T Nation

Program Problem w/ Busy Schedule


Hi everyone,

Over the last 8 weeks I've been doing een work out training program which I made with the advice of some of you here. I gained a lot and had good results. This program was based on a split 3x a week.

I've started my own business since a few weeks and right now I'm working like all the time. I'm having trouble with everything, eating, living, sleeping, and training. I know it's my own choice but I'm just really enthousiastic about my business. So since I'm in the start up fase and just getting in the market, it will take me rougly 6 months to have a steady position. So the next 6 months, I'm working overtime and sleeping less.

Yeah, you guys think I'm an idiot. And bodybuilding related, it's so true. But I want to make to best of the next 6 months. I've found some solutions for the eating (since I pretty much have no time to eat) and this is working pretty okay. But for my work out program, I really don't know what to do. The main problem is huge, and this is, that I can only work out twice a week. I know you should at least go three times, but I just don't have the time now.

Do you guys have any tips about what kind of program to do? A fullbody for sure I suppose..?



Time management will be your best friend.


I'd pair up antagonistic movements (horizontal press with a horizontal pull). The rest needed between sets is minimal and makes for an efficient workout.

That or maybe try some barbell complexes or some kind of circuit.

Good luck on your business venture.


Well, most of what I write here will probably be crowded out with vague, "hardcore" advice such as:

"Suck it up."
"If you're really serious, you'll make the time."
"I worked 80 to 100 hours per week during residency/embarking on business venture and still found the time, even on minimal sleep."

I guess it's all fine and dandy if you can work 80 hours per week while still maintaining the Spartan existence of a serious or competitive bodybuilder.

But for those that can't (which is 99% of people) because burning the candle at both ends is an exercise in futility (correct phrase?) that winds up with no good outcome, you can face the facts that you don't earn an income from bodybuilding and that you're livelihood is more important than your muscles for the time being and that because your venture warrants little sleep and causes you to eat haphazardly, you can go on a maintenance program while you work on your business.

By the way, what mature adult would think you're an idiot because you want to earn an income and realize that your income is more important than muscles (which it should be). No income --> no food, shelter, or gym membership --> no muscles.

Yes, full body routine with a few sets per muscle group, twice per week, is enough to maintain. But you must have the mindset that this is temporary and your ONLY goal in the gym is to maintain.

Maybe something like this:
Day 1:
Leg curl
Bench press
Lateral raise
Tricep extension
Calf raise

Day 2:
Deadlift or RDL
Pullup or pullover
Overhead press
Dumbbell bench press
Dumbbell row
Calf raises

Some warmups and 2 sets of 6 to 12 reps (most likely will need little to no warmups for "smaller" exercises.)


Circuits and complexes do little for maintenance because they don't allow for heavy enough loads - nothing like what real 6-8 rep maxes can do.


OP writes: "You guys think I'm an idiot. And bodybuilding related, it's so true."

Uh, no. Money's more important than bodybuilding.

And considering you're not going to be a competitive or professional bodybuilder, that's not true. And most people who put themselves in the position you have, don't aspire to be bodybuilders or they give up that thought because it's incongruent with high level bodybuilding unless their business is bodybuilding related (eg, fitness guy who sits in his underwear working from a computer all day designing diets, writing articles, counseling by phone and email, and cooking all day).