T Nation

If I'm Short on Time


Hi CT,

If I’m short on time and my training looks like this.

Ex. Bench press 5x3 @ 90 then 8x3 at 75%.

Can i switch 8x3 and do 8x1 and a double rest/paus set or can you suggest another style of intensity techniques to shorten the time and still get the same result? Or is that not possible?

Thx CT and have a good day!


Instead of 8 x 3 do a giant cluster of 25 reps with 75 sec… something like 1 rep every 15-20 seconds, you can extend to 30 sec of rest when you get fatigued if needed… that second part will last you around 10-12 minutes


Thx CT,

I did mean 3 set of 8 reps, and not 8 set of 3 reps. Sorry about that.

Can it still be applied with same result?

Thx again CT for everything!


No… it is completely different. I assumed that you were going for “strength-skill” work, not hypertrophy. But honestly how much time do you need to save? 3 set of 8, if you take fairly short rest intervals should take you no more than 6-8 minutes… MAXIMUM 10 … if it takes you more than that you are talking too much.

PERSONALLY 5 x 3 @ 90% would take me about 15 minutes, 20 with the warm-up and 3 x 8 at 75% would take me around 8 minutes… that’s 28 total… how much more time do you need to save???


I try to do my workouts on my lunchbreak and have 50-60 min of gym time before i need to shower and get back to work.

I try to get two big lifts in and 10-14 min of emom work at the end.


Front squat 3x3 @ 90 and 3x8 @ 75 and then i progress to 4x3 and finally 5x3 before i add weight.
Bench press 3x3@90 and 3x8 @ 75 and same as above.

Days when i have 3x3 it works but when i get to 5x3 im running out of time at the end.

Thats why i was interested in a hypertrophy intensity technique to cut down time at the sets of 8. And i feel that the 90% lifts is easier to recover from then the sets of 8 so my recovery time between sets of 8 is longer then sets of 3. Probably because i go very close to fail in sets of 8.

And im still more of a low rep guy and train most for stenght but for now i wanted to get some more muscles and therefore i wanted to get som higher rep sets in my training.

Maybe i need to cut out the emom work and just go for the big lifts, or im going to heavy on the sets of 8?

Thank you for your answers CT.


Personally when I do hypertrophy sets I don’t mind decreasing the weight if I don’t rest enough, anyway you have the heavy work in there for strength. I see the hypertrophy sets only as a way to stimulate growth via muscle fiber fatigue.

So use a weight you can get around 10 reps with, take 75 seconds of rest between sets and even if you only get 7 or 8 reps on the last set that’s fine… you achieved fiber fatigue and growth will be optimal.

A recent study showed that if you go to failure you get the same muscle growth from set with 30% and sets with 80% (if you reach failure) so it doesn’t matter if you use less weight or get less reps on the hypertrophy sets, as long as you go to failure or close to it.



Thx alot CT, you always have good feedback and i really appreciate your replies.

Have a good weekend!