If you read Powerful Actions to Beat Procrastination, and you chose Time as your major obstacle, this post was written for you!
The number one excuse I hear from people that want to get fit but aren’t taking action is this:
“I just don’t have time.”
Bull, ladies and gentlemen. Bull.
I train a husband and wife that both work, have twin baby girls that are teething, and still find time to do their cardio on days that I don’t see them.
Time is a concept that you will never truly have enough of. There will always be something else you should be doing. There will always be a reason why you can’t make it to the gym.
The key to getting fit and being healthy is making it a priority, and finding ways to stick to it even when life gets in the way.
Everything else is an excuse. You need to put you first in order to be effective at anything else.
So I thought I’d share my trainer wisdom with you all for when I hear the time excuse.
And to make it even easier to do all these moves, I’m going to SHOW you how to do them! My first video post with exercise, boys and girls! Here goes!
Please always remember to do a proper warm up and get a physician’s consent before engaging in physical activity.
All you need is open space or a treadmill, 10 minutes, and some will power.
Sprints are one of the most effective ways to burn fat and increase your anaerobic threshold (geeky trainer talk for “getting better at cardio”) in the shortest amount of time possible.
Here’s how you do it: set yourself up in front of a long stretch of nothing (about 100 meters or so). When I say “nothing,” I mean NOTHING. No driveways, no curbs, no changes in ground surface- you don’t want to get hit by a car or eat it while going as fast as you can.
Go as fast as you possibly can–running away from a bear fast–until you reach the 100-meter mark. Then, walk back slowly to recover… after you vomit… just kidding, please don’t.
Repeat until your 10 minutes are up! Try to get in a minimum of 5 sprints.
2. Bodyweight Circuit
If you read Nerd Fitness, you know how effective bodyweight training can be. I’m all for it! All you’ll need is you… and the knowledge that in 10 minutes, the pain will be over.
Here’s your circuit:
Walking lunges- 10 out, 10 back for a total of 10 each leg
Push ups- from your knees if you can’t do a full push up- 8-10 reps
Plank hold- 30-60 seconds ideally right after you’re done with your pushups (no rest)
Rest 30 seconds
REPEAT FOR 10 MINUTES!
The point of this workout is to spend you by the end, so don’t rest more unless you literally can’t continue. I bet you can. Just get through it.
If this is too easy for you, try adding a sprint before your rest period for every circuit. This is a great way to make meat-heads into cry-babies. ;)
3. Walk Up Some Stairs
That’s it. For 10 minutes straight, walk up some stairs in a high building. If you’re near a gym, use a step mill (the one that actually has steps that go around on a belt, not the one that has you take baby steps with a weird, unnatural airy resistance).
4. Run 1 minute faster than your normal mile-pace
For 10 minutes, run faster than you normally would. If you’re a regular runner, aim to do 1 minute faster than your normal mile time. If you’re not a regular runner, just aim to go fairly fast the entire time.
5. Lunge Circuit
Lunges are actually a great way to get you breathless as well as get some lean muscle working in your legs, butt and core. Changing up the normal forward lunge is key to building a perky butt and getting some great 360 definition in your thighs and calves.
To do this, you’ll do all of these lunges:
Reverse- step back into a lunge, then step back forward to repeat. Alternate sides for 10 each leg.
Side- step to the side, toes pointing forward from both feet. Stick your butt back so that your hips are in line with your stepping leg, the other leg is straight, and both feet are flat. Push back with stepping leg to start and repeat with other leg. Keep alternating until you’ve completed 10 each leg.
Transverse (twisting)- this is a tricky one. Imagine yourself standing at 12:00 on a watch face. You’re going to leave your left foot on 12, while lunging your right to 4. Your right leg should be bent, your left straight and your body facing 3, more or less. If you’re not very flexible, start by lunging to 3 or even 2 first, then work your way up to 4. Push with your right foot back to start and repeat with left leg lunging to 8, keeping your right foot on 12. Keep alternating legs until you’ve completed 10 each side.
Repeat reverse, side and transverse lunges until your 10 minutes is up. Voila! Soreness in 10 minutes! You will thank me in a couple days.
6. Do the plank circuit
They look so calm and peaceful, don’t they? Who would ever know how painful planks can get after holding them for 30 seconds. They are the best thing ever if you want a flat stomach and an ache-free back, though.
The plank circuit is this:
Side plank on your left elbow for 20-30 seconds
Modified plank from both elbows for 30-45 seconds
Side plank on your right elbow for 20-30 seconds
30 seconds rest, then REPEAT!
If you’re advanced, do these from your hands or up the time until it feels hard. If you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t have to do too much tweaking.
If your back is hurting during the modified plank, try tucking your tailbone- imagine you’re a submissive dog, tucking your tail between your legs. The tighter you pull in your lower abs, the less your back will have to take over.
7. Do as many _____ as you can in 10 minutes
When I’m feeling particularly mean, I do this to my clients: You have 5 minutes to do as many _____ as you can with minimal rest time. Go.
You will be sore. You will think you can’t do it. But it’s only 10 minutes!
If this scares you a little more than is healthy or if you’re brand new to working out, start by splitting the time between 2 or 3 moves. Try 3 minutes of lunges, 3 of push ups, and 3 of pull ups. Try not to break until you really need to, and start moving again as soon as you can.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… and you’ll hate me for it.
Burpees are a great way to get your heart pumping out of your chest, build some muscle in your everything, and boost some serious fat-burning hormones.
It’s also a great way to make a client check himself if he says, “I wasn’t sore last time.” ;)
Squat with your weight in your heels, keeping your chest up and abs in. Put your hands on the floor just outside and slightly in front of your feet. Jump feet back into a plank (push up position).
When you jump into your push up, land in a straight plank; no saggy planks!
Perform a push up from this position, or if you’re newer to these, drop your knees to the floor and do a push up from there.
After your push up, jump your feet back forward and stand up by pushing your heels to the floor.
Do these like you would intervals. If you’re new to the horribly painful world of burpees, start with just 10 at a time, then rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat until the 10 minutes are up. If you’re a cross fit superstar, do 20 of these at once, then rest 20-30 seconds in between… or start adding weight by holding dumbbells. Still too easy? Add a renegade row after the push up!
If this move is too difficult, take the push up out and instead just jump back forward after you jump your feet out from the squat.
9. Jump Rope
Tired of sprints? Pick up a jump rope and get to it!
Don’t have one? They’re super cheap and the one piece of equipment you can bring just about everywhere if you travel often or need to exercise on your coffee break. Here’s one from Perform Better where I get all my exercise equipment (this one’s not even their cheapest at $15!).
Jump in intervals of 30-120 seconds depending on how new to it you are. You’ll be surprised just how difficult this can get!
If you’re a pro, try to jump the whole time, only taking breaks if you REALLY need to.
This is one that I have committed to trying out this year. I know how to swim, I just want to start looking like this when I do .
Just kidding. I really do need some help in the technique department, though.
Swimming is a great way to shake up the monotony of doing the same thing over and over again! So pick up your suit (or don’t. no judgments here.) and jump in!
So that’s it, guys! My first video exercise post!
Have fun, and keep a towel handy! (for sweating or for crying… you may do a little of both ;))
I’d really appreciate your feedback and, of course, feel free to comment here if you have any questions about any of the exercises outlined above!