Want to get into shape and develop the body you’ve always dreamed of having? Get in line! Just about everybody on the planet has at some time wished for more muscle, less fat or generally a more toned and impressive physique. Unfortunately though, very few of those people manage to find a training program and stick to it long enough to actually achieve those results they want which can be highly disappointing. Worse is that they then end up blaming that training program, assuming it didn’t work, and then just repeating the process all over again.
Take this on board first of all: there is nothing wrong with your training program. Even the worst training program in the world would be likely to have some results if you stuck to it for a long enough period. Even doing 100 press ups a day every day would have some noticeable impact.
The problem then is really much more about the fact that you are probably giving up on your exercise long before you get to the point where you should start seeing benefits. There are many articles on things you can do to change this, but here we’re going to look at one of the most important of all: quitting something else that you are doing regularly and that is taking up your time.
Something Needs to Give
The problem that most people have when starting a new training program is that they overestimate their own capacity. That’s not to be disheartening, it’s simply facing the facts: many people seem to believe that they’re going to be able to add 5 hours a week of intensive exertion to their already-packed routine without facing any problems. Of course, this unfortunately isn’t the case.
What to Give Up
Something needs to give – and that means removing something from your routine that would normally take up a roughly equivalent amount of time and energy (energy being the more important factor in this case).
A perfect example of that might be to give up on a class that you’re possibly already doing. If you go to piano lessons twice a week then you might want to consider giving that up. Alternatively you might have a dance class you opt to switch for the gym. For others, a lot of time might be taken up by social appointments – in which case you’ll have to make the conscious decision to spend a little less time in certain social engagements so that you will have more time and energy to train. Just commit yourself to saying ‘no’ a little more and perhaps only going out once or twice a week.
Better yet though would be to somehow reduce the amount of time you spend at work. This could mean switching jobs or it could mean trying to arrange to work from home one day a week or just negotiating more flexible working hours. It might even just mean keeping your Sunday free.
Now I’m not saying that piano lessons aren’t a good use of your time (far from it as a pianist myself in fact), I’m not encouraging you to do any of these things per-se. It doesn’t really matter what it is you decide to spend less time on, but the point is that if you’re really committed to your training then you should make space for it in your schedule. Once you do this you’ll find that you suddenly have lots more time and energy available to you that you can use for working out.
Now realistically you may not have to give up five hours’ worth of activities and you might find that pretty difficult even if you did try to. Thus it is just as important to consider timing when you’re looking at this and to think about how that might factor in.
For instance, if your day is too long and you end up too tired to work out at the end of the day but you’re unable to remove anything from your routine, then an alternative strategy might be to do the workout before you get tired. A good example would be to work out immediately after work by finding a gym that’s near your office rather than coming home from work and then trying to train. The reason for this is that commuting is actually incredibly tiring. If you can train before you commute then at least this isn’t going to affect you anymore. Better yet would be to train in the morning before you even leave for work (as work is actually the most tiring thing of all).
To train before work in the morning though you’re going to probably have to wake up an hour or at least a little while before you normally would. And in order to have the energy to get up early and then work out you’re going to have to go to bed earlier most likely. Again you’re cutting the time from somewhere else to give yourself that time back. There is a trade-off that needs to be made here, so ask yourself the question: are you willing to give up an hour of watching TV in the evenings in order to gain the body you want?
Adam Sinicki is a full time writer who spends most of his time in the coffee shops of London. Adam has a BSc in psychology and is an amateur bodybuilder with a couple of competition wins to his name. His other interests are self improvement, general health, transhumanism and brain training. As well as writing for websites and magazines, he also runs his own sites and has published several books and apps on these topics. He lives in London, England with his girlfriend and in his spare time he enjoys climbing, travelling, playing games, reading comics and eating sandwiches. Circle Adam on Google+!