Quick-fire ways to improve your fitness for the super busy

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After a decade in the fitness industry, I've worked with thousands of people and, more often than not, in that time the number one reason for not getting something done is always the same: “I just don’t have the time”. While this is a completely understandable frustration in the modern world where increasingly work can seep into our personal time and the boundaries are blurred, as a Coach it’s my role to challenge that reasoning. Many trainers and coaches will resort to depleting and demotivational statements, such as “you don’t want it enough” or “you’re not working hard enough for it” which simply serve to sink the person deeper into believing that an improved level of fitness is unachievable with busy schedules. Aside from the inadvertent creation of these misguided beliefs through negative messaging, unfortunately many people’s perceptions of coaches and personal training are also deeply rooted in 80s bodybuilder culture or from that one time they watched Dodgeball.

The rise in fitness culture has been apparent during the last few years, with social media personalities normalizing going to the gym, healthy diets, and more, but this still may feel unattainable and unrealistic to individuals in full time jobs and with an ever-growing mountain of responsibilities looming. During my time as a Coach at The Training Club I have encountered many individuals from many walks of life who struggle to find the time. There is no universal solution for everyone: I have to understand the source of their challenge and apply the right recommendations and suggestions that are realistic for them, therefore increasing the chances they will apply my advice and progress. I have compiled my toolkit of advice and suggestions that help these individuals begin to make changes towards improving their fitness. If you can identify and apply even just one, you’re taking the biggest step towards your personal fitness improvement goals.

1. Assess and analyse

Start by breaking your week down into 24 one-hour slots. Block out the time you're working and sleeping. Now block out the time where you travel to/from work, when you're eating, and when you’re tending to your family responsibilities and quality time. What do you have left? This is your free time - the time where you decide what you do. Is that time being spent wisely? What can you do in that time? People often underestimate what they can do in a day, but underestimate what they can do in 30-60 minutes. 30 minutes is less than an episode of most TV shows and less than the time spent by the average person browsing the internet on their phones.

2. Reduce your expectations

I want you to improve your health and fitness - genuinely, I do, but I'm not going to ask you to train seven days a week. That's what people think they have to do to begin with - they then struggle to keep up that consistency and end up falling at the first hurdle a couple of weeks in. Reduce the pressure on yourself – can you only get in 3x a week to train? Fantastic, let's make those sessions count.

3. Be accountable

What usually happens when someone asks you to get some work done by the end of the day? You get it done. Now imagine that you have to speak to somebody at the end of the day about what decisions you made today and how your training went. That's a coach. That's what we do at The Training Club. We hold you accountable - have you done everything you said you'd do? If not, we help you set out a structure for your workouts and your week that suit and benefit you. We don’t believe in shaming and demotivation, we believe in advice, observation, and if something goes wrong, we help you identify what went wrong and why, so we can adjust your process to fit.

4. Be efficient

"I don't have time to work out for two hours at the gym." Trust me, me neither. I'm actually not sure what those people are doing spending that long there. What if I told you that you could be in and out of the gym in 30-45 minutes? Giant sets - four or more exercises performed one after another without rest - can be extremely effective to help you get the results you want. Pair that with a fun finisher to get your heart rate up and test yourself on some cardio kit or kettlebells - and you'll be out the gym in no time wondering how you ever convinced yourself that you had no time to train.

5. Stop wasting your time

This one is a little on the nose, but bear with me. The same people who, in the past, have told me they don't have time to get in shape are the same ones up to date with Series 5 of Cobra Kai - or know exactly what's going on with I'm A Celeb. This isn't to shame anybody, I'm all for having you time, but could you be using that time more effectively? If you've got that time, why not jump on the bike at the gym, and plug in your favourite TV series to watch then and there? Two birds, one stone. You don’t have to sacrifice as much as you think.
I hope this have given you a little insight into some of the advice we give at The Training Club, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at @thetrainingclub__ or @brettmackcoaching on Instagram. Until then, I hope you manage to put some of these tips into action and that they make a big difference in your health, fitness and lifestyle.

Monument has partnered with The Training Club to deliver a custom package of complimentary taster work outs that can be done in a gym or home environment with little or no equipment, Pay As You Go workouts, and an exclusive, custom-designed training programme – Train Anywhere – for Members who are busy but looking to commit to improving their fitness programme through regular guidance and accountability.

Explore The Training Club’s Monument offering here: https://www.training-club.co.uk/monument

More details on The Training Club and the Member Offer can be found within Member Services in the Day to Day service collection.