Let’s face it: Most of us don’t get paid to go to the gym. We have a full time job and have to figure out a way to fit training into our schedule.
Here are some tips to stay in the gym, even when things get really busy:
1. Try to set aside time for three training sessions per week. I actually think lifting four times a week is more ideal, but I think most trainees can develop good strength and size from three sessions per week.
2. Try to train on Mondays-Mondays and Tuesdays if at all possible. I make it a point to have one training session as early in the week as possible. I’ll do my second session on Tuesday if I can (upper body one night, then lower body the next). Here’s my rationale: even if my week gets crazy and I don’t make it back to the gym, I’ve still managed to get one or two sessions in.
3. Do your most important workout on Monday. Let’s say you are concerned with developing size in your legs. Do your leg workout on Monday. This kind of goes along with the previous tip-you prioritize your training so you are less likely to miss your most important workouts. If there’s a worse-case scenario and you can’t get back to the gym, and least you trained for your most important goal.
4. Plan and cook your meals in advance. If you are like me, you’re more likely to eat junk when you don’t plan out your meals. Cook a week’s worth and put that high protein food in the refrigerator.
5. Keep a training journal. This record will motivate you buy giving you a concrete record of your progress.
6. Get a training partner. Knowing someone is waiting for you at the gym can be a strong motivator to stay consistent. A training partner can also help spot you on lifts such as bench press.
7. Morning training. It may be the only time you have to train is the morning (I’m having to consider this option myself). If so, just keep this in mind–I’ve heard the spine is a little more “open” (hydrated) and vulnerable to injury within the first 30 minutes of waking. It makes sense to me, since the spine has “decompressed” all night while you were sleeping. So I wouldn’t recommend going straight from the bed to the gym. I also would not recommend weight training on an empty stomach–have some breakfast first.
8. Start your own training blog. Post your training journal, pictures of your progress, etc online. One reason I started the strongandfit.net website was to motivate myself. You’ll get encouragement from your blog readers, and making your training public will definitely motivate you to stay in the gym.
Kevin, Strong and Fit