How to Exercise When You Are Short in Time
Nowadays everybody is very busy, schedules are full with stuff from work, friends and family or life itself is in control. For most people, exercising is one of the first things to be skipped when the schedule gets tight. Even as an online Personal Trainer I see this sometimes happening with my clients, but there are a few ways to handle this.
Include Exercising in Your Calendar
One of the best things to do is schedule your workouts. Put them in your calendar, just like you would do with appointments or any other reminders (as written in an earlier post: ‘Scheduling Exercises’). Once you have blocked the time to work on yourself, it is easier to make it happen. Most people should be able to block at least 30 minutes each day for exercising. Especially if you do your exercises at home, this is more than enough to make it work for you.
Short, Effective and Efficient Sessions to Do the Most in Little Time
There is no need to spend hours in the gym (see the earlier post about it). As I have written before, I like to focus on short, effective and efficient sessions. You need to keep time available to relax and recover from both the exercise and what happened during the rest of your day. It is just as important to lower your stress levels from both (see also “Don’t Forget to Enjoy and Relax”).
I create these short sessions for my clients so it is relatively easy to fit into their day, but sometimes things come up that are out of your control. You simply cannot prevent life from happening. For these days I include even shorter sessions that can be done in 4 to 10 minutes. The movements that are in these sessions depend on the equipment available and experience of the client. Since most of my clients train with kettlebells at home, I will give a few examples for kettlebell movements.
Option 1: TABATA
Many things have been written about this form of training at a variety of pages, so I will not touch on the specifics. If you want to read more, you could start on the Wikipedia page on the Tabata method. Basis of this form of exercise is that you perform a movement or exercise for 20 seconds at full effort (this really should be your maximum effort) and rest for 10 seconds. This is then repeated for 8 rounds. In 4 minutes you will be out of breath and if you really performed every 20 seconds with maximum effort, you will achieve all the benefits of Tabata.
The original Tabata method was developed with stationary bikes, but for my clients I have chosen a compound movement that uses multiple muscle groups. With kettlebells I prefer to do this with Kettlebell Thrusters. There are more options with regard to the exercise you choose, but most benefit will come with a movement that uses multiple muscle groups. As with many short and effective exercise sessions: it is much more comfortable to read it than to do it…
Option 2: Kettlebell Complex
A Kettlebell Complex is a series of movements with a kettlebell that is being performed without putting the kettlebell down in between the movements. With a Complex every move is done for the prescribed reps before transitioning to the next movement.
An example would be to do 5 Kettlebell Presses, 5 Kettlebell Thrusters, 5 Kettlebell Front Squats, 5 Kettlebell Lunges and 5 Kettlebell Bent over Rows. That would be 1 round. You rest briefly and do round 2 with the kettlebell in your other hand. With a few rounds you have put your body through several moves that use your whole body in a short amount of time. Depending on your skill level and fitness, you do an even number of rounds to have your session for the day.
Option 3: Kettlebell Chain
A Kettlebell Chain is also a series of movements with a kettlebell that is being performed without putting the kettlebell down in between the movements. Contrary to the Complex, within a Chain you perform one repetition of every movement and do the prescribed number of rounds. Using the exercises of the example with the Complex this would make the Chain as follows: 1 Kettlebell Press, Kettlebell Thruster, 1 Kettlebell Front Squat, 1 Kettlebell Lunge and 1 Kettlebell Bent over Row. That is 1 round, but you do the remaining rounds without rest. To use the same volume as the previous example, this would be a total of 5 rounds. This sequence will use the same movements, but will create a different type of fatigue. For the Chain it is also depending on your skill level and fitness how many rounds in total you should do.
What to Do Now
All in all there are still a few possibilities to include an effective exercise session when you are short in time. These options are also relatively simple, but simple in this case is far from easy (again…). At least these options can help you to still work towards your goals, even when your time is limited.
These options are the possibilities I include for my clients. Prerequisite is that you know how to do these movements correctly as with any training regimen.
In case you would like to get help with exercise sessions like these, or a training program in general, feel free to get in touch to see what is possible.
Start now, not tomorrow!