Earlier this week I was having a conversation with Tanner

We were talking about why people struggle so mightily to stick to their gym objectives

We both know that it’s not from a lack of DESIRE for the benefits that the gym will bring

A better body

A healthier mind

Fewer trips to the doctor

My experience working with adults has lead me to the conclusion that when we set foot in the gym we ACTUALLY want to work hard, stick to our commitment, and reap the benefits

I think that the problem most of us face is time management

Here are a few of my thoughts and suggestions when ruminating around this not too novel concept

1. The Gym Takes More Time Than We Think It Will

A 1 – Hour workout never ONLY takes 1 hour. Whether it’s a group class or your hitting the weights or mats on your own – there are ambient time costs that, if not consciously factored in, will subconsciously ruin your plans.

To get 1 hour of exercise time (actual activity) we also need to factor in:

a. Packing the gym bag prior

b. Grabbing the water battle/keys

c. The ride to the gym

d. Distractions at the gym

e. The ride HOME from the gym

f. Shower / clean up ritual

When you factor all these things in, you’re probably looking at a MINIMUM of 30 minutes of lost time, maybe as much as an hour

No wonder it feels like such a hassle to keep up a gym habit

And this is me writing this as a gym owner making his living off of peoples attendance at my gym

2. Walking Is FAR MORE TIME EFFICIENT Than In-Gym Training – So Do More Of IT

We burn 100 calories for every 2,000 steps we take (which takes about 15-20 minutes at a manageable pace)

The average working professional/parent/adult averages a measly 10,500~ steps per week

Which translates to roughly 100 minutes spent to burn 500 calories per week (that’s nothing impressive)

In comparison the average 1 hour exercise class burns roughly 400 calories (This includes CrossFit, Spin, Bootcamp, Orange Theory, F45)

But a 1 hour exercise class really COSTS you at least 90 minutes.

Your 1 exercise class translates to roughly 400 calories burned for 90 minutes spent (and 90 minutes is on the low end)

Walking for exercise doesn’t require fancy shoes, new gear, heart rate monitors, shouting instructors, piles of sweaty clothes, money for gas, or the stress of LA traffic to get out and walk

I’m not trying to make a cases AGAINST in gym training – but rather to illustrate the power of other tools in your toolbox that DON’T COST YOU TONS OF TIME AND STRESS.

3. There’s a Baseline Level of Strength We Need to Stay Injury Proof – everything above that is bonus

It is true that there is a reason to do in-gym strength training

It keeps our joints, ligaments, tendons, and bones strong, resilient and injury free

It helps us maintain access to range of motion at the hips, knees, spine, and shoulders that we are eroding at by sitting in cars and at desks for the majority of our waking hours

3 in-gym strength style sessions is more than sufficient for the average adult looking to live healthily, look good, and stay functional.

Somewhere between 90-180 minutes – drifting towards the higher end is really just a matter of preference or enjoyment

Some people LOVE strength training. They love being in the gym. And for those people – KUDOS.

Spend more time in the gym. It’ll never do you a disservice so long as its not robbing you of time from other important priorities

But if you’re someone for whom time is a CHALLENGE

Start with more walking

Once you’re hitting 20,000 steps a week (this will help you stabilize or even lose weight) work towards your 3 in-gym training sessions

Once you’re getting 20k steps and 3 training sessions per week in the gym, you’ll have earned the right to let your preferences take you where they will – if you enjoy walking, get out and walk more. If you enjoy in-gym training, hit the gym.

In conclusion – as a society we really need to understand what our different forms of activity really COST us.

Strength training has a HUGE payoff but a HIGH COST IN TIME

Walking has a smaller payoff but is much more TIME EFFICIENT

We need a blend of both –

And if you’ve been suffering from “never-sticking-to-new-years-goals-itis” – well than maybe its an opportunity for you to try out a new method.

Yours In Fitness,

Eric Amzalag


Lift Off Strength – Home of CrossFit Encino