I understand that while your main goals are to get stronger and lose fat, finding time to get your workouts done throughout the week is difficult. After conducting over 100 consultations as a trainer, this is the most common obstacle I’ve come across so it’s important to recognize you aren’t alone here. Numerous clients have told me the same obstacle with the same goals as you, and many of them achieved success using these principles that I’m about to share with you!
Let me share a short success story about my client, Ted.
Ted came to me asking for accountability with workouts and nutrition since his time is limited. I structured two strength workouts a week that can easily be completed at home so he doesn’t have to leave his house. Ted also has a Peloton which makes it easy to get at least 1 30-minute cardio session in a week. I set a daily step goal of 8,000 steps and recommended Ted to get a 20-minute walk in at lunch, as well as try to get up every hour and move around the office even if it’s just 5 minutes. For nutrition, Ted prioritizes nutrient dense foods like fruits and vegetables. Over the last year, Ted lost 20lbs and kept it off while still being able to have a few drinks and desserts throughout the week!
If you are finding it hard to find 5 hours to work out during the week, do this instead: I want you to focus on getting in two 30-minute strength training sessions a week. Make these sessions full body, and aim to use loads where you are reaching failure within the 8-12 rep range. It’s important that you prioritize strength training during these workout times. Since your goal is to lose fat, we want to maintain as much muscle as possible while losing fat. Strength training is the signal the body needs to maintain that hard earned muscle!
Once you have your two 30-minute weight training sessions in, the next goal is to get one 20-30 minute session of cardio throughout the week. Here is how to do it: maintain a pace where breathing gets difficult, but you can still comfortably have a conversation with the person next to you. While this cardio will help you burn calories, that’s not the point of it here. I want to make sure you are still getting the benefits of improved lung capacity and promoting heart health. Cardio can help lead to a lower resting heart rate, which means your heart is more efficient and leads to higher longevity. We want to keep that heart strong and healthy!
Lastly, find a way to get in additional forms of movement throughout the day whenever you can. This is an often-overlooked area, and it’s a game changer for helping reach your body composition goals.
Here is how to do it: park further away at work, take work calls while pacing around your office, use the stairs instead of the elevator, do 20 bodyweight squats every hour. This form of movement is called Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (aka NEAT) and it attributes around 15% of how your body burns calories throughout the day. Adding in this extra movement daily can be a key factor in getting you to start seeing the results you want to see without taking a lot of extra time out of your day.
Keep in mind you should not be eating these calories back with your food. You can do this extra movement, but you won’t see results if you are still eating chips and beer for every meal! You also need to make the necessary nutrition changes like eating more protein, vegetables, and fruits.
If time is your biggest obstacle for reaching the body of your dreams, you can be like my client Ted and accomplish this goal with 2-3 30-minute workouts a week, getting more daily movement, and making improvements to your nutrition.