How To Fit Exercise Into A Busy Schedule


This is the brutal, ear deafening sound that I'm so lucky to hear every morning at 4 AM. Before the sun even decides to shed a little light over the horizon, I'm up, in the shower, and on my way to my first client. The demands of a personal trainer are strict. Clients want to work out at all times of the day and it's my job to make sure that I do my best to fit their schedules, or else I don't have any clients. If I want to stay in business, I have to bend over backwards. No matter how much I whine and moan about it, I love what I do. I just don't care for the odd hours, but it's part of the lifestyle of a personal trainer. Take the good with the bad!

From 4 AM until 8:30 PM, I'm busy. It's almost impossible to sit down and enjoy a lunch, but I somehow still manage to fit exercise into my weekly routines. I hit the gym 3 to 4 days a week, for at least an hour each time. Although you might think I get enough exercise with my clients, I unfortunately do not. My hour with a client is for THEIR workout. I monitor, prescribe exercises, watch posture, and help them with their concerns and motivation. I don't get to work out when I'm with a client. I have to find time on my own to squeeze in a workout.

So, how do I manage to fit exercise into such a tight schedule? It's not easy, but it's possible. With a little tweaking and time management, anyone can get enough exercise into their lifestyle to create a routine.

First off, I don't screw around when I'm in the gym. I don't shuffle through my iPod, check my phone, or talk to other people for too long. I hit the gym with my game face on, attack my workout, and know exactly what to do.

You should always know before-hand what you're going to do. Is today a cardio day? Am I working only certain muscle groups today? Where is the equipment I need? How much time do I have? Set a game plan, hit the gym and get done what needs to be done. Don't spend too much time resting or walking around. I see it all the time: People just randomly walking around the gym watching others work out. People resting between sets for more than 5 minutes at a time. Those 5 minutes add up! I've seen someone spend 3 hours in a gym and do 20 minutes worth of actual exercise. Manage your time wisely! Take it seriously!

Secondly, if you can't get to a gym, you can always do things at home. Wake up 15 minutes earlier in the morning if you're able to. Or better yet, do your exercise routine at night before you hit the hay. Pushups, crunches, lunges, squats, calf raises, etc. can all be done with no weight or equipment at all. No treadmill or elliptical? Too cold to go jogging outside? Jog in place, do jumping jacks, mountain climbers, etc. There are tons of ways to get your heart rate up inside with no extra equipment.

Put in the effort. If you're going to do something, do it right. Agreed? If you know you can lift more weight, walk faster, or increase the incline, do it! You get out of your body what you put into it! I promise that if you eat right, exercise regularly, and stick with it, your body will thank you in more ways than one!

For more tips, read several other articles I've written. In the meantime, stay fit!


  1. Wow! Justin, you are just awesome. Great article.

  2. Thank you for the nice comments, Becky!