Using the 'I'm too busy' for exercise line is one we all use from time to time. But keeping fit doesn’t have to mean taking hours out of your day. There are plenty of quick and easy ways to stay in shape without jeopardising your physique and who better to get advice from than Madonna’s top trainer, Ray Kybartas.
"There's no such thing as not being able to find an hour in a day to work out," says, 49-year-old Kybartas, infamous for being keeping Madonna's in shape for over a decade.
"Too many people go on these complicated technical workouts that are great for six weeks, [then they] get bored, don't train anymore and put the weight back on," he says. "It's all about consistency; one hour a day of any exercise whether it be swimming, cycling, a gym class, yoga, Pilates; you name your exercise and go for it. People who get results are consistent and motivated. The key is to stay in shape for five years, not six weeks."
Having been in the business for 30 years, Ray has seen it all and says exercise is more a lifestyle choice and about motivation than simply following a technical workout. He's adamant that there is no 'secret celebrity workout' just commonsense. "It's simple maths; eat less of any food you like and/or eat healthy, and work out for one hour a day."
"Fitness is more of a psychological thing than a trainer just giving you routines routines mean nothing. It's a mindset."
It's a simple regime that has seen results in clients such as Madonna, who he introduced to jogging and cycling.
When Madonna trained with him she said, "Some days we run, some days we ride bikes, swim, run stairs, do weight training or yoga. He makes working out fun and encourages me to rest when I'm burnt out."
Ray insists there's no excuse for anyone, busy or not, not to find one hour a day for exercise. "If you can watch TV or go shopping for luxuries, you can walk for an hour. Madonna would get up at 3.30am to train for an hour if that was the only time she could fit it in."
Ray's no excuse workout for busy people
* Train for one hour a day, every day. The ideal is to do 45 minutes of aerobic exercise, like walking soft sand, hills, treadmill, road or swimming or cycling, and 15 minutes of anaerobic workouts, like resistance training, lifting weights and abdominals. If you can't get to the gym or you don't have the equipment for weights, do whatever form of exercise you want to do for that hour. You'll be surprised that even walking your dog for an hour every day will make you considerably leaner after six weeks.
Fifteen minutes of anaerobic training this session works the chest muscles, triceps, back of legs and front of legs
- 50 skips, jumping rope
- 15 push-ups on your knees
- 10 forward lunges on each leg
- 20-50 toe taps on a bench (toes just touch the bench, not the entire foot) running style.
- 10 tricep dips on a bench three times without stopping.
- 20-50 upper abdominal exercises. On a medicine ball, do regular abdominal crunches. Hold weights behind your head if you want to work harder.
Fifteen minutes of anaerobic training this session is the following day, using different muscle groups:
- 50 skips, jumping rope great because you're using your whole body
- 15 repetitions of lifting weights (your choice as to how heavy) lying on your back on a bench
- Do three times
- Jump on each foot like you're a speed skater. Do 20 or 30 of these.
- Bicep curls (using any weight of your choice) do three sets of 15.
- Triceps lift from your shoulders, do three sets of 15.
- 20-50 lower abdominal exercises. On an incline bench, lay flat on your back and lift your legs together, raising them between 45-90 degrees.
Swimming: I recommend joining a swimming club that has a coach or a master swimming program. It's motivating.
*When exercising, become "present" to the moment. I call it exercise meditation. Feel your discomfort and don't get negative about it. Top athletes use this principle. When you lose being present, your mind takes over and you start thinking in the future and lose momentum.
So, no matter how busy you think you are, there’s always the opportunity to squeeze in some of Ray’s top exercise tips!