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Many trainees believe they need a minimum of 30 minutes for an effective workout. And that’s just the minimum! This “more is better” mentality leads many people to spend up to two hours in the gym before they think they’ve done “enough.”

If you have that kind of time, spending it in the gym isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, if something unexpected pops up—sick kid, work emergency, car trouble, or any of life’s other frequent curveballs—to interrupt your schedule, it’s easy to get discouraged and skip your workout altogether.

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When life springs a surprise on you, don’t give up on your day’s fitness goals. You can actually perform an effective workout with only 15 minutes to spare! But before you start throwing shorter workouts into your schedule with abandon, it’s important to learn a few simple rules so you can make the absolute most of your time.

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