Working Out Despite a Busy Schedule
Updated: Jul 16
It’s often difficult to find the energy to train at the gym when so many other basic tasks are pulling at your attention: grocery shopping, taking care of kids, cleaning up the house, etc. You’re not alone, less than 7% of Americans adults partake in the recommended amount of exercise; therefore, it goes without saying that more Americans need to find ways to squeeze more workouts into their week. For those of us that are ambitious climbers with serious mountaineering goals, it’s not about reaching the “recommended” amount of exercise to stay healthy as it is training hard enough to take on serious outdoor challenges.
Improving your time management skills will help you get into the climbing gym more often. There is no silver bullet that will guarantee you find more time to hit the gym, however, incorporating some of the tips we’ve listed below into your daily/weekly routine might help you squeeze in some extra workouts.
Need more time in the gym? Try some of these tips and tricks:
Plan Your Day
This might seem obvious, but most people don’t plan their day before it begins and, as a result, they end up wasting valuable time. There are 24 hours in a day. If you sleep for 8 hours, work for 12 hours, and run errands for 2 hours, you can still squeeze a 2-hour workout into your day. The problem is most people don’t plan their day ahead of time, so instead of taking advantage of every minute in the day, they waste valuable time on TV and social media.
Don’t wait for the day to start for you to start planning your objectives (and workouts). Set your intentions the night before so that you can start out in the morning with purpose, drive, and ultimately more rock climbing.
Get Up Early
Ideally, everyone should start their day with a workout. It puts you in a great mood for the remainder of your day and guarantees that the fatigue from life/school/work doesn’t get in the way of you accomplishing some exercise. Even if you don’t get a workout in first thing in the morning, you can utilize the early hours of any day to be highly productive in other elements of your life. Being productive first thing in the morning will free up some time for you to accomplish your workout goals later in the day.
Preparing/planning your day’s meals ahead of time will save you money, keep you eating healthy, and save you time. Much time can be wasted figuring out what you’re having for lunch, and having to prepare meals throughout the day is also a big time waster. If most of your meals have been prepared the night before, you will be able to eat exactly when you want, and hit the climbing gym exactly when you want to. You also may want to set aside an entire Sunday afternoon to prep your meals for the week! This takes us right into the next tip…
Utilize Your Weekends
On the days you don’t have to be at work, make sure you’re taking the time to accomplish your long workouts. All athletes have to take rest days during at some point (it’s nearly impossible to work out hard 7 days per week), so you might as well make those rest days coincide with days that you’re busy with work/school. If you squeeze in long workouts at the climbing gym on Saturday and Sunday, all you have to do is get a couple of shorter/easier workouts in at the gym during your work week. This type of training template will get you in the gym at least 4 times per week.
Find Training Partners
It’s much easier to stay committed to your training goals if you have friends or climbing partners that hold you accountable. It’s easier to bail on yourself than it is to cancel workout plans on your friends. If you’re planning on hitting the climbing gym by yourself or heading out into the wilderness for a little pre-work mountaineering, you might be easily tempted to hit the “snooze” button and blow-off your workout.
Most climbing gyms have social networking groups for like-minded individuals that need training partners. If you want to take it a step further, convince one of your coworkers to regularly meet you at the climbing gym before the two of you have to show up to work. Regardless of who you choose to train with, having a network at your local gym or climbing crag will force you to stay committed to your climbing routine.
No Silver Bullet, No Time Machine
There is no one silver bullet that guarantees you have more time in the climbing gym. The truth is, self-drive and commitment to your fitness goals are the only way to get to the gym more. Time management and extra workouts will look a little bit different for everybody. You might have to squeeze in workouts at lunch, get up early, or maybe just force yourself to hit the gym when you’re tired after a long day at work. Above, we have listed tips to help you plan your day and manage your time better; for many, these tips are effective ways to help make their climbing fitness a priority in their schedule.
All that being said, if you don’t get your workout in, it’s only you that suffers the consequences. Plan your workouts, get to the gym, and make no excuses.
For climbing specific workouts, check out Power Training For Climbers.