So you’ve made the decision to begin a muscle building or fat burning program… you’re ready to finally get into shape and reach your fitness goals… but there’s just one problem…

You don’t have enough time.

Time’s a tricky one. You can’t create more of it; you can only make use of the time you already have. Steve Jobs said, “time is the most valuable commodity of all”, and he was right.

Yes, most of us really do have a lot going on in our day to day lives, and juggling things like work, school, family and social life along with a complete workout plan can require some real focus and discipline.

But that’s all this really comes down to: focus and discipline.

I have no doubt that you probably are leading a very busy life and that you truly believe it’s just not possible to carry out an effective workout plan with your current situation…

However, I’m here to tell you that in 99% of cases, this just flat-out isn’t true.

Are you really telling me that you can’t spare just one hour of your time 3 days per week to hit the gym?

Sure, a higher training frequency might produce slightly faster overall results, but there’s no question at all that a 3 day per week workout schedule can and will produce significant, ongoing gains in muscle size and strength.

If your primary goal is fat loss and you aren’t even trying to gain muscle, then there’s absolutely no question at all that this will work very well for you.

Legs on Day 1, Chest/Shoulders/Triceps on Day 2, Back/Biceps on Day 3. Easy as that. Or, just do an Upper Body/Lower Body split and alternate back and forth between the two workouts.

Can’t get it done because your entire day is truly jam-packed from the moment you wake up till the moment you go to sleep?

Go to bed an hour earlier and wake up an hour earlier. Cut out an hour of TV time. Spend less time on YouTube and Facebook. Go on your lunch break at work or in between classes at school.

If you actually sat down and honestly examined how you spend every waking hour of your time throughout the day, you’d likely be appalled at how much time you waste on ultimately trivial things that could be eliminated and replaced with more meaningful activities. I know I was.

Okay, so let’s assume there’s a gun to your head, the well-being of your family is at stake, and you still can’t get in 3 workouts per week. (I use the morbid example to help put things into perspective)

Fine, do 2.

Any training plan that allows you to put forth a hard effort and get stronger on all of the major compound exercises from week to week will still produce noteworthy results, and a 2 day per week plan can certainly accomplish that.

Train upper body on Day 1 and lower body on Day 2. Or do a basic full body workout twice a week.

Even in the extreme, highly unlikely case that 1 single workout per week is all you could muster (though I have to be honest – I don’t believe you), even this could still do the trick with the proper intensity and workout structure.

Can’t make it to the gym because the travel time is too far? Get a home gym setup with a barbell, adjustable dumbbells, a chin-up bar and a squat rack.

Can’t afford all those pieces of equipment? Don’t have enough space? Just get the barbell and dumbbells. Still too much? Use dumbbells only.

(By the way, this all assumes that you’re a serious trainee who is looking to maximize their lean muscle gains or fat loss and get into the best shape possible. If you’re just someone who wants to be more active, gain a bit of muscle, lose a bit of fat, and increase their overall health and fitness, then some adjustable dumbbells in combination with body weight exercises will easily be enough.)

Now what about cardio?

Maybe you’ve realized that you really can execute 2 or 3 basic resistance training workouts per week either at the gym or from home, but you also want to throw in a few cardio sessions per week too.

Well, traditional 40-60 minute slow-pace cardio is one option, but even I’ll admit that that can become tedious and time-consuming on top of regular weight training.

Simple solution: increase the intensity and lower the duration by performing a couple of H.I.I.T (high intensity interval training) sessions each week.

These types of workouts don’t need to last any longer than 15 minutes, and at higher levels of intensity can be as short as 7 or 8 minutes. (Though you’ll need to gradually work your way up if you’ve never done these before)

Not only are H.I.I.T cardio workouts much shorter and more efficient, but they actually burn more total fat in comparison to longer duration/lower intensity sessions as well.

I cannot possibly imagine that you don’t have the time to squeeze in 15-30 minutes of total cardio at some point throughout your week. And if you want to be even more efficient, just kill two birds by adding the cardio sessions onto the end of your weight training workouts.

You don’t even need any gym equipment for this either – go outside and run, or stay put right in your living room and do body weight intervals instead.

So you see, there’s really no excuse here. If you’re truly serious about getting into better shape, there’s always a way to make it work.

For example, 2 weight training workouts per week along with 2 H.I.I.T cardio sessions per week is a completely reasonable plan to get you into very good shape, and would only take up around 2.5 hours total of the 168 hours you have available every week.

In addition to all of this, don’t forget that the training aspect of your fitness program is by no means the be-all-end-all, and that a huge portion of your results will simply come down to your eating plan. (If your goal is fat loss, the majority of your results will be attributed to your diet)

And you can’t tell me you don’t have time for that. You’re already eating multiple meals throughout the day – it’s just a matter of making better food choices and employing a bit of planning and preparation.

So, there you have it. If you’ve been telling yourself “I don’t have time to workout” as an excuse to not take control of your body and fitness, realize that that’s all it is: an excuse.

I fully understand that your life probably is quite hectic, but if you truly want to get into better shape, you absolutely can if you just put in the effort.

And don’t forget: regular training and healthy eating will actually give you more energy and put you into a clearer, more focused head space, and that will carry over and positively impact all the other aspects of your life as well.

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