What to do when you can’t make it to the gym because shit hit the fan at work at the last second

I get really excited when somebody who had felt overwhelmed and confused by fitness says my blog helped them with the seemingly endless puzzle that is fat loss.

I work with the people who want to be committed but can’t seem to find said feeling of commitment and motivation.

Because for many, fitness is the 5th priority. Kids, family, career etc. take precedent.

There’s nothing wrong with fitness being priority #5.

You can still fit back into that old pair of jeans. You can still bulletproof your joints so you can give your kids the finger mid-backflip when they try to put you into a nursing home.

Today I want to give you some tips for improving fitness when fitness isn't your number one priority.

I’m also going to brag about how freakin’ awesome, resilient, and intelligent my clients are :D

Take this job and shove it

Scheduling workouts after work is risky. When work keeps you late, getting to the gym becomes psychologically much harder.

Even if you don’t have an appointment with a coach or accountabili-buddy, once you miss that time slot where your body is like, “Hey! Hey! It’s time to work out! Let’s go! Hey!” it’s 11x harder to drag yourself to the gym.

Navigating this problem is a combination of practical actions and perspective.

The perspective required is simple.

Something is ALWAYS better than nothing.

My client, let’s call her Furiosa, had a very demanding job. This job often kept her in meetings that ran 3 hours late. Her workload was completely insane. They would spring huge projects on her as she was heading out the door to train.

That didn’t stop her from kicking ass.

She didn’t want to keep missing workouts. It didn't happen immediately, but she accepted her work situation and adapted.

She began using “something is better than nothing” as a fallback.

Did I mention she had a broken toe? Walking was painful. She was dependent on Ubers to get to the gym. By the way, San Francisco traffic these days makes LA traffic feel like the Indy 500.

So what did she do?

The best she could. Sometimes she'd show up 15 minutes before my next client. Turns out, you can get a lot done in 15 minutes if you don’t fuck around.

On the days where she couldn’t make it to the gym at all, she did what she could at home with her kettlebell. She got some really solid workouts in consisting solely of goblet squats and pushups.

These workouts weren’t part of her structured, individualized program I wrote for her, but she was able to look past that and get some work in.

My clients lift heavy shit and they lift it well. Heavy just means heavy enough to develop strength, burn fat, and build muscle tone.

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When you’re used to the results and rate of progress lifting heavy yields, it can actually make it harder to do “better than nothing” workouts. “This workout isn’t part of my program so what’s the point?” is an easy thought to have.


Another client runs his own consulting firm, ambitious bloke that he is. Let’s call him Thor.

Thor traveled often and had an erratic work life. Work regularly made him half an hour late to sessions.

He still showed up to ALMOST EVERY SESSION. When he was late, he squatted his face off for half an hour so by the time his spring vacation to Mexico rolled around he was bursting with confidence.

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One of my online clients, let's call him Aragorn, was missing workouts because his job was exhausting. He worked with kids. The thought of rushing home, getting his gym gear, and then going to the gym after work was understandably daunting.

He decided on a two pronged approach.

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  • The first prong was bringing his gym bag with some snacks to work so he wouldn't have to swing by his house to eat before the gym.
  • The second prong was a twist on “something is better than nothing”. To make the workout less daunting he would tell himself he would just do 1 set instead of 3.

Guess what happened?

He hit the gym more, and on the days where he committed to just 1 set, he did all 3. BOOM!

He did more once he gave himself the option of doing less.


While structured workouts are super effective, once you get hooked and start enjoying lifting (I know it sounds crazy. Trust me. It’ll happen.) anything less seems like a waste of time.

This can come back to bite you in the ass when life makes it hard to hit the gym. It’s commendable when somebody comes in for only a half an hour.

I’m almost more happy when clients show up for half an hour. It shows the client is resilient, adaptable, and doesn't let "perfect" get in the way of "better".

Because I don't want YOU to let "perfect" get in the way of "better", because I want you to get awesome results and balance fitness with life, I got your back.

I'm giving you 5 free workouts you can crank out in 15 minutes or less with minimal equipment.

All for free. Because I give a shit and I want you to feel strong, confident, and hot. A kettlebell in the living room can be an awesome backup, as Furiosa showed.

Workout #1- Setting: Gym

Back Squats: 2 sets of 10 after a brief warmup. On the 3rd set do as many as you can with good form. Add weight each set. Another option is 1 heavy set of 20. You won’t want to do much after that anyways.

Workout #2- Setting:Gym

Deadlifts 3 sets of 3 after your warm up. Add weight each set. Rest 2 minutes between each set.

Workout #3- Setting: Home with Kettlebell

Set the clock for 15 minutes Do 10 reps for each exercise. Perform in circuit fashion and rest for 1 minute at the end of each round.

A1 Goblet squats

A2 Kettlebell swings

A3 Pushups

Workout #4: Home with Kettlebell

Kettlebell Swings 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 10-15 minutes.

Workout #5: Home with no equipment required! :)

3-5 sets of 15 reps in circuit fashion

A1 Single Leg Hip Thrust

A2 Pushups A3 Bulgarian Split Squats

A4 Bear Crawl

These are just a few options.

The point, and I know I’ve said this a lot, is to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING.

Life happens. The sooner you embrace this, the sooner you succeed.


Oh, and don't forget to grab a free copy of "Insanity Free Fat Loss: 10 Secrets for Long Term Success" to burn body fat (and keep it off) without dieting or obsessing about your health.

Posted in Fat Loss, Fitness, Diet, Nutrition on May 18, 2016