Personal fitness trainer A.J. Walczak shares four ways for men to fit more workouts in their workweek.
By A.J. Walczak
In today’s busy day and age, more and more men are having the same issue — finding the time to work out. Between a hectic work schedule and family responsibilities, simply finding the time to get to the gym can be daunting. Whether you’re a night shift worker, nine-to-fiver or straight workaholic, here are a few proven strategies that can get the blood pumping and get you back on track.
1. Change your mindset.
Like everything in life, a positive and optimistic mindset is key. A lot of men look at fitness as something unattainable, which is completely false. We bring a positive mindset to our family life and career, so let’s do the same for working out. Make this a priority because, after all, if you don’t make time for your health, you will have to make time for issues later.
So how do you do this? Start today! Don’t wait for a break in your schedule or the perfect time to get started. Do it today. Once you simply get started and the endorphins start flowing, your mindset will begin to change.
2. Plan ahead.
As each weekend rolls to a close, I like to sit down and map out my week. From work meetings to all the kids’ activities, I like to have a plan. One thing that is extremely helpful is planning out my workouts for the week among everything else I have going on. Planning out my workout sessions holds me accountable, and it becomes a part of my daily routine. Remember to be flexible as things do come up, but at least you will be ready to adapt.
Here are a few tips for sneaking in a workout throughout your week:
Become an early riser: Mornings can be rough with little ones running around, but with a little pre-planning the night before, you can be ready to hit the ground running! My solution is to set the alarm clock 20-30 minutes earlier and knock out your session before work. Maybe it’s a quick run or a circuit session in the living room. Or if you prefer a trip to the gym, allot a little extra time to squeeze in a solid lift. Whichever you choose, the energy boost from your workout will be a great kick-start to the day and set you up to be more productive throughout your busy schedule.
Utilize practice time: Once we drop the kids off at practice, we typically have an hour or so to find something to do. Yes, I love watching my children on the field or the court, but this is a great time to knock out a great workout and take advantage of the recourses around me. I like to use the first half of practice to get a solid half-hour training session in and still have the ability to watch the remainder of the practice. When outside, I look to utilize everything I can. Running the track or the bleachers is a great way to break a good sweat. I have even brought my workout bands, as they are easy to travel with and a great tool to have on hand. So be creative and get active!
Take advantage of TV time: Like a lot of us, missing our favorite TV show or the big game does not happen. It’s our time to let the mind go and relax a bit. However, sitting on the couch with your favorite snack food is probably not helping your fitness goal. Lets change things up a bit: Grab a protein shake and get to work. Simply performing some exercises during commercials will go a long way. Grab some dumbbells, bands or try bodyweight exercises during a 30-minute sitcom, and the results will be amazing.
Try a night cap: After a grueling day at the office, chauffeuring the kids to their activities, making dinner, most of us are probably gassed and a workout is the last thing on our mind. Don’t look at the couch! Instead, do a workout to help you unwind. Try a short walk on the treadmill, or a quick band workout to finalize your day. If this is even too much to ask, do something even more calming like yoga or a relaxing stretch. Plus, this late night little burst of energy can be used for time with your partner — never bad.
3. Make shorter workouts count.
We tend to think that if we are not in the gym for 60-90 minutes, then there’s no use to even train, but this is simply an excuse. I have numerous male clients who travel for work and knock out great workouts from their hotel room in less than 20 minutes.
When time is limited and a quick workout is needed, remember to bring the intensity! The goal with shorter workouts is to “crank it up,” which allows you to burn more calories and exhaust your muscles faster than a traditional workout. Whether it’s a cardiovascular workout, bodyweight session or session using workout bands, pushing it for 20-30 minutes can bring great results.
Even if its only 20 minutes, getting your heart rate up for a 20-minute workout is better from a health and fitness perspective, than lying on the couch watching TV!
4. Try online coaching.
The old way of driving to the gym to meet your personal trainer is becoming passé. Everything nowadays is online. Getting a certified coach online is becoming the norm for people with a busy schedule. Whether you book workout times on your lunch break or after work, your personal online coach is always there. A personal online coach will get you into shape on your terms, and best of all, hold you accountable from anywhere in the world. Many online coaches have customizable programs to suit your needs. I currently have clients worldwide who are seeing great results by getting a customized program from me via email or training via FaceTime or Skype. It’s the wave of the future.
Todays world is very fast-paced, so trying the ideas above are a few great options to fit workouts into your busy schedule. This all starts with our mindset and making fitness a part of your everyday lifestyle. Once this happens, it begins to become less of a chore and a part of your routine.
The Motiv8 team of Amy McCarthy and A.J. Walczak have been transforming people’s lifestyles through their proven progressional training programs, nutrition plans, and mental coaching for over two decades. The Novi-based duo have worked with numerous professional athletes, Hollywood A-listers, men, women and children. Both Motiv8 owners compete in bodybuilding and have quickly become champions in the sport. The fitness couple also speaks at fitness seminars throughout the year to help people understand the importance of fitness, nutrition and mental growth.