Many individuals like to say that they are simply “too busy” to work out. While life is crazy and hectic I guarantee that every single person on this planet could find a simple 3 hours out of the 168 we get in a week to dedicate to improving their health.

If you’re still saying you don’t have 3 hours, well then, you’re not making yourself and longevity a priority. Sit down and write a list about what is most important in life, and hopefully you will put your health towards the top. Then decide from there that you will make time to train and improve your life.

With these 3 hours you are going to dedicate to improving your life, we need to spend them wisely and make them 3 of the most effective hours of the week. By this I do not mean going to the gym, without a plan, and walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes, heading over to the machines to do a few curls, leg extensions, and then maybe finishing up with some sit-ups. I also do not recommend you spend those three hours going to Zumba or Body Combat just to have a little fun and get sweaty. I want you to spend those three hours training under a barbell and loading more weight onto the bar every time you go to the gym.

No matter what your goal is- gain strength, decrease fat mass, or increase overall health because your doctor has been telling you to workout for years, strength training can help you achieve those goals. What I am asking you to do is not complex by any means. It’s a rather simple plan but is one of the most effective training programs you will ever follow in your life. You lift three days a week and perform 2-3 lifts consisting of squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, and possibly power cleans or chin-ups every session. That’s it. No additional cardio needed.

Some of you out there may not think that lifting three days a week is enough to achieve your goals and that cardio is an absolute must. And I understand your concerns. In my past I was a cardio bunny and prior cross-country runner. I always had the goal of being toned but never had a plan to get there. I first started strength training and didn’t believe that lifting alone would help me lean out so I did hours of cardio in addition to my lifting. With this, I did lean down slightly and put on some muscle mass, but I did not get much stronger or lean out as much as I hoped. Oh, and I was extremely sore. Every. Single. Day. Which is not a good thing. When I finally gave lifting by itself a chance I discovered my true strength and went from squatting around 95lbs for 3 sets of 5 to then 150+ for 3 sets of 5. I did gain about 10lbs over 5 months of lifting BUT I lost 2 inches off my waist. I also got to eat A TON more, which made life a whole lot better. Today I can squat 265lbs for 3 sets of 5 and on average eat 2,100 calories daily. Crazy, huh?

Below you can see my progress from becoming a runner to a strong, happy powerlifter.

Figure 1 September 2013, 135lbs, Squatting 95lbs 5×3, eating 1,200 cals/day
Figure 2 March 2014, 147lbs, Squatting 150lbs 5×3, eating 1,850 cals/day
Figure 3 June 2017, 155lbs, Squatting 265lbs 5×3, eating 2,100+ cals/day


In all, no matter how busy your schedule and goals you are hoping to achieve, dedicate 3 hours a week to increasing your strength. Find time, make a plan, and get strong. Your body will thank you.

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