So you don’t have time to work out, right? You’ve got a demanding job, maybe a family with a husband or wife and even a couple of kids, and you’re on the go from the time the alarm goes off in the morning until the time you fall into bed at night. Okay, we get it, you’re busy.

Maybe you still work out haphazardly, whenever there’s a rare gap in your congested schedule, or maybe you stopped working out altogether.You used to have the time to work out, but now you feel you can’t do justice to a workout, so you figure, why bother?

Try this: take five minutes—it doesn’t matter when—it can be when you first wake up in the morning or just before dinner, or some time in the evening—we’ll leave all that up to you—but take five minutes and do one set of one exercise. You can manage that, right?

You don’t need a gym and you don’t need any fancy equipment. You don’t need any equipment at all. You can do bodyweight exercises.

Let’s say you come home tired from work. Normally you change your clothes then relax for a couple minutes before you give your full attention (or what’s left of it after work) to your  family. Take a moment for yourself. Call it a fitness detour, a workout detour. Do a set of push ups. Knock off a bunch of reps. Yeah, you’re tired from work, but lots of times a quick burst of exercise may actually revive you from the deadness of sitting at a desk all day listening to your boss drone on. (Okay, so maybe you love your job but it’s still tiring.) Do the exercise anyway.

One set of exercise won’t even take you five minutes.

It won’t make you any more tired and you’ll rightly feel as though you accomplished something, a small thing, but small things add up in fitness, as they sometimes do in life.

You say it’s not worthwhile? Listen, just try this once or twice and see. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If you do a different exercise each day—push ups one day, chin ups the next, then maybe squats and calf raises on the following days—you get the idea, you can work your whole body without weights over the course of a week without a lot of time and effort.

You say you’re a serious bodybuilder, or you were when you regularly did your workouts?

Set up some moderate weight dumbbells if you have a garage or basement or spare room. You can do a set of rows, or lateral raises, or curls, or tricep extensions—a wealth of exercises. You’re only limited by your imagination, not your perceived fatigue.

This doesn’t do it for you? Get creative. Others have. A friend in college who was a pre-dental student but also a dedicated powerlifter and bodybuilder,  used to break up his workouts by doing what lifts or muscle groups  he could between classes. He’d go from a class on his way to the library, stop by the gym and do his bench press routine, then continue to the library, study, then maybe come back later in the day and do a short back routine. It wasn’t an easy schedule, but he wasn’t going to let his responsibilities stop him from working out.

I remember reading that the late Bob Kennedy, publisher of MuscleMag, used to go from his office to the company gym in the MuscleMag building and do short workouts for a muscle group then go back to his office. You might even be able to squeeze a set in or even work out at work or school, depending on your circumstances. If you’re a student and you live at home, a small home gym is a natural fit.

Whether you’re a serious bodybuilder, lifter or an athlete or training for your personal fitness, you have options. You can accomplish a tremendous amount in brief workouts. Bodybuilding is an activity that especially lends itself to this.

You can keep the exercise habit going until you perhaps get more time and energy if your desire is to work out more, or you can get serious workouts and serious results  from even the briefest of workouts. (Steve Speyrer has some great time-saving workouts for serious bodybuilders.) 

With a little bit of thought, you can find the time to build your best body.

C’mon, you can do it!

Greg Sushinsky is a natural bodybuilder who has trained for several years. He is a professional writer who has written extensively about bodybuilding, with numerous training articles appearing in Musclemag International, Ironman magazine, Reps! and others.Greg continues to train hard and enthusiastically.  He strives to maintain a lean, proportionate physique,  write and publish on bodybuilding, and continues to do and pursue many writing and publishing projects in his other areas of interest. He continues to advise and consult with bodybuilders, athletes and fitness people. Read Complete Bio.

Articles by Greg Sushinsky


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