I could come up with countless reasons why I shouldn’t workout on any given day. In fact, I used to do this all the time. Now however I’ve moved past this, but that doesn’t mean that these thoughts still don’t cross my mind now and then. Today for example I could easily use the fact that there’s piles of snow outside or that the bus ride to the gym is long or that it’s really out of my way or that I’m tired, overworked and stressed and that I’ve been working out consistently for so long that I “deserve” a break for at least one extra day. Excuses are a dime a dozen; so easy to come by at the drop of a hat. At a certain point though, we all have to own up to the fact that these “valid reasons” we think up are just a lame way for us to rationalize why we aren’t putting in the effort to be healthy all the time.
I’ve mentioned many times now that I always do a mix of cardio and weight lifting (and not just for contest prep, but year round too). Two-a-day workouts might seem overwhelming at first, but now it’s just part of the routine. There was a time though when I would hit the snooze in the morning and say to myself “I’m too tired for cardio, I’ll sleep it off instead of hitting the pavement” or I’d come home from work and say to myself “I’ve had a long day, I don’t feel like lifting weights so I’ll just take an extra day off this week”… excuses at their finest.
Thankfully I’ve now chosen to make my workouts non-negotiable in that I always do my scheduled cardio and weight training no matter what may pop up or potentially throw off my schedule. How? By having a set plan, a backup plan and an alternate backup plan as well. It may sound like a lot, but trust me when I say that it’s not and that it’s made my life far more simpler than before.
In terms of cardio, weather permitting I go for a run outside; 20 minutes and I throw in a few sprint intervals along the way. In the winter or even super rainy days though, I run the stairs of my condo building. Very effective, very intense, very awesome. I created a 20 minutes stair climbing program so that I can still work up a sweat no matter what.
Here’s what it looks like:
Walk up each step at a normal pace.
Once the top floor is reached, walk down each step at a normal pace.
Walk up taking the steps 2 at a time
Once the top floor is reached, run down each step at a fast pace (continue to
run down each flight of stairs at a fast pace for remainder of workout)
Walk up each step at a normal pace, taking a sumo squat style stance; a wide
stance with feet slightly turned out, really push off of the heels to work
Walk up taking 2 steps at a time in a sumo stance
Run up each step at a fast pace
Walk up each step sideways, facing the right, crossing the right leg over the
Walk up each step sideways, facing the left, crossing the left leg over the right.
Walk up each step at a normal pace, sumo stance
Walk up 2 steps at a time, sumo stance
This has worked super well for me for the past few weeks. Now I know you might be a bit self-conscious and thinking “what if my neighbours walk by and see me working out? what if people look at me funny? what if I’m in someone’s way?” And I totally get that. The first few times I did this workout, I would always stop and move out of the way if someone came into the stairwell. That ended pretty soon though, as it was inconvenient for me to always have to interrupt my workout. So instead I don’t bother; there’s plenty of room for my neighbours to walk by me on the staircase without either of us having to squish. As for worrying about how it might look or what others think, honestly who cares? I’d rather get my workout in and have a cellulite free tush, then worry about somebody that I don’t even know possibly thinking that I look odd working out. Seriously, stop worrying about what everybody else thinks, most are so focused on themselves that they don’t even notice others around and if they do it’s only for a fraction of a second and that’s it.
What’s my backup plan to this? Well I stay in my home and do 1 minute intervals of cardio movements.
Here’s what it looks like:
2 minute light jog in place
1 minute running in place with high knees
1 minutes running in place, heels to booty motion, fast pace
1 minute jumping jacks
2 minute speed skaters
1 minute double unders (jump rope style)
1 minute alternating front kicks, normal pace
1 minute alternating back kicks, normal pace
Repeat all of round one
This came in handy the other day when the walls were being painted in the stairwell and there was no way for me to get my cardio in otherwise. When all else fails I always have on hand some workout videos that I bought a few years ago that involve either kickboxing, or some other intense aerobic interval cardio for 20 minutes.
There’s always a way to get a workout in. Any excuse is just a waste of your time that is ultimately only going to hurt you and you alone. If you keep going with these so called “reasons” to keep you from being fit, then you’ll never get there; you’ll never drop the weight and never really be living up to your full potential. Trust me when I say this, I’ve been. Once I did start to fully recognize that this was me, everything changed in a big way and I was finally able to breakthrough that block and start making some serious fitness headway, and so can you!
No more excuses, go out there and get it done!
Start Strong, Finish Strong