“I’m too busy.”  “I don’t feel like training.” “I don’t have time for a full workout, so what’s the point.” 

No, those aren’t quotes from a client, they were actually coming from me.

I was starting to use the same excuses that we trainers hate hearing from our clients. What a hypocrite! I was using running a business as an excuse to let my training slide down on my priority list.

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Whether you own a business or not I’m sure as a trainer you have found yourself in this same position at some point. If you are currently experiencing this then I’m confident you will find value in my story.

As trainers I think sometimes we are over confident in our abilities

We think that because we know what to do and can get in shape whenever we want that it’s ok to slack off for a while.

What I recently realized though is it’s not just about looking the part or performing the part, it’s about truly living the lifestyle even if your clients and prospects can’t see what you’re doing.

We must always lead by example!

Once I figured that out I knew I had to get my training back on track.

Change in direction

My turning point came while I was reading an article by world class strength coach and writer Dan John. It was an old article about his easy strength program that he and Pavel Tsatsouline created. If you aren’t familiar with this program it calls for 40 workouts using the same strength exercises each day for 5 days of training per week. The most recent version of it can be found by searching Dan John and the 40 Workout StrengthChallenge.

I decided not to do this particular program because I thought each workout may take more time than I had.

It gave me an idea

At the time I was trying to get in three workouts per week. I knew I could maintain decent strength and fitness like this. The problem was I kept getting busy and if I didn’t see a perfect time to train that day I would say “oh I’ll just do it tomorrow”.

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Ironically, owning a gym is similar to when when clients have exercise equipment at the house but never use it.

It’s too convenient because you think you can use it anytime, but if you don’t have a plan you won’t use it at all.

Perseverance to create good habits

Being a student of habit formation I thought about the fact that most habits need to be done daily to really stick. I also decided that every workout did not have to be this perfect hour long strength session. Doing any sort of formal exercise was going to be good enough while I formed my new habit.

So my answer was this…

Instead of working out three days per week, I was going to workout every day. I know what you’re thinking, “If this guy couldn’t find time for three workouts how will he find time for seven?”

I believe the answer to this comes with the fact that there was no tomorrow to push the workout back to. Because I was supposed to do a workout each day if I missed one it was lost forever.

I also reversed the role of accountability

I told my clients what I was doing so I felt like I had someone to answer to if I failed.

I decided to go with 40 days initially but I knew if I made it to 40 I could keep going. At first I kept it simple, I had to perform KB swings, ring pushups, and ring chin-ups in each workout. That way, if nothing else I knew exactly what I was doing each day and didn’t have to spend any time planning. This worked great but eventually I did get tired of them and at about the 30 day mark I started switching things up a bit more.

Some days I added many exercises to those three if I was feeling good and had plenty of time, while other days I simply did a few reps of each exercise and that was it.

A shift in focus

The fact that I had to workout each day forced me to examine my schedule and find the best time to do so each day. Also, if something came up during that time I would squeeze it in at the end of the day even if I was tired or even do some body weight work at home after dinner.

I believe this close examination of my time lead me to be more efficient in other areas as well.

The results were better than I could have asked for

My motivation to train was as high as it had been since I stopped powerlifting a few years ago. My energy was up, my mental performance improved, of course all the physical benefits, you know, everything we tell clients they will get from exercise.

I’m proud to say that as I write this it’s been about 75 days and I’ve only missed working out on a few days.

Not bad for a guy who was telling himself he had no time to train. Also, this plan didn’t consume my life. I didn’t let my business or personal relationships suffer. Actually as I write this my business is in a better place than it was when I started this new habit.

So as a fellow trainer, if you find yourself in this same rut that I was, I encourage you to try these daily workouts as a way to overcome this downward spiral.

After all if we aren’t living the example for our clients then who is?

Connect here with Expert Steven Schmitter.

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