“I'm too busy to workout.”
As high-performing professionals, we are constantly racing against time, tackling one meeting after another, striving to meet those ambitious sales targets, innovating the next big thing, or simply catching up on endless emails.
It's common to hear phrases as the one above echoing within our workplace. We've been conditioned to believe that success necessitates sacrifice, and that sacrifice often seems to be our health and well-being.
Exercise isn't just about looking good; it's the most powerful longevity drug. Regular physical activity has been linked to many benefits like improved mood, increased mental acuity, better sleep, and reduced risk of chronic diseases. It also helps manage stress, which is a prevalent issue in today's high-pressure work environments.
Yet, despite these undeniable benefits, I, like many others, relegated exercise to the bottom of my 'to-do' list.
Unfortunately, I learned its importance the hard way. There was this one particular day, overwhelmed with muscle pain from long hours of sitting, I ended up in the Emergency Room. That was my wake-up call, making me realize the folly of ignoring physical wellness amidst a busy schedule.
Fast forward to today, I've managed to incorporate exercise into my routine, but I'm aware that many still struggle with fitting workouts into their demanding lives.
I thus reached out to my friend Diego Carrete - Chief Wellness Officer, Transformation Coach for Busy Executives, and industry veteran for some advice.
Here is what he recommended, a 3 step checklist backed by science and that can be done in less than 45 mins:
1. Focus on 3 x full body routines weekly, instead of one body part per day
Why? You’ll engage more muscle groups simultaneously, reduce the risk of imbalances and most importantly, you’ll save time.
Example routine: Chest press 3 sets of 8-10 reps; Assisted pull ups 3 sets of 8-10 reps; Shoulder military press 3 sets of 8-10 reps; Leg press machine 3 sets of 8-10 reps ; 10 minutes of abs.
2. Make sure you engage the main muscle groups such as legs or back
Why? 1. You will recruit more muscle fibers. More muscle fibers = more chances of muscle growth 2. Higher workout demand. More intensity = more calories burned 3. Workout efficiency.
These exercises will inherently work smaller muscles leading to higher efficiency (e.g. when you work your back you also work your biceps).
3. Train opposing muscle groups together
Why? You'll enhance joint stability, and get more done in less time. It's a win-win for strength, aesthetics, and injury prevention.
Example: Shoulder press + Lat pull down then rest. Since they are opposing movements, you can skip rest in between.
“I'm too busy to workout.”