4 Ways I Stay Fit While Busy

Staying fit while being busy is a challenge, there is no doubt about that.  Being a dad to two small children, owning and running a business, working out, and eating [relatively] well.  You’ve got days where things happen exactly as they should, you’ve got days where it all falls apart.  Here’s what I focus on to keep moving forward.

Also, if you read to the end, I will provide some snack-sized workouts if you only have 5 to 10 minutes to workout!


One of the first distinctions you need to make, if you are working on your health and fitness, is to differentiate ‘workouts’ and ‘physical activity.’

A ‘workout’ is where you are setting aside a specific window of time on a specific day for focused training.  Workouts don’t just happen.  Something important to consider?  A workout could be 5 minutes long if you are bringing the intensity.

‘Physical activity’ is far less structured in the training sense.  It could be golfing, doing yard work, playing with your kids, taking a walk, and so on.

There is a place for both of these things and they are both important to your physical and mental health.  Just don’t confuse the two.

1 – All or Nothing

‘All or nothing’ thinking ruins so many people’s aspirations to get fit and healthy and it doesn’t matter if you’re new to working out or not.  If I were operating with the ‘all or nothing’ mentality, I’d scrap my entire 60 minute workout if I could only get 20 minutes in.

Admittedly, this is a work in progress for me and is frustrating when it doesn’t work out the way I want.  However, what I’ve realized is momentum and consistency far outweigh anything else.  Think about it, what is more valuable…

Person #1:  getting 5 workouts a week at 20 minutes a session

Person #2:  getting 1 workout a week at 90 minutes total

The time spent working out is virtually the same but one is built on consistency and habits while the other is built on time spent in the gym.  Person #1 is going to be far better off and Person #2 is going to have monumental amounts of soreness to contend with each week.

2 – Making Time

Occasionally the opportunity does ‘just happen.’  Outside of those once in a blue moon circumstances, you need to set aside time for you.  Part of this process?  Being flexible.

I find scheduling my workouts during the week is helpful but I can no longer take them as gospel.  The flexibility I employ is flexibility in:

  • The times I workout during the week
  • The amount of time I am spending in each workout
  • And what my plan is according to the time I have

Something helpful, for me, is that this is what I do for a living and so changing my workout for the day is not a big undertaking.  Frustrating but not a huge ordeal.

The point, though, is to set aside specific days and times to workout.  Even 5 minutes is enough!  Stay tuned for examples of these little snack-sized workouts.

3 – Most Days of The Week

When we meet with someone new, we make sure to iterate that a sufficient amount of training sessions during the week is 3.  If you are consistent with 3 days per week, you can make some serious progress.

For people who have been training for years, 5 to 6 days per week is probably closer to what they do.  I fall in this category but it might not be what you think.  Here is an example of what that looks like at this point in my life:

  • Monday
    • Jiujitsu (60min)
  • Tuesday
    • Strength training (60min) OR a short MetCon (less than 20min)
  • Wednesday
    • Jiujitsu (60min)
  • Thursday
    • Strength training (60min) OR a short MetCon (less than 20min)
  • Friday
    • Jiujitsu (60min)
  • Saturday
    • If I do anything, it is strength training (60min) or a short MetCon (less than 20min)
    • Sometimes it is nothing
  • Sunday
    • Physical activity with my family

This [max of] 6 hours per week of working out is a far cry from the 10+ hours I used to do.  Add to it that my 10+ hours was consistent with no kids and no other responsibilities…

It is important to note that this 6 hours per week is an “ideal” schedule for me.  Usually I end up having to miss 1 or 2 things during the week meaning I still hit the minimum of 3 days per week of some kind of workout.

The point?  Aim for 3 days per week even if it is a short 10 minute burner of some kind.  There are very few excuses to not do SOMETHING.

Again, examples below!

4 – Sometimes Life Happens

If you caught it, there are some days I have to regroup and attack the next day.  Sometimes there is a legitimate cause to not “have the time” to even do a 5 minute workout [but not many].

If that’s the case, letting go of the ‘all or nothing’ mentality will help you here too!

Rather than wait for the next week or next month to start, regroup and go again tomorrow.  Don’t wait for another perfect starting point.  Just do it tomorrow.  Seriously… get up and do it again tomorrow.

Do not accept that a no-go today is an excuse to not pick up and do it again right away.  You are the sum of your habits and you don’t want to build that ‘quitting’ habit.

Snack-Sized Workouts

Looking to eliminate excuses for not doing something because you have “no time?”  Check out these 8 snack-sized workouts designed for you if you’ve got very limited time:

Workout #1
Tabata Air Squats – (8 Rounds of 20sec on / 10sec off)

Perform as many squats as you can in 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds.  Repeat this for a total of 8 rounds

Total Workout Time:  3 minutes and 50 seconds

Workout #2
EMOM x 10 Rounds (Burpees)

Every minute for 10 minutes perform a set number of burpees.  You pick the number of burpees but good benchmarks might be

Beginner:  3 to 5 burpees
Intermediate:  7 to 10 burpees
Advanced:  up to 15+ burpees

Total Workout Time:  10 minutes

Workout #3
5 Push Ups
10 Sit Ups
15 Air Squats

Continue to move through 5-10-15, 5-10-15, 5-10-15 until the 10 minutes is completed.

Total Workout Time:  10 minutes

Workout #4
Easy Gleason of Lunges

This is an every minute on the minute workout meaning you start over each minute.  In the Easy Gleason case, however, you are adding reps each time until you can no longer complete the work in that particular minute.

Beginner Reps:  start with 1 rep each leg and add 1 rep each leg each minute
Intermediate Reps:  start with 2 reps each leg and add 2 reps each leg each minute
Advanced Reps:  perform either of these options with jumping lunges

Total Workout Time:  as far as you can go but probably 10-ish minutes or less depending on your fitness level

Workout #5
3 Rounds for Time
10 Box Jumps
20 Kettlebell Swings
30 Mountain Climbers

This is a pretty short workout so your job is to continue to move with purpose throughout.

Total Workout Time:  9 minutes MAXIMUM

Workout #6
5 Hand Release Push Ups
10 Air Squats
15 Kettlebell Swings

This is also a pretty short workout so move for the entire 6 minutes.

Total Workout Time:  6 minutes

Workout #7
Tabata Planks + Tabata Bodybuilders – (8 Rounds of 20sec on / 10sec off)

Same as above, perform a plank for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and repeat for 8 rounds.  Immediately after this, restart with bodybuilders.

A bodybuilder is a burpee without the push up and without the jump.

Total Workout Time:  8 minutes

Workout #8
For Time
50 Air Squats
50 Bodybuilders

This is one time through for each movement – and done as fast as you can.  Don’t skip out on moving well but go FAST.

Total Workout Time:  less than 7 minutes

That’s It

You don’t have time?  You mean you don’t have 3 minutes and 50 seconds to move with purpose?

If you want to have a more in depth chat about how you can put together a schedule for yourself or you want to enlist the help of one of our amazing personal trainers, click HERE.

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