you
Here’s the one that accounts to about 95% of people. Either A) You’re not in terrible shape so you “wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds”, or “Wouldn’t mind getting a bit leaner” but if it doesn’t happen then you’re not that bothered. Or, B) You like the idea of being in better shape, but not as much as you like the idea of drinking alcohol regularly, eating take away food, not sleeping enough, eating high levels of sugar and not prepping your food. Basically, it all sounds like too much hard work.

This is not meant to be a negative, moaning blog putting you down and making you feel useless. Instead, it’s designed for you to take a closer, more honest look at your behaviour and realise why you aren’t in the shape you want to be in. If you’re happy with that, that’s fine. If not, then perhaps now you can look at address these behaviours.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@MichaelD_PT) and  YouTube

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

"I haven't eaten ketchup all year..." - Breaking Habitual Eating Habits

Since January 1st 2016 I haven't eaten any ketchup.

What a great achievement! Well not really. I've had other condiments on some occasions such as brown sauce and mayonnaise.

So what's the point?
Well, I wanted to see if I could make conscious decisions and replace habitual eating with conscious eating.

To put it into perspective, I was not exactly a ketchup addict. But, it did find its way onto eggs occasionally in the morning when they seemed a bit dry and onto some dinner plates too. It was becoming unconscious and I wanted to see what I could do about it.

What about you?
Many people will eat or drink certain things at certain times just because "that's what I've always done."

But what if these things are benefiting them? In fact, what if these small things are regularly steering them away from their goals.

What do you do unconsciously? Biscuits with your daily cup of tea? Sugars in your tea? Pudding after dinner? Alcohol after work?

What should you do next?
Try to remove these habitual things that are taking you further from your goals for 3 weeks or more. Know that you're not going to go without them forever.
Then, as you choose to, gradually re-introduce some of the things on a less frequent occasion.

Building these conscious habits with your eating can be a great way to increase your awareness of the foods you consume and in doing so, strike up a much more beneficial balance between "good" and "bad".

If you're not sure where to start then perhaps write a food diary and look through it after a week to find recurring detractors that keep reappearing such as foods that are high in sugar.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@MichaelD_PT)

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Ways to Structure a Short Session

Often people will say things like:

"I don't want to spend hours on end in the gym."
"I can only put aside a short amount of time for the gym." (perhaps a lunch break for example)
"When I get in the gym, I don't know how to best spend my time."
"I only have a short time to exercise so I end up just doing the same things that I already know."
"I only had 30 minutes so I just went for a run."

Or perhaps a combination of these things.

So what if you have these, or a combination of these problems? Well, I'm here to help you.

Below is a list of just some of the ways that you can structure a quick gym session in order to make the most of your time and get a short, yet effective workout.

First Things First...
Write it down BEFORE you get to the gym! You already have a limited amount of time so don't waste gym time walking around, thinking what you'd like to do. Take time to structure a session before hand, enter with a plan and follow it.

Now try these:

Timed Circuit Training
The most straight forward and traditional method of all. Simply set your self a few exercises (probably 5-8) and perform them for an allocated length of time. Use an interval timer to do time the exercise time and also your pre-allotted rest time. Don't cheat yourself and take extra rest; when the buzzer goes, you go.

One of the great things about this is you know exactly how long you'll need to exercise for; ideal when you're on a tight schedule. Two things to be aware of when planning your circuit 1) Logistics: Make sure the equipment and area you need to use at the gym is positioned near each other or able to be moved near each other. 2) Popularity: Don't design a circuit that has you using a mixture of equipment that's likely to be used as you move from one area to the next. Better still, use some bodyweight exercises then you'll always be able to include them and shuffle the order on the go should someone jump on to your equipment and muck up the circuit.

An easy example would be: 30 secs work, 30 secs rest x 5 laps (25 mins total)
A1) Press Ups
A2) Kettlebell swings
A3) Kettlebell Goblet Squats
A4) TRX Rows
A5) Jumping Lunges / Switch Lunges

Progressions: Reduce rest time, add more exercises, add more laps.

Combine Cardio and Resistance Work
This is one of my favourite ways to get your heart rate elevated and use your gym time wisely. Pick a cardio exercise and a resistance exercise that, given the layout of your gym, can be done with relative ease (either near to the cardio equipment to ensure you can keep an eye on it while you do the resistance work, or on a piece of cardio equipment (like a treadmill) which there are plenty of in your gym so you're happy to walk away from to perform the resistance exercise.

A session structure might look like this:

A1) 1 min high incline treadmill jog
A2) Pull ups to failure
5 rounds
B2) 200m Row
B2) 15 x Kettlebell Swings
5 rounds
C1) 30 Sec Bike Sprint
C2) 10 x Dumbell Curl and Push Press
5 rounds

Or Perhaps you'd prefer to stick with one piece of cardio equipment that you're more familiar with so something like:

A1) 5 x Burpees
A2) 5 x Medicine Ball Slams
A3) 5 x Double Kettlebell Clean and Press
A4) 30 Second Hill Run

Or, from a psychological point you might like to shorten your cardio effort as you go. Therefore knowing that after the first set, the cardio part gets shorter and shorter.
For example:
10 dumbbell thrusters, row 500m, 10 dumbbell thrusters, row 400m, 10 dumbbell thrusters, row 300m, 10 dumbbell thrusters, row 200m, 10 dumbbell thrusters, row 100m.

Beware: This might take a little bit of playing around with to get the correct difficulty level to match your abilities. Try not to completely fatigue similar muscle groups in both the cardio and the resistance work. For example: Don't pair high repetitions of walking lunges with hill running.

Ascending Ladders or Pyramids
Using "Ascending Ladders" is a challenging way to gradually improve your fitness as your progressively increase the volume of work that you're able to perform.

If you're doing it for the first time, pick 4 or 5 exercises (again, pick things that can be done relatively closely to one another) and do 2 repetitions of each exercise for the first lap, then on the second lap (without any rest) perform 4 repetitions of each, then on lap 3 do 6 reps, lap 4 do 8 reps of each and on your 5th and final lap you perform 10 reps of each. Try to do the entire 5 laps as quickly as possible without resting. It starts easy but creeps up on you.

An example could be:

A1) Kettlebell Swings
A2) Press Ups
A3) Jump Squats
A4) Plank with a hip drop (each side)
A5) Burpees

Progressions: Increase the number of exercises, go higher ie: up to 6 laps (12 reps) or 7 laps (14 reps) etc, use larger increments such as 3,6,9,12,15 reps for example.

Alternatively, perform a Pyramid and do 2,4,6,8,10 reps, then immediately 10,8,6,4,2 reps. Sometimes however the final lap of 2 reps might feel like an anti-climax so I you're feeling particularly motivated you might try another lap of 10 reps just as a final blow out... maybe!

On the Minute / Every Minute On The Minute (EMOM)
This is another great way to ensure that your session doesn't over-run. Simply set your interval timer to sound each minute. When the timer goes perform your pre-decided exercise for the number of pre-decided repetitions.

Remember: You will need rest times so make sure that the exercise doesn't use up the entire minute. Ideally work somewhere between 30-50 seconds.

An example workout could be:
A1) 15 x kettlebell swings
A2) 10 x Incline Dumbell Chest Press
A3) 15 x Lat Pull Downs
A4) 45 secs Bike sprint
x 5 rounds = 20 minutes exactly.

Progressions: Add more repetitions/ cut your rest time, Include more cardio vascular work, add more exercises, include something heavy like 3 x heavy deadlifts/push presses/ farmers walks etc.

You Go - I Go
I like this as a format for partner workouts as it keeps you working at a decent tempo and you push one another to keep working. You also get varied amounts of rest so you don't adapt to the timing protocols which you can do sometimes when you use the same interval variations week after week.

With a partner, select your exercises and select a high volume of repetitions. Then go about completing the target reps by taking it in turn.

A workout might be:

50 x Burpees (1 each, until you complete 50. 25 each total)
3000m row (sat on two rowing machines, row 100m, then the partner rows 100m while you rest, repeat until you have each rowed 1,500m)
220 kettlebell swings (partner A does 20 swings, partner B does 20 swings, then A, then B and so on... 6 sets each).
40 Barbell Push Presses (1 rep each, pass the bar back and forth between each other without putting it down)

Safety First: Don't be a hero! If, part way through you notice between you that one person is struggling and they are at risk of losing good form, then you may agree mid-workout that one of you will do more eg: 2-3 reps to the other persons 1.

Note: You can do this wih two people of unequal strength/fitness if you're smart about it by selecting exercises that you can set up two of and using different weights such as 2 different kettlebells or barbells side by side. This means that men and women may also use this structure to train with one another.

Tabata Intervals
This is just simply an interval variation that was designed orginially in conjunction with the Chinese Olympic cycling team. The design is 20 secs work, 10 secs rest x 8.

You can, if you wish, use it with one traditional cardio vascular exercise (such as cycling or running), a single resistance resistance exercise such as a lat pull down 8 times, a single bodyweight exercise such as burpees or a mixture of up to 8 exercises.

An example workout using the tabata protocol (20 secs work, 10 secs rest x 8)
A) Tabata Press Ups
B) Tabata Leg Press
C) Tabata Lat Pull Down
D) Tabata Walking Lunges
E) Tabata Kettlebell Swings
F) Tabata Plank

Progressions: It's actually harder to use fewer exercises; ideally just one.
Beware: Try not to use anything too technical or towards your maximum load unless you're very experienced. If it's your first time try it with a simple exercise such as press ups, lunges or a plank.

But wait...
Not all "quick sessions" need to be focused on getting you soaked in sweat and that alone. There are some that can be much more strength focused.

For instance?..

"Cluster Training"
I first heard this concept from Joe De Franco. It's a very straight forward way to utilise just one bit of gym equipment, in a relatively short time in order to focus on strength training.

How does it work? Take a single complex exercise that you're able to perform with a heavy load (ideally a barbell squat variation, deadlifts, bench press, cleans, snatch, push press or jerk). Warm up thoroughly then load the bar with your 5 rep max. Perform just a single repetition. Then start your stop watch. Allow yourself 20 seconds rest and perform another single rep. As you begin to fatigue allow a slightly longer rest period of between 20-40 secs.
Continue this until you have performed 15-20 repetitions.
The idea being that rather than performing 4x5 reps where some of the repetitions aren't as good as the others you'll perform 15-20 single reps so that you can focus on each one in order to make them as good as possible. It should also get your heart rate up by the end. 20 quality, heavy reps and a little bit of cardio work.

Look out: Don't be surprised that as you perform (roughly) reps 1-5 the reps feel very manageable. 6-9 (roughly) they then feel gradually more difficult. Then around 10-13 suddenly some reps may feel easy as your CNS really begins to fire. Then 13 onwards (roughly) the reps gradually begin to get tougher. Keep this in mind when you're gradually increasing your rest periods.

Barbell Complex or Kettlebell Complex
A babrbell complex or a kettlebell complex is a number of exercises performed with the same barbell or kettlebell continuously moving from one exercise to the next without resting the weight down.

Beware: Some exercises are easier than other so the weight might not be suitable for all exercises. One way around this is to vary the repetitions ie: more reps on the stronger movements such as the kettlebell comlex below.

Barbell complex example:
A1) 6 x bent over rows
A2) 6 x hang cleans
A3) 6 x front squats
A4) 6 x push press

Kettlbell complex
A1) 12 x kettlebell swings
A2) 10 x kettlebell goblet squats
A3) 8 x kettlebell push press
A4) 5 x kettlebell snatches

Low Rep Circuits
Put together a circuit using larger, heavier movements for fewer repetitions. An example circuit could be:
A1) 3-5 Deadlifts
A2) 3-5 Bench Press
A3) 3-5 Back Squats
A4) 3-5 weighted Pull Ups
Allow 15-30 secs between sets. Complete 5 full rounds.

Safety First: Be honest with yourself; or better still, work with someone that knows the correct techniques involved in the exercises you're performing. If you form begins to suffer drastically then stop.
Don't attempt this style of workout if you're not experienced in the gym.

Structure is key: Beware not to overload one body part. Make sure you vary the body parts being used in when deciding the order of exercises.

In Summary...
There's loads you can do in the gym if you're restricted for time. There's nothing wrong as such with "just going for a run" but... this shouldn't be your only idea when time is short. not now you have all of these ideas to try anyway...

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@MichaelD_PT) and YouTube