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How to Find Time to Exercise

“Someone busier than you is at the gym right now”

At the center of our solar system is a star – the Sun.

Orbiting around the Sun is the planet we all live on – Earth.

It takes Earth 24 hours to make one complete rotation on its axis.

We call this a day, and they’re in very short supply.

Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Time is a precious commodity, and without it, there isn’t much we can accomplish.

Between the demands of long work hours, school, leisure or life, how can you manage to shave off excess fat, or gain more muscle?

You want to lose some fat, build some muscle and get in shape.

…but you don’t have the time.

“I’d really like to get in shape but I just can’t find time”

Sound familiar?

Look, you can’t squeeze more than 24 hours out of a day. People have tried; it just doesn’t work. What you can do is get ruthless with your time management.

I appreciate that some people are stressed out and busy, I have kids, a job and a business that takes up a lot of hours… I get it.

The days fly by with late nights and early mornings. Whole weeks pass in a haze of hustle and bustle.

Here’s the good news  – even if you have a very busy life – you can find a way to spare just 3 hours a week for an exercise program.

Because that’s all it really takes to get in great shape. To make it sound even easier, how about 1 hour, thrice weekly?

You’ve got 168 hours in a week. Don’t tell me out of those 168 hours a week you can’t find 3 to exercise and build a better body.

Time May Not Be Your Problem

Before I show you some effective 3 day split training programs you can use, let’s take a look at how you’re spending your time each day to see where you can fit training in.

According to some statistics the average American watches around 5 hours of TV a day. That’s a staggering 35 hours of television a week. I’m not saying that everyone reading this is wasting 35 hours a week watching TV, but we’re just looking for a way to free up 3 hours a week for exercise.

I want you try something.

Sit in front of your television for just half an hour, but don’t switch it on.

Simply sit there in silence looking at the blank screen. You’ll suddenly become very conscious of time, and more conscious of how much you’re wasting.

When the TV is switched on, all you’re really doing is stimulating your brain with light and sound – passing time. Sitting there for hours watching garbage for entertainment is the ultimate waste of your precious time.

Time you can’t get back.

TV’s are the greatest time sucking machines of the modern world.

If you can dedicate 3 hours or more per week to watch TV then you have enough time to follow a solid strength training program every week.

Aimlessly surfing the internet, gossiping on social media, watching prank videos on YouTube and playing video games are more popular time wasting activities.

Now, I’m not saying you need to completely stop watching TV, surfing the net or playing games. Everyone needs some leisure time. Even I like to chill out in front of the TV sometimes. You just need to cut down on some of this sh*t and manage your time more efficiently if you want to get in shape.

Remember, 3 hours a week is all we’re trying to find here.

Your Life Depends on It

Take a couple of minute and do the following calculation.


Start with your age x 365 days.

For me that’s 33 x 365 = 12,045

Now use the number 29,565 and subtract from it the answer you got from the sum above.

29,565 – 12,045 = 17,520

29,565 is the average lifespan of an American in days.

12,045 is the average number of days I’ve been alive. (Your number will be different)

17,520… that’s the average number of days I have left to live, if I’m lucky enough to live that long.


What’s this got to do with working out?

Because the way you spend your time will affect your number.

Spend most of your time lazing on the couch gorging on crap junk food and the number goes down.

Make time to exercise and eat a diet of whole healthy foods and the number goes up.

“Your goal in life should be to live to 100 in great physical health.”

The health choices you make now will either increase or decrease that number.

Time is running out for all of us.

Being in good shape and looking great naked does wonders for your self esteem and confidence, but more importantly, it can increase your lifespan.

What’s really more important… watching your favorite TV program or adding quality years to your life?

Fu*k the latest episode of Breaking Bad.

…It’s doing nothing to improve your body and health.

Find the time to get to the gym and fit an exercise routine into your weekly schedule. Your life depends on it!

3 Day Split Training Programs for those with a Busy Schedule

Don’t know how to create and implement an optimal 3 days per week workout routine?

Cool, I’ve got you covered.

Here are two good examples of 3 day workout splits. Pick any one and follow it consistently week in week out, month after month.

Combine your new workout program with great nutrition and watch your physique (and health) improve.

All that is required with these splits is 3 hours of your time each week and a bit of hard work.

The first workout you could use is the classic push / pull / legs routine.

The push/pull/legs split is a weight training schedule that revolves around splitting the body up into 3 groups: upper body pushing muscles, upper body pulling muscles and legs. Each group is then trained separately on its own workout day.

  • “Push” Day – Train all upper body muscle groups that are involved in pushing exercises. (Chest, Shoulders and Triceps)
  • “Pull” Day – Train all upper body muscles groups that are involved in pulling exercises. (Back and Biceps)
  • “legs” Day – Train the entire lower body. (Quads, Hamstrings and Calves)
[alert-success]Push / Pull / Legs Split Program[/alert-success]

Day 1: Monday – Pushing Exercises

Primary MuscleExerciseSetsReps
ChestFlat Barbell Bench Press48
ChestIncline Dumbbell Press48
TricepsTriceps Cable Press Downs38
ShouldersDumbbell Shoulder Press48
ShouldersDumbbell side raises38

Day 2: Wednesday – Legs

Primary MuscleExerciseSetsReps
LegsBarbell Squats48
LegsLeg Press38
QuadricepsLeg Extensions38
HamstringsLeg Curls38
CalfsMachine Calf Raises48

Day 3: Friday- Pulling Exercises

Primary MuscleExerciseSetsReps
Latissimus dorsiLat PullDowns38
BackMachine Rows48
BackDumbbell Rows38
TrapsDumbbell Shrugs38
BicepsPreacher Curls38
BicepsHammer Curls28

Too busy to train during the week?

No problem, here’s how to use this routine over a weekend.

Day 1: Saturday – Push Exercises

Day 2: Sunday – Legs Exercises

Day 3: Wednesday – Pull Exercises

Simply perform the same exercises, number of sets and repetitions as shown in the first example. All you are doing here is changing the days that you work-out on so that they fall over the weekend.

[alert-success]3 Day Split Routine[/alert-success]

Day 1: Monday – Chest and Biceps

Primary MuscleExerciseSetsReps
ChestFlat Dumbbell Press 4 8
Upper ChestIncline Dumbbell Press 4 8
ChestMachine Pec Deck 4 8
BicepsBarbell Curls 3 8
BicepsPreacher Curls 3 8
 BicepsHammer Curls 3 8

Day 2: Wednesday – Shoulders and Legs

Primary MuscleExerciseSetsReps
ShouldersSmith Machine Overhead Press48
ShouldersSide Raises48
LegsBarbell Squat48
QuadsLeg Extensions38
HamsLeg Curls38
CalfsSeated calf raises38

Day 3: Friday – Back and Triceps

Primary MuscleExerciseSetsReps
LatsLat Pull Downs38
BackBarbell Rows48
BackMachine Rows48
TricepsTriceps Push Downs38
TricepsTriceps Dumbbell Extensions38
TricepsRope Push Downs38

Weekly Workout Schedule

This is how your weekly schedule would look following either one of the programs above.

MondayTrain (around 1 hour)
WednesdayTrain (around 1 hour)
FridayTrain (around 1 hour)

As you can see, you really don’t need to commit a great deal of your time each week to get in shape. And remember, as I’ve already discussed, you can switch two of the training days to weekends if you prefer.

Is it really Possible to Complete one workout in an Hour?

Looking at WORKOUT 1 above, you’ll see that day 3 (back and triceps) requires a total of 20 sets. Let’s break the entire workout routine down to see exactly how long it will take.

[alert-announce] Warm-up sets: 3

Prior to hitting the target muscles with working sets you’ll perform a few warm up sets. These should take around 5 minutes.

Back Muscle Group: 11 Sets

Starting with exercises for the back muscles you’ll do a total of 11 sets. (around 50 seconds per set x 11 sets = 9 minutes)

Triceps Muscle Group: 9 sets

When all back exercises are complete you’ll move onto triceps, completing 9 sets for this muscle group. (around 50 seconds per set x 9 sets = 7 minutes)

A total of 19 rests will be taken between each set at 1 minute and 30 seconds = 28 minutes

Time to complete workout: 49 minutes

Of course you’re not going to finish the workout with such accurate precision. You reps, sets and rest periods may take a little longer as you fatigue towards to end of your sets.

People may interrupt your workout for a social chat – politely tell them where to go, save the talking for after your workout, if you have time. Waiting for occupied equipment to become free to use can also cause delays. But generally, you’re workout should be wrapped up around the 60 minute mark.


Repetitions, or reps, are the number of times you perform an exercise.

For example, when performing the bench press, you press the bar away from your body then lower it back to the starting position, this is one rep. Each rep should take around 6 seconds to complete.

Lifting Tempo for each rep:

  • 2 Seconds to press/lift the weight (concentric contraction)
  • 1 seconds squeeze/pause
  • 3 seconds to lower the weight (eccentric contraction)


A set is the number of completed reps. For example, 10 reps of the bench press equals 1 set.

Committing to a workout routine is not complicated, it takes hard work when you’re in the gym and consistency to achieve results, but it’s a simple, easy to follow process that doesn’t have to take over your life.

Step 1: Enter gym.

Step 2: Hit it hard.

Step 3: Leave gym and recover.

Job done!

The Gym is too Far Away, I have a busy work Schedule

This all sounds great but what if I have to travel a great distance to the gym?

Perhaps your gym is too far away. Like an hour’s drive there and back. That could be a real problem, but a simple fix… Bring the gym to you!

With only a few basic pieces of equipment – adjustable (variable weight) dumbbells, a barbell, a squat rack (a metal stand used to support a barbell at different levels, allowing you to position your shoulders under the weight before lifting), adjustable bench, and a chin-up/pull-up bar – you can perform every exercise necessary to increase your lean mass.

If even that equipment is out of reach for you, just get an adjustable dumbbell set and bench. Dumbbells are incredibly versatile. A fully equipped gym is a wonderful thing, but you don’t need a room full of expensive workout gear to improve your physical fitness and get in shape.

By simply  following a decent dumbbell only workout routine consistently you’ll be well on your way to a better body.

The Bottom Line

I think that after reading this, you’ll conclude that you have more free time to workout than you imagined, and understand that devoting a mere few hours of it to efficiently exercising will help add years to your life, and to attain a lean, muscular physique.

Time is a valuable but limited resource.

In fact, time is the single most important thing you will ever have.

Use it wisely.

Last updated: 19/08/2019