Lifting With a Busy Schedule?

Alright T-Nation, let’s see if you can help me with my friend’s problem.

Basically, my lifting partner and I used to train about 4 times a week since I decided to enter a competition early December. Unfortunately, we both have busy schedules that I am lucky to work around, but he has a deadline due in November and is stuck putting in around 100 hours a week. Needless to say, he’s not lifting with me anymore, but he’s still eager to train.

He’s available for a few hours on Friday and 1/2 a day each on Saturday and Sunday. What do you think he should do?

He still wants to improve his powerlifting total and was making great gains up 'til he started working on the crazy project.

I was thinking of a 2 hour session on Saturday to completely destroy every part of the body and then on Friday and Sunday do moderate lifting. What do you think? He literally does not have any time the other 4 days (coming home at 1 and leaving by 7).

I would suggest training each lift on one of the three days – such as squat friday, bench saturday and dl on sunday. It is not ideal, but it would cover all the basis…Just have to watch over training of the lower back, having squats and deads so close.


Have 2 “main” workouts a week.

1 day for the Sq and Dl. 1 week go heavy in the sq and speed/moderate dl(or gms in place of pulling). The next week is de/rep squats and heavy pulling(or heavy assistance work for the dl). After the 2 main lifts, train the shit out of your upper back, abs, and hams.

Your other main workout is a bench day. Go heavy and then hit a bunch of assistance work.

On the third day(and any other chance he gets) do lots of assistance work. This means do a lot of volume work to strengthen weak muscles and get bigger, but don’t do too much to fuck with your 2 main workouts.

He can do fine with 2 heavy workouts a week, especially if he’s relatively new to things or not the strongest to begin with. He should get stronger doing this if he knows what he needs to do with his training.

ME/DE upper - Friday
DE/ME lower - Saturday
RE whole body assistance - Sunday

makes sense?

Sorry about the late response. WE’ve decided to go with 2 heavy workouts and 1 “dynamic” full body (basically, a hybrid of what you guys suggested). So today was a heavy upper body. Looked like this:
Bench Press: max of 3
Close Grip BP: 4x5
T-bar rows: 5x5
Incline BP: 3x8
Push Press: 3x8 (didn’t do this…fried him)

Now, recovery-wise, do you think with him putting in about 5 hours of sleep a day most of the week would break him down following this routine? I don’t want the guy to get injured, discouraged, and quit; especially since he’s been making great gains prior to this project. He was pretty discouraged today after training.