You work six or seven days a week and you don’t have time to make the healthy meals you used to, so now you’ve stopped putting on muscle. You hit the gym when you can, making sure you get a quick sweat before hitting the office, doing cardio and occasionally hitting the weights and yet you still aren’t making progress. Is it impossible to be a workaholic and still get in shape?
While many guys sacrifice their bodies in pursuit of getting ahead in their career, there’s quick and easy ways to keep progressing professionally while still making gains in the gym.
Here are 3 easy ways to keep up your health while excelling in your career.
#1 Ditch The Cardio
When you can only put in 20-30 minutes in the gym, the last thing you want to use that precious time for is running on the treadmill or cycling on a bike. Cardio can negatively impact your percent body fat, and too much will start reducing your muscle mass, ultimately slowing down your metabolism. Instead, focus your workouts exclusively on building more muscle. The more muscular you are, the faster your metabolism will be. By putting in 30 hard minutes of lifting weights, your body will burn more calories at rest, meaning while your up until 3am grinding in the office, your body will keep the calories burning!
#2 Quit Overusing Machines
Since you can’t workout as often as you used to, you need to make sure you are leaving the gym everyday drenching in sweat. The way to make sure that happens is to stay away from machines as much as possible and hit the free weights and bench more often. Machines are going to stabilize the weight for you, so your not going to use extra muscles to balance the weight your lifting, leading to less work that is required for you put in. Instead, ditch the machines and instead bench, curl, and press with free weights whenever possible.
#3 Stay Away From High Reps and Long Breaks
A lot of guys think by doing as many reps as possible their maximizing fat burning. Unfortunately, they’re mistaken. 8-12 reps has been identified as the ideal rep count for adding muscle size. To get the most out of the short, few workouts you have time for every week, look to stay within that range, and still improve muscle endurance by shortening your breaks. Many guys don’t realize how long of breaks they are taking, and all of a sudden they’re out of time and have to head back to work. Instead, make a ritual. Get a set in, take a drink from your shaker bottle, count to 30 and hit your next set. Avoid the gym rats that treat the gym as a social club. Get in, take care of business, and get out.
AJ Agrawal is the CEO and Co-Founder of Alumnify Inc. (Alumnify.co) and previous division 1 cross country runner. He focuses on the balance between work and fitness.