T Nation

Little Time and Terrible Situation


Hey guys, need some advice real bad on my situation. Currently I am stuck working out in my high school gym. Was running wendlers 5/3/1, but can no longer do that for I only have 30 mins to workout and maybe a 10 min warmup. The equipment in my high school gym is slim to none. This doesn't really bother me. Most of my work outs are barbell movements.

I also am unable to do deadlifts which really pisses me off. This situation will only last about a month, probably going to be the longest month of my life. So this is where I need the advice. I was thinking of doing some German volume training, since it is quick and absolutely killer.

Monday was going to be some stiff-leg deadlifts. Tuesday would be bench, Wednesday would squat ,then Thursday off, finally some bent rows supinated. I would increase every lift 5 pounds a week till the month ends. I don't really see my self getting stronger off of this.

Maybe some of you guys know of better movements or a totally different routine. Maybe a better alternative to stiff-legs. I don't know. Whatever you guys can give me would be really helpful. If it is necessary here are my stats.

Age:17 (senior)
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 270ish (tends to sway from 268 to 275)
Bench: 300-this number really pisses me off I cant seem to get out of it.
Military press:170

Thanks a ton guys!!


Im curious as to why you think you couldnt run 5/3/1 with 30mins per workout? Just cut right back on the assistance work. It depends what template youre running but i see no reason why you couldnt do say a minimalistic BBB workout in that time. I.e:

Bench - 5/3/1 + Joker set or whatever
OHP - 5x10
Chin-ups - supersetted between press sets

If you cant get that done in 30mins then you need to look in to upping the density/intensity of youre workouts IMHO. What are you doing for your 10minute warm up? If youre doing mobility work during that time simply do that stuff at home when you dont have such a small time window and them you can make the most of your available 35-40mins.


30 minutes? More than enough time. You could easily do 5/3/1 for your big lift, then use the "First Set Last" protocol to do a few back off sets with the same exercise (i.e. bench then bench), an assistance lift (i.e. bench then incline), or the opposite lift (i.e. bench then overhead press). Or just do your big lift then (a) Joker Set(s).

Just as anecdotal evidence, I usually get through my warm-up and working sets of 5/3/1 in about 20 minutes (although it varies depending on which week and which lift I'm doing).

If you enjoy 5/3/1, and your primary goal is to get stronger, why not stick with it?


You cannot Deadlift but you can SLDL?


I clicked on this expecting to read about someone trying to get through a serious illness.

You'll figure it out man, at one time or another most of us have had to deal with suboptimal training situations, e.g. back in school I had to go a whole summer training in a place that wouldn't let me pull. When I couldn't sneak pulls in, I hammered GMs and heavy rows.

What you described doesn't sound that bad, especially for the short term. You have a free place to train and ample time to get your work in.


Baug and Trevs, I didn't really think about it like that. MY problem is I'm used to doing an insane amount of volume. It is the way i have trained since I started. When I ran Wendler's I usually would do 4-5 assistant movements. It gets me strong as hell in one cycle I want from 395 deadlift to 435(as if to say that is strong). It just feels werid not being able to deadlift. Should I just stick to doing SL in replacement.

Also Grizz, I have a huge gut and really tight Hammies so I cannot touch the floor on SL's, but I keep it maybe inches above the floor. Even then my back rounds a little bit. For warmup. I kinda go by feel that day. Lower body I do a lot of leg swinging to really open up hips, and I stretch out a bit. I can't really call it mobility work ,but if I don't do it before I lift I wouldn't hit parallel. Don't have a bike to bike on and my fat ass can't run bothers my left knee (I need to get surgery on it ,but it isn't that bad).

Any upperbody work I do light rotator work to get some blood in the shoulders. If I can I love band dislocations. Also, if someone could explain to me what Joker sets are that would be awesome. I haven't gotten around to getting Beyond 5/3/1, and I see it all the time but haven't had it explain. Thanks guys.


Sorry to let you down man haha. Yea it really isn't THAT bad just not as serious as I like it really. All the kids up in my weight room just want to grab some women. All I see is benching and curls. People in the way of me trying to do some squats or some shit, hence I never working out up there until resently. I really love lifting, only thing that keeps my sane.


Superset the assistance work, shorten your rest periods, drop the intensity and up the reps (less weight = less recovery time needed between sets), etc. You can still get in a very strong session with 40 minutes.

Beyond that, if you still feel you need more volume, add in some extra workouts when you have 10-15 minutes (early in the morning, at night, whenever you can fit it in). If you have some adjustable dumbbells or some resistance bands lying around your house, incorporate those into your extra workouts. If not, get a chin-up bar to stick in your doorway and just hammer out chin-up variations, push-up variations and core work.

I suggest you read Wendler's books again if you're actually freaking out about this. He has numerous templates and suggestions for people who have limited time in the gym, and above all else his mantra is pretty consistent: Make steady progress on the main lifts by getting in plenty of work with the main lifts. You have plenty of time to do that; you're going to be just fine.


In reality then the time constraint may be a blessing in disguise. Jim may well chime in himself but 5/3/1 IS ABSOLUTELY NOT ABOUT INSANE VOLUME. lots of volume and 4-5 assistance exercises kind of against the whole 5/3/1 ideology. So think about the 30min limit as a lesson in getting in and getting the important work done and then resting and coming back stronger


You may make better strength gains with out all the added assistance stuff to be honest. One of the best PL's in Canada gave me sound advice once that I won't forget. Its not always about training harder but training smarter. Simple yet works. A month will be fine for your dead off, just keep sticking to 531 with your squat and press.

Row your ass off as well, You are a big dude when you get around to cutting if thats in your future you will be beastly. Keep lifting man it will get you through everything in life. Also I would suggest circuits if your looking to change up your routine, look up dan johns complexes there fun and will get your conditioning up without having to run or bike.


You may benefit from 3 days strength one day complexes or circuits with reallllly light weight


Yea Trevs, I always hear a lot of volume isn't always a good thing. I don't know though it has been the way i have trained for 2 years so it kinda has stuck with me, and I always tell myself, I need to back off and focus on recovery more then getting in the work in the gym. Never do, so this will be a really good learning lesson for me. Jlabs thanks for the advice and encouragement. I looked up those condition and might replce my deadlift day with those. Looks fucking killer. As for cutting haha, I actually am trying to hit 300 pounds BW and throw in track. First year on the team, but I'd like to get a state record but atleast take state champion. I guess we will see what happens when I got to do some condition.


But don't get me wrong I do plan to lose some weight. Probably 240-250 something in there. Not sure yet just all feel.




Why not just do a light BBB but hit it hard

Day1 squat 531
Rdl or equivalent 5x10 Done!

Day 2 Bench 531
Press 5 sets of 10

Day 3 RDL 5 sets of 10
Some lat work

Day 4 Press 531
Press 5x10

Very quick easy and simple


Wender's book has this part where you get in, warm up, do your main lift and leave. I think 30 minutes is sufficient.


I was thinking about it and I may just do this very thing. Superset all all upper body with some side lat raises. and maybe good mornings on squat day.


Well thanks everyone for the advice. Really helped and I guess I can actually do Wendler's like I wanted to.


I meant lat work. Your lats. Those huge muscles under your arm pits lol. Lat pull down/pull ups etc


Cutting weight will make him beastly? Please, do explain.

UF is already a beast for his age. Cutting won't help in that regard, at all.