Updated: May 9, 2019
2 years ago, I had a client Mark who was crushing his workouts, had dropped 15 pounds and achieved his goal of 10% body fat. He was the leanest and strongest he had ever been but moving into a new house led us to fall out of touch. Fast forward 2 years and upon checking in with him I found that stresses of buying a house, taking care of his daughter, running a business while in the process of selling another had all taken its toll and Mark had added on 20 pounds of fat and completely fallen off our workout routine.
In desperate need of a change we began setting up a new plan for him. He no longer had time to make it to a gym to exercise, so we set up a small in-home gym in his basement, starting with just a pair of adjustable dumbbells and a bench. The most important thing was to just get him moving consistently again and this was the easiest way for him to do it.
Tip #1: Reduce the overhead of working out.
It takes time to drive to the gym, change clothes, workout, shower and drive back. If you don’t have the time to fit all that in, then find ways to reduce the time your workouts take. Can you work out in the morning on the way to work to eliminate extra driving and showering? Can you do your workouts at home? If your goal is just to get back in shape and lose some extra pounds you don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment, you just need to get moving. One of the major benefits we offer with our programs is workout routines for whatever space and equipment you have available. If you’re in need of a basic workout to get your started, click here.
Mark regularly has meetings that go late into the day, and when he doesn’t, he has a family he wants to spend his time with. When we put together his plan, the only time he could fit in a workout was first thing in the morning. It means going to bed and waking up a little bit earlier, but it ensures we get a workout in no matter how crazy his day gets.
Tip #2: Schedule your workout like any other appointment.
If you’re like me, you live and die by your calendar. If it’s not on my calendar, then it’s not getting done. Treat your workouts like you would any other appointment or meeting. Take a couple minutes at the beginning of the week and write them in where you have time. Now you have a trigger to help you stick to your routine instead of relying on your best intentions.
Tip #3: Establish your tradeoffs.
You might have to give up something that you enjoy doing with your free time to reach your fitness goals. Maybe it’s giving up your favorite show a few times or week or going to bed an hour early to wake up an hour earlier but knowing what your giving up ahead of time won’t leave you with a bad case of FOMO.
The next snag we ran into was travelling. As a business owner Mark is regularly traveling and we needed some options to keep him consistent while he’s away from home. I had him buy a small resistance band that could fit into his carry on and set him up with a routine he could do with just the band and another with just his bodyweight. Now we can stay on track even when he’s away from home.
Tip #4: Set a bare minimum.
A great tool I use with my clients is establishing the smallest amount of time they can give to working out on any given day. This helps us to avoid any days of doing nothing subconsciously and builds a mindset of consistency. It might be as simple as doing one set of body weight squats and push-ups to failure or even just making the conscious decision to enjoy a day off from exercise. Living on a continuum versus an all or nothing mindset keeps you in control of your actions and on track towards your goals.
When I first reached back out to Mark, he sent me this:
He no longer had anyone helping to hold him accountable to his goals, so he fell off the wagon. Once we got going again, we established additional accountability measures, (his fiancé and our PF social support network) and he quickly got back on track.
Tip #5: Be accountable
A strong social support network is often the missing piece to success. Get a person that can hold you accountable when you feel like skipping out. Having a coach or friend that knows your schedule and your goals can boost your success rate by 45% https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=472&v=2U-tOghblfE
Bonus Tip: Make your exercise fun. There is no one size fits all approach to fitness. If you don’t enjoy your workouts, you’ll find ways to avoid them. There are multiple ways to achieve your fitness goals, so do something you enjoy!
Need some more tips? Get your free cheat sheet to simplify your approach and begin making time for your health goals.