Strength Training with Little Time?

by Paige

I'm a student and don't have a whole lot of time for going to the gym and things, but I do try to stay in shape. I walk everywhere in order to maintain aerobic fitness, but I would like try and become stronger as well, in order to be healthier.

All the people I know who are into strength training or work out at all devote at least a couple of hours a week to it. I really don't have that kind of time.

I've done okay by working the walking into my daily life, and I would like to do something similar with strength exercises.

Can you recommend a simple routine that I could do?

My main problem really is just that I have very little time. I guess the best way to phrase exactly what I'm asking for is:

If I have half an hour a couple of times a week to go to the gym, what should I do to maximize the benefits? How much time is really required to stay in shape?

P.S. I really like your site!

Aaron's Reply...

First off, thanks for your question! I'm always happy to help someone just starting out.

As for finding time, a minimum of 2 trips to the gym a week is necessary to see any benefits. So, 45-60 minutes twice a week. Not a lot, but working it in can be tough.

Since you haven't done any
training before, doing anything strength training related will make you stronger. Your bar is set pretty low right now, so getting any stronger should be pretty easy!

This beginning routine will start you off well, and it won't take more than 2.5 - 3 hours a week.

So, how to start it?

Since you're a student you probably have a gym at your school, or if you're in college then on campus. Create a daily routine that will have you walk by that building on you way to/from class, the library, the cafeteria, juggling practice, anime club, rugby, after your classes, whatever you do, etc.

Go by it regularly and, for just 2 weeks and 6 workouts, commit to trying that beginning routine. Making space in your week for just a few weeks is far less intimidating than, say, the rest of your life.

Out of 168 hours in a week you should be able to make changes that allow you to workout for just 3 hours. If not, you're too busy as it is and any amount of organization or prioritizing is, well, worthless. Re-evaluate how much you want to get started, and if this is the right time.

So, try it for 2 weeks and see how it goes. You might be surprised by how quickly it can become a habit.

And don't be intimidated by anyone else you see working out - everyone starts at the beginning.

Good luck!

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