Barriers to Training

November 11, 2020
4 minute read

Over my 14 years of being in the fitness industry, I’ve trained many people from politicians to athletes to business executives to busy mums. During that time, I observed that no matter who we are, we all come up with the same reasons to not workout. I’ve heard every excuse in the book. I’m sure you know what I mean. 

“I work full time”

“I’m too busy”

“I have kids”

“I hurt my foot”

“I can’t afford it”

“It takes too long”

“I’m not fit”  

“I don’t have the space”

…..and the list goes on.

I think our general perception of ‘fitness’, ‘getting fit’, or ‘training’ is that it takes hours and/or we have to pay for it to be any good or worthwhile (e.g. gym/personal trainer/classes).

I want to change that perception. We are so lucky today to be thrust in the world of social media. Yes! Lucky! Sure, it has it’s downsides but how easy is it to Google a fitness workout or search hashtags on Instagram? e.g. #workoutsunder20minutes #workoutsathome #bootycircuit #busymumworkout #allfitnesslevels #beginnerworkouts and so on.

However, information overload is real and it’s easy to get confused and not know where to start and I think that’s another reason why people just don’t bother. So, I’m here to simplify things for you.

It doesn’t matter really in the grand scheme of things, what workout you do at the end of the day. Just START. Have you ever heard of the saying “Day one or one day?”. Regardless of your barrier to training, it is possible to fit it in your life. Short on time? I got you! Have no space? I got you! Can’t afford the gym? I got you! Just because ‘Mark’ fits in 2 hours of weight training everyday and looks shredded doesn’t mean you have to do the same to achieve the same result. As always, there is usually more than one way to reach the destination.

So, let’s work! 

Below are a few examples of workouts based on my style of training when I’m short on time. I haven’t trained in a gym since 2009! I’m a busy mum of three, I run two businesses and I do EVERYTHING at home (sorry hubby, but you know it’s true he he). I can personally come up with countless barriers to training everyday if I choose to, but I choose to change my mental focus from negative to positive and find ways to crush those barriers. And so can you.

Barrier: “I have no equipment”, “I don’t have time”

Workout 1: Full Body – Zero Equipment – Anywhere – 20 Minutes

Warm Up: 30 seconds x 2 rounds

Jumping Jacks

Ski Jumps

Butt Kicks

High Knees

Opposite Hand to Opposite Foot

AMRAP (Complete As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 minutes)

  1. Squat and Lunge Complex – 10 reps each side
  2. Commandos – 10 reps
  3. Surrenders – 10 reps
  4. T Push Ups – 10 reps (5 each side)
  5. Curtsy Lunge to Squat Jump – 10 reps total

Rest as needed. Record your rounds. Beat this score next time.

Cool Down: 5 minutes stretching

Barrier: “No anchor point for my bands”

Workout 2: Banded Circuit (No anchor point required) – 20 Minutes

Equipment: Resistant Bands and Booty Band 

Warm Up: 5 minutes warm up as in workout 1

Circuit: 40:20 work to rest ratio (i.e. 40 seconds work: 20 seconds rest each exercise)

Round 1

  1. Squat Pulses
  2. Crab Walk
  3. Frog Pumps
  4. Bicep Curl to Shoulder Press

1 minute rest. Move on to round 2.

Round 2

  1. Donkey Kicks (left leg)
  2. Donkey Kicks (right leg)
  3. Kickbacks (left leg)
  4. Kickbacks (right leg)

1 minute rest. Repeat rounds 1 & 2. 

Cool Down: 5 minutes stretching

Barrier: “I don’t own a cardio machine”, “I can’t go outdoors to do cardio”

Workout 3: HIIT CARDIO AT HOME – NO MACHINES – 20 Minutes

Warm Up: 5 minutes warm up as in workout 1

HIIT: 30:30 work to rest ratio (i.e. 30 seconds work: 30 seconds rest each exercise)

  1. Pop Squats
  2. Mountain Climbers x 4; Plank Jacks x 4
  3. Burpees
  4. Seal Jacks
  5. Squat Jump to Squat Triple Pulse

1 minute rest. Complete 3 rounds.

Cool Down: 5 minutes stretching

Barrier: “I will never do a great workout with dumbbells only”, “I can’t get to a gym to use weights”

Workout 4: Dumbbells Only – Under 20 Minutes

Warm Up: 5 minutes warm up as in workout 1

Supersets: Complete superset A1, A2 as many rounds in 5 minutes. Take minimal rest. Rest 90 seconds before moving onto superset B1, B2 and repeat. 

A1: Renegade Rows – 10 reps (5 each side)

A2: Squat Thrusters – 10 reps

B1: Deadlift to Upright Rows – 10 reps

B2: Russian Twists – 10 reps (5 each side)

C1: Narrow Push Ups – 10 reps

C2: Poliquin Raises – 10 reps

Cool Down: 5 minutes stretching

Barrier: “I don’t know which lower body workout to choose”

Workout 5: Try this – Booty Gainz

Warm Up: 5 minutes warm up as in workout 1

Supersets: Complete supersets e.g. A1, A2 with 90 seconds rest between sets. 

A1: DB Hip Thrusts – 4 sets x 15 reps 

A2: DB Reverse Lunges – 4 sets x 10 reps each leg

B1: DB RDL (Romanian Dead Lifts) 1 ¼ reps – 3 sets x 10 reps

B2: DB Goblet Squat – 3 sets x 10 reps 

C1: DB Bulgarian Split Squat (Glute Focused, large stance) – 3 sets x 10 reps 

each leg

C2: DB Squats Heels Elevated – 3 sets x 15 reps

Finisher: Banded Crab Walk

Banded Glute Bridge

30 seconds each exercise; no rest; 2 rounds

Cool Down: 5 minutes stretching


Change your mentality. Change your focus. Change your vision. CRUSH THOSE BARRIERS. #YOUCANDOIT #YOUGOTTHIS

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About The Author: Nancy Callaghan
Nance Fitness AUS

Hi, I’m Nancy Callaghan. I’ve has been a personal trainer since 2008. I was an athletic kid and loved any sport but by my late teenage years, I started gaining weight. By the end of my first year at University I had enough of being overweight and wanted to regain my health and fitness. I had no money and was studying a double degree while living on campus. But I knew deep down that the solution to weight loss was simply to eat less and move more. I knew I needed to make better food choices without restricting myself too much which I had done so many times in the past. I lost 20 kilograms in 4 months. My newfound confidence and new vision to help others do the same are what inspired me to change career paths and become a personal trainer. This was almost a 10 year journey!

Another 10 years have passed, I’ve had three kids and a small break from the fitness industry so I can raise my little family. Each pregnancy was tough. I gained 20 kilograms each time, I was sick the entire 9 months, I had carpal tunnel, painful varicose veins, reflux, pelvic pain and back pain. Recovery after each pregnancy was slow and I experienced post-natal depression. It took me a minimum of one year each time to lose pregnancy weight and regain my fitness. I was completely shocked at how weak I was after I gave birth to my first child. Sitting up in bed was impossible and I had to rely on my husband to help me out of bed. Once medically cleared, it was a little daunting to start exercising again. I felt like I would never get back to the fitness level I once had. I had to convince myself that I just needed time, and that it wasn’t a race. It takes 9 months to grow a baby, so I gave myself at least 9 months to reach my fitness goals and didn’t put any pressure on myself.

My kids have inspired me to get back into the fitness industry and help other women with their fitness journeys. As a women’s trainer, I understand how hard it can be to lose weight and keep it off and I understand how hard it can be to start a new exercise program whether or not you are a beginner. I hope to inspire you and help you with your fitness journey. I want all women to feel stronger and confident and have self-belief no matter where their journey is starting from.

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