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Short on time for the gym?

One thing that is said all too often is ‘I just don’t have time to go to the gym today’. So let’s break this statement down a little bit and look at what it means for most people.

The first thing I’ll say is, don’t have time? Find time. We use time as an excuse and justification but it isn’t really good enough, and if we’re really honest with ourselves deep down we know this already. Myself included. If the goals we want to achieve mean that much to us we can find the time, simple. I’m not saying it’s easy, something might have to give and lifestyle may have to change a bit, but that’s how it is. Secondly, here’s a thought: There are 168 hours in a week and we need up to 5 hours for going to the gym/working out. That leaves 163 hours for everything else.

So what could give? Those extra minutes in bed, in return getting to bed at a better time the night before. Being strict with yourself and leaving the office at a reasonable time, there will always be work to do but giving yourself the time you deserve could just make you more efficient, with a better work-life balance, as well as looking and feeling amazing. TV time. The list goes on.

For those days where time is genuinely an issue but you had it down as a gym day, all is not lost. We all know the good old saying ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way’. And how true it is too. If I said you could do an extremely beneficial workout in 30 minutes some of you may say I’m fibbing.

But this is absolutely true. It’s about being smart and training smart. If absolutely necessary you can adapt your training programme to allow for a work out when you’d normally call it a day and head home. Below are a couple of programme examples, which means one thing, you have no real excuse. If you don’t have time for 30 minutes training then you need to consider your goals and realistically what you’re hoping to achieve. A good way of doing this is scoring your motivation on a scale of 1-10. Be honest with yourself and be accountable.

First programme example: Circuits.

7 exercises. 10-15 reps per exercise with no rest in between each exercise. 2 minute rest after each complete circuit. Fast controlled tempo. Amount of times you repeat the circuit is based on ability. If too easy look at increasing weight (making sure technique and form are good first), or adding in an extra lap of the circuit.

  1. Squats
  2. Press Ups
  3. Bent Over Dumbbell Row
  4. Deadlift
  5. Wood Chop
  6. Walking Lunges
  7. Lateral Shoulder Raises

Second programme example: Supersets. 4 Supersets. 4 sets. 10 reps. 1 minute rest between each set. The idea is to increase intensity and reduce training time. For example, you would do 1 set of 10 Bench Press then go straight in to 1 set of 10 Chest Fly. Then rest and repeat for the 4 sets.

  1. Bench Press & Chest Fly
  2. Military Shoulder Press & Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  3. Dumbbell Row & Reverse Fly
  4. Squats & Lunges

The whole focus of these two programme examples is to increase intensity and maximise the time you have available. Also remember, increasing intensity doesn’t only mean increasing the weight for the exercises.

Please Note: These are examples only. If you are looking at training for the first time you should consult your GP or health practitioner before starting a training programme. Do not use these examples if you are unsure how to perform any of the exercises. Alternatively, use the principles of the programmes and combine with exercises you are familiar with and that are safe.

I hope this is useful in refocusing your goals and assisting in finding time to do it.

If you have any questions please feel free to send them over to

Move Well

James & the Optimum3 Team

James Brereton

Author James Brereton

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