T Nation

How Abbreviated is Too Abbreviated?

Good evening due to stressful events I am forced to minimize my time in the gym.

But what’s the least you can do while progressing anyway?

I do not intend to receive answers regarding the number of days or sets.
More than anything else I mean, on which parameters to base your feedbacks on?

i.e. I’m training once every 5th day, doing a single rest pause of a variation of: bench presses, rows, overhead presses, chins, deadlifts, and a 20 rep set of breathing squat (everything else is a single set, 8-12 reps to failure, rest one minute, go to failure again with the same weight)… And I am doing some sort of rep PR each workout. BUT the volume seems so low I am not really convinced I’m putting on some mass

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Have you tried DoggCrapp (DC) training? It’s 3x per week but the workouts can typically be finished in about 30 minutes.

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If you are getting stronger/rep pr and the scale is going up then what you are doing is enough.

If you are getting stronger/rep pr but scale weight isn’t going up, it may be enough work but would increase volume slightly and add more food.

If you are not getting stronger and the scale isn’t going up then its not enough work or food.

If you are not getting stronger but the scale is going up, its not enough work but you are eating enough.

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The kind of answer i needed

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Muscle building is a slow process, this period of stressful events causing less gym time is probably of very little significance to the big picture. Keep doing what you can, aim to do something better each session and don’t worry. Then get back to a more usual schedule when things get more settled.

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Read Mentzer’s writings

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This is entirely trackable with measurements, the scale, pics, etc., but the issue you’re going to run into, training just once every 5 days, is that your timeline is spread out so far that it’s going to take that much longer to realize the progress (or lack of)… and then it’s going to take that much longer to implement changes in your plan… and then it’s going to take that much longer to see whether or not those changes made an impact.

I’m not sure if I’m violating your expectations,

by suggesting that this might be an opportune moment for “daily” work if the stressful events solely impact on your ability to spend time “away” at the gym. Would daily push-ups and pull-ups be viable?

If you are steadily hitting PRs on the big lifts then keep doing what you are doing.

If you want a bit more muscle pick one are you want to bring up and just do a band/isolation move for 5x20 with 25-30 secs rest at the end of session- ie finish with some low impact volume and a pump. Just takes 4 mins.

As a beginner amateur bodybuilder (just wanna look big and good naked, no goals to ever step on a stage), can focusing solely on getting stronger in the 6-12 range for
bench press
ohp
rows
chins
squats
deadlifts
be a good starting point? (It is what i am doing at the moment btw)

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Yep.

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I would say pull-ups rather than chin-ups. My preference, anyway.

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I would say yes. But maybe change dead lift to Romanian dead lift.
The deadlift is great but it’s use as a body building tool is limited.

That said it’s down to you. You might feel getting stronger at the deadlift helps your squat go up. Which gets you bigger. Or deadlifting builds your traps.

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