So, You Think You Don’t Have Time…

5 min read
3 effect ways to maximize your time even when you don’t think you have any to spare

So, You Think You Don’t Have Time…

3 effect ways to maximize your time even when you don’t think you have any to spare

Location: Moose Jaw, Canada

How I avoided using time as an excuse

A little background on myself, I am the father of four boys, I work full time as a school teacher, and I run my own gym, so I understand what busy means. Through years of juggling and life balancing, I have found a way to get my training in and want to share with you some insights that may help you plan, implement, and enhance your jiu-jitsu lifestyle. Time and time again, I hear people say they don’t have time to commit to weight training, martial arts, or other forms of exercise. Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wish I had more time for jiu-jitsu, I really want to excel, but I have a family, work, or other commitments?”

There are some actions I have found to help combat this stressful feeling of helplessness. These actions include training during your lunch break, doing mental reps through supplemental studying, and developing your own home gym.

Action # 1 – Lunchtime training

Lunchtime is a time where most people sit around and chat with colleges. I have always thought of lunchtime as a time where I could be productive and decided to make a change. If you think you will get a carefree class where you show up, sit on the mats, and roll, then you are mistaken. With so many life commitments, it just doesn’t happen anymore, and so you have to be a little more creative. Below is what a typical lunchtime for me looks like and how I maximize my time:

My lunchtime starts at 11:40 until 12:25, so as soon as I get in my car, I am scarfing down my food or, as I look at it, my fuel. It usually takes 10 minutes to reach my destination, so I opt out of a change room and just change directly in front of the mats when I get there. Having a short break, my warm-up consists of having a first-round where it is slower and gentle. I set the tabata timer to two-minute rolls with a 10-second break in between. Depending on the number of participants, it can be a very intense session. The goal of this training is to get as many rounds as we can. If it is just a single partner and me, we just set a timer for 30-40 minutes and do continuous rolling. The value of both training methods is astronomical and leads to an increase in cardiovascular endurance and the ability to try new techniques.

Once my timer goes off and the training concludes, I hop in the shower as quickly as I can to allow myself to catch my breath before heading back to work. On the drive back to work, I will rehydrate and finish off any lunch that I was unable to finish on the way to training. Lunchtime is a perfect time to get a short but intense session in. It is super helpful for days where I have to take care of work or family matters at home in the evenings.

Action # 2 – Do your homework
When you think of progressing your jiu-jitsu technique, you think of having to be in class to learn properly. And it may often feel like everyone else is progressing except for you if you miss a class. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. One of the major helpers in my development has been research. I try to study one technique every day. I find it valuable to reflect on my own game and ask where do I see holes and need answers.
A highly valuable part of doing research is looking at a position and seeing it from different perspectives. Through research, you can look at the same technique but with different methods of application. For example, I look at Roger Gracie and see how he is doing an armbar, then move onto Rafeal Lovato Jr to see how he does it differently. It is useful to see the variations and then amalgamate all those key points to bring back to my next training session.

The major benefit of these mental sessions is that you can do them anytime. There are many different times throughout the day where you can sneak them in, whether it is taking a break at work, having coffee at home, or even sitting on the toilet. During weeks of heavy training, I find great benefit in learning while allowing my body to recover through active rest. While not physically exerting myself, I can strengthen the pathways between the physical and mental.

Action # 3 – Build that home gym
One of the biggest helpers in my progression has been developing my own gym and training area. What I found over the years is that I can get a quick workout when my kids are around, and I am required to parent, take care of business, or other priorities. I have invested in Power blocks, DIY equipment and have workout equipment in every room of my house. I set the timer for 45 – 60 minutes and try to achieve what I can. If the kids move to another part of the house, then I move my operation to that floor and continue. It is unrealistic to think that I can get an undisturbed workout in, so I build in my rest times to coincide with playing with the kids or taking care of chores. One of my best investments besides weights and DIY equipment was 100 square feet of grappling mats. Having the ability to have a partner come in and work on technique is vital to becoming a better athlete. The critical takeaway from Action # 3 is to make your training fit your life and don’t offer excuses any room to grow. Be proactive and create an environment where training is not “only” an option but part of your daily routine.

Time is a valuable resource that is hard to come by when faced with a busy life. If you have ever wished you had more time to accomplish your goals, then you are not alone. To recap, to aid you in utilizing your time more efficiently, I found that you can use your lunch to sneak in extra time for your training. Make time for your mental preparation through research and homework that can be done at any time throughout the day… virtually anywhere. And finally, developing a home training gym will help bridge the gap between your workouts and open up training opportunities that may otherwise slip away. Becoming efficient with your time allows you to maximize your training opportunities and will enable you to make the progressions you strive to achieve. No more excuses; make your time count.



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