It’s the number one excuse by far. “I don’t have enough time”. And for most people this is a genuinely honest excuse. Out of all the excuses, this is one that EVERYONE faces from time to time. We’d love to get in shape, but finding the time is just so hard. Here’s 4 tips to help you find the time and make the most of it, even if it’s not a lot of it.
One of the questions I hear all the time is “how long should I workout?”. The truth is, that’s not really what’s important. Traditionally most of us have been taught longer, further, and more is better. Mike, A good friend of mine spent nearly 2 decades as a runner/triathlete and he put it this way “as I got older and slower, I just ran further, and at the time that made sense.”. You see Mike has discovered the effectiveness of high intensity work. The truth is, the length of a workout has no bearing on it’s quality or effectiveness. Longer workouts can often times be less effective and sometimes do more harm then good.
Intensity is the key. We hear about workout intensity in a variety of different ways, but what does it really mean? Intensity simply means a higher power output. Things like jogging are very low power output activities. Sprinting on the other hand is very high power output. Your covering distance at a much faster rate.
So how can that be applied to a workout? Instead of maintaining a low power output for a long time, increase the intensity. Only have 15 minutes, awesome! Do as much as you can in that 15 minute window. Working really hard for 15 minutes straight is really really hard, even when compared to a light power output for 60+ minutes.
Whatever your pleasure in workout style, weights, running, gymnastics. Give a maximum effort for a short period, that’s what intensity is.
Maintaining high intensity for 99% of us for longer then 10-20 minutes is nearly impossible, so for most of us after that 10-20 minutes our intensity drops significantly and the actual effectiveness of our workouts decreases with every additional minute.
Need some high intensity workout ideas you can do anywhere? Download our Road Warrior WODs (workout of the day).
These will take less then 20 minutes and can be down with no equipment.
2. Get Your Friends On Board
Just this month I’ve talked to 3 people who have been making the most of their leisure time by squeezing in a little workout time. One of them was getting together with girlfriends and doing little workouts during commercials of “The Bachelor”. This is a great way to spice up a girls get together, and motivate each other.
Commercial breaks are 2-3 minutes and over an hour there’s 5 or so. There’s your 10-15 minutes. Challenge each other to push ups, or sit ups, or burpees. Have fun with it.
Challenge your husband, your wife, your buddy, or even the kids.
Getting your friends on board helps combine workout time with social time. After all, working out with friends is way more fun anyways. So when you’re ready to step it up or some time frees up, you and those friends can make your workout a social gathering!
3. Get Organized
Time is extremely limited, for all the convinces we have, time is still something we can’t seem to find enough of. Just like space and money, we never have enough, and no matter how much we get or have we use.
Have you ever moved to a bigger place full of excitement over all the extra room you’ll have, and how organized you’ll be able to get only to find yourself a few months down the road feeling trapped with all your stuff again? And I’m sure we’ve all gotten a raise and were excited with all the possibilities only to find ourselves a few months down the road seemingly no more ahead then before.
The point is, whatever we’re allotted we seem to use. That applies to time too.
So what’s one to do? Get organized. Whether it’s money, space, or time, take a look at how you use it. Eliminate waste, and fill it with positives.
Getting organized not only feels good, but you get rid of the clutter and waste. As we discussed earlier, you don’t need a ton of time if you’re keeping your workouts short and intense.
As a bonus, I’m sure you’ll find more time then you thought, and will finally get an opportunity to get organized elsewhere.
4. Use Your Whole Body
Don’t waste your time targeting one muscle group at a time. Keep it simple and use movements that utilize many muscle groups. Push ups, pull ups, squats, burpees, kettlebell swings, and box jumps are all great movements that develop strength, endurance, coordination, power, and explosiveness across many muscle groups.
Isolating muscle groups takes a lot more time, and much less gets done over that time. Keep your workouts simple, fast, and hard.
There you go. Keep it short and intense, workout with friends, get organized, and use your whole body.
It’s probably taken you 5 minutes to read this. Try doing as many burpees as you can in 5 minutes…can you hit 40? 50? 60+?