You need to work out consistently to get the results you want. But it’s tough to stay consistent when your work schedule is inconsistent. And look, you got to get that money right?
Common catch 22.
You have only so much cognitive energy to grind out a long day at the office and then pick it back up to say you’ll get a good workout session before or after work.
Sound familiar? Maybe it’s because you know the feeling … and it’s even more frustrating because you hear advice like:
“Just do it”
“Set up time to work out and get it done”
“Go before, after, or during work”
Obviously, if that advice worked everyone would be doing it right?
Inconsistent schedules suck but so does not having income. Inconsistent gym routines suck too, but so does feeling and looking like crap.
It’s safe to say that your schedule is crazy as shit. We live and work in a connected world that is plugged in 24/7. You know working out is important but as you progress in your career and life, it slowly but surely starts crawling to the bottom of your to-do list.
So instead of giving you the BS advice you normally get because it’s so easy. I’m going to be real with you and just tell you some of the approaches I take. Even if you have a consistent 9 to 5 (or like 8 to 7, let’s be real), you’ll still probably get some nuggets of value out of it.
Here are some ideas that might help you find a little consistency with your workouts in a world that is constantly grabbing for your time …
- Find Your Workouts Interesting
- Invest into Workouts
- Think Sessions, not Schedules
Be interested in the workouts that you do
That sounds obvious, I know. But like anything in life, you never know what you’re going to enjoy it unless you’re interested and try it. Some people don’t like going to the gym, which is fine. They can still get a workout in. For example, I’m kind of obsessed with Oly lifting, other people like running, it is what it is. Whatever it is that get’s you going is coolin my book.
Working out is kind of like careers. Ramit Sethi, founder of I Will Teach You to be Rich, advises that “following your passion” is the worst career advice. Just like “go to the gym” is the worst workout advice.
When you start out your career you don’t know what you’re good at or even interested in. Until you start getting good at something. Same thing applies to working out.
Are you even into the gym bro? If you’re not – who cares. I can guarantee that there is something that you’re into. So …
- Do that thing you’re into!
- Try that workout you’re interested in and see if you like it!
When I was younger I hated the gym because I was insecure about the fact that I didn’t move a lot of weight. But I did love to play basketball – and that was my life. I played 6 hours a day and biked to the park and back. You think I was annoyed about “the workout”?
Some people swear by running, soul cycle, or Zog Sports. If you like it, great, go do you. If it gets you out of bed or working out after work or in some kind of workout regimen, DO IT!
Invest into workouts
Investing into your workout … what is this personal finance?
Just roll with me on this. Instead of telling yourself “I’m going to the gym in 2017”. Get a trainer or hire a coach instead.
If you’re serious about anything, you get a coach. All top performers do. And, do you want to know what motivates people more than earning money? Losing money. Once you put the investment in you’re forced into making sure you make the most of it.
See “loss aversion”.
When I was 18 I invested in a home gym that set me back $1,000. At the time, that was a lot of money. And I also invested in John Basedow’s Fitness Made Simple. SMH. Regardless, it got me to work out. What was the point of spending all that money otherwise?
And say you get a trainer. Even if you decide after your 10 or 20 sessions that you don’t want to continue, you at least have a good foundation to continue doing that yourself.
If you’re dead set on joining a gym and not getting a coach or trainer, then join a gym where you have to pay a lot of money. Think equinox or CrossFit. You’ll be upset at yourself for not taking advantage of something you’re spending $200+ a month on. If your bank account ain’t hurting from that … I hate you, but props.
Another option that you have is signing up for sessions, more on that below. You can sign up for ClassPass, which allows you to try different workouts instead of committing to one specific gym.
If that’s not enough, here’s a fun fact: better-looking people get paid more. You don’t need to be Brad Pitt, but if you’re in good shape it’ll pay dividends in your career, and bank account.
Think Sessions not Schedules
I have an inconsistent schedule, and I can imagine that if you’ve gotten this far, you probably do too. Nothing makes me feel guiltier than scheduling a time slot to get a workout in and missing it.
So I’ve scrapped “scheduling workouts” altogether. Instead of scheduling workouts, I’ve laid out making “x” number of sessions per week. That number is up to you; all that matters is building consistency each week.
The number could be 2 or 5 times per week. It’s relative to the individual. The point is that if you have a dynamic work schedule you need to have a flexible workout schedule to compliment it.
If you do decide to schedule something, sign up for early morning sessions and classes. This helps you to take advantage of the momentum you’re feeling at the time you’ve signed up, and ensures you can’t back out when it’s time to wake up and work out. And let’s face it, what client schedules shit at 5 or 6 am?
There are a couple of reasons I take this approach.
- It provides flexibility for my schedule
- A session can be as little as 5 minutes of intense exercise or a class
- Sessions ensures consistency week to week
As long as I keep the momentum going week to week, I can add more time or a longer workout given my schedule. Just make sure the chain of working out on a consistent basis is never broken. Jerry Seinfeld came up with this technique to get better at comedy, and it’s safe to say he’s not bad at making people laugh.
Consistency in anything, not just working out, is key to success.
So if I have a crazy day where maybe I woke up a little past 5 am and can’t make it to the gym, it’s cool.
Just keep the chain going.
Today, I only have 5 minutes for burpees. Solid workout and I’ve kept my chain going for the week.
So I’ll be getting after it and scratching off a session for this week. Boom.