I’m going to get completely real with you in this post. It is summer and my workout program has been kind of lame.
I’m not apologizing, because life happens. I just don’t want anyone to think I’m some workout machine who never skips workouts. The point of my site is to discuss getting and staying in tremendous shape, while leading a full life. At times your life will be so busy that workouts will have to be cut back for a period of time.
I’m going through one of those times and would like to discuss it with you. I also want to discuss why I will stop this from turning into a yo-yo diet.
[I day dream about napping on hammocks all day long. I rarely get to nap or slow down these days, so this looks amazing to me!]
I Wish There Were More Hours in a Week!
I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but between work and my Internet projects I put in 65-70 hours of work per week on average. I am not just estimating this either, this is actual hours worked consistently over a period of 12 months.
The month of July, my job has been brutal…requiring me to put in 60+ hour work weeks. That has bumped up my total time worked to over 80 hours per week. If I add in the commute time, I’m probably pressing closer to 90 hours per week.
90 Hour Work Weeks Will Kick Your Butt!
I don’t know how people hold down two full-time jobs or a full-time and a part time job. I feel for you guys! I work a demanding dead-end job and I’m doing my best to work my way out of it.
I see the light at the end of the tunnel, so it helps me push when I’m feeling tired or sleep deprived. I take constant criticism from my family and friends telling me that I don’t spend enough time with them, but they don’t understand the big picture of what I’m trying to accomplish.
My Current Workout Schedule is Less Than Ideal
Under perfect circumstances I like to workout 5-6 days per week. This is my ideal, but in reality I average closer to 4 times per week most of the year.
I typically hit the gym 5-6 days a week in early spring to look extra sharp for summer. So far in July, I have made it to the gym about 1-2 times per week.
Exercising once or twice per week is really just considered “damage control”…at best you will just maintain your current fitness level…more likely than that, you will “slide” a bit and have to play catchup at some point.
The Less You Workout, The Stricter Your Diet Needs to Be
I believe that 75% of how lean you are comes down to diet. Diet can be a boring subject, but it is important if you want six pack abs or a sleek look. Since I have been missing workouts, you would think that I would be watching my diet closely.
Well…I have been a bit too “loose” on the diet as well. When I get really busy, I seem to justify rewarding myself with a big meal or going out to eat instead of cooking.
Stopping the Downward Spiral Before It Gets Out of Control
The big difference between a fit person and a yo-yo dieter is how far they let themselves slide. I’ve put on 7 pounds in a 4-6 week period of time. I’m guessing that all of it is fat! I still “kind of” have nice six pack abs, my arms look great, etc.
The bottom line is that I could justify this and tell myself than I’m still in much better shape than most Americans. The problem with this is that I would probably put on 7 more pounds thinking like that!
The time to attack weight gain is when you have only put on 5-10 pounds…don’t wait until you put on 30+.
Being Extremely Busy is Not an Excuse to Gain Weight
There is a good chance that you won’t be able to workout as much if you are busy, but you aren’t too busy to eat well. The great thing about eating healthy foods is that you will have more energy to perform at a high level. Your mind will play tricks with you especially when you are sleep deprived.
Don’t give in and eat high calorie food. When I’m tired my mind tells me that high carbs and processed foods are the way to go. This is wrong…opt for the healthier choices whenever possible.
Prepare for Your Workouts as Much as Possible
Since I have only been able to hit the gym 1-2 times per week, I want to make those workouts count. I have actually had a few incredible workouts this month. Since I know that I may not get to the gym in 5-6 more days, I do a higher volume of lifts followed by intense HIIT and at least 45 minutes of Steady State cardio.
My workouts last around 1.5 hours, which is a bit longer than most of the year. I also carb deplete 2-3 days leading up to these workouts when possible. I have only done this about half of the time, but it is a great way to insure maximum fat burning results.
Yo-Yo Dieting is More “Mind Based” than “Diet Based”
I actually believe a lot of people become yo-yo dieters because they ignore a small problem until it adds up to a big problem. Think about it…if someone gains 5-10 pounds they still probably look great. They think things like…”I looked too skinny at that lower weight anyway”.
Add 5-10 more pounds and they still look much better than when they were 50 pounds over weight. In fact, they are still getting compliments from people who haven’t seen them in a long time.
A 5 pound weight gain is a small problem, but ten of these small problems add up to a major weight gain!
Note: I wrote this post because I read a few comments where people were “beating themselves up” a bit for gaining a bit of weight. Every extremely fit person I know, slides a bit every now and then…including myself.
The key is to stop the weight gain before it becomes a major challenge.