One of the biggest complaints that you often hear from busy people is that they don’t have the time to work-out.
I know the feeling because I often used to feel the same way. When I entered into my mid-thirties I definitely didn’t know how to fit fitness into my schedule anymore.
Luckily I was able to figure out some core strategies that allowed me to still stay fit and strong with a tight schedule and they’re ideas that anyone can incorporate into their life.
In the article below I’m going to teach you how to exercise when you have no time to spare.
Skip Going to the Gym and Work-Out at Home
By deciding to exercise at home you can cut out the whole commute to the gym on top of the time spent waiting on machines or other equipment during peak hours.
This can easily free up hours of time for you each week as well as save you the cost of a gym membership and unless you’re a professional athlete you can meet almost all of your fitness goals from the comfort of your own home.
Body weight exercises are great examples of whole body compound movements that can be done easily at home.
Push-ups, pull-ups, squats, dips; all of these can form the foundation for a very fit and strong body.
Push-ups can be done anywhere and focus on the muscles across the chest as well as the front of your shoulders and triceps. They also strengthen your core as well as any plank.
Pull-ups can be done using any door with the addition of a book to maintain stability and offer significant resistance and strength building.
You can also pick up an easy to install pull up bar from Amazon that will fit in almost any doorway.
By just moving around a couple of strong chairs or using a table or counter you can do dips as well.
Squats and lunges work great to strengthen your lower body and it’s easy to add more resistance with any heavy objects.
If you want to make a small investment with equipment a jump rope costs less than $10 dollars and can give you all the cardio work-out you need in a space not much bigger than a hallway.
With the purchase of just one kettlebell you can give yourself access to a whole range of exercises while adding increased resistance to what you’re already doing.
Do Compound Exercises
A compound exercise is your best friend when trying to fit more exercise into less time.
Compound exercises are any exercises which use more than one major muscle group at a time to complete the movement. They also engage multiple secondary muscles to a lesser degree to both perform work and stabilize your body during the movement.
Examples include pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, shoulder presses, bench presses, squats, dead lifts, kettlebell swings, and more.
All of these exercises utilize some of the largest muscle groups in your body such as your back and legs while simultaneously engaging and strengthening your core to help stabilize the weight.
Exercising in this manner works more muscles in less time and burns far more calories in total than trying to tediously isolate muscles by doing movements such as bicep curls or stomach crunches.
By working out in this way you’ll get more work done in less time and in a more healthy way for your body.
You see when you move around naturally and have to do work in your normal life you are never trying to isolate a muscle.
When you try to lift up an object do you first brace the back of your arm against the inside of your thigh in order to lift it?
Of course not! You hinge at your hips and squat slightly as you engage your back muscles to pull. No muscle ever works truly isolated in real life.
So why would you possibly want to exercise in a manner contradictory to how your body moves unless you’re a competitive body builder who wants certain muscles bulging out disproportionately to accent them further?
Just stick to doing basic whole body compound exercises and you’ll be stronger and fitter in far less time.
Do Supersets to Save Time and Keep Your Heart Rate Up
Specifically, antagonistic supersets. Supersets are done by doing sets of two different exercises with little to almost no rest in between the two opposing sets.
For example, let’s say you want to do three sets of pull-ups and three sets of kettlebell shoulder presses during a work-out.
The usual pattern is to do the three sets of pull-ups first then follow with the three sets of shoulder presses and waiting about one or two minutes in between each set.
Doing resistance training in this manner means you’re spending five to ten minutes just pacing around doing nothing for these two exercises while you wait for your muscles to rest up for the next set.
However, there’s a much smarter way to do this which will save you a lot of time and even give you a better work-out in the process.
That is to do the pull-ups and presses mixed in together. For supersets your sets would look like this:
1) One set of pull-ups
2) One set of shoulder presses
3) One set of pull-ups
4) One set of shoulder presses
5) One set of pull-ups
6) One set of shoulder presses
1 and 2 are the first set, 3 and 4 the second, and 5 and 6 the third set.
You are essentially turning six sets into only three sets by doing this and shaving off a lot of time from your total workout.
In between 1 and 2 there is almost no pause; only around 10 to 15 seconds. In between 2 and 3, however, you do give a slightly longer pause as you would normally in between sets but still a little less as the immediate previous exercise was targeting a different muscle group.
Exercising in this way has two other major benefits besides saving you time.
The first is that your heart rate is kept elevated higher and for a longer duration therefore increasing the cardiovascular benefits of your work-out.
The second is that working one muscle group actually increases blood flow to the opposing side.
There for when you are doing a pushing motion such as the press you are actually priming the opposite muscles on the other side of the body to work harder when it’s their turn.
When you finish using your biceps and lats to pull during your pull-ups your triceps are flush with blood to exert maximal force during your presses and vice versa, making your work-outs even more effective.
There are, of course, many different variations you can do with this and if you’re interested I go into a lot more detail here.
Just remember to not do these exercises more than three times a week as your body needs sufficient time to recover from this kind of high intensity work-out.
Also, if you need any more convincing that supersets are great than you should know that the “Governator” loved doing these when he was in his prime.
So why not incorporate a form of training that will not only shave significant time off your work-out routine but also make you even fitter and stronger at the same time?
It’s a win-win proposition!
Take the Stairs
Taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator is a great way to burn more calories and keep your heart and legs stronger.
Have you ever noticed that people who live in the city seem to be skinny than people who live in the suburbs?
That’s simply because they walk everywhere.
People commute by walking to the subway or bus instead of hopping into the car every morning and night.
All of this walking really adds up and actually makes a noticeable difference in people’s waist lines as well as their over-all health.
More and more studies have come out showing the extreme hazards of spending too much time sitting throughout the day.
Some even claim that the damage done from sitting in an office chair all day can’t be corrected by heading to the gym three times a week either.
Hence the rise of the standing desk as a healthier option.
The truth is, however, that a lot of the damage can be mitigated by just making sure that you try to regularly move around during the day.
Just standing up and stretching every hour or walking downstairs to grab a drink of water can do remarkable things to your over-all health.
The most important thing to remember is to just use your body whenever you have the opportunity.
If you live in a climate where you can ride your bike to work you can make a huge investment in your health right there.
So the next time you’re looking up at an escalator next to a flight of stairs think twice about taking the easy way out if you’re trying to get fit.
Be Disciplined With Your Time
The last bit of advice is what no one wants to hear.
The truth is that everyone can find 30 minutes three times a week to do some bare minimum resistance training and if done properly with compound exercises and using supersets at least twice a week you will be amazed at what you can achieve.
Between TV and Facebook 99% of people can find that hour and a half every week if they looked hard enough.
You just have to be clear with yourself about what your priorities are and take control of your own time.
Start focusing on the fundamentals instead of getting distracted by all of the hype out there and you can do amazing things.