Jeff Nippard’s 3 Time-Saving Tips For Efficient Workouts

Being short on time needn’t diminish your gym output if you train smart.

Suppose the hours in the regular day are eaten up by work and family commitments. In that case, a gym session is often cut short or even skipped. When best-laid plans are turned upside down, many are tempted to forgo the gym that day in the hopes of a less stressful and more leisurely tomorrow.

But what if one could adapt their workouts for those days with a limited window of time and still pack on muscle? Mercifully, help is at hand from the bodybuilder, powerlifter, and fitness guru, Jeff Nippard. The practical and academic strength enthusiast recently took to his Instagram to share three session-saving tips on getting more gym work done in less time. Check it out below:


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Drop Sets

Drop sets are a great way to squeeze more effective volume into a shorter time frame,” says the canny Canadian, who owns a BSc in Biochemistry.

“That’s because they allow you to get in more reps close to failure without killing time by resting between sets or doing a bunch of lower-tension reps that aren’t close to failure. For drop sets, I’ll usually hit failure once for around 10-12 reps, drop the weight back by 30-50 percent and then go to failure again. Drop sets are best reserved for machine exercises that can be taken to failure safely and should be kept for the last set of an exercise”

Science has long been on the side of drop sets as an effective training method. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that they have been shown to elicit similar strength and hypertrophy adaptations when compared with traditional sets. (1)


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Antagonistic Supersets

“A superset is when you perform two exercises back-to-back without resting in between,” explains Nippard, who held the Canadian national record for the bench press in 2014 by lifting 152.5-kilograms (336-pounds). 

“They are a great way to squeeze more sets into a shorter time frame. However, there’s an issue. If you superset exercises that train the same muscles, those muscles will not recover sufficiently in between, meaning you won’t be able to handle the same load/volume. For this reason, it is generally smarter to do supersets that train antagonistic (opposite) muscles like the biceps and triceps or chest and back.”

“You can also do ‘separated supersets’ by supersetting exercises that do not have overlapping muscles (for example, leg press and lateral raises). The key is to allow one muscle to rest while the other is working. This will cut down on training time without hurting performance.”

Reduce Sets but Increase Weight

“Research shows that even just one to four sets per muscle per week, taken to failure, will result in measurable muscle growth,” says Nippard, who won the title of Mr. Junior Canada for natural bodybuilding in 2012. (2)

“If you’re limited on time, consider dropping your volume and pushing your sets to failure (or at least within one rep or so of failure). Failure is the point where you couldn’t possibly get another rep with good technique, no matter how hard you tried.”


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[Related: The 5 Best Lower Lat Exercises for a Denser Back]

“In weight training, there’s always a trade-off between volume and intensity (effort). The more volume you do, the lower intensity should be (to ensure recovery). The less volume you do, the higher intensity should be (to provide a sufficient growth stimulus).”

Lower volume training with a higher intensity may be the single most effective way to cut down on training time without significantly cutting down on your gains.

So, for those who can’t hang out on Venice Beach all day, it’s reassuring to know that you can get more muscle out of less time when navigating an effective gym session by utilizing a more thoughtful approach toward every workout. Just don’t blow it all by chatting too much between lifts!


  1. Enes, A., Alves, R. C., Schoenfeld, B. J., Oneda, G., Perin, S. C., Trindade, T. B., Prestes, J., & Souza-Junior, T. P. (2021). Rest-pause and drop-set training elicit similar strength and hypertrophy adaptations compared with traditional sets in resistance-trained males. Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme46(11), 1417–1424.
  2. Ralston, G. W., Kilgore, L., Wyatt, F. B., & Baker, J. S. (2017). The Effect of Weekly Set Volume on Strength Gain: A Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)47(12), 2585–2601.

Featured image: @jeffnippard on Instagram