Are you wondering how to get fit in less time and without too many sacrifices in your life?
In that case, you’re in luck because today’s quick post is all about ways to train that will get you fitter in less time. When it comes to getting fit there is no one right way to train. We all like different training styles and we all have different goals. Today I want to share with you a few ideas that will:
a) help you motivate yourself to train and remove the barriers or resistance to exercise.
b) provide you with some actionable next steps – training sessions that will get you fitter in less time.
If you are looking for simple and easy to implement strategies to getting fitter, then please read on.
Take The First Step Towards Fitness
Without taking action nothing happen.
It might sound silly or obvious but to get a result in any aspect of your life you have to take some sort of action, and fitness is no different. Watching follow-along workout videos won’t actually get you fitter.
The first step is to take the first step. I doesn’t matter what it is, or how small that initial step is, all that matters is that you do take it.
Whether that means actually following along with those workout videos, or consistently progressing your training sessions, or even if it means you just go for a walk around the block. Whatever your starting point is, getting started is key to getting fitter than you are today.
How To Get Fit For Beginners
The problem with taking the first step is that along with it come resistance. For some – especially beginners – the thought of exercise is daunting. Maybe you just don’t know how to exercise. Or perhaps you used to exercise but it has been so ling that you forgot how to, and now you’re anticipating that it’ll be either uncomfortable to humiliating.
On a side note I get it. One of the fundamental laws of fitness is that it is reversible, and I have experienced periods in my life where I just got out of the swing of regular training. The return to training after being ill with septicemia in 2005 was certainly a battle, and I did feel uncomfortable and humiliated at times. My point is that no matter who you look up to for inspiration, everyone has had their own personal fitness journey no matter how easy or successful things seem on the surface.
So, you have a challenge ahead and this is a little scary. So here’s a great sound bite for you – action beats anxiety. If you’re feeling that resistance to getting started, what could you consider doing right now that will allay your fears and anxiety, make you feel good about exercising and jump start that first step?
Take some time to consider what would work for you in your life, but for now I’ll help you out with a few suggestions:
- Decide what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it and write it as a goal.
- Brainstorm – what exercise do you actually LIKE doing, and what have you enjoyed in the past?
- Get ready – plan your first step – will is be power walk around the local park, a home workout, a bike ride or a trip to the gym or local swimming pool?
- Get set – if it means getting up before the kids or work, get your gear set so you aren’t faffing in the morning. If you plan on training after work, put your training gear in your work bag so you are ready. Maybe your work has a gym.
How To Get Fit At Home
I personally really enjoy training from home and if time is of the essence and you have little time to spend in exercise then the logical step would be to cut out any travel time and get fit at home. There are so many ways to train from home but first let’s consider some of the pros and cons of getting fit at home.
Benefits Of Exercising From Home
- Home workouts include less travel time
- Reduced preparation time
- Provide a comfortable non-intimidating environment for you that you can feel confident in
- Easily squeeze a home workout into a working day if you work from home – even grabbing 5 minutes
- All your exercise nutrition is easily to hand
- Easy to piggyback your exercise to existing habits in your life
Drawbacks To Home Workouts
- Lack of equipment or expertise
- Possible lack of a dedicated space to exercise
- Possible distractions – technology, chores, family, pets
- Sweat or damage to carpets from training shoes if not careful
- Possibility of injury from furniture or slipping
I am very lucky to have a dedicated workout space at home where I train, but if you need to train in your living room or the spare bedroom this is not a problem. Before you start your workout I recommend moving anything that might get in the way out of the way, and also use a dedicated workout mat such as a foam or yoga mat.
Another really important consideration is to minimise distractions. Switch the phone off – unless of course you’re using a fitness app to guide your exercise. Put the cat outside and turn the laptop off. Get yourself in the zone to exercise and focus solely on that until it is done. By doing one thing at a time you will get it done more efficiently and you’ll do a better job of it.
If you exercise from home you may need to time your training to avoid these distractions. For me a couple of strategies work well. I sometimes train before my tribe is awake.
This worked well for a time but I did find the children were getting up earlier and earlier and there was a limit to how early I could get up. What also works well now is that I get up with my son and have a breakfast and quality time with him, and later my wife and daughter get up. At this point I can go and train while my wife takes over.
Other times that I have tried is much later at night, and mid afternoon, and while these do work for me, if I want to guarantee that a workout gets done then I have to do it first thing. Can also add that the way the day start and the habits that are in place shape the day. And that how you do anything is how you do everything.
In my experience, starting the say with purpose really has a knock on effect for every other aspect of my life. You just need to find a distraction free tie that will work for you.
Okay, once you have a distraction free environment to train in there are a few ways that you can train effectively. If you are feeling like you just don’t want to do this, again, take the first step and do the first warm up exercise. You may want to structure your workout as follows:
- Dynamic warm up – each exercise 10 times as a cycle 3-5 times through
- Air squats
- Arm swings
- Main set – 3x through the following (60s rest)
- Squat jumps
- 30s Plank
- Static stretch – hold for 90s and repeat 1-3 times as time allows
- Rec fem stretch
- Pec and lat stretch
The great thing about this structure is that is is not only effective in terms of getting fitter, but it is also a massive time saver. By pairing exercises together you will save lots of time and allow more work to be done in less time. I should note that this is general fitness and if you have a specific fitness goal then you will want to ensure your training is specific to that goal.
How To Get Fit Fast
Having been a personal trainer since 2008 I have heard this many times. So many of us wonder how to get fit fast. Maybe there is a deadline for a certain event, or perhaps it’s because they are just so fed up with being unfit, and not they finally want to get fit once and for all.
While there are ways to get fitter more quickly, it would be unfair of me not to mention that when it comes to health and fitness, nutrition, stress, lifestyle, the thing that really gets results is consistency. Consistency wins the day.
Writing Your Get Fit Plan
When it comes to training consistently writing and following a good plan is helpful. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to change your workout too often. This won’t allow for progression and adaptation and you won’t be able to show progress if you do a random workout every time.
Random workouts and mixing things up has its place, but following a progressive programme is a sure way to help you progress.
When it comes writing your plan there are some things to consider.
First consider your fitness goal. Once you know this you can plan a fitness regime that will bring you towards your goal. When it comes to being specific for your goal it might be helpful to consider the SAID principle:
- Imposed Demand
Think about it and decide how exactly you want your fitness to progress. Do you want to get stronger? Leaner? Run a 5k? Swim 1km? Sport specific fitness? Keep up with the grand children?
Whatever your fitness goal is, make your workouts specific with your goal in mind. Knowing you are working towards something will be in itself very rewarding and motivating.
It is important to know that the human body – your body – is very adaptable to the demands that are placed upon it. When it comes to getting fit and beginning an exercise programme it is important to know that you will adapt to your new regime. You’ll find that you get better at your chosen exercise. You’ll get fitter. You’ll recover faster and the aches you had at the beginning aren’t there anymore.
This is when you have to be clever for fear of reaching a fitness plateau.
A fitness plateau is a natural part of any fitness journey and my job as a personal trainer is to help you to overcome this stall in fitness progress.
Knowing that any journey – be it fitness, weight loss or anything else for that matter – is never a straight line will prepare you in advance to expect a fitness plateau.
Knowing that your fitness progress will stall at some point will mean that you can plan methodically to overcome this plateau.
The slowing, stopping and even reversing of progress in any aspect of health and fitness can be described using the GAS acronym. Knowing that the human body is so adaptive to the demands placed on it by fitness training, GAS, or general adaptive syndrome can be used to describe this adaptation. Over time if the initial stimulus isn’t changed the body will only adapt to a point before slowing, and even regressing.
A great way to ensure that you keep progressing and the next logical step to consider that will help you progress your training to the next level is the FITT principle. When considering what to plan consider these variables:
Fitness Isn’t Enough.
If you’re wondering how to get fitter, the real question should be how to get fit and healthy. While fitness is an integral part of health, fitness alone isn’t enough. Eating and living a healthy lifestyle will help you with not only become healthier but also augment your fitness progress with better recovery from exercise and improved performance.
If you’d like to learn what makes great nutrition you’re welcome to read this in depth guide. Within the context of this article here is a quick summary and some actionable take home points that I hope will help you eat and live better straight away.
The first thing to consider is that good nutrition will result in improved health, performance and body composition. It will help you in every aspect of your life.
For Longevity Say Hello To Guilt Free Eating
You might have tried one or more diets in the past only to feel deprived for weeks or months then back to where you started. Any weight you lost was regained.
You’re not alone. 20% of us are dieting at any one time. We diet over and over again going from one promise to another, only to experience let down eventually.
Diets tend to fail in the long run because they require too much change too soon, they are too uncomfortable or require too much effort to do forever.
The diet industry has become such a vicious cycle of failure. Motivated by emotions, fear, pain, frustration and promises, you tried new diets in the hope of achieving your ultimate health and happiness goal.
In the short term a certain diet may have worked for you but every time you start to see progress, something crops up and you end up back where you started.
Every time the ‘diet’ ends when you are faced with a change in routine. Your work commitments infringe on your time. Or the event such as a wedding or holiday has come and gone and old habits creep back in.
With this in mind, our habits are what make us who we are, and we are what we consistently do. Experiential satisfactions wins the long game because you’ll want to do it forever and great nutrition doesn’t come to an end.
No Such Thing As One Best Diet
The truth is that there is no single diet that is best for everyone. We have evolved to be very adaptable to a whole range of dietary conditions and many popular diets do promote good nutrition.
The great thing about this is that you can achieve better health, performance and body composition goals while eating foods that work for you.
The best diet is the one that works for you.
Know 7 Principles
- You will not have to think about great nutrition – it will become a natural way of life
- Great nutrition is not a ‘diet’ that you stick to. It will not come to an end.
- Great nutrition will properly control energy balance.
- Great nutrition will provide nutrient density.
- Great nutrition will provide an improved body composition, health and performance.
- Great nutrition is honest and outcome based.
- Great nutrition is sustainable for you.
Ask 4 Questions
- Where Is The Protein Dense Food?
- Where Are The Veggies?
- Where Are The Carbs?
- Where Are Your Fats Coming From?
Practice 3 Skills
- Am I Eating Slowly
- Eat When Hungry
- Stop When Satisfied
How To Get Fit At Home Without Equipment
When it comes to getting fitter the best bit of equipment that you possess is your own body. Getting started with zero equipment is not only a fun and low-faff way to exercise from home, it is also very effective.
You might want to beging with mobility and stability exercises such as thoracic mobilisations, air squats and planks, as well as some stretches of the common trouble areas such as quadriceps, and psoas major. As well as this if you are desk bound at work you might benefit from doing cervical retractions as part of your routine.
The main set can be progressed as you develop fitness. Below are a couple of progressions, from beginner to advanced.
- Heel raised squat
- Shallow air squat
- Deep air squat
- Slow air squat
- Pistol squat
- Plyometric jump
- Depth jump
- Wall facing press up
- Press ups on a bench
- Kneeling press ups
- Eccentric loads on toes
- Full pressups
- Single arm press ups
- Power press ups
See how your body and style of the exercise can be used to progress you though from beginner level to advanced level, all within the comfort of your own home and with no equipment necessary.
How To Get Fit For Kids
So many clients have approached me to help them get fitter so they can keep up with the kids or grand children. To me this is an all round win because not only does getting fitter improve your life, spending more time with your family will improve that aspect of your life too.
If you decide that you want to train with your children but wonder what is the best exercise for everybody, then here are a couple of suggestions:
- Make it fun and play based
- Add an element of competition
- Use imagination – think bunny hops, building bridges and bear crawls
- If doing purposeful exercise, follow a circuit style programme
- Stick within limits and consider coordination and bone development
- Use the child as a weight (safely) for example front squats, piggy back
- Scale workouts to match the adult / child ability
I hope you found this helpful and it has inspired you to get fitter. Remember the best thing to do is just get started. So I urge you to close your laptop after reading this article, get a pad and plan your fitness journey. Get everything in place and just start – even if things aren’t perfect.
If you really want to make progress and you’d appreciate guidance and expert tuition on how to exercise you might also be interested in learning about online personal training club where I provide you with daily workouts and recipes that are effective and time saving so you stay motivated.
Of course if you have any questions about this or any health and fitness related topic please feel free to get in touch.