T Nation

Some Ideas for a Training Plan?


I’m a full time MBA student and a grad assistant. I work about 80+ hours a week between my GA and course load.

My long term goal is to cut down to 15% which would be roughly 50-60lbs.

I’m sitting at about 30%bf with 180 lean weight. My first goal is fat loss. My nutrition is good during the week, the weekend is a struggle though, and I’m working on that. I’m looking to create or follow a flexible workout plan that allows me to lose fat while keeping or at best building my strength that fits my busy schedule.

Time for me is difficult, the 80+ hours a week aren’t always in predictable chunks, I have to work around deadlines, projects, events, and group work.

From my knowledge, a total body workout 2-3x per week works best with a calorie restriction? I would need to mix in slow, fast, and interval cardio for the best effect, but how and where?

Thanks in advance for any input!


Not CT so take this with a grain of salt, but my guess is to focus primarily on compound lifts in the 4-6 rep range and then cardio of your choosing after. On your off days get as much walking and standing in as possible, not sure if you have the option of a standing desk in your office. Keep the carbs on the lower side except around the times you’re training (Plazma would probably be great here if you can budget it).

Hope this helps and I’m sure you’ll get some responses with better info!


Hey man thanks a lot. I was thinking of 3 sessions a week and doing a heavy, medium, and light set for each muscle group and then rotate them over the week so it looks like this:

Session 1: Leg dominant exercise 5x3-5, Chest dominant 4x8-10, Back dominant 3x12-15

Session 2 would just be an alternate of the first but the heavy, med, and light would rotate so leg dominant would be med or light and so on.

Is this a good way I hit all the angles and rep ranges without a lot of excess volume since I’ll be restricting calories?

My budget is pretty tight, Most of what I make from my GA goes to bills. I do buy healthy foods, mostly. Again the weekends are tougher for me. Protein and Creatine are what I budget currently.

I’ve been trying to keep my carbs at the 100 gram rule, any less and I feel like I sacrifice too much of my brain power which isn’t good if you’re in grad school.

I walk a decent amount, I’m an on campus student and work on the third floor, so I get usually 3-4 miles a day.

I was also thinking more intense cardio sessions with shorter times. I simply don’t have the time to add 45 minutes of cardio, especially at the end of my workouts. Better to do them on off days?

A friend recommended two of these CT articles. I’ve only skimmed them so far. I have to actually schedule some time to read them haha.

The second one is “Destroying fat”, the link won’t copy, I’m not sure why.


I think you’d be better served sticking with lower reps and more weight for each muscle group, doing high reps on low carbs seems like it would be stressful on the body and create a hormonal issue that would affect weight loss negatively. I’m no expert but I know I’ve seen something to this effect on T nation and in CT’s posts - hopefully he can chime in with some real knowledge.

Also you’re on the right idea with HIIT after lifting. You only need like 15 minutes and you’re good to go.