The 3 Hour Work(Out) Week
One of the biggest challenges or excuses for not working out is lack of time. As someone with children and a full-time job, I get it. Especially when they’re babies, there ain’t nothing else going on but that baby. But I’m just going to say it –
You just need to find and allocate time for training.
Now this might seem easier said than done. But it’s always possible, considering you only need to train 3 times a week for less than an hour. That could be 3 very solid 1 hour sessions or just 3 intense 30 minute sessions. On top of this you don’t need to find time for cardio. With your busy lifestyle, hard work is your cardio.
That’s just 3 days out of your 7 day week you need to find an hour block to devote to yourself for your health, self esteem and sanity. In theory, it’s easy, especially once you get in the habit of training every week. But here’s the first caveat. You have to train every week. Consistency is the key. Many days you won’t feel like going. Some days you might feel too tired. You will think of all kinds of of excuses. Grow a pair and just go lift. Most times, once you fight through the pain and suckiness of the beginning of the session, you will warm up and start enjoying it. Keep this up for several weeks and I guarantee the habit will kick in and you will instead start feeling miserable if you miss a session.
With regards to “train every week”. Life happens. Bodybuilding isn’t everything. Certain things will always take precedence. Obviously don’t train if you’re sick, someone needs caring for, a special event comes up, etc. Every week means 80-90% of the time. It’s not going to matter if you miss a few sessions here and there. Ideally reschedule your session when things pop up. But just remember, missing a session or two can be a slippery slope. Don’t get lazy again with your training.
One final caveat to this 3 times a week thing. You need to train hard and you need to be making progress with you training. Progress is measured by using a training log. Train at an intensity that is as high as you can handle and you can sustain every week. You don’t need vomit inducing workouts. Walking out of the gym you should be getting an endorphin hit and feeling good.
When you’re getting into or back into training, you’re going to experience the “god this sucks” effect. This effect is more pronounced with leg training. This is called hard work. Learn to like it and realise you get used to it. Get out of your head so much and just focus on doing one more rep than last workout. That’s good enough.
How Muscle Sherpa fits in training
For years now I have been in the habit of training late morning just before lunch. My workplace is flexible with work hours and I’m able to take my 1 hour lunch break at 10:30am. This time is perfect as you miss the morning and lunch time rush at the gym. I think as an office worker this is a healthier use of my lunch break than sitting in a lunch room. Further, I get back just before the work lunch time rush so I don’t have to queue for the microwave. I can then go back to my desk and eat while I work.
This kind of morning training works well if you use the standard LeanGains.com intermittent fasting protocol. That is, you fast from 8pm until 12pm the following day. You can do black coffee in the morning, train fasted and then break the fast with a massive lunch.
Ideas for scheduling in 3 training sessions per week.
There are so many different life situations for me to detail every way you can fit training into your life. Unless you’re a single mother with 6 children and work full time. There’s got to be a way you can incorporate 3 weight lifting sessions into your life. Here are a bunch of the obvious I can think of:
Early morning Sessions
Get up earlier in the morning (and go to bed earlier) to train. Early morning training puts hairs on your chest but is a great way to start your day. Most people feel more energised for their day and best of all you’ve got the workout out of the way.
Lunch Time Training
Do this if your job or schedule will allow it. Maximise your day by training instead of sitting down to eat lunch for as long. If your work only gives you 30 minutes of lunch, ask if you can extend your work day so you can take an hour lunch break. It doesn’t hurt to try since workplaces are always trying to promote health and morale. The other determining factor is when you can fit in time to actually eat. If you have a real job and are on you’re feet all day it might not work.
I used to love training after work. It’s a bit busier at the gym but I find my pain tolerance is higher and I have the days issues to take out on the iron.
There’s no shame in being a Weekend Warrior. Maybe you can only squeeze in 1 day during the week, then you can do Saturday and Sunday. Or maybe you can just do Saturday and Sunday. Fine. It’s probably not as good at three days but you’re still going to get results. You can do a lower body workout Saturday and an upper body workout Sunday. Go hard enough and you might even still be sore the following weekend.
Train At Home
The most time efficient way to incorporate weight training into your life is if you can train at home. You can train at any time, with no travel time cost and you can wear whatever you want. Training at home in your undies with Disturbed blaring in the background is very satisfying. You just need to have a little space for your gym that is ideally private. Privacy is important so that you can shut yourself away and have less risk of distraction from kids and jobs. A home gym can be as good as a power rack setup, all the way down to just a set of kettlebells. It is very easy to pickup cheap used gym equipment second hand from people who lost motivation. With a home gym you just need to find the space and it does take a bit of discipline to actually go and use it.
Walking Your Dog. With Your Kids At The Park
These days dog walks are optional as my dogs live on a farm and can keep themselves entertained. But when I was living in suburbia I would walk my dog at least once a day. Every walk I would pass through a park and perform a set of pullups on the children’s swing set. I would just tie my dog to the pole and he would watch me wondering what the hell I was doing. I remember I got up to 30 reps at one point. There’s no reason why you can’t do similar when walking your dogs or taking your kids to the park. Many councils have added bars and outdoor training equipment to the parks to encourage people to exercise. This kind of training probably won’t count as a whole training session but it is a way to add some volume to your training.
I hope I have given you some ideas and inspired you to be creative in finding ways to fit in some training. Also I hope it has made the task of incorporating training into your life more achievable. On the days you find it hard to get yourself off to the gym, just remember, if it was easy, everyone would be ripped.
I’m sure there are plenty of better and more creative ways to get some training in. Please share any suggestions in the comments below.