How to Make Progress When Stressed Out and Overwhelmed


It's easy to feel overwhelmed when life gets in the way and you're trying to reach your fitness goals. As we get older, our energy levels change and our responsibilities in life increase. Sometimes there may be some big priorities in life that take over, whether it's a change in schedule with new work demands, upcoming work travels, getting a new job, remodeling a home, or having a kid.

When something like this happens, the thought of maintaining your current healthy lifestyle makes you not want to do anything at all while things blow over. It's stressful as hell.

But the problem is that when you go back to your training and nutrition plan, it's even harder to get started again. It's mentally exhausting and feels daunting to be starting from zero.

For many people, when they get back at it, their first workout destroys them. Afterward, they beat themselves up for getting out of shape, get discouraged and take another hiatus for a while. Before you know it, the pounds start packing back on (and then some). Later down the line, they get motivated to try again and the whole cycle repeats itself.

This is one of the many reasons why people don't reach their goals. The lack of consistency and the stopping and starting.

So how do you maintain your fitness level and still make progress when life hits you like a ton of bricks? By focusing on the smallest, easiest tasks for your health that you can complete. The idea is to limit as much mental and decision fatigue as possible. And in times like this, maintenance is considered progress.

For the time being, embrace fitness minimalism. You don't need to spend hours at the gym every day in order to reach your fitness goals. You can only make it to the gym only once or twice a week? Then maximize your time with quick full body workouts.

If making it to the gym is impossible, you can still do quick bodyweight circuits anywhere, there’s no excuse. Here's a sample one:

A1. Pushup - 10-15 reps
A2. Bodyweight Squat - 12 reps
A3. Plank - 30 seconds
A4. Side Plank - 30 seconds each side
A5. Lateral Lunges - 10 reps each leg

Perform A1-A5 back to back with no rest in between. Once the whole set is finished, rest 30-45 seconds. Repeat for 3 rounds, then move onto B.

B1. Pushup Plank - 45 seconds
B2. Single Leg Glute Bridge - 10 reps each leg
B3. Reverse Lunges - 10 reps each leg
B4. Jumping Jacks - 20 reps
B5. Inchworms - 5 reps

Perform B1-B5 back to back with no rest in between. Once the whole set is finished, rest 30-45 seconds. Repeat for 3 rounds.

Besides doing quick workouts, be more physically active in other ways. We want to maximize our NEPA (non-exercise physical activity) throughout the day. If you can't work out, just simply move more. It could be parking further away at work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or getting out of your computer chair more often.

We all know that nutrition is very important and we know what we should be doing, but it’s tough to apply everything, especially when you’ve got a lot going on. If you're still trying to change everything about your diet at the moment, just stop. It'll only stress you out even more. Pick one thing about the way that you currently eat, the thing that needs the biggest improvement on and just focus on that and nothing else.

Eating too much processed junk? Replace it with one healthy meal. Drinking too much alcohol? Cut down how much you normally drink by 1-2 drinks. If you’re skipping breakfast and feeling ravenous come lunchtime, pack a high protein snack with you to eat on the way to work like Greek yogurt with a piece of fruit or a protein shake with a tablespoon of nut butter in it.

Don't have much time to meal prep? Cook double the portion size of whatever healthy meal you're making so you can take the leftovers to work for lunch the next day.

If you don't have time to cook at all, buy multiple pre-packaged ready-to-eat salads that have a lean source of protein and veggies in it. That way you save time, and don’t have mental and decision fatigue on figuring out what to eat and minimize anymore stress that you have in your life.

Finally, one way to maintain and reach your fitness goals when during the times you're stressed out and overwhelmed is to have someone keep you accountable. Some of the most successful people in the world have coaches to manage everything in their life from fitness, nutrition, dating, and finance because they can't do it on their own. Ask anyone how they ever accomplished their major goals and they’ll tell you that they’ve had some sort of accountability or help.

And I can be that help, at least on the fitness and nutrition side of things. I’ve helped many busy men and women build muscle and lose fat in spite of their hectic lives. If you’ve been struggling, hit plateaus in your training, or ready to start your health and fitness journey, apply here.

Once you’ve applied, I’ll reach out to you and we can discuss further to see if you’d be a good fit. If you are and we get started, you’ll get a full detailed assessment and a completely individualized program for you. The problem with many cookie-cutter training programs is that they don’t account for specific individual needs and for real life. When you work with me, you’ll get my attention and care to ensure your success every step of the way.

So if you’re ready to get results and take your fitness to the next level, simply click the link, fill out the application, and by next week we’ll get you started on a customized training and nutrition program fit for you and your lifestyle.