I'm always looking for ways to optimize my gym time, and lately I've come up with a clever tip I want to share. It forces you to rest between strength-training sets, and it cuts down on the time you spend on your cool-down stretches.
Here's how it works. Do your cardio before your strength training, but rather than stretching after the cardio, go straight into your weight routine. Then, use the time when you're resting between weight-lifting sets to do your stretching. For instance, while you're resting between bicep curls, you can stretch your quads, or when you take a break on the leg press, take a moment to stretch your deltoids.
Just make sure you only stretch the muscles you're done using; so don't stretch your triceps until you're done with your triceps extensions and dips, and so on. However, if you stretch as you go, it will really cut down on your cool down at the end of your gym session, and you can get out the door faster. Do any of you do this? If so, tell me about your routine below.