For number 5 on my top 10 takeaways of 2015 I am going to tell you how to make the most of your workouts, regardless of the amount of time you have to get it done:

Be prepared. 

Make sure your workout gear is ready to go the night before and have your post workout snack prepared, alongside your water bottle and towel. Check your calendar and determine exactly when you are free to work out and then schedule it into your day. You don’t have to block off a lot of time, but if you don’t clear your schedule and make time your workout will never happen. Eliminate any excuse you may reach for to avoid your workout the next day.

Plan ahead.

Know exactly what you are going to be doing for your workout before you walk into the gym. If you are training on your own, have your workout written down or have the fitness application you use, such as NTC, downloaded and ready to go. If you can, grab the equipment required for your workout before you start, which will limit the amount of downtime in between exercises. Know how much time you have and make the most of it. If you are short on time, focus on high intensity intervals and train in a circuit style fashion so you do not waste any time recovering between sets. If you are attending a class, get there early and be ready to start on time. If there is one thing I can’t stand, it is people who come into a class late. 

Call a friend. 

Nothing will prevent you from skipping out on a workout or motivate you to push harder during your workout like working out with a friend can. Plan to meet a friend for your favourite run, or a yoga class or boot camp. This is one of my favourite strategies. I know if I am lacking motivation and likely to skip out on a workout the best thing I can do is to commit to a workout buddy. I am ok with cancelling on myself, but not others, so this guarantees I do my workout as planned.

Here is tip number 5 on how to survive the holiday season: Do this workout! I taught this exact workout to my class last night and it was killer. Go through it like you would sing the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” where you start with exercise 1, then exercise 2 and 1, then 3, 2 and 1, then 4, 3, 2 and 1 Continue this all the way through 12. If you do it all the way through without taking a break you should be done in 1 hour. Trust me, time goes by so fast.

The 12 Days of Christmas Workout
1 minute abs (pick a different abdominal exercise each time and do it for 1 minute)
20 back exercises (vary between cable work, dumbbell work and posture work)
30 mountain climbers
40 jumping jacks (you can switch these for any lateral cardio exercise, such as skaters, box hop overs, straddle steps, etc.)
5 burpees
6 push-ups
7 high plank/low plank (alternate the lead arm each time through)
8 jumping squats with dumbbells
9 jumping lunges (also called jumping split squats)
10 box jumps
11 bicep curls/shoulder presses/triceps dips (do all 3)
12 shuttle runs

Click here for #6