T Nation

Office Workout

Ok I hope I am doing this right. And yes this is my first post. I am mostly a lurker, reading. But I truly do need help and hope some of you can assist.

I am a worker in IT and I work alot of after hour shifts with one other person in the room. These are 12 hour shift that I work and you are just drained at the end. I always feel like working out during my shift. So I brought in a couple of dumbbells. Can any of you help me with a program that I can do at the office.

I really do need help. I am at a very unhealthy weight now, put it this way I would not be out of place on the show the biggest looser. But this is the result of 2 - 3 years of unhealthy living due in part to my job…

Sorry to all if this is in the wrong part of the forums. But I am really looking to see if some of you can help me. Thank you in advance if you can.


Look at John Davies stuff. Author search.

also CT had one for inadequte gyms like hotels and many of the exercises were body weight etc.

things like push ups, squats (various forms), lunges, lots of unilateral stuff. get creative man.

Main thing Do something jujst do stuff for 30-60 mins or even 5 mins at a time. pick one exercise and do it for 5 mins break do that again with another.

The below selection will work your entire body pretty good. You just need to find something to use as a pull-up bar or ledge (e.g. a sturdy door):

Bent Over Rows
Military Presses
Stiff-legged Deadlifts
Hammer Curls
Triceps Extension
Lateral Raises
Calf Raises
Wrestler’s Bridge
Front Plank

“I have very little time to get to the gym, so I have to sculpt my guns here at the office.”

[quote]Kratos wrote:
“I have very little time to get to the gym, so I have to sculpt my guns here at the office.”[/quote]

haha Ancorman. great movie.

I know I have alot of reading to do. See I was always old school which was a 6 day split. For example day one was chest and bi-ceps, day 2, back and tri-ceps, day 3 legs and shoulders, then repeat and then a day off at the end…

Now I am more thinking of one muscle group per day. Like I said I am pretty much a newb into this again. I used to eat like a horse as well, and when life caught up and 12 hour shifts in an office enviroment set in well I am sitting on my ass for pretty much 12 hours. Time to use the free time that I have to my advantage. and trust me I have alot of it here at the office. Put it this way if I was to work out during my free time while I am here after hours I would easily be able to work out for 10 hours.

So my next thought would be eating. I had some really good links to articles on this site on diet but seem to have lost them. If some of you guys can add some for me here that would be great.

I have worked in my current job for going on 7 years and beleive me it does not take long once you are seated to gain weight. I did do the atkins program once and I was very successful on it. But I am not sure all the red meat and fat is a way to go. I would think more lighter meats and veggies but then I am worried that I would not be getting enough protien. Anyway if someone can point me in the right direction or add some advice on what has worked for you guys your help would be much appreciated.


I get asked this question a lot. The problem is, an effective work out would leave you soaking with sweat. If you have a way of showering or changing clothes, then I would recommend working out. Otherwise, forget it.

Bodyweight exercises include burpees, bulgarian squats, reverse lunges, step ups, bodyweight squats, push ups, diamond push ups, elevated push ups, single leg calf raises off a step, front and side pillars, reverse crunches and leg raises.

Dummbell exercises include front, lateral, and rear delt raises, upright rows, military press, bent over rows, straight leg deadlifts, floor press, pullovers, curls, hammer curls, reverse curls, overhead extensions, etc. Lots of options here!

Otherwise, forget it.
That’s your advice? WTF,O?
Medium Mike, do an archive search, CT does in fact have a great program that you can use if you don’t have the ability to get to a proper gym as referenced in a previous reply. It’s important that you want to take that all important first step. Go for it

[quote]bretc wrote:
The problem is, an effective work out would leave you soaking with sweat. If you have a way of showering or changing clothes, then I would recommend working out. Otherwise, forget it. [/quote]

This is some of the worst advice I have seen on this whole site. First, you do not need to be dripping wet to have a good workout. I’ve had plenty of days at the beach lying in the sun drenched in sweat, where the hardest thing I did was flip every 30 minutes, and I did not get a good workout.

Sweat pooling on the skin is an only an indication that the sweat is not evaporating either because the temperature is too high, there is not enough airflow to cool the skin, or the humidity is too high. Given the right conditions, you can have a great workout without walking away drenched.

Why would you tell the OP to forget it if he can’t work out that hard? He said he is in pretty bad shape, and wants to do something about it. Anything is better than nothing.

To the OP, do a search for exercises you can do with DB’s and bodyweight. Try to be active everyday. Your fitness level will improve with time. Watch what you eat, you will lose weight. Then you may find that you have more energy at the end of the day, enough to get to a gym and get in a full workout.

I seem to have ruffled some feathers. I should have worded that differently. What I mean is that it would be more optimal for you to do some “difficult” exercises that really get your heart pumping and would most likely cause you to work up a sweat than to just do some light dumbbell work and not work up a sweat. In this case, it would benefit you to have a change of clothes handy.

I didn’t mean that it is necessary to work up a sweat in order to see results or that sweating equates to muscle growth. You could do a set of push ups and step ups every hour and not work up a sweat and it would benefit you greatly.

However, let me further explain myself.

Several of my female clients bring 5 pound dumbbells to their office and pump out overhead extensions, curls and lateral raises to get the blood flowing.

Although this will boost their metabolism slightly and will help them become proficient at the exercises, they aren’t forcing themselves to do more over time (progressive overload).

These same clients’ goal is to lose fat and “tone up.” I would prefer them to walk the stairwell or do burpees, lunges and push ups in addition to performing these dumbbell exercises to further assist them in achieving their goals.

You probably have a set of 20 and maybe 30 pound dumbbells. You will reach a point down the road when you need to purchase heavier dumbbells for military presses, curls, bent over rows, upright rows, straight leg deadlifts, etc, if you want your dumbbell workouts to continue to challenge you. You can always do challenging workouts with just bodyweight exercises alone.

I do realize that something is better than nothing.

Another tip: you can hold onto the dumbbells while doing push ups to allow yourself to go deeper and work the pecs more. Good luck!

I will lay out my schedule so that you guys can see what I am dealing with and why it is a bit hard for me to work out, basically why I became lazy. And again I will accept all help in order to change ths lifestyle. I am at a dangerous weight and have to lose weight. My bone structure is very dense. When I used to play hockey it used to look like I wore shoulder pads but I did not.

Now on to my schedule. It the same all the time. It is a 5 week rotation. Always starts on a saturday. all 12 hour shifts. Here goes.

Saturday - Days 6am till 6pm
Sunday - Days 6am tll 6pm

off for 4.5 days

Friday - Nights 6pm till 6am
Saturday - Nights 6pm till 6am
Sunday - Nights 6pm till 6am

Off for 48 hours

Wednesday - Days 6am till 6pm
Thursday - Days 6am till 6pm
Friday - Days 6am till 6pm

Off for 2.5 days

Monday - Nights 6pm till 6am
Tuesday - Nights 6pm till 6am
Wednesday - Nights 6pm till 6am
Thursday - Nights 6pm till 6am

Off for 2.5 days

Monday - Days 6am till 6pm
Tuesday - Days 6am till 6pm

Off for 10 days then start over at the beginning.

So the million dollar question to you guys is if you had this schedule what routine would you develop???


It is hard to advise since I don’t know what you’re capable of doing right now. Can you do a push up? If not, start doing them from your knees, then work your way up to “real” ones. Once you can do 20 from your knees, start doing the from your toes. Can you do lunges, step ups or Bulgarian squats aka single leg squats?

If not, do bodyweight squats down deep until you can get 50 in a row. Then start lunging and doing step ups. Once you can do 40 lunges, start doing Bulgarian or single leg squats.

Like I said, it all depends on your current ability levels, which sound like they are very poor based on what you indicated. You want to keep progressing each workout.

I’d try to do three or four total body workouts per week. Perhaps to start out three sets of bodyweight squats, knee push ups, dumbbell military press, dumbbell bent over rows and dumbbell curls.

Make some goals, write your workouts down and make sure you keep progressing either by adding weight or doing more reps.

In six months, once you’ve progressed, your routine might be three sets of Bulgarian squats, elevated push ups off dumbbells, burpees, dumbbell front squats, dumbbell straight leg deadlifts, dumbbell military press and dumbbell bent over rows. Or, by this time, you could split it up into upper/lower body, etc.