We’re all busy, that’s no surprise. One thing that also shouldn’t come as a surprise is how beneficial resistance training is when it’s done on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of putting resistance training on the back burner when life gets crazy because they think, “If I can only get 20 minutes in, what’s the point?” The point is, 20 minutes, 3-5 days per week, is plenty of time to see and maintain your gains. So, how does one go about making the most of their time and fitting the weights into one’s schedule? 1. Stick to your plan. It’s easy to put off a 20-minute workout because you think, what’s 20 minutes less of exercise going to do? In the short-term, probably nothing. But in the long-term, it’s going to sabotage your goals when those skipped workouts start to add up. Plan the 20 minutes into your weekly schedule and KEEP those appointments like they’re as important as a meeting with your boss. No cancelling on yourself! 2. Meet the minimum. This goes with #1. If you hope to lift/exercise in some form 5 days per week but have an extremely busy week, don’t feel bad about decreasing it to 3 days that week with a day of rest in between days – but don’t go less than 3. If you get 4-5 days, great. If you get 3, you’ll still see noticeable progress. 3. FOCUS. This is the most important part. Don’t succumb to distractions during your workout. This is your time to pack in enough “work” in as little time as possible. Focus on: a. Being hydrated before you start, so you waste less time walking to the drinking fountain. b. Not resting more than 10-20 seconds. Keep the weights in your hands (or whatever you’re using – machines, bands, etc.) and move from one exercise to the next of a different muscle group continuously. c. Have a plan. You can’t succeed with “b” above if you have no idea what you’re going to do or what equipment you’re going to use. Either write it down, make a note in your phone, or just visualize what you’re going to do and stick to the plan. d. Keep tension and correct technique. Spending ~75% or more of your time “under tension” (lifting a weight) is exhausting, so using lighter weights than usual and focusing on correct technique is a must to avoid injury and get the most out of your time. Joe is a high school hockey and tennis coach, strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer and business owner from Minnesota. He strives to coach others to be their best selves - through sports, fitness, and habit-based nutrition coaching. lifetimelean.com