T Nation

No Time to Train

I’m an accountant - a tax accontant. The very nature of my profession dictates that I will have very little time to train from now until April 16. If you’ve seen my photos - the before pic is what I looked like after last tax season. I don’t want to look like that ever again.

My question to you sage vets is a simple one - what is the most time effective way of keeping the gains I’ve made this summer/fall?

My thinking is maybe one or two body parts per workout @ 3 times a week. I’d like to be able to get in and out in 30 minutes, or so.

I realize that I won’t see much in the way of gains, but If I can just get to spring without gaining too much fat, or losing any muscle, I will consider that a victory.

Any ideas?

Just a wild idea, but one I suggested to my son during his soccer season.
Pick one exercise per day.
do some warm up sets and then 5 sets of 5 reps heavy. either 5 the same or in a pyramid or whatever.
Mix up lower and upper body exercises.
Squat, bench, GM, bent rows, GHR, etc.
The whole workout should last 15-20 minutes.
With all the work stress you probably need something physical each day anyway. It would probably be really goof for your mind as well as your body.
I think you could maintain on that routine for a few months.

caveat emptor: I’ve never personally tried this program … BUT, I know that one of the reasons so many people enjoy EDT is because they know EXACTLY how long their workout will last. you might want to look into that. Another possible solution is just being SUPER anal about your rest periods, as in, wear your wrist watch around and as soon as you put down/rack the weight, hit the start button on the countdown. As far as frequency, I’d get in as often as you can and just lift something different from last time- either different muscle groups or different strength capacities

Do Squats, Deadlifts, pullups, and bench three times a week. Should be able to do all four lifts in 30-45 minutes. You can mix it up by substituting front/hack squats for legs, good mornings and power cleans for PC, bent rows and chinups for back, and dips, decline and incline for chest.

try Waterbury method with a drop in volume so each of the three full body workouts last 30 mins (or keep the volume and drop the rest periods); or one lift a day, squat w/o 1, bench w/o 2, deadlift w/o 3. do it Dan John style and the workouts will be 30 min or less.

by all means, 30 mins 3 days a week is enough to get bigger, stronger, faster.

Check out Defrancos Training Economy routine. Good Stuff.

rainjack,

I second the EDT suggestion. In fact, I’m currently using a modified version of EDT while I’m cutting. I do three total body sessions per week and am in the gym no longer than 45 minutes (including warm-up). I use only compound movements and have really enjoyed the change of pace. If you want to know my specific program, PM me and I’ll break down my training sessions.

Zac

Rain, I think exactly what you said, three short thirty to forty five minute workouts a week focusing on the compound movements. As long as you continued to eat smart and healthy, I think that you keep you well maintained until your next get down and dirty for some gains period.

Thanks for the input.

I guess I need to clarify my situation just a little bit.

I will be working from 7:00 a.m till 10 or 11:00 p.m. 5-6 nights a week. I will have to cut 30 - 45 miutes out of my workday to train. I can ill afford to leave everything in the gym as far as physical effort goes, because I will not feel like working after I lift.

I love Waterbury’s stuff - I’m going back through TBT right now. His workouts leave me totally spent. Same for EDT - I was wasted after the workouts.

Maybe I could adjust the volume on CW’s stuff, or just go with the one exercise per workout.

Then again I could just do ‘frat curls’ while talking on my cell - I’ve never heard of those guys breaking much of a sweat.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
I’m an accountant - a tax accontant. The very nature of my profession dictates that I will have very little time to train from now until April 16. If you’ve seen my photos - the before pic is what I looked like after last tax season. I don’t want to look like that ever again.

My question to you sage vets is a simple one - what is the most time effective way of keeping the gains I’ve made this summer/fall?

My thinking is maybe one or two body parts per workout @ 3 times a week. I’d like to be able to get in and out in 30 minutes, or so.

I realize that I won’t see much in the way of gains, but If I can just get to spring without gaining too much fat, or losing any muscle, I will consider that a victory.

Any ideas?[/quote]

Back in my old college days I had a few quarters where I worked 40+ hours per week and went to school full time…talk about no time to spare…

anyways, I did a good job of staying strong on a twice a week split at about 40 minutes per workout…I also threw in some situps a few times a week while at home…

mondays I did upper body and fridays lower body…

mondays I would do some sort of pressing movement (flat bench, incline bench, dumbell bench, dips, ect…) followed by some sort of row (seated row, dumbell row, pull-ups, chin-ups, lat pulldowns, ect…)

fridays I would do some sort of squat (back squat, front squat, ect…) followed by some sort of pull (deadlift, stiff legged deadlift, sumo deadlift, ect…)

vary your set and rep ranges and excersizes often…

a healthy diet will also help considerably…

walk in the gym, put your head phones on, tune every one else out, and be efficient…

good luck!

rainjack:

I don’t know about you pal, but I can maintain pretty darned easy with consitent effort.

Here is the program that I did when I was pushed to the max at work:

Squat- Six sets play with the rep range. You know your body better than I do.

Pullups- Six sets, keep the reps away from failure.

Dips-Six sets.

Having only three movements cuts back on getting the weight ready and time between exercises.

I did the above routine only twice per week, for forty min. per session and pretty well maintained my body weight and strength levels. If you are inclined to gain weight then I suggest you go higher reps and rest less between sets. Also throw in one day of cardio.

Naturally you know you have to eat a bit differently when you are not in the Gym as much. Watch the late night snacking when you are up till the wee hours trying to save your clients money.

Many people may dissagree w/ me, but I have have great results from Pavels Power to the People workouts. I have times at work also when I know I’ll be pressed for time to train, this workout, I beleave, is good for maintainance.

I used deadlifts, pullups and dips. I perfromed and cycled just like its laid out in the book and on the website. I performed it 2x5, 5 days a week, it took about 15-20 minutes, and i actually got stronger and maintained my size. Intensity is key as well as creating as much tension as possible.

I think all the ideas above are good but i would like to add something else - it may or may not help. I know the situation you are in - i am a managing director of a large architectural firm and sometimes there seems like there is no time to train.

But train you must!!! you will have more energy for work if you keep some sort of regular - read that again - REGULAR training. Schedule it in. Regardless.

Most important of all keep your diet healthy. If you do that and nothing else you will be ok until the heavy tax season is over. sometimes I have gone two months without training but because I was disciplined about my diet I lost nothing.

Hang in there fella - i am going through a difficult time right now too!!!

One word, crossfit. Most workouts are done in 20-30 mins and will leave you feeling like you got ran over by a truck.

[quote]Knuckles14 wrote:
One word, crossfit. Most workouts are done in 20-30 mins and will leave you feeling like you got ran over by a truck. [/quote]

Knuckles:

Someone posted something about “crossfit” on here a few weeks back, so I checked them out. I would not recommend that training to anyone who wanted to maintain muscle mass. That workout is a muscle mass destroyer!

Geez guys - thanks for all the input. I didn’t expect nearly so many response.

Here’s what I’ve got penciled in starting tonight and going through 0-hour in April:

Three days a week whole body workouts consisting of three exercises per workout. To start out I’m going to do 5 sets of 3-5 reps with 80-90%1RM.

  • kind of a modifed OVT like CT did in his “Beast” series. That should keep my muscle from catabolizing. Hopefully this program won’t leave me to fried to function afterwards.

I’m banking on my diet to keep the fat from inching up. I can really plan on only one ‘real meal’ per day, that being breakfast (Half dozen eggs and some oatmeal). The rest of my energy will come from Grow! during the day and Surge PWO.

As for supplements - I really like HOT-ROX, but I have a few bottles of the old GNC ephedra stashed away. I’m thinking of using an ECA stack during tax-season, as the ephedra provides me with a really nice buzz.

Well - that’s my plan. Comments?

By the way - does anyone have the number for the corti-slim guy?

[quote]rainjack wrote:

I’m banking on my diet to keep the fat from inching up. I can really plan on only one ‘real meal’ per day, that being breakfast (Half dozen eggs and some oatmeal). The rest of my energy will come from Grow! during the day and Surge PWO.

Well - that’s my plan. Comments?

My only comment is Grow! and oatmeal is a shitty diet to subsist on for 3+ months!!! Cook up some chicken breasts on sunday to last the week - throw together a salad the night before work, etc. but don’t subsist on just these two items. Get a variety and by all means use Grow! and oatmeal to supplement.

do Shug’s Velocity Diet. That way, you’ll have the time it takes to prep your meals to work out (which will be the extra 30-45 min you needed to cut from your work day)

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=546491

[quote]gonta wrote:
rainjack wrote:
My only comment is Grow! and oatmeal is a shitty diet to subsist on for 3+ months!!! Cook up some chicken breasts on sunday to last the week - throw together a salad the night before work, etc. but don’t subsist on just these two items. Get a variety and by all means use Grow! and oatmeal to supplement.[/quote]

Oh - I agree. And I’m not saying that I won’t eat different foods. It’s just that oats, eggs, and Grow! are the only things that I know for a fact will be in my diet. Hopefully there will be steaks and chicken and…well you get the idea.

Last year I survived on convenience store fried food (a chicken wing and thigh every single day), and Dr. Pepper to get me through.

Faced with doing that again, or eating oats and Grow! - I’ll take the oats and Grow!.

Wake up at 4 am and do whatever workout you choose.