Training Tips




For a lot of us, fitness training is a hobby - something we enjoy. We also have other hobbies that may facilitate or be facilitated by our gym training, such as sports, music or art (to name only a few examples). Many of us have other important relationships that we need to organise time for, such as friends and family. Unfortunately, most of us have to work in order to continue enjoying these hobbies and relationships.

If we take the average 9 'til 5 job; that's 40 hours a week in work. If we add an additional hour on to each day for travel time, we spend 45 hours a week on work related activities, disregarding any after-hours 'work activities'. This leaves a total of 123 hours for non-work related activities in a 7 day week. 

123 hours!!!

It seems like a lot of time to do everything that needs to be done, and then take part in those things you enjoy. But, in order to function as adult human beings, we must complete a lot in this time; sufficient sleep, cooking, eating, cleaning, washing, laundry etc. Once this list has diminished, do we really have time for those things we enjoy; training, sport, music, art, socialising, GBBO (Great British Bake Off for those of you who've lived under a rock the last few months). At the best of times, we are left with little time to enjoy ourselves, and to truly get the most out of our fitness training.

During normal periods of your life (no stress), you can devote a little longer doing those things you enjoy. For example, you can spend that little extra time exploring new exercises, different ways to load an exercise in your sessions or really critique and improve your technique. These are the best times to do these things, as you won't be thinking excessively of any stressful triggers.

In times of greater stress, however, we tend to spend less (if any) time training. Yet, we still have time to watch the Bake Off..... At these times, most of us put training last as it is seen as a luxury. These are the times that our eating habits turn to complete rubbish too. Overall, our health and fitness takes a back seat. Cut a long story shouldn't!

During times of stress, you should make exercising and eating well a priority. It may seem like that least important part of your life at the moment, but doing so will actually make you feel less stressed and more energetic. 

To conquer training and eating well at periods of high stress, try and do the following:

  • PREPARE most of your meals in advance. Most of us have at least one day off work a week which we use having a bit of a lazy day and catching up on all the TV we missed that week. Try taking a bit of time to prep a few meals for the coming week and pop them in the fridge/freezer until you need them. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes.
  • TRAIN hard. Take time with your warm up, but in the belly of your session, really vamp up the intensity. Shorter rest times and faster movements will reduce the length of your workout, whilst still leaving you feeling sufficiently tired. Remember though, to reduce the weights appropriately to avoid injury.
  • PLAN ahead. This goes for meals, as well as your training sessions. Try and plan what you're going to eat and when so that you can remain focused on the more important things in your day. Also, plan your training sessions ahead so you can go in and get it done without adding anything or wasting any time thinking up your session when you get in to the gym.

    Hope this can be of help to you when trying to juggle all that life has to throw at you.