First, when Life Stuff comes up, do your best to maintain your normal routine for as long as you can. You can juggle a lot for short periods of time, so if you can already see light at the end of the tunnel, suck it up, abandon extraneous activities and just stick to the basics. Deal with Life, eat well, sleep well and train. Narrow your scope for a few days to preserve what’s important until the crisis passes.
In it for the long haul? Here’s where you have to triage – and listen to me carefully. Eating well and sleeping enough come first. Just focus on that, and if that’s all you can do, that’s okay. Eat only Good Food, sleep as much as you can, and supplement for cortisol management. Those are your top priorities, and if you can keep those up, you’ll maintain an awful lot of your general “health”.
If you’re eating and sleeping well, get to the gym when you can. Here, you’ve got two options. If you’re feeling good and up for training with some intensity, then get to it… but make those workouts count. Screw the Filthy Fifty – your only priority is maintaining strength. Met-con capacity is cheap and dirty – it goes fast and comes back faster, so save your “cardio” for better days. Instead, deadlift. Press. Squat. Do some clean and jerks. Hit the big stuff hard and heavy. But what if you’re not feeling up for deadlifts? Mat Lalonde reminded me of a very important point a few weeks ago. Exercise, even at a slow and easy pace, is extremely effective in helping to manage stress and cortisol. So if you’re not able to train with your normal intensity, just do something. Walk your dog, swing a kettlebell or play with your kids. If nothing else, keep moving, because in terms of triage it’s better than nothing.
Press 3×5 or Wendler
2 Muscle Ups
4 Handstand Push Ups
8 Kettlebell Swings