You “Can’t Make the Gym Today” Workout


You’re too busy. Traffic is awful. You got stuck at the office. Your kid’s game went into overtime. The line to see Santa at the mall was 2.5 hours (felt like days) longer than you’d hoped. These can be unavoidable circumstances out of your control.

Whatever the reason, now you can’t make it to the gym today. That’s ok. Don’t waste your time feeling guilty about it. There is a simple solution that can keep you on track. You’ll resume your usual exercise program with your next workout.

For today, it’s time to call an audible. Head straight home and do this workout instead.

I’ll write it twice because some folks need to read it twice. Remember, the goal is to stay active. Not to go to a certain gym. Not to do a specific exercise. Not to stick to your program at the expense of the other important areas of your life. Just to be intentionally active.

Some days you won’t be able to stay on your program. Bummer. In these scenarios you need to build a quick workout you can do with minimal (or zero) equipment. This workout needs a little resistance (could simply be bodyweight) and to get your heart pumping.

Start with compound movements (squat, hinge, lunge, push, pull) and put them in a circuit. Add one core exercise like crunches, planks, or a dead bug. Do every exercise for 10-15 reps and limit your rest time between circuits to keep your heart rate up. If you are in good cardiovascular condition you can add a bonus metabolic exercise like burpees, mountain climbers, or jumping jacks to the end.

Please note, pulling exercises will be difficult without any equipment. Feel free to use anything nearby for row or deadlift variations. If you have a suspension trainer like a TRX at home, that’s even better.

For our example, I’ll use a briefcase for rowing, but if you don’t have anything to use for a pull, just skip it. It’s only one workout and not the end of the world.

At Home Circuit:
4-6 rounds of 10-15 reps per exercise

Alternating Reverse Lunge x 12 each
Push Up x 12
Single Arm Briefcase Row x 12 each
Single Leg Glute Bridge x 12 each
Crunches x 12
Burpees x 12   *optional* 

Rest 45-60 seconds, then repeat

You did it. You exercised. It wasn’t what you set out to do this morning, but you kept your streak alive and a good habit intact.

That’s the whole game right there: staying consistent.