Sometimes it’s tough to find the time to get in the training you’d like. Life happens and responsibilities or other interests pull you away and training gets set on the back burner for a while. I’ve hit bad patches myself, but managed to find time to train, despite ever increasing demands from family, home and work. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way and I hope you might find some of them useful:
1. Make Training a Habit
No one wants to train all the time – not me, not you, not the Olympians, not the pros. No one. The key to long-term (and significant) gains is consistent, mindful effort. Train with frequent, small, meaningful efforts and make training a habit. By establishing the habit of training, going to the gym will become an automatic choice, rather than something you waste time debating with yourself when the excuses start to pile up.
2. Front-Load Your Training Week
We all have busy patches when it’s tough to get in a single workout, let alone a string of them. We put off training until later in the week and, before you know it, it’s Saturday already and you haven’t done a single rep of anything except maybe some curls with the television remote. A simple solution to this is to “front-load” your training week. This means planning your hardest and most productive training session early in the week (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday). If you do this, even if you get busy and don’t train for the rest of the week, you still already have one or two good training sessions in the bank.
3. Do What You Can At Home
There are no excuses if you can lift at home, and many things can be done at home, even if you’re a “hardcore” lifter. Stretching, accessory work with bands, and bodyweight exercises can all be done with minimal equipment. With the addition of a few plates, rope, a kettlebell or two, sandbags, and an Army duffle bag, you can literally come up with hundreds of exercises that can be done with limited space.
Chin Ups can be done anywhere - get creative.
4. Be Willing and Able To Train At Odd Hours
Having a tightly restricted number of hours available to train makes the already difficult task of finding time to train almost impossible when we are busy. Having the option of training late at night or early in the morning increases the chances you’ll get your numbers in. Your lower back is more susceptible to injury soon after waking, so take your time warming up and (as with any other time of day) be mindful of technique.
5. Try Time-Based Training Approaches
Techniques and approaches, such as complexes, circuit training, Tabata Protocol, and Escalating Density Training (Charles Stanley) are excellent training options for those times you don’t have an hour or two to give. Maximizing ‘density’ (work performed in a given time), many trainees will find it possible to move tens of thousands of pounds in the course of 10-20 minutes, rather than 1-2 hours.
Boris Bachmann is a high school teacher and strength and conditioning coach and consultant. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and his blog can be found here - Squat RX
This exclusive article (and others) can be found in the latest Wannabebig Serious About Muscle Newsletter - May 27st, 2010
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