We see this all the time with fitness in particular. So many people claim they are just “too busy” to workout, that they have too many other responsibilities on their plates.
Here’s a snippet of what Andy has to say on the matter:
Anytime you think you’re too busy, it’s not that you’re too busy. It’s that you’re trying to do too much.
In this episode, Ryan and Andy drop the hammer on the myth of time constraints when it comes to fitness. If you’re short on time, there’s plenty you can do to still work toward your goal in a matter of minutes a day.
- (02:35) We have a newly updated L-Sit article.
- (06:40) “Sometimes it’s just a matter of someone telling you, okay, this is all you need to do. Do it.”
- (08:03) A lot of pain or bad movement patterns ARE habits that we’ve built up. The key to counteracting them is to build up new, positive habits.
- (12:52) Andy’s book recommendation – 8 Minute Meditation.
- (16:02) Go back to the basic component of a movement in order to strengthen the basics.
- (18:06) Focus on how beautiful you can make the most basic level of a move.
Andy: All right. Breaker, breaker, one-niner on the interweb. Get your ears on for the GMB Fitness Skills Show. For the next 30 minutes plus or minus, we’re going to be talking about how to practice fun and interesting skills that will get you strong for the things that actually matter to you. Have a good time doing it.
My name is Andy and with me is Ryan Hurst, our program director and head coach and all around handsome devil.
Ryan: With the eyebrows. Good morning.
Andy: How are you doing, Ryan?
Ryan: I’m great. I’m doing OK. Today it’s a coffee day just for everyone …
Andy: No more hot water?
Ryan: No hot water today. About froze my nose here on the way over here so I needed to warm myself up.
Andy: That’s good. I’m freezing myself.
Ryan: I bet in Hawaii. Yeah.
Andy: Man, it’s rough.
Ryan: Rough. Yeah.
Andy: It’s rough. Beads of sweat are just turning into icicles as they roll down my forehead here.
Ryan: So what’s up man? What have we got going on?
Andy: Well, today we’re going to be talking about how to get in a workout even if you think you’re busy. We have so many people that are like, “Oh, I don’t have time.” This isn’t unique to us. I’m sure anyone who has ever been trying to make a change in a routine has at some point or another used time as an excuse. It’s not just fitness. It’s anything.
Ryan: And everything.
Andy: Anything you’re trying to learn, everyone says, “I don’t have time.” You know what? You have time. Sorry, you have time. We all have the same 24 hours and 7 days and 365.3 days in a year. It’s just about making the time and using it better.
So we’re going to talk a little bit about that but specifically for training and how to get good training in, GMB style training, the kind that is enjoyable and makes you good at stuff. How to get some of that in, in a pretty short amount of time and of course some questions and yeah, that’s pretty much – I think that’s going to be it.[Music]
Andy: All right. So what’s going on lately, Ryan?
Ryan: I actually recently just re-released a huge L-sit article. Pretty in-depth this time and I mean like really, really in-depth. So basically everything you want to know about the L-sit is in there. So that’s pretty exciting.
Andy: Yeah, it’s good because we talked a lot about the L-sit on one of our podcasts once and I think we covered a lot of really interesting detail but listening to a podcast isn’t always the most convenient reference, if you want to go back and refresh your memory on something. So we added a lot of that information into – along with the video tutorial that we had which is I think one of the most popular L-sit tutorials on YouTube and kind of beefed it all up and I think it’s a really useful article. So definitely check that out.
Ryan: What else?
Andy: What’s so good about the L-sit?
Ryan: The L-sit, well, there’s so many good different – there’s so many things. For one, you’re going to be working on the entire core. It’s a major core exercise but not only that. Posture, and a lot of people might not think about this but the L-sit is actually very good for a posture because it forces you once you work towards the proper position to be able to get the shoulders back, chest up and when you’re pushing down, it’s really going to create – it’s going to help you build the strength to be able to have better posture. So it all relates – it’s a full upper body and lower body exercise. A lot of people miss that because if you do it correctly, your legs should be burning. So it’s an all-around awesome exercise.
Andy: Yeah, I think posture is a really great thing to mention. It’s an excellent exercise for posture. It really locks in that shoulder position with relation to the neck and the chest and everything, really nice.[Music]
Andy: Cool. Let’s go to some questions that people have asked us. We always get a bunch and we try to answer them by email or Facebook or whatever, Twitter, always answering questions all the time. But some of the really interesting ones we like to bring up here on the podcast or the show, pardon me.
Ryan: The show.
Andy: The show now that we’re exposing ourselves. Wow. So a lot of making consistent – making good progress is based on consistency, right? So we’ve actually had a few people ask us lately. Well, how do I do things consistently or how can I make training more of a habit? How can I – especially like stretching. When it comes to training people – it’s so easy to neglect the warm-up and the cool-down and the prehab and the rehab and all that stuff.
People just want to do the meat, right? People don’t like vegetables. They don’t want the Brussels sprouts and the spinach. They want the meat. So they will go and they will do the exercises but then they won’t do the stretching and they say, “Well, how can I get in the habit of doing stretching?” aside from just doing the program like we tell you to do, the program which includes the stretching, but yeah.[Music]
Ryan: Actually, it’s funny you should mention that. Recently working on a new little thing we could call over on Lift. Lift.do I believe. We will put the link up there but anyway, talking about how to relieve lower back problems.
So this actually is related to stretching very much so and it’s a step by step guide that we did on basically just what I said, relieving lower back problems. But it’s the stretching. So when you have a plan and you know exactly what you need to do and you know that it doesn’t take an hour every single day, it’s only a couple of minutes to do it, and you actually do it. You’re going to see results and so sometimes, it’s just a matter of somebody telling you OK, this one you need to do. Do it.
So that’s why I created this program over on Lift. It’s a Lift app that they have and so you basically just follow step by step back stretching and then two back stretches and you practice three back stretches. Then continue on working on some hip stretches and other things to help you relieve the lower back problems. So like anything, it’s a matter of doing it but sometimes, if you don’t know exactly what you need to do, it can be easy to skip what you should be doing.
Ryan: So by having a program that lays out for you and something that can fit into your lifestyle that doesn’t take an hour, two hours to do, is going to help you to continue to do it and make it a habit. Just like brushing your teeth, you get into a good habit.
When you stop doing it, you kind of feel strange. Like if you don’t brush your teeth for a couple of days, that’s pretty nasty. I mean just like that. It just sounds nasty. It’s something that you really want to do because you know you have to do it. So this is a way that can help you to continue doing your stretches and it’s good because even if you don’t have lower back problems, this is something that can be good to keep you from getting lower back problems.
Andy: Yeah, and a lot of pathologies, a lot of chronic pain, lower back pain, hip pain or bad movement patterns, all those are actually – those are habits. Those are created by habits most of the time, by bad movement habits that we build up without realizing it.
So attacking the habits is the best way in many cases to fix those. Of course I’m not talking about cases where you have like an actual medical issue. Again we’re not doctors. If you have back pain, see a doctor. But a lot of things are bad habits and you can fix them.[Music]
Andy: So I actually got kind of three points out of what you’re saying right now in terms of building or improving a habit. One is to use some sort of system to make it consistent for you. For this, we created this little course on Lift which is an app that basically reminds you to do things everyday.
So you can use a calendar, use whatever, use whatever system you like. But find some way to automatically remember. Another one is to follow a plan that spells out exactly what to do so you don’t have to think about it. Your reminder happens so you don’t have to sit down and say, “What do I do today?” It’s already decided.
The third one is not to get too fancy and do too many things at once. Like you said, it doesn’t have to be an hour of stretching. A couple of minutes is enough especially in the beginning where you’re trying to start something new. Break it down to the simplest possible minimum amount that you can get away with and start building your habit with that.
So start small. Follow a plan and use some sort of reminder. This Lift course that Jarlo put together for back pain is a really good example of how to do that. But even if you don’t use that, you can apply that same process, those lessons to just about any kind of habit that you’re trying to break.
Ryan: That’s a very good point, yeah. Of course this is focused just on the lower back issues but you can substitute it in for anything.[Music]
Ryan: Speaking about that good point, it doesn’t have to be an hour each day and this is what a lot of people get worried about. I don’t have time to do it.
Ryan: Yes, you do. You do. As we mentioned, this Lift course is only – it’s like two minutes a day, like for a stretch that you have to do. That’s it. It’s a matter of actually starting. You have to start and so it’s very easy to say, “Well, I don’t have time. So I will do it for tomorrow.” But if you keep doing that, then you will never get what you want.
Another thing too is it’s when a person has so many goals and so many things that they want to do that it can be confusing because OK, I have so many things. Where do I start? Today I will do this and then tomorrow I will do this and then tomorrow I will do this and then tomorrow I will do this.
Rather than doing that, I suggest just focusing on one thing. Keep it easy. Simplicity is what we need to focus on in order to keep doing it. So once you can get one particular goal, then you can start working on the next goal but it’s a matter of starting and focusing on that one thing and making sure you’re doing it at least a little bit everyday if need be in order to create that good habit to get you going.
So when it comes down to time, not having time, you do. If you only have two minutes, maybe only five minutes, let’s say you want to work on the planche and I’m using a huge goal right here. The planche is something that we hear a lot. It’s like yeah, I want to get this. I want to get this.
Well, it doesn’t necessarily take you an hour each day to do it. If you have that amount of time, yeah, you could use that full hour to work on it. But really, if you’ve got five minutes, you can start working on it. It might take you a little longer, a lot longer to get it but you’re still working towards getting that goal. So five minutes is just fine every single day for that.[Music]
Andy: Yeah, that’s actually really interesting and we’re going to get more deeper into this, how to get in a workout in maybe a short amount of time and maybe another thing that we might talk about is how to choose the most important exercises or the most important thing to work on any particular day if you do find yourself short of time. So maybe if you usually work out for 30 minutes to an hour or something a day but if you do have a particularly busy day, what do you do to shorten down that day?
But before we get into those, like you just said about – even working on the planche for like five minutes a day is better than nothing. You can get there eventually. It reminded me a lot of a book that I just read and it’s very interesting. It’s called 8 Minute Meditation. Now I’ve done a lot of different kinds of meditation over the years. I’ve got the hairy palms to prove it.
I get zazen in Japan and stuff like that and I’ve done a lot of different kinds of meditations. But life happens and you get busy and I actually got out of the habit of it. So I was trying to come up with a way to make myself get back in the habit and a friend of mine actually recommended this book to me.
So I’m in turn recommending it to everybody here. It’s really good. I got it on the Kindle from Amazon for like less than $10. Super easy to read and it’s a very easy to follow course because who the hell does not have eight minutes a day. He said in the – why eight minutes? He said because it’s more than 5 and it’s less than 10 and nobody can bitch about having eight minutes. Get up eight minutes earlier. Go to sleep eight minutes later. Find eight minutes and just freaking do it.
Ryan: That’s good.
Andy: And he takes all the excuses out of it. He goes by and just destroys every single excuse and every single resistance to meditation systematically and it has got over I think six weeks. Each week, it has a little different technique that you practice and the beginning is just breathe. The second week is a little bit different. The third week is a little different. Each one gets a little more involved and a little deeper but that’s great because all you have to do in the beginning is just set aside the damn time and do the bare minimum.
Then you build that habit just like we’re talking about. You start with the minimum and then you can build up the habit more. So I don’t know. Just what you’re saying about five minutes on the planche reminded me of that. Eight minutes of meditation a day is actually – it’s enough if you are building that habit. It’s better than nothing.
So we will put the link to that also in the blog post for this show. I highly recommend checking it out if you’ve ever tried meditation and had trouble with it or if like me, you’ve just really wanted to kind of get back into your practice with it.
Andy: But the same approach I guess applies to working out too. If you’re just starting and you want to get to a habit and you think time is a problem, well then, just do set aside five minutes everyday and do really almost anything. Train yourself to do five minutes of something, right?
From there, you can add more. But I think a lot of people listening to this are already doing stuff, right? But they are busy and so maybe an hour a day, seven days a week is too much. So what are some of the kinds of things that we can do to maybe get more out of less time? I would say in the gym but we don’t even necessarily need a gym for a lot of the stuff we do.
Andy: Which is also a time saver if you can do it at home instead of going somewhere.[Music]
Ryan: What I would suggest and really is going back to the basic component of that particular thing that you’re doing. The reason for that is – and this is something we talk about so much here in GMB but it’s all about the basics.
As soon as I said it, people were like, “Oh.” But really, looking at it from a martial art perspective, everyone wants to get out and do [0:16:23] [Indiscernible]. They want to spar. They want to do everything. But the thing is, if you don’t have your punches down – well, I will give another example. OK. Just the other day, right? We were talking and you wrote – you said, “I haven’t done kicks or anything for a really, really long time,” but you said, “I was just doing some basic kicks. It was so awesome that I can still do it and they’re like perfect.” Well, why is that? It’s because you spent so much time focusing on the basics.
Andy: Man, so many hours. It was just the weirdest thing too because my wife and daughter went to bed. It was like 10:00 at night and I’m just sitting there like, “Hmm, I wonder if I can kick that spot on the wall.” I did and I was like, “I wonder if I could hit it with a round kick,” and I could. Back kick! I just started going through all my kicks. I was like man, my accuracy has not left at all.
Ryan: And that’s because you focus on the basics.
Andy: Because I practiced the hell out of it for 25 years.
Ryan: And that’s the thing. So getting back even to the planche that we’re talking about, if you’ve only got five minutes. Let’s say for example you are at the point on the planche, a straddle planche. Let’s say you’re working towards a straddle planche. OK?
If you only got five minutes, I would suggest going all the way back to the basics and working on just a tuck, a floating tuck, and holding that sucker for as long as you can, focusing on – that’s it. OK?
Andy: Yeah. What are you focusing on? So the inclination if you’ve got short time is to do the most advanced diversion of the skill that you can. So you’re saying actually go down to the very base level.
Ryan: Very base.
Andy: And do it for as long as you can. But is endurance what you should be focusing on? I mean endurance obviously is part of it. But what should you be trying to get out of that basic practice?
Ryan: I would actually focus on how beautiful you can make that particular hold in this case. So are your arms properly locked out, making sure that you have the proper position? In this case, you’re going to have a slight hollow body when you’re performing it. How far are you leaning forward? Where’s your hand placement? Some people might have trouble with the wrist, getting the fingers forward. That’s fine.
Well today, take your fingers out to the side even more and see if you can go even further forward with that basic hold. Work on – in the beginning, it’s only five minutes. Get in as much hold time as possible using the most basic version of that hold.
Now some people, they’re like, “No, I want to go ahead and I want to just focus on that straddle.” Well, you are. The reason why is because you’re making your basics even stronger and so one of the reasons why I’m bringing up the planche right now is because I’m getting back into the planche work.
Last week, I started it again because I want to get the full planche with my legs together, right? So what am I doing? I’m going right back to the basics and making sure that I am very, very strong and I’m able to hold it for longer and longer periods of time with better form each time.
So that’s what you should focus on is how beautiful you can make it and each progressing attempt that you’re doing, making sure to keep it as beautiful as the previous one and because you’re working on a lower level, you should be able to do this.
So the next time you do have time to spend on working on that straddle, something like that, what you’re drilling into your muscles and the mind-body connection is going to carry over. When you start doing the straddle, then you’re going to realize, “Oh, before I might not have been doing this. Good thing I went back to the basics and focused on those one more time. So now I can do it easier.” So that’s what it’s about.
Andy: So when you go back to that straddle planche, you’re actually then taking a re-strengthened …
Andy: … kind of a base and I don’t mean base of basic skill but like literal base of solid hand placement, arms, shoulder position. Everything is going to be re-solidified from that basic practice and you can take that into your more advanced levels and great. So a lot of people –
Ryan: Back flip is the same thing. I’m going to give another example quickly is the back flip. OK. You’re in your apartment. You’re in your house. You can’t do a back flip. OK? But you can still work your jumps, right?
Ryan: You can work your basic jumps, working on getting higher and getting that jump set up with the hand, just the hand motion. So that when you go back and you can work the back flips, they’re higher, more power, and everything like that. So it all comes back to what you said, to that base. Solidifying the base.
Andy: Hey, let’s give some more examples of this because I think that back flips and planches sound great but a lot of people are like, “I’m not working on that.”[Music]
Andy: So let’s maybe talk about some other movements. Let’s say like muscle-up on rings for example or a pistol which are two skills that a lot of people are finding us because they want to learn. So maybe if you’re – maybe if you can do a couple of pistols and muscle-ups but you don’t have a lot of time and you want to get like a very basic practice in, in a short amount of time for those skills. What would you do?
Ryan: Just yesterday in the class I was teaching, we were working on the pistols and so a lot of the people in the class were still actually having trouble with their pistols. So what do I do? They sit down on the floor. They extend one leg and they rock up onto that one foot and they have to get their butt off the ground just a little bit and then hold it and they rock back and rock back into it.
So they’re not actually performing the full pistol. What they’re doing is they’re getting the bottom position set. So they’re working on their flexibility by doing this. They’re also working on stamina which is a good thing. You can do more of that because you’re going in and out of it.
Then also working on the position. So as they rock into it, they realize, “OK, I can’t round to for a forward. I got to keep my chest up. Where are my hands?” They’re learning all the little things that are going to be necessary for when they go from standing to sitting and by really working on strengthening that bottom position, once they get there, they’re not going to topple to this side or back when they’re doing it.
The muscle-up really is the transition. It’s the transition. So if you only have a little bit of time to work on the muscle-up, what I suggest is just focusing on the transition from the pull to the bottom of the dip, working on that.
Yeah, you can throw in chin-ups and you can work on dips. But really if you don’t have a smooth transition between the chin and the dip, then it’s going to be tough for when you actually do the pulling portion.
So those are just two quick examples with the pistol and the muscle-up that you could be working on if you only have a couple minutes. Literally a couple of minutes of this is going to make a huge difference.
Andy: Yeah, yeah, definitely. It’s the sticking point in any skill or technique. I said a lot of people, maybe back flip isn’t a great example, but back flip is actually one of those things that I used to teach people and they would get where they can rotate and they would think that they had it, right?
Andy: But then it would be sloppy as hell but they didn’t want to change anything because they would be afraid they would lose their flip. But it always took me so much work to drill into their head but you don’t have a flip. You’re flopping over but you don’t have a flip yet. We’ve got to now fix this.
You’ve gotten the rotation and same thing with like a pistol. People think, “Oh, I can drop down and pop up. I’ve done a pistol now.” But if you just keep doing it that way, you’re never going to really get as strong in it in that bottom position and really be able to express the drive and the control of the balance and just lifting straight up. So that’s why you’ve got to go back to the basic and really just because you can do it doesn’t mean you can do it.
Andy: Which sounds like what the hell is he talking about but it’s true. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you can do it right. So don’t get infatuated with the idea that you’ve got a skill. Always go back and work on improving the base aspects of it. If you’re short on time, that’s the best use of your time.
Ryan: Always go back to the basics. Always go back to the basics. Yeah. So we’re actually coming up to the end here of our big talk today. Anything else you have to say?
Andy: No, no. Thanks for listening. Just remember always – anytime you think that you’re busy, it’s not that you’re too busy. It’s that you’re trying to do too much. Break it down to the minimum version. Work on the most important part, the basic level of the skill. Take it back to what’s essential and then when you’ve got more time, start working on the more advanced stuff but always come back to the essentials.
Ryan: And if you’re working on the GMB programs that we have – I hope you are – and you don’t have that time, remember the way we have things set up, we always show you the basics. So you can just go back to the very first video and start working on that. OK?
Ryan: All right, man.
Andy: All right. Thanks for listening.
Ryan: Good luck. Thanks everybody.
Andy: Let us know. Yeah, anything you would like us to cover. If you’re checking us out on iTunes, leave us a rating. That would be great. If you’re watching a video, subscribe, like it, send it to all your friends. For a fun prank to play, put $1000 in an envelope and send it to GMB. It always gets a laugh out of everybody in the office.
Ryan: That’s a good one. I like that one. It’s a good joke. All right. Thanks everybody.
Andy: See you guys.[End of transcript]
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