T Nation

Getting Back Into It

Hey everyone,

After taking over a year off due to a shoulder injury and schedule conflicts, I’m ready to make time for the gym again. Unfortunately I only have 2 days a week that I can go (Tuesday and Thursday mornings for an hour each). Since I’m used to a 4-5 day a week routine does anyone have any pointers for a 2 day routine? I know to go for compound lifts, but that’s about it. If someone wants to throw some ideas my way, I’d appreciate it.

Included is a current weak/flabby picture…

For only two days, I’d probably go with total body routines.

You aren’t used to any routines. You are pretty much starting over after laying off for a year.

AS EasyRhino wrote, I would go for full body routines and try to find some time on Saturday for another. One exercise per boeypart, 3x8 to start just to get back into it.

Used to, as in my previous experiance… Thanks for the info.

Total body definitely. Only compound exercises, don’t lose your time with curls and such isolation exercises you have no time for that really.
Look into one of Chad Waterbury’s program. If you really can only do 2 days, use a 3 day program, remove isolation exercises and do more sets of the compounds exercises. Use supersets of antagonists/different muscles to save time. For example: vertical push and pull, horizontal pus and pull. Be sure to do leg on both days.

Post your final program for feedback.

Here is the program I am thinking about doing. Need to keep it under an 1.5 hours…

When I was lifting previously a lot of my workouts were pyramid style. This worked well since I had a lot of time. With this 2 day program I am kind of lost on what weight to utilize on each set: same weight? Mini-pyramid? Decrease weight?

Day one:
(not including warm-ups, most lifts will be 3x6-9)

-Flat Bench or dumbbell bench press
-Military Bench or seated dumbbell shoulder press
-Lateral raise
-Front raise
-Overhead dumbbell press:

Day Two:
(not including warm-ups most lifts will be 3x6-9)

-Seated Row:
-Lat Pulldown/pull ups:
-Standing barbell curl:

I’m not sure of what else I should throw into day two.

Feel free to modify/add/or pick apart the routine�¢?�¦

Couple things to change:

First, this is not a total body routine its some kind of split. Total Body means you work ALL you main muscles workout. That’s chest/shoulders(trained together on 1 exercice like bench OR M. Press) back, legs, core on every workout. So one day you do a flat bench, and the other a military press. One day some kind of heavy rowing exercice, and a pull-up variation on the other. Squat one day, deadlift the other day. See the pattern?

Second, big muscles first, little muscle last. Do your legs first thing in the workout.

Third, screw lateral raise, and front raise, military press works those muscles already, just train harder on military press. Same for OH db press. 1 curl exercises is fine but don’t forget your biceps already work on your back exercises.

As a guideline, keep the number of exercises to 5 or less each. It’s not a lot I know, but if you work HARD on those exercises you won’t need the others anyway. Don’t fall in the “but I gotta work my muscles from different angles” nonsense. Beginner don’t need a trillion different exercises to make gains, leave that to advanced trainee that need a lot more stimulation to grow.

Sets and rep:
Keep in mind tho that while other set and rep range might work too, this scheme is a good way to do it.
I’d keep the big/compound/money exercises (which should comprise pretty much all your exercises) in the 6 or less rep range. As for sets, the classic 5 sets (total) should work fine for now (5sets x 5reps) Don’t take all your sets to failure tho that’s useless, you want to be able to put MORE weight on the bar not less. Your last set tho should be a big, all-out, balls to the wall set, but still in the same rep range.

That’s all I can think of for now.

So I’ve started my routine, while I hit things HARD and feel beat when I’m done, I still feel like I need to do more movements.

Day 1
Deadlifts: 1 warmup set, 5 sets of 5
Flat bench: 1 warmup set, 5 sets of 5
Seated Cable Row: 1 warmup set, 5 sets of 5

Day 2
Squats: 1 warmup set, 5 sets of 5
Military Press: 1 warmup set, 5 sets of 5
Lat-pulldown: 1 warmup set, 5 sets of 5

If I have ANY energy left I’ll do a few quick reps of curls and triceps pulldown

For my 5 sets of 5 I use the same weight but the reps drop towards the end… right now it’s pretty much 5,5,5,4,3 when I can do 5x5 I figure it’s time to go up in weight. Is this a correct assumption?

Should I be doing more movements or will this suffice? I feel exhausted after the workout and all over sore the next day (i know partially is due to the fact that i’m just starting up again) with the possible exception being my arms.

Once again i’m going for a combination of strength and size. I just want to make sure i’m building everything balanced.