Quick Workout Programs – How To Train If You Have Less Time
In today’s busy world there are many people who are finding that they don’t have enough time to train. However, this is never an excuse not to train. This is one of the biggest mistakes that many people make, the all or nothing approach. If they feel like they don’t have 2 or 3 hours free in a day to train then they simply avoid training.
In this article I will discuss how you can still train around a very busy lifestyle.
Problems With The “All Or Nothing Approach”
In a previous article I touched on the all or nothing approach and the issues that arise from it. The main issue that arises from trying to be perfect is that it is not always possible. Instead it is better to be “good enough but good enough consistently” to steal a phrase from Lee Hayward.
By doing enough to move things forward in the right direction you are still ensuring that you are making progress. If you are very busy and aren’t able to make time for a 2 hour workout you could instead do small chunks of exercise more frequently. This could be just 15 minute blocks of time twice a day. So 15 minutes in the afternoon and 15 minutes in the evening.
This way you are still exercising and taking advantage of the benefits. If you do nothing because you feel that conditions are not perfect then you will go backwards and lose any progress that you have made before. This is the vicious cycle that many people get caught up in. Instead it is better to make small progress. Even small progress compounded over a long period of time will yield great results.
The Power Of Full Body Training
Full body training is the secret weapon for people who are very busy and don’t have a huge amount of time to dedicate to their training. As you are training your entire body in a session it is a very efficient way of working out. Even if you only did one two hour full body workout once a week you would still be able to make progress long term. Although two full body workouts a week would be even better – this is actually what I would do.
“Bro splits” where you train a single body part each training day is for people who have more time, and those people very often are bodybuilders who are on gear. For people that are natural you need to give your body adequate time to recover and it is easy to overtrain with a body part split style of training.
For greater variety you could pick different compound movements for each of the full body training days. One day for example you could utilise hack squats or barbell squats for legs. The other day you could use the leg press. Likewise for chest you could rotate barbell bench press with a dumbbell incline bench or smith machine incline bench.
Cutting Out Junk Volume
Another strategy for saving time is to eliminate junk volume from your training routine. Very often we are guilty of adding exercises and sets into our routine that don’t really serve to move us forward in terms of our goals.
For example we could be doing a set of tricep kickbacks or doing an extra two sets of dumbbell curls for no reason. Very often one top set is sufficient for a lot of accessory movements and there is no point throwing in too many sets – it is simply overkill!
By cutting back on the total number of sets that you are performing in each workout you are saving time and also facilitating a faster recovery time between workouts.
The big advantage of full body workouts is that you won’t be painfully sore the next day in any given body part. However, if you do too many sets for a given body part you will start to feel very sore and your recovery will be hindered.
Avoid Wasting Time In The Gym
It is very easy to waste time in the gym, I am guilty of this myself. Sometimes you can talk too much in between sets with other people, not only does this hinder your focus but it also eats up time.
Having said that, the gym is a good place to build bonds with other people and make friendships at the same time as advancing yourself physically. You just have to ensure that you don’t converse for too long and disrupt your workouts. By staying focused on your workout you will improve your results, save time and reduce the chances of injuries.
Injuries are more likely to happen when your muscles are cold. If you are standing around between sets “shooting the breeze” with fellow gym goers then it is more likely that you will injure yourself.
As with anything it is important to find balance. I like to get through the hard stuff with full focus, when I get to the easier accessory exercises then I don’t mind interacting with my friends at the gym and having fun.
Time can also be wasted in the gym by resting for too long between sets. For heavy movements it is important to allow adequate rest but for other lighter exercises you should try to perform them with less rest time. This will make your workouts more efficient.
To conclude, in this article I have discussed quick workouts and how you can still train if you are poor on time. You definitely should not subscribe to the “all or nothing” mentality. Instead follow the mantra “good enough but good enough consistently”.
In addition you can think about giving full body workouts a shot for the efficiency of these workouts. They can give you the best bang for your buck if you are busy with other commitments in your life. Finally, cutting back on junk volume and reducing the time you waste in the gym will serve you to get your workouts done in less time so that you can fit your training in around your busy lifestyle.
If you have any questions about anything in this article please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear from you – do you find it hard to find the time to train?
As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!