T Nation

Limited Time to Train

Okay. Here’s a problem for all of you to wrap your heads around. In short: I work about 50 hours a week, go to school in the evenings and on the weekends, and try to spend a little time with my wife and our friends on the weekends as well.

I just started going back to school to finish my degree in the fall. It’s been a cramped schedule, and my workouts have suffered. In fact, I hadn’t worked out in three months until this week. I was doing a standard Westside template with a little bit of strongman stuff thrown in and seeing great results. My body composition was great, and my strength levels were going through the roof. My workouts were lasting 45min-1 hr 15 min.

The only time I really have to workout right now is on my lunch break, which means that I have 30 minutes TOPS to squeeze in a workout before showeringhauling ass back to work. What would be some suggestions for this? I want to get stronger, at least maintain my muscle mass, and drop some fat. I HATE steady state cardio with a passion. I want the iron.

So, I have some ideas on what to do, but I thought I’d see what some folks more experienced might have to say about a 3-5 day a week 30 minute strength training program.

Thanks in advance for your input.
-Fenris

I say keep doing what you were 30 mins do one max effort lift for Lower body a dl or squat for 30 mins. then upper me do one maybe two. then a day each of assistance for 30 mins fast paced lighter weight. thatd be my choice

I mean 30s fine for one Me if you go balls out dont dilly dally. And 30 mins of hard squatting etc is plenty of a w/o

Phill

Its a credit to you that you’re committed to staying in the gym at all with that crazy schedule.

I had a similar situation last summer, although only for a fortnight or so thankfully. Check out Dan John’s One Lift a Day article. Like Phill said, half an hour of squats is more of a workout than most people ever experience! If you have a few minutes left over after your one lift, maybe squeeze in some farmer’s walks or burpees or something for conditioning, or a quick set or two of isolation work.

Although I only done this for two weeks, the necessity of complete focus and short rest periods made for some good workouts.

Thanks guys!

So how about something like this:

MON- ME Bench

Only work on my Max for the bench (alternating every couple of weeks with other ME Bench exercises). If I have some time left over, do some conditioning like Farmer’s Walk or hit the heavy bag.

TUE- Squat/Deadlift Assistance Work

RDL’s, Reverse Hyper’s, Leg Press, etc.

Also do some prehab on these days.

WED- Off

THURS- Bench Assistance Work

Close-Grip Bench, Face Pulls, etc.

Also do some prehab work on these days.

FRI- ME Squat/Deadlift

Only work on Max Effort for Squat or Deadlift (alternating every week). If I have time left over, Farmer’s Walks or another exercise.

What do you guys think of that? Also, since time is limited, what accessory exercises do you folks feel give you the most “bang for your buck,” both for strength gains and hypertrophy?

Looks good to me except the farmers on the upper ME day I would personally rather use the extra time for More ME upper work like lock outs or OH pressing something of that sort or hit some hard rowing

what assistance well were are you lacking. Id for sure hit the rev hypers, things like skull; crushers if you havent got the upper back work in hit that. for lower body unilateral stuff tends to do well for me you can load pretty high for that move but its low on the spine in comparison to say a dl or squat.

Also depends on how your feeling etc any pains etc.

Looking good let us know how it goes

Phill

[quote]Fenris wrote:
Thanks guys!

So how about something like this:

MON- ME Bench

Only work on my Max for the bench (alternating every couple of weeks with other ME Bench exercises). If I have some time left over, do some conditioning like Farmer’s Walk or hit the heavy bag.

TUE- Squat/Deadlift Assistance Work

RDL’s, Reverse Hyper’s, Leg Press, etc.

Also do some prehab on these days.

WED- Off

THURS- Bench Assistance Work

Close-Grip Bench, Face Pulls, etc.

Also do some prehab work on these days.

FRI- ME Squat/Deadlift

Only work on Max Effort for Squat or Deadlift (alternating every week). If I have time left over, Farmer’s Walks or another exercise.

What do you guys think of that? Also, since time is limited, what accessory exercises do you folks feel give you the most “bang for your buck,” both for strength gains and hypertrophy?[/quote]

First of all I’m not a very advanced or experienced lifter. Just sharing the inexperienced ideas I do have.

  1. If you end up having extra time on the ME days after maxing, one idea would be to do a few sets of your ME exercise at say 75%. This way you won’t have to waste time setting up a new exercise.

I.E.:
work up to 300x1 on bench press
Then do:
225x3setsx8reps on bench press (do as many sets as you have time for on that day)

  1. Make sure you balance out the benching somewhat with rows or pullups somewhere in there.

Take a look at this:

http://inno-sport.net/Fast-Paced%20Fitness.htm
http://inno-sport.net/Fast%20Paced%20Fitness%20part%202.htm

Thanks guys! Great stuff. I really appreciate it. I’ll spend some time Sunday creating my program and let you know how it goes.

Thanks again.