Do you know the saying “everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth”? It’s probably the smartest thing ever uttered out of Mike Tyson’s lips. Please don’t tell him I said that.

Mike Tyson

He may get upset.

Most people who lift have grand fitness plans to get ripped, lose fat, get as strong as an ox or to date Kate Upton. Then they suffer a setback, have too many deadlines at work or the court issues a restraining order and their best laid plans go down in flames.


Sorry guys, she’s already been snapped up.

Unfortunately, nothing ever goes according to plan, especially when it comes to our health and fitness. Rather than chucking in the towel when plan A fails to materialize, having a Plan B to keep you on the fitness straight and narrow will work better.  Use the following strategies as your Plan B.

Problem All the benches are taken on national chest day, otherwise known as Monday.

Walk into any gym on a Monday and you’re probably wishing for an empty bench.  There is something about lying on your back and pushing heavy weights above your chest on a Monday that makes you feel alive.


Instead of standing in the squat rack doing curls while waiting for a bench to open, overload your chest and triceps with these exercises.

Plan B

Barbell floor press



Single arm dumbbell floor press



Chaos push up



Single arm cable chest press


The advantages of these exercises are

  • More mid-section engagement
  • Don’t require a bench
  • Safer for cranky shoulders
  • Make you look like a badass

Problem You’ve eaten a whole cheesecake and totally blown your diet.

You’ve had a bad day and you’ve scoffed a

  • cheesecake
  • couple of donuts
  • pint of ice cream
  • bag of potato chips
  • All the above

And you’ve totally blown your diet. You think to yourself “Oh well, I’ve gone this far I may as well order a pizza.” And then it snowballs from there. The endless cycle of yo-yo dieting begins and the only one who profits from this are the ones who sell you the latest and greatest miracle diet.

Because the weight loss industry is full of unscrupulous characters.

“According to the Federal Trade Commission Americans spend more than $40 billion a year on weight-loss products and services, and much of this stuff is bogus.

The FTC has conducted numerous surveys of consumer fraud over the years and determined that Americans were more likely to be taken in by weight-loss scams than by any other type of fraud.” (1) (2)

There is only one winner and it’s not you.

Plan B – Move on

I could wax poetic about how to put your mistakes in a box, that you’re only human and all you need is to move on and put it behind you.  However, Jordan Syatt says this so much better than I ever could with a few cuss words thrown in for good measure.

Please watch this video.

[vimeo 100315429 w=640 h=360]

Problem – All the squat racks are taken on leg day

I have a confession to make. Barbell squats are not my favorite exercise. I’d rather go to a Mariah Carey lip syncing concert in Time Square than put a barbell on my back. However, I suck it up because my chicken legs need the work.


When you walk into the gym on squat day and all the racks are taken, rather than standing behind someone looking impatient and making ugly faces, work on your single leg strength instead.

Plan B

2 KB Bulgarian split squat


Goblet split squat


Barbell reverse lunge


Split squat with 1.5 reps


Problem – You’ve got no time for the gym

Going to the gym is time consuming. By the time you drive there, workout, shower, get dressed and drive back home or to work, that’s fair chunk of time you’ve invested in your health.

Let’s face it, we don’t always have that time and life will get in the way eventually.  That’s when the lazy devil taps you on the shoulder and says ‘It’s okay, you don’t have to train today. Have some chocolate cake instead.


Now cake is always a good idea but you can have your cake and eat it, too (guilt free) with a little sweat equity at home. You need minimal equipment, space and time but maximum motivation to exercise at home. But isn’t your health worth it?

Plan B

There’s plenty of distractions when it comes to exercising at home, so I like to keep the trainings short, sharp, effective and intense enough to burn off cake. Here are some suggestions.

Bodyweight circuit

1A. Pushups – 10 reps

1B. Side planks- 15 seconds each side

1C.. Bodyweight squats 20 reps

Do one exercise after the other with minimal rest between exercises. Rest one minute after each circuit and do four to five circuits.

Cardiovascular Training

Find some open space and get your Usain Bolt on.

Do a two-minute walk/warm up, then a 15 second sprint followed by 15 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle for five work/rest intervals. Then walk for three minutes to cool down.

100 body weight squats and 50 push ups/incline push ups

Incline push ups


You can break this training up into manageable chunks. For example

  • 5 push-ups/10 squats x 10 sets
  • 10 push-ups/20 squats x 5 sets
  • Or if you’re advanced, 25 push-ups/50 squats x 2 sets

Get this done as quickly as possible for best results. Rest when needed.

4 minutes and you’re done

Pick an exercise below and do it for 20 seconds on with 10 seconds rest for 8 rounds (4 minutes total). However, be warned this will be intense but you’ll be done in just four minutes.

Examples of exercises you can use

  1. Bodyweight squats
  2. Incline push ups
  3. Jumping jacks
  4. Front planks
  5. Mountain climbers
  6. Alternating reverse lunges

Wrapping up

Don’t get punched in the mouth when it comes to your fitness. Having a backup plan for life’s inevitable setbacks will keep the mind, body and scale happier.

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