We choose to make time for what we prioritize in our lives. The number one excuse for why people don’t exercise is because of busyness. With 168 hours in a week, there’s more than enough time for exercise, work, family life, recreation, volunteering, down time, and whatever else excites you. The challenge isn’t enough hours in a day, it’s managing those hours carefully.
Three years ago, after I opened the Bunkhouse in Minturn, I went through a divorce, was still running a full-time fitness business, co-parenting my son, and still had to find time for things that brought peace into my life. I was so overwhelmed, I often found myself sitting in my house not able to move; paralyzed by life, I didn’t even know where to begin, and sometimes I would sit for hours with my brain running 100 miles per minute, in 20 different directions. A time management overhaul was imminent.
I was listening to an interview on the radio, and Dan John, a notable fitness coach was discussing productivity. His message was simple, and it resonated with my streamlined approach towards life. Dan referenced shark bites and pirate maps. Sharks don’t nibble or bottom feed, sharks attack with massive bites, annihilating their prey. Each day, take shark bites as you approach specific tasks. Don’t open that email unless you’re going to own it, read it, and reply immediately. Finish each and every task to completion. Multi-tasking is a misguided waste of time. Focus on one thing at a time, rinse, and repeat. If you can imagine a pirate map, they often resemble dots that lead along the path of least resistance to the treasure. Get to the point in life quickly, with a map. Make grocery lists, lay out your clothes for the next day, write out to-do lists on Sunday night, clearly articulate your message throughout the day. Stop wasting time on social media, television, and other distractions that rob you of time that should be invested elsewhere.
Prioritizing exercise is no different. You must have a plan, and make time for it. Lately, I’ve been busy growing the Bunkhouse, so I’ve gotten creative with exercise. Instead of going to the gym where I spend most of my daily working hours training others, I built a gym in my garage. The gym is a distraction when it’s your place of business, and working out at home saves me time and potential wasted effort. You don’t need fancy equipment, or any at all. I acquired all of my kettlebells that were collecting dust, hung a pull up bar from the garage ceiling, mounted some olympic rings, and I set my alarm for 4:30am every morning.
Here are a few of my routines, that take no longer than 20-30 minutes.
- Squat, Swing, and Push: I’ll use two, equally weighted kettlebells and perform 5 double kb front squats, 10 double kb swings, and 20 pushups; rest 1 minute. I’ll repeat this effort 5-10 rounds depending on how much time I have, and how heavy I go. So, that’s 25 squats, 50 swings, and 100 pushups; or 50 squats, 100 swings, and 200 pushups.
- Squat and Pull: 10 bodyweight squats and 3 pull-ups; 20 bodyweight squats and 5 pull-ups; 30 bodyweight squats and 8 pull-ups. Rest 1-2 minutes, and repeat for 3-5 rounds. Whatever works. That’s 180-300 squats, and 48-80 pull-ups.
- Hockey Pushup Challenge: I love playoff hockey! If the day’s gotten away from me, but I really want to watch hockey, I’ll perform a pushup ladder anytime the whistle is blown. For instance, if the whistle blows, I’ll perform 10 pushups. The next whistle blow, I’ll perform 7 pushups; then 5, and then 3. I’ll do this the entire game. It may add up to several hundred pushups. Perform this with a favorite TV show, or a movie when a specific word is said, during commercials, or other creative strategies you can think of. Use burpees, squats, lunges, sit-ups, planks, side-planks, and other bodyweight calisthenics, too.
- 5 Minute Morning Challenge: Perform this 5 days per week, and pick 1 bodyweight exercise per day. Perform as many repetitions as possible in 5 minutes. It’s hard! But, who doesn’t have 5 minutes, and you need no equipment. Again, use exercises such as pushups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, getting up and down off of the floor, etc.
Life is busy, I get it. But there’s no excuses for not getting exercise done on a regular basis. OK, let’s keep talking about this stuff. Have a great week!