“I can’t afford a personal trainer” is a statement made by many people looking to better their bodies and lifestyles.

While there are infinite reasons as to why one would say that, the truth is, many people simply lack accountability. The lack of accountability builds nothing but a house of excuses with windows of resentment you peek through.

The thing is, when it comes to fitness and your body and what you are looking to accomplish (and I mean ANYTHING from running a 1/2 marathon, to training for a triathlon, to bodybuilding, to simply wanting to hang with the kids), you need to find solutions to common problems and keep yourself accountable.



I hope the solutions I am about to share with you are ones you can implement right away and use to start making progress and holding yourself accountable as you reach your goals. The hamster wheel of resentment is not fun. I know it’s not. You try this thing. You try another. Nothing works and if it does, it isn’t sustainable. If it isn’t sustainable, it doesn’t work. Period.

#1 – Tell your goals to someone who is encouraging of those goals.

How often do you speak your goals to someone only to have them shot down? Have you told someone you want to be somewhere and they hit you back with some condescending remark or have no faith in you?

This isn’t the person or people you should confide in when you are trying to make a transformation in your life.

Encouragement sets the tone for motivation day in and day out. Find yourself someone who is an encourager (NOT an enabler of poor choices) that will keep pressing positivity in to you even on days you don’t want to. I can promise you, for your sound mind and spirit, it will be the best (and easiest) step to take when you want to make a transformation.

#2 – Structure your training in the most efficient manner; even if it isn’t optimal.

This one is huge and where it will get pretty detailed so stick with me.

Long work days. Your kids events. Household duties. Doctors appointments. Client dinners. Meetings.

All these life events that can change the course of a day in no time.

The thing about reaching your goals and keeping yourself accountable is the fact that you have to be smart in your training. Period. So many people feel that they have to do so much to reach the end goal. You don’t.

The one commodity in life you can never get back is time. Time needs to be maximized and used efficiently otherwise you will continue to get nowhere.

While training 4 days or 5 days a week might be optimal, it might not be efficient and realistic for you if you have all these duties in life. That said, there is NO EXCUSE not to train and maximize the time YOU DO have.

Many times also, you just have to sacrifice a bit in the short term to have long-term success.

I will give you a few training splits below and how you can set them up. Start looking at your schedule and see how you can plug them in to make it happen for you 1 hour each time.

2-Day Training Split


Total Body/Total Body

This is good for those REALLY busy people. Those who can probably only train on weekends or 1 week day and 1 weekend day. This is a great way hit the bigger lifts that maximize the use of muscle and burn more calories. This is when you start off with bigger, compound exercises like squats (variations), deadlifts (variations), horizontal pulling (rows), vertical pulling (pull ups/lat pulldowns), vertical pressing (shoulder presses), and horizontal pressing (chest presses).

And yes, if you don’t feel comfortable with barbell and dumbbell variations, you can train with the leg press, chest press machines, cable rows, and other forms of machines that get you using some moderately heavy weight without putting you at risk for injury.

Don’t let anyone tell you different.

3-Day Training Split

Upper/Lower/Total Body

Total Body/Total Body/Total Body

This seems to work well for 90% of people even if you are real busy. There’s ways to spread out the training while getting enough volume and frequency.

Perhaps you can only train 1 day during the week and on weekends. You can set it up like this:

Wednesday: Total Body

Saturday: Upper

Sunday: Lower


Mon/Wed/Fri: Total Body

Most people have excuses because they don’t know their options. When you have options, you can cater it to your life. When life changes, change your schedule. There is ALWAYS a way.

Once you’ve got your schedule down, mark it in your calendar the SAME WAY you would mark down an appointment with your accountant (because you wouldn’t miss the opportunity to speak on your money) or a doctors appointment (because your health matters). Exercise IS medicine so this just might help replace the frequency of visits :-).

#3 – Use tools like My Fitness Pal to create a meal plan or track your daily caloric intake.

True life: I love food.

Well except cheese. I hate cheese.

Oh … and mayo. I HATE mayo.

But other than that, no food is off limits (barring any medical conditions or allergies. If you are unsure, perhaps get tested).

It bothers me that in the year 2015, we still are so focused on “clean eating”. While I understand the “thought” behind the term, it simply doesn’t exist and if you want a better body (both in functionality and in composition), you need to worry about your caloric intake. After you determine your caloric intake for your goals, then yes, this is when you set you macronutrient intake to ensure you are getting adequate amount of calories from the macronutrients (protein, fat, & carbs).

Protein: Set at or around current bodyweight.

Carbs & fats can be manipulated if you’d like. Some people do well by having high carb days on training days and lower (re: NOT LOW CARB…simply a little lower than training day) carbs on off days. Some, such as myself, can maintain the same intake daily and still get the results dependent on the goal.

You can track this on My Fitness Pal. What’s also great about it is this: you can create an actual meal plan using My Fitness Pal and take the guess work out of having to “track” your calories daily. This works well with people who like regimented eating (like I do) and have a strict goal to reach.

Almost all of the fat loss/muscle gain formulas are similar in the same result when it comes to setting a caloric baseline.

BW x10-12 = Where your caloric deficit is (what you need to eat to lose fat while you strength train)

BW x13-15 = Calorie maintenance (which means you shouldn’t gain or lose weight)

BW x16+ = Caloric Surplus (what you need to build muscle)

Stick to it and let the results happen.

#4 – Join A Semi-Private Gym Or Group-Training Facility

I used to work in a commercial gym. It’s where I started my training. For some people, the hour sessions can be a little tough to swing. Hey, it happens. That’s where semi-private comes in. Semi-private training allows you to work with a coach in a setting of 2-4 people at a time and get training in. Since the hour cost is split between the members, the rate ($) at which you can get in is much lower than a standard 1-on-1 session.

This will provide a personal coach experience, help you get to where you need to be so you don’t do it alone, and aid you in your training routine so you can learn how to do it on your own.

#5 – Stop Making Excuses

The easiest solution I can say and the hardest one for many to comply with. We can look for every excuse in the world:

– I work too much.

– I’m too tired after work.

– I don’t know what I’m doing.

– I don’t like to do it alone.

– I can’t afford it.

– I can’t … I can’t … I can’t


All these statements from adults is a bit disheartening. We expect those from complaining children; not hard-working adults.

Become a problem solver, not an excuse maker.

You want the best for yourself. You search the internet all day looking for “a better way”. It’s time now to simplify the process, stop overthinking, devise a plan, and execute.

The only road to success is through the land of accountability.