T Nation

Lifting on a Busy Schedule


#1

I am fairly new to lifting. How should a person who works full time, has kids in afternoon activities, approach building muscle and getting leaner? Should I work one body part per day or do total body? I have a small gym at home with a barbell, Dumbbells, squat rack and two benches.


#2

[quote]Tarheelboy wrote:
I am fairly new to lifting. How should a person who works full time, has kids in afternoon activities, approach building muscle and getting leaner? Should I work one body part per day or do total body? I have a small gym at home with a barbell, Dumbbells, squat rack and two benches. [/quote]

I wake up at 0450 to squeeze in my training so that I have time for my job and family for the rest of the day.

With the equipment you have, you could run 5/3/1, which would be a great start.


#3

Set aside specific times for lifting and make it a part of your schedule. If you have an irregular schedule (I do), pick the 3-4 days a week that will work best for you to train and schedule it for then (an irregular schedule will also mean you have to choose your programming a little more carefully).


#4

First thing in the morning like Punisher said. Shapes and sets the mood for my day. Plus, I feel like I have control of my training that way. I can get up, eat something, train hard and I am more focused and centered for the rest of the day.


#5

Here’s an article by Ben Bruno that suits lifters who don’t have a lot of spare time.


#6

Good thing you got weights at home,make time. Instead of watching tv,or whatever else,use that time. I usually work out in the weekends,and one weekday. an hr tops per workout,minute rest,then go again. This coming from a father of two,cooks all my meals,never eats fast food,no time on social media(except for this reply) .I usually worked 4 bodyparts per workout,in my garage which saves a lot of time of hassling to the gyn and waiting for some douche to get off the machine while he’s on his cell phone choosing a song.If you want to do it,then you will. Good luck buddy!


#7

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Tarheelboy wrote:
I am fairly new to lifting. How should a person who works full time, has kids in afternoon activities, approach building muscle and getting leaner? Should I work one body part per day or do total body? I have a small gym at home with a barbell, Dumbbells, squat rack and two benches. [/quote]

I wake up at 0450 to squeeze in my training so that I have time for my job and family for the rest of the day.

With the equipment you have, you could run 5/3/1, which would be a great start.[/quote]

I would definitely do 5/3/1. I would recommend Full Body, Full Boring if you think you can recover.


#8

I was advised using a two day split.

day 1 -
dips, weighted - 5x5
chin ups, weighted - 5x5
squats - bodyweight on the bar, 1x AMRAP

day 2 -
squats - 5x5
dips, bodyweight - 3x AMRAP
chin ups, bodyweight - 3x AMRAP
bodyweight on the bar, 1x AMRAP


#9

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Tarheelboy wrote:
I am fairly new to lifting. How should a person who works full time, has kids in afternoon activities, approach building muscle and getting leaner? Should I work one body part per day or do total body? I have a small gym at home with a barbell, Dumbbells, squat rack and two benches. [/quote]

I wake up at 0450 to squeeze in my training so that I have time for my job and family for the rest of the day.

With the equipment you have, you could run 5/3/1, which would be a great start.[/quote]

I would definitely do 5/3/1. I would recommend Full Body, Full Boring if you think you can recover.[/quote]

Just to be different I would recommend a 5x5/ starting strength type program where you start light and add weight each session to make the most of your beginner gains as 5/3/1 is a much slower progression which I think suits an intermediate lifter better, this isn’t to say I don’t rate 5/3/1 however.


#10

[quote]tredaway wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Tarheelboy wrote:
I am fairly new to lifting. How should a person who works full time, has kids in afternoon activities, approach building muscle and getting leaner? Should I work one body part per day or do total body? I have a small gym at home with a barbell, Dumbbells, squat rack and two benches. [/quote]

I wake up at 0450 to squeeze in my training so that I have time for my job and family for the rest of the day.

With the equipment you have, you could run 5/3/1, which would be a great start.[/quote]

I would definitely do 5/3/1. I would recommend Full Body, Full Boring if you think you can recover.[/quote]

Just to be different I would recommend a 5x5/ starting strength type program where you start light and add weight each session to make the most of your beginner gains as 5/3/1 is a much slower progression which I think suits an intermediate lifter better, this isn’t to say I don’t rate 5/3/1 however.[/quote]

Why does the rate of progression make a difference to the effectiveness of the program?


#11

If you’re already somewhat experienced and able to move some devent weights - https://www.T-Nation.com/training/defrancos-training-rules-for-washed-up-meatheads


#12

I feel like I must’ve been running the craziest 5/3/1 ever, because I progressed on something every single workout, but everywhere I go I hear the progress is too slow.

I really can’t imagine going any faster than that.


#13

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I feel like I must’ve been running the craziest 5/3/1 ever, because I progressed on something every single workout, but everywhere I go I hear the progress is too slow.

I really can’t imagine going any faster than that.[/quote]

I’m almost at the point where I think twice before explaining the difference between progression and progress now. I’m starting to think Wendler should have found a different subtitle for his program.


#14

The “just add 5 pounds routines” feel like they move faster, because you’re always slapping a few more pounds on bar. Plus you are “training the lift.” When all you do for your legs is squat, all you can do is squat “more.” Its easy to equate the work with the progress.

5/3/1 “ratchets up” It looks like you only add 5 pounds once you finish your 4-6 week cycle, so it looks way slow. But in reality, the weights you lift are heavier each week. Also, you’re “building the lift.” If this approach is new to you, it can feel like you’re not getting anywhere fast. Until you understand how the rows, hamstring work, chins, lighter barbell stuff and conditioning are building your “structure” to improve your lifts, it can feel like you are not getting much from them.


#15

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
The “just add 5 pounds routines” feel like they move faster, because you’re always slapping a few more pounds on bar. Plus you are “training the lift.” When all you do for your legs is squat, all you can do is squat “more.” Its easy to equate the work with the progress.

5/3/1 “ratchets up” It looks like you only add 5 pounds once you finish your 4-6 week cycle, so it looks way slow. But in reality, the weights you lift are heavier each week. Also, you’re “building the lift.” If this approach is new to you, it can feel like you’re not getting anywhere fast. Until you understand how the rows, hamstring work, chins, lighter barbell stuff and conditioning are building your “structure” to improve your lifts, it can feel like you are not getting much from them. [/quote]

Absolutely this. The terms I’ve begun using to better understand it is that the former peaks the strength you currently have, whereas the latter builds the strength available to be peaked.


#16

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
The “just add 5 pounds routines” feel like they move faster, because you’re always slapping a few more pounds on bar. Plus you are “training the lift.” When all you do for your legs is squat, all you can do is squat “more.” Its easy to equate the work with the progress.

5/3/1 “ratchets up” It looks like you only add 5 pounds once you finish your 4-6 week cycle, so it looks way slow. But in reality, the weights you lift are heavier each week. Also, you’re “building the lift.” If this approach is new to you, it can feel like you’re not getting anywhere fast. Until you understand how the rows, hamstring work, chins, lighter barbell stuff and conditioning are building your “structure” to improve your lifts, it can feel like you are not getting much from them. [/quote]

Absolutely this. The terms I’ve begun using to better understand it is that the former peaks the strength you currently have, whereas the latter builds the strength available to be peaked.
[/quote]

Although 531 seemed to move “slowly” it’s one of the few programs I’ve ever personally ran where I kept everything I obtained. On the opposite end, when I did stuff like 3x5 it felt like missing a week was a major setback.


#17

TX-
Good point about seeing everything “by the week” or in the short term versus “by the training cycle”(month or 6 weeks or whatever).

Punisher-
I like how you mention “understanding.” I’m always trying to get my head around why lifting works.


#18

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I wake up at 0450 to squeeze in my training so that I have time for my job and family for the rest of the day.

With the equipment you have, you could run 5/3/1, which would be a great start.[/quote]

I always wonder about responses like this… Do you still get an appreciable amount of sleep? Whenever my sleep dips under 7hrs per night, I get sick, or I start injuring myself.

Not knocking the method, btw, mad respect for that discipline.


#19

[quote]Fyzjin2 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I wake up at 0450 to squeeze in my training so that I have time for my job and family for the rest of the day.

With the equipment you have, you could run 5/3/1, which would be a great start.[/quote]

I always wonder about responses like this… Do you still get an appreciable amount of sleep? Whenever my sleep dips under 7hrs per night, I get sick, or I start injuring myself.

Not knocking the method, btw, mad respect for that discipline. [/quote]

I haven’t gotten an appreciable amount of sleep in 5 years, haha. Ever since my wife brought home a new puppy that can’t spend a moment without us, among other external factors. I try to get to bed around 2030 to make the most of it, but it’s not always a guarantee, and even then, I know I’m going to get up a few times in the middle of the night. Your body adapts eventually, and energy drinks are amazing.


#20

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I haven’t gotten an appreciable amount of sleep in 5 years, haha. Ever since my wife brought home a new puppy that can’t spend a moment without us, among other external factors. I try to get to bed around 2030 to make the most of it, but it’s not always a guarantee, and even then, I know I’m going to get up a few times in the middle of the night. Your body adapts eventually, and energy drinks are amazing.
[/quote]

Ahh, I see. Hopefully that ‘adaptation’ thing will happen to me eventually – I don’t like the idea that I ‘need’ lots of sleep – wastes productive hours. Good job with sticking to that schedule, crazy stuff.