How much time have you got? (to exercise)

You’re given the same 24 hours as everybody else to get stuff done. However, you’re struggling to find the time to stay in shape while your friends who seem to have less time than you are ripped.

How is that possible?

jealous

Among the many clients, I’ve come across, their number one reason on why they’re not in better shape is “I don’t have the time.” Rather than tell them that we all have the same 1440 minutes per day and they need prioritize their time better, I often say “I understand.”

But what I really want to do is run my head repeatedly into a brick wall.

Brick wall

It’s not the amount of time you have to exercise, it’s making better use of the time you do have. (tweet this) Whether you have 10 minutes or 60 minutes per day to exercise, use the following strategies to get in better shape and be the envy of all your friends.

1. Exercise at home

 By the time, you’ve driven to the gym, exercised, showered and driven home or to work, a fair chunk out of your day has vanished.   Not everyone has time for that, unless of course you wake up at the arse crack of dawn.

Crack 1

Instead, cut out the middle (gym) man and save time by exercising at home. With the purchase of a few inexpensive fitness tools like looped resistance bands, dumbbells and by making use of a few household items, most of your fitness needs can be met at home.

Set aside a dedicated workout space and time and then you’re ready to roll. Watch the following videos to gain some exercise inspiration.

 Paper plates

 A couch

The wall

If you need help putting together an at-home routine, you can contact me here.

2. Use the great outdoors

Spring has sprung and summer is arriving so it’s  not too hot or too cold to step out into the great outdoors to exercise. This can be as simple as putting on a pair of shoes and taking a walk, run or going to your local playground to get your sweat on.

If the playground is not your style, try this for the next 12 days. Download a distance counter on your smart phone (if you don’t have a Fitbit or pedometer) and walk or run for 12 minutes for the next 12 days straight.

Here’s the catch. Each day try and beat the distance from the previous day. After 12 days of doing this, you’re sure to be a fitter, lighter and tighter.

3. Minimum effective dose (MED)

 If you’re burning the candles at both ends but still want results from your exercise, MED is perfect for you. MED is simply the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome. In most cases, the outcome is probably fat loss or muscle gain.

The following routine will only take just over 30 minutes per week. You heard right. Just 30 minutes.  You’ve got 30 minutes in your week to exercise, right?

Instructions

Follow the training below, 4 times per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) for 6 weeks. Please use nothing less than 100% effort.

Day 1

1A. Close grip pushups 10 reps (Can be done on an incline surface)

1B. Inverted rows 10 reps

1C. Kettle bell swings -20 reps or Bodyweight swings 20 reps

Rest 60 seconds and repeat for a total of 5 circuits

Day 2

Walk for 2 minutes followed by a 15 second sprint interval followed 15 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle for 5 work/rest intervals. Afterwards, cooldown for 2-3 minutes.

(This can be done on a treadmill, track, bike, rowing machine or elliptical.)

Day 3

1A. Push-ups – 10 reps

1B. Side planks- 15 seconds each side

1C. Bodyweight squats- 20 reps

Rest 60 seconds and repeat for a total of 5 circuits 

Day 4

Repeat day 2

4. Eight-minute stackable (gym) trainings

If you find it difficult to exercise at home and you don’t have a lot of time to spend at the gym, then try my eight minute stackable trainings. You’ll only need to spend 8-24 min exercising after your warm up.

However, be warned. It’s intense but your results will be worth it.

Instructions

Complete each training as a circuit, resting as little as possible between exercises. Rest 30- 60 seconds at the end of each circuit and do as many rounds as possible within the eight minutes.

Select a weight that allows you to complete all repetitions with good form. If you’re doing more than one stackable training, rest 120 seconds between rounds and choose no more than three.

Eight minute legs

1A. Goblet Side Lunge– 8 reps on each leg

1B. Goblet squats- 8 reps

1C. Single leg hip extensions – 8 reps on each leg

Note- Use either a dumbbell or a kettlebell.

Eight minute arms

1A. Overhead triceps extensions– 8 reps

1B. Concentration curls – 8 reps on each arm

1C. Triceps pushdowns– 8 reps

Note- You’ll need access to a cable machine and dumbbells. Keep them both close.

Eight-minute shoulders

1A. Band pull apart- 8 reps

1B. Band shoulder press- 8 reps on each arm

1C. Band In/Outs- 8 reps on each arm (four front raises/four lateral raises)

Eight-minute chest

1A. Dumbbell chest flies– 8 reps

1B. Single arm chest press– 8 reps on each arm

1C. Incline pushups– 8 reps

Eight-minute back

1A. Dumbbell pullover– 8 reps

1B. Bent over reverse flies– 8 reps

1C. Single arm row– 8 reps on each arm

Eight-minute core

1A. Front plank with shoulder tap– 8 reps on each side

1B. Side plank with hip dip– 8 reps on each side

1C. Reverse crunches – 8 reps

 

Wrapping up

 You don’t need a lot of time to exercise but you do need it to be effective.  Because a little exercise can go a long way. Now I’ve busted the no time excuse, do you have any others?

Come at me.

 

 

 

 

Put the fun back into your exercise

You reach over to smash the alarm clock against the wall because it’s time to drag yourself out of bed. You’re stumbling around in the dark trying not to wake anybody up so you can get yourself to the gym because the scale isn’t your friend.

stock-vector-illustration-of-alarm-clock-ringing-133189433

Sounds like fun, right?

So many things in our lives aren’t fun, but exercise shouldn’t be one of those things. Movement and exercise (for the most part) should be mostly enjoyable and not viewed as punishment.

If movement is enjoyed, you’re more likely to stick with it, and the results you want will be within reach.

Rather than dreading your gym time, add the following exercises to your routine. Who knows, you may even smile a little.

1. Have a ball

 Most gyms stock medicine balls  and they’re a great tool to add some variety to your training.  Most people use them for every weird and wonderful core exercise known to man, but the real magic happens when you throw them.

You release built up tension, increase your power and burn a ton of calories. Heavens forbid, you may even laugh.

Find a wall, grab a ball and try this med ball circuit.

1A. Squat toss–           8 reps

1B. Slams–                  12 reps

1C. Overhead throw–  12 reps

1D. Twist throws–       6 reps on each side

Rest as needed between exercises and circuits and do anywhere from three to four circuits.

2. Get competitive……… with yourself

Counting repetitions and trying to beat it next time is a great way to measure progress, and the process of counting may distract you from the burn you’re feeling.

Set the stopwatch for 30 seconds and do a many reps as you can with good form. Choose from the following exercises.

Bicep curls

Overhead triceps extension

Chest press

Bodyweight squat

Be sure to “flex” afterwards.

3. Play

Remember what it was like to be a kid as you ran outside, played with your friends or reenacted your sporting heroes in the backyard? Close your eyes and imagine that for a moment. Good times, right? Here’s a few ideas to start you off.

  • Join a recreation league to play a sport you enjoyed during your childhood
  • Play hide and seek with your kids or other adults
  • Play catch, jump rope or hopscotch
  • Play fetch with your dog

Wrapping up

All movement is good movement, and you’ll be raising a sweat without even realizing it. Together, we can make exercise fun again.

 

 

 

 

The best exercise you’re not doing……

This is a weekly series on exercise that will give you the biggest bang for your exercise buck in and out of the gym. Today’s exercise is the humble single leg balance.
You should do this because– it helps strengthen the ankles and works on your overall stability and balance.
Makes your everyday life easier because– good balance will help prevent falls and strong ankles are needed for the gym, getting around and playing sport.
Form tips – Bend the working knee slightly, stand tall and feel your whole foot on the floor. If your balance is good, move the foot around that’s in the air, for more a challenge.

The best exercise you’re not doing…..

This is a weekly series on exercise that will give you the biggest bang for your exercise buck in and out of the gym. Today’s exercise is isometric glute bridge
You should do this because- we sit on it most of the day (I’m sitting on it now) and it’s a easy way to strengthen one the most important muscles in the body.
This helps to actively stretch out hip flexors and improves hip mobility also.
Makes your everyday life easier because- not only will you look better in a pair of pants, good hip mobility reduces your likely hood of low back pain.
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Form tips – Actively squeeze your glutes together in the top position, grip the floor with your feet and breathe normally. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Bench training

You lie on it, you lift on it and you sweat on it.  The humble weight bench takes a real beating. Without the bench, there would be no bench press or excessive grunting.

However, it’s time to see the bench in a completely different light.The bench is a tool you can use to improve your power, balance and core strength without the need for any extra equipment. Just you and the bench equals great total body training.

After doing this, you’ll never look at the bench the same way again.

Instructions

Complete the following as a circuit. Rest as little as possible between exercises and 60-90 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do a total of four rounds.

1. Squat Jumps (8-12 reps) – Lower down into a squat with hips hovering just above the bench. Hold for four seconds, jump explosively and immediately lower down into the next rep.

2. Incline plyometric push –ups (8-12 repetitions) – Get in a pushup position with your hands on the bench. Lower down and explode up until hands leave the bench. Land softly and repeat.

3. Birddogs (8-12 reps) – With hands and knees on the bench (straight spine for head to butt), extend the left arm and right leg, and then right arm, left leg. Keep alternating sides until all your reps are completed.

4. Step up to Reverse lunge (8-12 reps) – Step up with left leg, driving the right knee towards the ceiling. Then put right foot on the floor and step back into a reverse lunge with the left leg. Do all your reps on one side then repeat on the other side.

5. Elevated side plank (20 seconds on each side) – With your elbow underneath your shoulder and feet stacked on the bench, elevate into a side plank. Drive your elbow down and keep your hip up to maintain good position.

 

Wrapping up

You don’t always need a lot of equipment to become balanced and powerful.  You, the bench and a little sweat equity will get the job done without fuss or fanfare.

Exercise for busy people………

The public thinks fitness professionals are in great shape because of our workplace. That’s not the only reason, but it does play a part. However, the best part of working in a gym is that we get to wear tracksuit pants.

Beats the suit and tie every time.

The public assumes fitness professionals are ripped because they’ve got all the time in the world to workout. No, that’s not it either.

After we have taken care of our clients and other day to day dramas, we have the same amount of time/energy to devote to exercise as you do.

Then how do fitness professionals stay in shape?

By staying consistent. Big secret, right?

You were probably thinking we had some type of shortcut or secret code.  I wish that was the case because there are times when I couldn’t give two hoots about working out.

When I don’t have the time, effort or motivation to pick up and put down a barbell I use the bare minimum trainings below. Because doing something is always better than doing nothing.

This will allow you to crush that bowl of ice cream you’ve been craving, guilt free. Only if it’s one, though. Anymore than that and you’re on your own.

Ice cream

1. 100 kettlebell swings a day

 

Kettlebells incinerate fat and cover a lot of your fitness bases. The offset nature of the kettlebell trains your grip, core and lungs with some extra oomph. 100 swings aren’t a magic number, just a good start. You can do more if you wish.

You can break 100 reps up as follows

  • 4 sets of 25 reps
  • 10 sets of 10 reps
  • 5 sets of 20 reps
  • 2 sets of 50 reps

And you don’t have to do this all at once. You can space it throughout your day if you wish. If you don’t have access to a kettlebell or you’re unsure on how to swing, do bodyweight swings instead.

2. 100 body weight squats and 50 push ups

The beauty of this workout is it can be done almost anywhere. The act of getting up and down from alternating between the push up and the squat will send your heart rate soaring and work on your strength and mobility also.

A win-win situation for your waistline.

Push ups

Incline push ups

Body weight squats

You can break this 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

You don’t have to do this all at once and can spread it throughout your day if you need to. You can substitute swings in for squats also.

3. Quick bodyweight cardio

When your access to cardio equipment is limited or you lack the time for a traditional cardio workout, use the perfect machine – your own body.  The routines below are short, sweet and effective.

APunisher squats – 20 seconds of bodyweight squats followed by a 10 second squat hold. Repeat this sequence 6-8 times.

B. Do 2 minute walk/warm up, then do 15 seconds of a bodyweight exercise (Jumping jacks, running in place or high knees) all out followed by 15 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle for five work/rest intervals and then walk for 2-3 minutes to cool down.

C. Do a two-minute walk/warm up, then a 15 second all out sprint followed by 15 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle for five work/rest intervals and then walk for 2-3 minutes to cool down.

These workouts take less than 10 minutes and will leave you feeling sweaty and satisfied.

4. Resistance training circuits

Grouping 3 exercises back to back with limited rest will give you a great workout in a short period when you’re crunched for time. Select a weight that allows you to complete all the repetitions with good form.

Gym training 1

1A. Pushups 10 reps (Can be done on knees or on an incline surface)

1B. Inverted rows 10 reps

1C. Kettle bell swings -20 reps

Rest one minute after each circuit and do 4 circuits.

Gym Training 2

1A. Dumbbell shoulder press 10 reps

1B. Dumbbell bent over row 10 reps

1C. Goblet squats 20 reps

Rest one minute after each circuit and do 4 circuits.

Or if you don’t have to time to go to the gym or no access to equipment try this circuit instead.

Bodyweight circuit

1A. Pushups – 10 reps

1B. Side planks- 15 seconds each side

1C. Bodyweight squats 20 reps

Rest one min after each circuit and do 4 circuits.

Wrapping up

There are times when we have no time, energy or the motivation to workout. Rather than doing nothing, crushing a short, sharp and effective workout will keep you on the fitness straight and narrow.

Afterwards, that ice cream will taste delicious.

Please have sprinkles on top because sprinkles are for winners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best exercise you’re not doing…….

This is a weekly series on exercise that will give you the biggest bang for your exercise buck in and out of the gym. Today’s exercise is the band supported leg lowering.
You should do this because- it helps lengthen those hips and hamstrings that can get ‘tight’ from too much sitting. This is the perfect warm up exercise for squats and deadlifts too.
 
Makes your everyday life easier because- Helps even up strength imbalances that exist between our left and right legs due to activities of daily living. Oh, and it feels great also.
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Form tips – Watch the video (thanks to Molly Galbraith)Keep the band tight, legs straight and breathe out as you lower the leg towards the floor. Do 10 reps on each leg.