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Simple Strategies for Maximizing Your Training Time

When it comes to getting or staying in better shape, one of the most common obstacles my friends, family and clients need help overcoming is lack of time. Between work, family obligations, social commitments and other responsibilities, people are just strapped. It’s hard enough to find time for recreation, so dedicating an hour plus a day to a fitness routine is just not an option. What I try to explain to people in this situation, is that a good, well rounded fitness program doesn’t require nearly as much time as people think. In fact, by keeping workouts at an appropriately challenging intensity and committing to a well-rounded and uncomplicated plan, most people can accomplish general fitness goals, and even reach more intermediate levels of fitness, in less than 3 hours a week. Yes, seriously!

How? In my experience, these here are a few of the most reliable strategies that I rely on:

1. Prioritizing and pairing non-competing compound movements (like squats, push-ups and rows) that mimic activities we perform in everyday life (like bending and lifting, climbing and carrying).

2. Incorporating exercises that don’t require a complicated set-up (think single leg work with kettlebells or dumbbells vs. barbell squats or band resisted/weighted push-ups vs bench press).

3. Performing mobility exercises during active rest breaks to keep sessions efficient and well rounded.

4. Utilizing natural features of a given environment when a trip to the gym is not an option (hills, stairs, wood floors that can be used as a slide board, pools, trees or monkey bars...)

5.. Wrapping up with 15-20m of conditioning work to address the cardiovascular system.

These are just a few ideas, and every case is individual based on experience level, goals, limitations etc. but you, hopefully, get the idea and the point remains the same: time is priceless but so is your health and it doesn’t have to be an either-or situation. With an effective but uncomplicated plan, a good training program will improve your energy, mood, stress levels and physique and leave you with plenty of time for living your life – just more fully.

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