T Nation

Efficient Money Exercises


Wanted to get CT and others opinions on this...

I am working full time and I am always very drained when I get home. The thought of training is daunting when it never used to be, and I just cant keep focus on a workout with too many exercises.

Been thinking about what really gives best bang for the buck and have concluded:

Trap Bar deadlift
Incline press
Power Clean
Ring movements (pullups, levers and pushups)

What do people think of investing heavily in just these exercises 3/4 times a week? Can one expect gains in size and strength if you focus intensely on just this and eat appropriately?


Can you not go in the morning before work ie 5/6/7am ??

I'd be in the same boat... work 10-15 hour days; no chance I could go to the gym afterwards.

Morning sets you up for the day - wide awake and "turned on" mentally.


I'm not CT, but if you add in SGHP and then make the ring movements accessory movements that's a good plan if you were to only train days a week. Use the Layer system and just invest a lot of work into the main movement for the day then a couple ring movements as accessory work. Shouldn't take much more then 45 minutes.


Try morning workouts for whatever exercises you decide to do.


I would love to see squats in there as they are king movement, but ontop of those other big movements + deadlifts probably not needed. Maybe one day deads one day squats? then add a barbell row on squat days for more back work?

If i were you id have two different workouts both full body and rotate the two


Here's a past post from CT on exercises you should consider:

It seems that various crowds have their own "king of lifts"...

  • The "average gym rat" puts the bench press on a pedestal
  • Powerlifters quite often puts the squat on top of the mountain
  • Strongman competitors puts the deadlift as the no.1 foundation movement
  • Strength coaches working with football players are in love with the power clean
  • Crossfit athletes have a crush on the snatch

I'll be 100% honest here... to build a monster, you can't go wrong with a bench press, deadlift, squat, clean and snatch... these are all super exercises that diserve to be on top of anyone's list (I would personally put the snatch grip high pull in there too).

But there is one lift that stands above all else when it comes to building the beast: The power clean & push press.

To put it simply this is an exercise that involved all the muscles in the body. And it requires both power and limit strength (the power clean requiring more explosiveness and the push press more strength). It also requires coordination and balance.

If someone can clean and press overhead big weigths he cannot help but be a monster.

Now, I'm not talking about a (squat) clean & jerk. While this is a great lift, it is more based on technique and explosiveness than strength (you do need leg and back squat, but not as much upper body strength).

And the power clean & push press is much simpler to learn than the clean & jerk. Investing in learning that exercise is a sure way to take your physique to new heights in your quest for the power look.


try a 2 day week template for a month or so...



appreciate the feedback!


In my opinion the fact that you are a little de-motivated and you listed these specific exercises, I'm guessing these are obviously the ones you enjoy the most. So I think that you would probalby be best sticking to these exrcises simply to boost motivatio to train and i would agree that CT's layer system would be the best method to devlop these lifts.

These lifts are also awesome exercsies - so it will still et you great gains!

You could do this:

TB Deadlift: Ramp to 3RM, back off 10% for 3x5. Assistace lit, ring Pull ups (3-5 sets)

Inc. Bench press: Ramp to 3RM, back off 10% for 3x5. Assistanc exercie, Ring push ups (3-5 sets)

Power Clean: Ramp to 3RM, back off 10% for 3x5. Assistace lit, Lever work (3-5 sets)

This is basically the set up I am using (inspried by CT's writings on here) but with slightly different exercises.

Anyway, hope this helps, as long as you are enjoying lifting you should see decent gains.