If you work in a busy demanding full-time corporate job, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time or motivation to train! We often make excuses like, “I have a deadline to meet at work that takes priority,??? or “I’m too tired to train this morning, I’ll try to make it after work,??? or “I slept in, so working out for 30 minutes just isn’t worth it, I’ll go tomorrow??? so on and so forth. Sound familiar?
I know all too well the demands of working a busy full-time corporate job, fitting in my training, cleaning the household, doing the grocery shopping, making time for friends and family and being a good wife!
But I’m here to tell you that you don’t necessarily need hours each day in order to be effective with getting results and benefits from your training. Just focus on maximum bang-for-buck exercises that are time efficient, will get your happy hormones (endorphins) kicking in and will provide great results, fast!
My secret weapon when I’m busy, is strength training combined with high intensity interval training (HIIT – see explanation here).
Whilst you may not get as high a number of calories burned during your training session vs. doing long bouts of cardio (such as pounding the treadmill for 30-60 minutes at a time which burns anywhere from 500 – 800 calories), it’s the magic after burn effect that puts your metabolism in overdrive and helps you develop increased lean muscle mass for a strong, sexy, athletic physique that will have others in the office saying, “I’ll have what she’s (or he’s) having!???
See our latest fat loss guide here – That will also help for the busy individual
In order of priority, here are my top tips for effective training when you’re busy and want to stay on track with your health and fitness goals:
- Nutrition, always– ensure your diet is filled with real, whole, nutrient dense foods – vegetables, fruits and lean cuts of meat. Make sure your energy balance (total caloric intake) is in check for your goals and eat to fuel your body for performance and/or body composition. Your protein intake is key to help with achieving your fitness, strength or physique goals, so if you’re struggling to get adequate protein in your diet, then there are always options to supplement so you don’t compromise your results.
- Weight training first– combine heavy weight training (assuming you’re an experienced gym-goer with solid technique foundations) with proper nutrition and this is the most effective method for achieving improved body composition (namely fat loss, for most people). Your body will continue to burn calories long after your training is done for 24 – 36 hours because of the intensity of this style of training and the work that your body needs to do to regenerate the broken muscle fibres to be stronger than before.
- High intensity interval training second– HIIT training challenges your cardiovascular system by working at high intensities for short periods of time, alternating with recovery periods, for example 30 secs of all out sprints, followed by 30 secs of rest or jogging. It spikes your heart rate up really quick and is far superior to steady-state cardio training, especially when you are short on time, in terms of burning calories. Why? The exercise post-oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect stimulates your metabolism to work at a faster rate and your body still continues to burn calories afterwards.
- Cardio (the steady kind) third– basic, one-pace type cardio is great for beginners as it’s not complicated to do and you really don’t need much or any equipment. Some people find it relaxing and therapeutic and it can feel great to get your sweat on, but since you’re a busy working professional, ain’t nobody got time for that, when results are the key thing in mind! Since your body doesn’t have to adapt to much stress here, it’s not working the most efficiently. You’ll burn the most calories here during your workout, but then it means you have to spend a long time here to burn a significant amount. Plus, when it comes to your diet, you’ll only lose weight or improve your physique with a fairly restricted, low calorie diet, IF this is the only sort of training you do. As soon as your energy or calorie intake increases, weight gain will be inevitable if this is the basis of your workout routine.
So, based on my top tips for training if you’re busy try this quick 30-minute circuit to get you energised for the work week, get your heart rate firing, and build a shapely, strong bod! A mix of strength and HIIT training that will be your secret weapon when you only have a short amount of time to spare!
3 x rounds
A1: Barbell back squats (moderate load) x 8 reps
A2: Barbell bent over row (moderate load) x 8 reps
2 x rounds
B1: Dumbbell squat press x 10 reps
B2: Dumbbell walking lunges x 10 reps each side
B3: Kettlebell swings x 20 reps
If you would like another training options see this article at Hulk-Strength.
Remember, focus on good technique, minimal rest periods and challenging loads for maximum time efficiency and results!
Yours in Health,
Olivia (see Olivia’s profile here)