How to Exercise More as a Student – College Info Geek
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How to Exercise More as a Student – College Info Geek

I get inspiration from a lot of people. One
of those people is Elliott Hulse, a strongman and YouTuber who’s simple, no frills style
of teaching, and very minimalistic editing of his videos gave me the confidence that
I actually needed to start making videos without thinking that I needed insane editing and
huge budgets and all of the crazy stuff that a lot of other channels use.
If you watched the trailer over his channel Strength Camp, you’ll hear him say something
that has become the cornerstone of my own exercise philosophy. It’s, “The most important
part of the game is your game piece.” It makes sense, doesn’t it? If your life is a
game and the hardware you play with is your body and your mind, and if they’re not in
good working order, you’re not going to be able to play the game very well.
I make this point for an important reason is this, as students who are busy and who
are young, we make a couple of really fiendish excuses in our lives when it comes to exercising.
One, we say that we’re young. Our bodies are going to take care of themselves. We don’t
need to take care of them as much. It’s not as much of a priority. Two, we feel that we’re
too busy to make time for exercise, that it can come later after we put in all this grant
work to become successful. If you’ve made those excuses before or you’re
making other excuses that caused you to work out less than you want to, then I’m here to
help you squash those excuses. In this video, I want to help you do two things. One, make
more time to work out. Two, gain the motivation to do so. Let’s start with time. The first
thing I’m going to say is the same thing I said in my video on High-Density Fun.
You need to schedule time to exercise. I’m not talking about just saying, “Oh, I’m going
to work out three times this week at some point.” Use the time management skills you’re
building, and actually look at your week. Schedule actual times that you’re going to
work out, and make sure you’re in the gym or wherever you work out at those times.
Just like scheduling fun, scheduling your exercise time will necessitate that you work
more efficiently when you’re actually studying or getting homework done. If you’re finding
that becoming a more efficient person and scheduling your workouts isn’t enough and
you’re really, really busy, then do what I do. Every morning I wake up, and as part of
my morning routine, I do something called the 7-minute workout. It’s actually just seven
minutes, and I use an app on my iPhone to guide me right through, which I’ll link to
into the blog post for this video. It’s part of my little 10-minute block with
my meditation that I do for three minutes. The nice thing about the 7-minute workout
is that it’s all body weight exercises. I actually do it right here in this office.
I don’t need anything except for my body weight and a wall to do wall sits, and a chair to
do chair stand up exercise things. I’m not really sure those are called chair step ups.
Let’s move on to the topic that most people probably have more trouble with, which is
motivation. I’ve got four ways that you can increase your motivation to exercise. Get
a buddy. Externalize your motivation. Tackle the ignition costs first, and make exercise
fun. Getting a workout buddy is seemingly simple. You just find your friend who also
wants to exercise, and go to the gym with them.
One thing I want to caution you on this is you need to find somebody who is not going
to bring your own motivation levels down. If you find that the person who wants to go
to the gym with you is actually making it harder for you to get to the gym than it would
be on your gym, then go to the gym with that person unless you want to make a conscious
effort to help them get fit. If you’re trying to bolster your own motivation,
you need to find somebody who is going to provide a positive influence. One thing you
can try is actually getting a buddy who isn’t really a good friend. I found my workout buddy
when I was on the Iowa state subreddit one year. We ended up going to the gym together
for six months. Since I didn’t know him really well, I couldn’t
just walk into his room and say, “Hey, I’m not feeling it today.” I had to show up if
I didn’t want to embarrass myself. Actually, having a workout buddy is one way you can
externalize the motivation to work out. Let’s talk about a couple of others. Basically,
externalizing your motivation is going to come through commitment devices.
Committing prior to the actual workout so you have to go do it. One way I did it as
a sophomore was signing up for an ROTC physical fitness class. As a civilian, I actually worked
out with the army cadets, and did the exact same workouts they did at 6:00 AM. Yes, it
was hell, but I was really fit that semester. In later semesters, I’ve signed up for a lifting
class, which we met three days a week. While it wasn’t at 6:00 AM, it was a really good
way to stay in shape. I got an extra credit to boot. If you don’t
have access to a workout partner or classes you can sign up for, you can also use apps
as commitment devices. I’m going to talk about some of the other apps I really like at the
end of this video, but the ones I want to talk about right now are Beeminder and Gym-Pact.
Beeminder, I’ve talked about before. It’s a general commitment device app, where you
can pledge money towards a certain goal. Gym-Pact is an exercise-specific goal where
you pledge money to go to the gym on certain amount of times a week. The third on our motivation
list is dealing with ignition costs. Tell me if you feel the same way that I do. I think
that the actual act of getting ready to work out, putting on my gym clothes, taking up
my regular clothes, and walking to the gym is actually more difficult than the actual
act of lifting the weights. This is a common problem for a lot of things
we want to do. The act of preparation of getting ourselves into the task and getting ready
for it is often harder to summon the motivation for than doing the actual task. To account
for this, there are a couple of things you can do. The first thing I would do is split
it into two different tasks. Respect the ignition costs as a task of its own, and then the actual
workout as a second task. If you keep something like an accomplishment
journal or you track your task in HabitRPG, and give yourself rewards, then give yourself
a reward for finishing the ignition and then give yourself a second reward for doing the
actual workout. You can also put that secondary task, the actual workout, out of your mind
altogether, and simply commit to finishing the ignition.
I know a lot of people who say to themselves, “I’m just going to walk into the gym with
gym clothes on, and count that as a win if I can do it.” Once they’re actually in the
gym, they are already there, so their mind goes, “What the heck! I’m going to work out.”
I won’t go into it too much here, but this is an example of B.J. Fogg’s Tiny Habits Model.
If you want to learn more about it, I’ll probably do a video in the future, but I’ll also link
to some resources in the blog post for this video.
The last thing I want to mention about motivation before I talk about apps is the act of finding
ways of exercising that are actually fun. A lot of people think exercising and working
out is strictly limited to jogging in the treadmill or going to the gym and lifting
weights. If that’s not something you enjoy, you’re probably not going to do it no matter
how much motivation you try to summon, or at least you’re not going to do it as often
as you want. Regardless of the schedule you set up for
actual traditional working out, find something you enjoy, and augment your exercise schedule
with that. If you’re in college, there are probably a bazillion intramural sports leagues
you can join. You can go hiking, or you can do what I do and play lots and lots of DDR.
Before we finish this video and I�ll tell you to get off your butt and hit the gym,
let’s talk about a couple of apps that can help you keep motivated to exercise. Now,
I talk a lot about HabitRPG in this channel because I really like it for general habit
building, but I’ve actually modify it and turned into a workout tracker as well for
my own uses. If you take a look at my habits column, I
have a couple of standard habits there that I track. For the most part, I list individual
exercises, and give myself credit when I get them done in the gym. If you want to take
this concept a step further, then check out Fitocracy. I used to use fitocracy all the
time, and it’s basically the best way to turn exercise into a video game that I’ve never
seen. By tracking the sets and wraps you do, you
can get experience. You level up, and you can also get achievements and go on quests.
It’s actually pretty similar to HabitRPG, but its focused on exercise. The last one
I’ll mention is an app called Fitness Buddy, which my friend Yungtown told me about. If
you’re looking for an app that will give you specific workout routines and also show you
how to do specific exercises, it’s an amazing resource.
All right, I hope this video will help you create more time and motivation to exercise
more in college, because seriously, having your body and mind in good working order is
the foundation to being able to use all the other techniques I talked about on this channel.
If you have other tips and things that have worked for you that I didn’t mention in this
video, then feel free to share them down in the comments. I will see you next week.
Hey there, thanks for watching my video on exercising more in college. I know this video
is a bit of a departure from the specific study strategies I usually talked about in
this channel, but if you liked it and you want to get more tips on being an awesome
college student, then hit that big red subscribe button right there.
I also wrote a free 100-plus-page book on getting better grades. If you would like to
get a copy, click the picture of the book, and I’ll send you one. You can also find links
to any resources I mentioned in the video by going to the companion blog post right
there. If you missed last week’s video, there�s a clip of it playing so definitely check it
out. Lastly, if you want to suggest topics for
new videos or just connect with me, then I’m @TomFrankly on Twitter or you can leave a
comment. Thanks.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “How to Exercise More as a Student – College Info Geek

  1. I really enjoyed this and it makes so much since to make it more fun! Personally I love getting into fresh new workout clothes plus I just bought some new tennis shoes but great advice!!

  2. Hi! I'm a great fan and I love your videos.I find them very helpful. THANK YOU man !
    Can you tell me the name of the app on which there is your habit column which you showed in this video.Thank you again!

  3. just found your Channel on YouTube and you are soo amazing!! Your Videos helped me a lot.. got my first few tests coming up in a few weeks and you gave me so many great tips 😀
    Could you make a Video about how to decide if you should go to a lecture or rather stay at home because as an mechanical engineering student I have soo many lectures compared to many "easy" bachelor degree courses? That would be really great! Keep up your good work!

  4. What if I feel physically tired after exercise? I actually like going to the gym but find myself tired throughout the day , especially when i'm trying to study

  5. I love elliot hulse as well! People say he's gone crazy but he's the same as he always was. People just don't see things from his perspective

  6. good vid but i recently heard only intrinsic motivation for exercise is long-lasting. extrinsic might work now but not long-term.

  7. Thank you so much for these videos! I've been working hard to improve myself as a college student, and these videos have been giving me great ideas and direction! Subscribed!

  8. My university has a great gym and access to it comes in my school fees anyways, so I have no excuse not to use it. I work out with my boyfriend and our roommate which is kind of bad because I push myself too much with them. I want to do more sit-ups, run longer, and do better than them because I feel like as a girl I have to prove myself constantly because guys already look down on me… and I pay for it the next morning.

  9. as a university student i think this is great and I've been dying to get back to a gym once i get paid or at least get my hands on some money, for now i just exercise by dancing while watching just dance videos on youtube

  10. Hey Thomas love your videos and this inspired me so much! As well as your book! Thanks for all that you do, you are so influential and inspiring and knowledgeable. In the beginning of this video, you say you draw your inspiration from many people. You seem to have a lot of references of wise words. Can you do a video on inspirational people or books you have read? Do you do research a lot, if so how do you do your research? Can you share where you find your pearls of wisdom?

  11. I hate running, so I started playing pick-up basketball. I noticed two things: 1) it is a good supplement to my weight lifting routine (which I enjoy); and 2) it gave me the motivation to hit legs way harder than I normally do (to get faster and jump higher)

  12. I don't know if anyone else mentioned it, but I've been working out with for the past three years, and I love it. I used to go to the gym for like three more years before that, and although I enjoyed it, it took up so much time that I woyld only hit the gym 3 times a week. Now I work out 6 days a week (sunday being my rest day), doing a compilation of hiit, strength training, pilates and yoga for the stretches, AT HOME. It's less than an hour of my time, and I don't have to spare the extra time (and money) to get to a gym (also I can look like shit sweating and noone will know lol)
    If anyone is facing the time problem as I was, give it a try. It's worth it! (but you must be willing to sweat your ass off!!)

  13. I'm not sure if I developed a tiny crush on you or on the sense of productivity I get by just being suscribed to this channel. Good stuff either way.

  14. I did exercise a lot more so in my second and third years of maths/physics but I did more than 20% better in my first year where I was averaging a first unfortunately only my second and third years count and I didn't have the foresight, guidance , relevant connections to apply to intern ships not that there's any guaranty I would have got any but looking on track for a first would certainly have made it easier. You can stay in great shape I was but it is a time commitment and in the 2 year time frame at least staying in great shape seemed to have hindered my grades.

  15. i can't find for myself motivation to learn, i'm so lazy athough i know that wil be kill me now and in the future. Can you help me? Thanks

  16. thank you for being my best friend through this hard stage of education and keeping me grounded in reality. your vids are great.

  17. As Im preparing to start prereqs for nursing school, I'm putting a lot of your information to my methods. Every video I've watched I've enjoyed and taken something from it to apply to myself. Keep up the videos. Ill keep watching

  18. I so agree with you. I want to be a personal trainer. I figure, if I can't figure out how to keep exercising in spite of a busy schedule and other stressors that may arise, how can I encourage others to overcome their hurdles to living a happier, healthier life? My exercise went by the wayside when I started school in January due to lack of transportation. I just bought a bike earlier this month. Hopefully that will go a long way to keeping me on the right track as the semester begins (Monday)! I have been riding it every day to the gym. It's not only a wonderful, reliable source of transportation, but a work out itself! Loving it! I so approve of making a game of workouts. Makes it so much more fun and addicting!

  19. Glad you watch Elliott too! I thought I'd never find another person who watches him. (Of course, millions of people see his videos, but… you know…)

  20. how much effective is the "7 minute workout"?i think you are doing it for some time so any real change in your body or shape?

  21. as someone young but with health issues, I can't get shit else done if I haven't gotten my mobility exercises and a brisk walk in first thing in the morning. my motivation is simply not having stiff joints, which kills productivity. ROMWOD is great site for a quick workout routine.

  22. Thanks for the great info Thomas; really good stuff throughout your channel.

    I personally use's 'BodySpace' app to track workouts. It allows you to select from a slew of established workout programs developed by professional athletes and body builders, tracking these workouts – as well as your progress over time.

    My favorite feature is the ability to look back at 'Previous Stats' for a specific exercise while completing a workout. In the specific program I'm currently using ("Shortcut to Size"), there are 3 four-week-long "microcycles", with each week decreasing from high to low reps. So 'Week 1' I'm doing 5 sets/15 reps of squats – and it won't be until 'Week 5' that I return to that rep range. Once I get to Week 5, I can look back at my Week 1 stats while I'm completing the Week 5 exercises and assess how much I want to challenge that previous weight level (e.g. "Looks like I did 155lbs. last time, let's try 175lbs"). Pretty awesome, especially as time goes on and that improvement is statistically displayed.

    There are a variety of other features worth exploring. A decent portion of 'BodySpace' is devoted toward a social-media type of sharing. I use it purely for the tracking, but some people might also enjoy that component.

    I imagine other apps have similar functionality, but just wanted to throw 'BodySpace' out there as an option for people to check out. I've found it to be a great tool and motivator.

  23. Hi Thomas, I've been using an exercise app called "Zombies, Run!" and it's pretty great in that it makes going for a jog really fun. There's a ton of content and best of all, it's free. If you haven't heard about it, I hope you check it out!

  24. when I was like 7 years old, I remember my cousin had bought DDR max for the playstation two and I found it pretty fun. I got my own copy for the first x box with the dance pad from gamestop and damn! My mom was impressed how I started losing weight. Personally I really don't find soccer or basketball interesting in a way, I know for a fact that there are plenty of sports to look into, but I didn't really take any time to explore them. I was pretty chubby and at first I thought it was just a girls' game, but it was so fun, I would play like five times a week, it really is a good game! It has it all, cardio, jumping, I always tried to get B's on Hard Mode when the arrows would pop up so fucking fast. I wanna play now! I wonder if I had kept playing, how would I be looking right now!? Currently my college tuition covers the use of the gym, but I never get around it because I don't really have anyone to go with, but I really need to put my own effort.

  25. So you do the 7 minute workout every morning? Is it that coinciding with weightlifting three times a week? So three days out of the week you wake up and do the seven minute workout AND later that day you go lift weights?

  26. Thank you, I just ran into your videos a couple of weeks ago and i really like your videos. I wanted to see what you had to say about exercise and you mention some of the ones i already use but still gave me some new stuff . I really like the idea of exercise as a rpg.

  27. Has anyone had a minor TBI, and had trouble getting back into exercise bc it hurts your head? All I can do is walk and ride a stationary bike.

  28. Hey Thomas,

    Its nearing the end of the semester and I'm having trouble finding motivation. Any advice? May also be senioritis.



  30. I've sat in my car in front of my hot yoga studio a couple times lately bc I just didn't feel up to walking into the locker room and changing clothes… and I ended up driving off. This lack of motivation has just recently started so I really appreciated the ignition topic and rewarding self for just merely showing up!!!

  31. for me, I like the "Zombies, Run!" story line so it's about the only thing that helps me go out for walks and runs ^^

  32. I started working at a causal labor job collecting shopping carts for a grocery store. I get paid and I keep fit. Win Win.

  33. I love working out but I always find that in the last month of every semester I usually get so busy and I stop making time to work out and I end up feeling really crappy. My goal this semester is to keep up with my workouts even when school gets crazy

  34. I like working out at work – ignition costs are low when going to the gym means an excuse to take some time away from the office. 🙂

  35. All of your videos might be inspiring and beneficial for us,but in fact, i cant grasp anything from it,due to your very fast speaking. Besides,it will be more useful if in your video you give points about what you are talking about,or a little explanation,rather than showing your face along the video.

  36. Don't exercise too much. Maybe limit exercising 2 to 3 times a week. I exercised a lot at College causing fatigue and dropping my grades. Exercise just to maintain health nothing more.

  37. I haven’t been able to workout since September due to a knee injury 😓 I just now had surgery, and doing tons of PT exercises, and I’m looking back into getting into shape
    Nice vid 🤘🏼

  38. Im in the army( enlisted ) ,actually most recruit commands would entertain the idea of civilians working out during PT even if they dont want to join. All you have to do is to do is embrace the suck.

  39. Thanks for video.
    But when I exercise, I eat more and I got dizziness and sleeping throughout the day.
    Please give solution

  40. I love hiking, and I love running. My problem is that I never like exercising by myself, I like being with other people. I used to play soccer (and I miss it a lot, but there aren't adult soccer leagues in my community..) but I don't know anyone who would work out with me/ enjoy doing so regularly. I don't know what to do.

  41. Actually I feel much better after I dance yet when I do traditional work out it just really drains me. The thing is that I tend to over exercise once I start like if Im all in everyday in a week, I would do it as often as I could then I get a little sick so,… no exercise then I am back at it,…

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