As a beginner, more or less, I’ve decided to go for strength as a means to achieving several ends (aging well, looking better naked, moving furniture, whatever). I’ve spent a lot of time reading, throwing weights around, setting up a home gym, etc. I’ve learned a lot and decided to get seriously started with something like StrongLifts 5x5.
I like this program a lot primarily for its simplicity. If I could, I’d follow it exactly as Mehdi prescribes just to make it as easy on myself as possible starting out.
Unfortunately, I can’t consistently work out MWF, or any other 3 days per week, because I’m an airline pilot and my schedule is an ever-changing roller coaster. I frequently have a lot of time off and could follow the routine no problem, but other times I’m working my arse off for several weeks at a time.
A typical scenario is 4 days flying, 3 days off. I might be able to work out on the first work day before reporting at the airport. I’d go to work, rest the next 3 days while flying my trip, and probably get home too late/exhausted to work out on day 4.
So whether I work out on the first day of a trip or not, I’ll only have 3 or 4 consecutive days per week to work out when I’m really busy. With a rest day between workouts, that’s just 2 workouts per week. I can sometimes find a decent gym on the road, but I can’t count on it (or on my schedule leaving me time to use one if I do find it).
So, like it or not, I’m going to have less frequency and more recovery time than what Mehdi and most other 5x5 gurus prescribe. If I’m following StrongLifts as published and I know I’m coming up on a long, job-induced recovery period, would it make sense to increase my weights more than the 5 lbs called for by the program since there’s no threat that I’d be over-training (plenty of recovery time)?
Would this provide any compensation for not working out as often as the program prescribes when the job gets in the way? Are there any other/better adjustments I could make to suit my inconvenient schedule? Are there any other programs that might be a better fit altogether? Please help, and thanks!