"You're going to have to skip that gym session mate, I need you in this meeting."......"Babe I need you to take the kids to school today, you're workout is going to have to wait."....Something like that ring a bell?
I wouldn't be surprised if it did, as juggling busy schedules with exercise is one of the most common issues us guys face. Sometimes it's just hard, right? It could be work, family, yourself - at the end of the day whatever the reason, letting it get the better of your schedule at the cost of your health is something that leasds to frustration, inaction and further excuses. Not to mention the health costs - physically and mentally - of a schedule that mitigates training.
When it comes to attaining and maintaining a healthy and desirable physique the most important factor (genetics potentially aside) is consistency. The catch 22 being that life has a way of throwing varying spanners in the works.
Let's establish first off that consistency does not mean training every day or any kind of extremism. Consistency has to be about having an unflappable habit of movement. This means not being tied to any dogma or even rigid training program. If you're someone who has a schedule with many demands on it, you have to be flexible and have a high 'Physical Intelligence' by which you know what your body needs. The foundation of which is regular movement.
Using rigid programs and striving for goals that are beyond the realistic reach of your life's demands will see more and more stagnation, regression and frustration. If we can agree that habit and consistent movement (which entails out-and-out training, as well as any movement/exercise, practise and play) is the main goal, we can then employ some of the following tips to ensure progress.
1) If your work is the issue, perhaps the boss is a hard task-master, you have to have a conversation with them. Let them know that regular movement is imperative for you to be at, and therefore, perform at your best. Avoiding these tough conversations can lead to leaning on the excuse that's "outside of my control".
2) From here, schedule in your bigger workouts where you can ensure they remain untouched. This might mean looking at what time of the day is most doable for you. If you prefer to train after work, but timing says morning works best, then you must do the morning. Simple.
3) Utilise your weekends for movement. Many guys like to relax or leave training out of the weekend, however, if this is when you actually have controllable time, get your bigger sessions in here.
Outside of this you have to start taking responsibility for your time when you can and become ruthless with the little time pockets you allocate yourself to move. Let nothing short of an emergency affect them, as the healthier you are, the better you will perform at work and in your relationships.
You might also like to read this piece for perspective on being consistent.