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There are always going to be times when life gets a bit hectic.
Unfortunately, at these times the things that tend to get put on the hold are the ones most important to our health.
Sleep, quality food and exercise are generally the first things to go out of the window, we tend to sacrifice our own well-being.
Sometimes that’s just how things go but it pays to be careful that this doesn’t spiral out of control. The less care we give to ourselves the easier it becomes to make it our default and the harder it can feel to start building momentum again with healthy habits.
So what can you do to avoid the negative spiral?
A good place to start is looking at things a little differently.
Take a step back
The first question is one you probably won’t like.
“Is it true that you don’t have time?”
Hang on, don’t click away in exasperation. Just consider if there are any points in the day when you either aren’t being productive or could be doing something else.
It’s important to be honest with yourself, sometimes we give ourselves a convenient story about lack of time when we’re letting it drain away else where……such as going on a Netflix binge in the evening when it maybe possible to get a morning workout in if bedtime had come earlier.
Still no time? Cool, then we’ll move on.
It doesn’t have to look a certain way
What if you needed less time to train?
Are you locked into the idea that you need a full hour for a workout to be worthwhile?
What if your workout was done in 20 minutes?
It can be really valuable just to walk through the door of the gym and keep that habit going. What you need to do is decide what the big rocks of your workout are.
Get rid of the extra foam rolling and long mobility warm up.
Ditch the arm curls, tricep pulldowns and front raises.
You’re looking at big movements all the way, the bwad bwoys that use plenty of muscles in one go.
Squats, lunges, bench press, rows, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, overhead presses, chin ups…..you get the idea.
Cut right back to the essentials.
How might this look?
Depends on what you’re training for.
You want to get a sweat on then this may work.
Warm up – one mobility exercise and one core exercise x 2
Main session - Goblet squat x 10, DB chest press x 10, single leg hip thrust x 8 per side, 1 arm row x 12 per side – rest 60-90 seconds and repeat.
On your first time through use a light weight to finish warming up and get your technique grooving.
20 minutes and you’ll feel happily done.
Training for strength? This can be more challenging as strength requires a longer rest period to get the required results.
You can strip it back to two exercises per day and reduce the sets performed.
I’ve had success in the past with just 3 working sets of 3 reps.
It’s not ideal, but it’s a damn site better than feeling all your hard work wither away into soft flesh.
Day 1 maybe back squat and floor press.
Day 2 could be elevated deadlifts and close grip bench.
Add some higher rep accessory work if time allows.
Conditioning days can be performed in a short time. Sled pushes, 400m intervals on treadmill, bike sprints, skipping, battle ropes…….all can create a training affect in a short time.
Still not working for you?
You can create your own gym with very little cash outlay…..I mean £20 can cover a bit.
A kettlebell is a wonderfully versatile piece of kit.
You can press it, squat, deadlift, swing, row and carry it in a multitude of ways.
Chuck in a skipping rope and your own body weight and you have your own personal gym.
Kettlebell squat x 10 and press up x 10 for 3 sets and no rest.
60 seconds skipping.
Kettlebell swing x 15 and bent over row x 10 per side no rest
60 seconds skipping.
Push press x 8, reverse lunge x 8 and suitcase carry.
10 minutes of fun and laughter.
Don’t have time to get sweaty?
Stabilising work is essential for all of us.
An assortment of planks, deadbugs, birddogs are available for you to use.
They take little space, no sweat and have a huge pay off in keeping you feeling pain free and strong.
The work can even be split up throughout the day.
It’s well known that maintaining the same posture for extended periods can lead to niggles and pains.
So why not set an alarm for every 75 minutes and perform one set of each exercise or just of one exercise.
No, it’s not going to get you looking like an extreme athlete, but it is going to keep you going through trying times.
It is going to keep you mentally ready to get back to your normal routine when things calm down.
It will likely play a vital role in keep in g your stress levels manageable.
And it is a damn site better than doing nothing, feeling sorry for yourself and wishing that things were different.