How Do I Make Working Out Work for Me?

In your apartment or on the road, you want to find a way to get your workout in. What is the best way for you to get in your exercise, get enough sleep and still honor your need to travel? Can you have it all? Let’s find out!

How do I find the time to work out when I’m already so busy and the rest of the time I’m tired?

There’s a lot of debate about the “best” way to workout. At the end of the day, we can all agree that doing something is better than nothing. But for some of us, a crazy schedule makes even this a challenge. How do we find time to work out when our lives are already packed to the brim?

Sometimes we are able to squirrel away a bit of time, but find we’re exhausted. We also know that recovery is a big part of the equation, and that rest matters too. So what should one do when choosing between getting enough sleep and working out?

These questions are related, but are distinct enough to warrant separate answers.

The first piece is actually “relatively” simple, if not easy. We have to prioritize visits to the gym. Exactly how we do this will depend on one’s life and demands. For instance, a busy career is a different challenge than a newborn challenge. Ideally, we schedule in our workouts and treat it like we would any commitment. It’s very easy to justify skipping a workout because of issues that seem more pressing. Unfortunately, over the long haul, this may catch up with us.

Since I’m a fan of fitness pragmatism (I just made that term up, but I like it!!), the solution may be accepting only two or three workouts a week. While it may not lead to the fastest possible fat loss results, this is plenty sufficient to capture most of the health benefits. While lifting weights is a great foundation for your training, you can definitely see results by getting to the gym even once a week. If you supplement this with short, vigorous, full body workouts once or twice a week, you’ll be well on your way!

Being tired however, requires a bit more unpacking. Certainly insuring you’re getting enough sleep in the first place is the first step. This may require more discipline about heading to bed earlier. Additionally, adopting a pre-bed ritual to help prep your body for bed will likely be important (turning off electronics an hour before bed is a great tactic here). If you’re finding you’re still too tired to effectively use the time available to exercise, consider seeing a specialist to address your sleep quality.

Ideally, a regular workout regime should offer a return on your time investment. You should actually have more energy if you’re training on a regular basis, which means getting more done with less time (and in a better mood to boot!).

How do I stay fit while on the road?

This is a great question, and one I can relate to.

When I was an actor, I didn’t do much in the way of traditional touring. And I actually found doing a regional theater production was a great way to really focus on my fitness goals because I didn’t have the distractions of my regular life. These days I travel a LOT for work, so I’m finally able to relate to anyone who has to travel a lot because of their job.

While it’s definitely a bit tougher to stay on top of your fitness while on the road, it can be done!

The key here is to make sure you’re staying active. Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good! Based on your situation and how long you’re staying in a location, you may be able to find a gym nearby that allows you to access as much equipment as you like. Alternatively, many hotels have at least decently equipped modest gyms for guests to use.

And in a worst case scenario, if you’re short on time, money, or just don’t have any other options, don’t underestimate just how effective a bodyweight workout can be. (If you’re looking for some guidance here, check out MyBroadwayBody.com, Mark Fisher Fitness’s online home. You’ll get access to streaming HD workouts with yours truly and MFF’s Broadway Ninjas as guest stars.)

In addition to training, don’t forget about two other important components: nutrition and sleep. Since we can’t out train our diet, don’t be shy about asking for substitutions when going out to eat. Most restaurants will be able to serve you a big serving of protein and veggies upon request.

And sleeping can be tough on the road for many of us. Consider downloading a white noise app to your phone and do your best to turn off the TV and computer at least an hour before going to sleep. For more advanced sleeping strategies, check out this article here.

By applying these strategies for training, eating, and sleeping, you’ll be able to keep up with your health and hotness goals, even when on the road! For an even deeper dive into more tips like this, you can jump over to this article.

Why do I always seem to hurt myself when I start working out?

It’s not uncommon for people to get injured in the beginning of a new workout regime. Unfortunately, for some people it’s a pretty consistent challenge, particularly as they get older.

So what gives? Are some people just prone to injury? Are some people just not cut out to work out?

For many people, the main culprit is not taking the time to learn good technique. Exercise is really a skill. Since many people don’t move a whole lot in their day-to-day lives, most of us begin to get stiff and our muscles become deconditioned. When we dive deep into an exercise routine, we generally equate working hard with success. And working hard is a great thing!

However if we don’t take the time to learn how to move in a way that lets us use our muscles (yay!) versus other tissues like tendons and ligaments (boo!), we can wind up getting ouchies.

Additionally, even if you have pretty good technique, if we go too hard right out of the gate when picking up a new exercise regime, sometimes it’s too much for our body to handle. And keep in mind, this can happen even if you’re already pretty fit (like a dancer) but aren’t used to a new type of exercise (like strength training).

To set yourself up for success when you start a new workout, always do less than you think you can do and go slow enough to learn the basics. At Mark Fisher Fitness, we spend a lot of time working on technique so we can learn to “move well” before we “move often” and “move fast.”

While some soreness is to be expected, excessive soreness suggests we overdid it. And if you do find yourself with joint pain, shooting pain, pinching pain, or any other pain besides soreness in the muscle belly, it’s important to have it looked at by a clinician like a physical therapist!


Want some help building a workout plan that works for you? Schedule a one-hour Health and Hotness Strategy Session at Mark Fisher Fitness and we’ll hook you the f*ck up!

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Mark Fisher is the co-owner and Ninja Master of Mark Fisher Fitness, one of the most successful gyms in the history of the fitness industry. Within its first five years, MFF grew from a single personal trainer to a staff of over 35, more than 800 members, and two studios in Manhattan, earning it a spot on the prestigious Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies in America. Mark also likes cursing, musical theater, and writing in third person. For more awkward self-talk, visit markfisherhumanbeing.com

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