T Nation

Advice for Short Workouts?


Because of my job I only have an hour to spend in the gym working out, my question is, should I be focusing only on one muscle during that hour and switch every day to a diferent muscle.

Right now I have been doing two muscles in the hour but I am not seeing ANY gains in any areas. I know I'm doing something wrong but I just don't know what it is. Any help would be great.


DO you have any familiarity with this site at all?

Look around. Use the search. Read the articles.


actually I'm not familiar with this site at all. I did search for it but I guess I'm not seeing what I was looking for. But I will keep searching.


Hey Buck - You want to start in the Beginner's Forum. There are lots of pointers and threads about basic programs over there. Read the Are You A Beginner thread. I'm in my first year too. I started by buying Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. He lays out a beginner program and teaches the basic lifts. There's a DVD as well. Other people do other programs. They work too. If you are new, you should see lots of progress because there's nowhere to go but up.


Diet... (are you gaining weight, how much g of protein do you eat per lb of bodyweight?)
Routine details...

Most likely that your diet is screwed and you are not making major strength gains across the board.


I'm gaining weight and making strength gains across the board. Doing it right?


1 hour is by no stretch, short. There's been times when I had to train 30-45 mins (school & work) and it worked just fine. Giant sets, super sets and short rest periods should work great. But in 1 hour, you shouldn't be worrying too much.


I checked in the beginners forum and yes their is alot of good info in their, I have been lifting for a while now but after reading some of the beginners info it helped remind me of a few good things that I have forgotten about. thanks for the reminder to check their. As far as my diet that may be my biggest problem cause I dont eat all that well.

I go to work about 6:30 in the morning and get off work if lucky about 9 in the evening. I work out during my lunch hour, I pretty much eat what ever I can find cause I suck at packing a lunch with healthy foods and come the evening I just want to go to bed. Thank You though on your response and I will try a few new things.


since you are a beginner and nobody else has chimed in i figure id give you the program i used to put on a good amount of weight.

start with 3 working sets of 5-8 reps (after a few warmup sets).

mon - squat, bench press, shoulder press, triceps extensions or pushdowns
tues - deadlift, pullups, rows, bicep curls, crunches
wed - rest
thurs - same as mon but try and add more reps or weight
fri - same as tues but try and add more reps or weight

go home, eat, and grow. these workouts take 45-60 mins at most.


Granted you have long days at work and the last thing you want to do when you get home is take the time to cook a bunch of food, but do you have any days during the week where you have an hour or two free?

I was in your position and I found that if I woke up a little earlier on Sunday I could make most all my food for the week and then package it until it was time to feed. It took a lot of stress out of eating and then my body and bar weights took off.