T Nation

Easier to Maintain Than Build?


Hey chaps. I’m hitting the weight quite hard at the minute and adding some mass, however the simple fact is I’ve got quite a bit more free time at the moment. However, my fear is the routine itself isn’t going to be all that sustainable when time gets scarce at work . I’ve read a few times online that it’s easier to maintain than it is to build muscle. Can any of you guys vouch from experience that this is true?

What I mean is when the time comes, would it be viable for me to condense the fairly lengthy 4-5 day split I’m on into just a few workouts per week that focus on compound movements that hit all the major players in each muscle group? Or should I simply start as I intend to go on and go with the condensed routine now, as I know that this could well be all I can afford later down the line? Because my fear is, for example there might only be so much point me dedicating 20-30 minutes at a time specifically to traps if they’re just gonna shrink later on when I can’t afford to isolate individual muscle groups as much.

I’m happy to put the hours in now, but not if I can’t even necessarily hold on to what I’m building. It makes no sense.

(p.s. don’t worry I’m not overtraining, not every workout is as strenuous as the next!)


I think you’re looking at it wrong, you can build a great physique without spending hours in the gym. I’m sure other people will be able to link you to specific articles and give better advice but just do a search for training for busy men or something.
I know there’s several 5/3/1 templates that are only two days per week too and they all seem to be very successful.


What in your life is going to be so negatively effected if you lose some muscle?

Yes, it’s easy to maintain most of your muscle on an abbreviated routine for two or three sessions per week.


I think making sure you have adequate protein/nutrition is more important than what or how much gym work you do. Of course, working out will be crucial to maintaining gains, but not as important as feeding the muscles properly.