Give What You Can Spare; Keep What You Need.

How long is a workout?

A better question is how long do you have?

In a conversation with a student this week, the subject of giving 100% came up and how they were training. Due to illness and stress, they were not training at the capacity that they had previously been at. They were happy though that even though the volume of work that 100% represented had changed, they were able to come back and hit 100%.

It is important when training to give what you can spare and keep what you need.

Give what you can spare

If you can’t spare 2 hours a day to train, don’t commit to it and certainly don’t select a program that requires it. That is a recipe for failure.

Instead, work with what you have. What available time do you have in your week that you can spare to train? Do you waste 10 minutes a day on your cellphone doing nothing? Great, now you can train 10 minutes a day.

If you cannot do 10 minutes a day, you can’t do 30 mins a day, and you certainly cannot do 2 hours. Start small with a daily commitment, and as you find you can do it, try to find more time to dedicate to training.

Keep what you need.
You need to do certain things to survive. Eat, sleep, work, commute. You should not need to give up these things to find training time.

You need to do other things to be happy. Relax, play, socialize, recover. These should also not be given up in the name of training.

Keep the things you need to survive and be happy but be brutal in cutting out everything else.

Something I have found has been really useful is downloading an app that stops me wasting time on my phone (I use Offtime). Suddenly I have extra time in my day when I have something stopping me from procrastinating. How odd. That 10 or 20 minutes you can save is, for someone who currently does not train, enough to make a huge difference to their health, or for someone who does train regular, an opportunity to learn a new skill or refine an old one, add in mobility work, or expand the type of training you do.

Devon Boorman is the Co-Founder and Director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, which has been active in Vancouver, Canada since 2004. Devon’s expertise centres on the Italian swordplay tradition including the arts of the Renaissance Italian rapier, sidesword, and longsword, as well as knife and unarmed techniques.
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