5 Simple Ways to Make Working Out a Lifestyle

Apr 13, 2021


"How do I make time to workout while having a career in Law Enforcement?"


This is a question we hear all the time in the law enforcement community.

It can be daunting and difficult to fit your workout routine into your busy schedule.

The 12+ hour shifts, night shifts, family time, and all other responsibilities we have makes it feel like there is not enough time in the day to consistently make it to the gym.

Oftentimes we end up sacrificing our own health and wellness for others.

If we want a long, successful career and life, we must prioritize our training and find a way to fit it in.

Use these 5 tips to help you make training a priority and consistently make it to the gym so you can become stronger, leaner, faster, and fitter!


1) Find the Right Time of Day

We all have a time of day that is best for us to workout. This is typically when we are the most alert and have energy to burn. The exact time of day is unique to everyone! 

For many of us, our prime time is shortly after waking up and have a cup of coffee (this can be morning or night, depending on shift schedule), when you're feeling fresh and ready to seize the day!

For some, this can be the opposite... it can be used as a way to down-regulate after a long day at work.

For a few of you, this may be using the time you have available to you on shift. If you are lucky enough to get a paid hour to train - USE IT!

As a cop, there are days when you may not have the luxury of choosing a specific workout time. You may just have to use the time you have available. It may not be the time you WANT to do it, but it might be the time you NEED to do it because you don't have another option.



How to determine the best time of day to workout:

Here are some questions you to answer to figure this out...

  • Will I feel and perform better during the rest of the day if I get my training sessions done before the shift? Movement is a fantastic way to start your day and can help you feel more energized throughout the day.
  • Can I consistently train at this time of day every day? Some people wake up slower than others and that's OK. If you are not a morning person, waking up early every day to get to the gym can throw the rest of your day off. Listen to your body and train later in the day.
  • Do I get a paid hour on duty to get a 45-minute workout in? If so, take full advantage of it.
  • Do I consume caffeine before workouts? If so, training in the first half of the day may be the better option since caffeine can disrupt our sleep, which is our most important recovery tool.
  • Will I have excuses to NOT train if I wait until after shift? A lot of things come up during the day - will these prevent you from hitting the gym after work?
  • Can I train on my days off only? If so, what time would be best on those days?

It all comes down to personal preference since everyone operates just a little bit different. Finding the right time for YOU and being consistent is what is the most important.


2) Schedule It In

Physically write (or type) your workout schedule in a calendar, notebook, or app such as Apple/Google Calendar.

This does 2 things for us:

  1. Blocks out that time of day so nothing else can be scheduled there
  2. Writing it down is an official COMMITMENT to get it done during that time

The EFT team uses Google Calendar; each of us have times of day blocked out throughout the week for "TRAINING", "MEAL PREP", "GROCERIES", and "BJJ".

If one of us wants to schedule a meeting with a another team member, it has to be outside of that blocked time. That blocked out time is held to the same standard of a work shift.

On Sunday or Monday, look at your week ahead and plan all the training sessions, grocery store runs, and times to cook your meals.

This organizes everything you need to get done and allows you to check it off when it's complete. Nothing feels better than checking things off your to-do list!


3) Plan and Prepare

The night before your next workout, plan your workout or look over your program.

Watch videos to learn new movements, understand the goal of the session, do any math required if lifts are percentage based, etc.

Save yourself the headache of being stressed and unorganized because you don't know what a specific exercise is, what the goal of the session is, or what your rest periods should look like.

If you are following the Effective Fitness Program, ask questions to the coaches about the workout. We are available for you 24/7 to help you modify the workouts for your specific goals or injuries.

If you need substitutes due to injury, lack of equipment or anything else, ask us ahead of time in order for us to answer you before you make it to the gym. That way we can make sure you are ready for your workout.

Lack of planning and preparation can turn a killer 45 minute session into a 2-hour session. You can end up taking entirely too much rest time trying to figure out what you're doing. This can actually defeat the purpose of your training and make it very unenjoyable and frustrating.

Another thing you can prepare is your pre/post workout nutrition. Before your workout starts you should have your water, pre-workout meal, and post-workout meal all set and ready to go. 

Be effective with your time by being prepared!



4) Manage Your Time

Most of us don't have hours to commit to working out every day.

Even if we did... we would rather spend that outside of the gym doing activities we enjoy with friends and family.

Block out 45-90 minutes of our day to get in, get the job done, and get out.

Once that time is up, get out of the gym, EVEN if you are not done with your entire workout.

We train in the gym to be more effective in the Law Enforcement profession and to make life outside of the gym more enjoyable.

Stick to your schedule!

This requires all of the above "Plan and Prepare" tools along with a program that is designed specifically for LE that takes all life/job factors into consideration.

This is why we use the Minimal Effective Dose Method (MED Method). The MED Method allows us to make the best use of our time we have available, while still getting the gains we require and desire.

Luckily, this is possible when your training is backed by scientific research. We have done all the learning and put it on paper for you... so you just have to do the work. 


5) Remember Your WHY

Wouldn't it be nice to get stronger, faster, muscular, and leaner overnight?

Unfortunately, with anything related to strength, conditioning, nutrition and your overall health, you must play the long game.

Significant weight loss, changes in body composition, or growing pounds of muscle do not happen overnight. They never have and they never will.

It takes a healthy diet, a smart training program, time, patience, and most of all... CONSISTENCY.

Always remember that repeated small wins add up to BIG changes over time.

To stay motivated during this process, remember WHY you are training.

Are you training for your community?

Your family?


Whatever that reason is, write it down and remind yourself WHY it is important that you make it to the gym and give it your all.


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