T Nation

Problem, Limited Schedule


Hello Coach,
I’ve a little problem over my training schedule because of the limited time to train: I can train only from Monday to Thursday, 30 min on the morning, 30 min in the evening (I’m in a military school and we have limited time).

I’d like to adapt your “20 minute muscle builder”, doing workout A in the morning, and workout B in the evening…but how would you adapt it to working out 4 days a week (and resting out the next 3 days, as I have no access to the gym) including a specific leg exercise (legs are a weak point for me)?

Thank you very much


For example: would be ok to do every day

Military press

Bent over rows



Well it is doable. It’s not unlike the Norwegian powerlifting approach in which you do all 3 competitive lifts every day.

\BUT volume and intensity has to be carefully planned.

I wouldn’t use the 20-miunutes mass builder with this approach.

Something like:

MONDAY (moderate stress): 1 x 5 (around 75%), 2 x 3 (around 85-88%), 1 x 10 (around 60%)
TUESDAY (high stress): 3 x 5 with about 80%
WEDNESDAY (low stress): 3 x 5 with about 65%
THURSDAY (highest stress): 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 2, 1 x 1 (escalading the weight)

Understand that this type of approach (high frequency lower volume) is best suited to strength gains. It will lead to muscle gains of course but strength will be the premium.


Thank you very very much! Any chance to modify it in a more balanced strenght-hypertrophy schedule?

Thank you!


I’m going from the schedule you gave me on which you want to train all the big lifts on all of your training days. In that case, no it would not be optimal to balance it for more hypertrophy. That would require more volume which would make it hard to recover and grow optimally.

High frequency on a few basic lifts works mostly for maximum neural gains but is not an optimal strategy for hypertrophy work requiring more volume.

If you want to try to maximize hypertrophy with the schedule you have, you would have to use a lower body/upper body split (lower body day/upper body day/lower body day/upper body day)


Got it, thx! Very last question: in your 20 min muscle builder the weight have to be increased as you can reach 20 reps in the last set.
How would you do it with the schedule above, where there is no such set and all are different?

Really appreciate your help!


The thursday workout goes up to a technically solid max, it serves to select the weights for the subsequent week. On thursday the goal is to lift a little bit heavier than the week before. If you can do that you adjust the next week’s weights accordingly


Thank you coach, been very clear