T Nation

The Ultimate Schedule

You’ve spent a couple years building a base. Now you’ve structured things such that you are going to have all kinds of time on your hands.

You can go to the gym anytime, squeeze in some cardio whenever you want and basically schedule your day around your gym time. You can do all of this while avoiding most of the stress of the daily grind.

What would you do?

One a days? Two a days? Three days a week?

Starting in the new year I’m ditching the day job and am going to have a lot of flexibility and (continue to have) a 24hr gym membership. What would you do in the gym if you had this opportunity?

Honestly, I’m used to thinking about the gym as something I squeeze in around work and between weekends… I have to change that mindset. Any advice or ideas would be appreciated.

depends, what are your goals?

Well, my goal is to add on lean body mass.

Previously I’d been working in low rep ranges (compound lifts), working on increasing maxes, but I’m ready to do something else for a while.

This is a trick-thread, right? Or is the all-knowing, I make people want to punch me in the face because of my conceited-looking avatar vroom actually looking for advice? The world is coming to an end.

I try to go to the gym every chance I get, unless i’ve been 3/4 days in a row. Then I’ll take a day or two off.

But yeah, every chance, can’t miss an opportunity because you never know when you’ll suddenly be ultra busy and won’t be able to work out for a few days straight.

I’d give a lot of thought to not giving it much thought… at least for a while. I’ve been so anal about days per week, times per day etc.

I may do 5 days in a row right now without making myself nuts like I was so prone to do.

Monday might see me doing Front Sq., Cleans and OHP, sandbag carries, sled drags and kegs.

Tuesday may be hill sprints with my clients.

Wed., Dips, Chins, Zerchers, snadbag loading, keg whatevers and 100ft rope pulls with sled.

Thurs. may be a “competition” with my clients such as stairclimbs while shouldering/carrying stuff.

Fri. Maybe just sledgehammer gpp and jumprope. Or maybe NOTHING at all.

The point is, I just work hard when I work and try to forget about the details.

So far, so good.

I totally second derek’s reply. Vroom, if you don’t look better than those pics you posted a while back, do something different. And if you look better, do something different.

i would probably do workouts that invovled more than once a day cause you dont really get much of chance to do that normally

like this i would like to try


Nice link - that’s the idea!

I’m guessing I’ll settle into something like going to the gym once a day monday through friday.

What I’ll do there… I haven’t got completely figured out.

Personally I am ditching the day job for a gym job. I already got it all planed out Perfect 10 for legs starts in the new year. I’d do a little something everyday, but have maybe 4 days of actual weight training and the the rest be cardio, Interval training or work on tight muscles.

Once I knew I could plan my life around the gym instead of the other way around I started adding in fun stuff, A speed and plyometrics day, a pump day once in a while, interval training, swimming etc

Vroom, if I had that sort of time I would do the following.

CT’s Speciliazation Emphasis Rotation, split between Push, Pull, and Legs, Coupled with…

CW’s P10 for my weakest groups.

This would be a HUGE amount of volume. Given P10 last about 9 weeks and the specilization can last as long as you want, I would do 6 weeks on each pase of CT’s program and 2 sessions of P10.

Of course, that amount of volume from where you have been may be too much of a shock to your system. Another possibiltiy would be something like this:

Month 1: Specilization, Push + P10
Month 2: Power work + p10
Month 3: Specilization, Pull + P10
Month 4: Power Work + p10
Month 5: Specilization, Pull + P10

I would still have the Power months where I backed off the volume. I like CT’s work on giving your body times to ‘realize’ the gains through load intensfication and volume reduction. Good luck!

Hey vroom buddy I am doing much the same with all the crap in my life its time for something NEW. Big life changes/decisions coming and training as well.

I have decided to do and just started today something I actually never have done in my years of training, I only count about five of those.

I am going against the T-Nation grain as of late and doing a five day body part split. I got to thinking and just cant beleive I never feel for one of those flex like routines. so I built one. LOL Ive alwats done the whole body thing or upper lower. or push, pull, legs, never breaking it down this far.

Today was legs, Buy they feel like wet noodles. Tomorrow chest, then back, the arms, thensholuders. Should be interestingn at least. Today was killer.

I may start a log for the hell of it if I decide to stick witgh it for a bot. Only thing is I didnt take any measures etc. Just know my weight and RMs to start.

Anyway hell yes mix it up and glad to here you are taking the step to be FREE. LOL


Doh! So didn’t read your post properly!

I’d do a 5 day split. Treat it like a job. Just try to keep the workouts under an hr and you should be okay for overtraining. You’ve got the rest of the day to eat right?

My favourite time to hit the gym is around 2pm. I heard on the radio (reputable source I know) that this is the best time to lift and ever since then, it’s the time I try to lift if I get the option.

Have fun dude!

monday: Hamstrings and calves.
Tuesday: Chest
Wednesday: Quads and calves.
Thursday: Back
Friday: Arms (fun day)


Have you thought at all about taking up Martial arts? boxing? I loved the progression of Karate, and the constant goal setting. At my dojo, it really meant something to have your black belt, and all those guys, and gals, commented on their ability to never be sick. Also, if you pick the right dojo, it becomes a real family like place. Depending on where you live in Ontario, Douvris Martial Arts are unbelievable, and I believe they have day classes in larger areas.

Martial Arts we the first thing that came ot mind, because I think everyone wanted a black belt as a kid.

Personally, if In your situation, it would be the gym 5 days a week, with Karate 3 days, and judo the other 2 days. Throw in some lane swimming, and occasional rock climbing… and I’d be one happy camper.

Mostly, It would just be constant goal setting, as before I believe the gym was your reward or “special” time away from the office, and now that it’s more of a focus, I’d be a little worried about it becoming more like a chore and less like fun.

Anyhew, Congrats on getting out of the 9-5 grind. And I’m interested to hear how you’ll be spending your days.

Cool. Thanks for the thoughts folks. I’ve got about a month to decide.

Anyhow, whatever I do, hopefully by spring/summer I’ll be noticing results… either that or I’ll just take up basket weaving.

Hmmm, maybe not.

Interesting thread developing here, Vroom. I too am trying to find some kind of way to mix it up (albeit within the confines of a 8-6 schedule).

Here’s what I have been toying with.

My goal is to basically focus on getting a bit leaner while keeping as much LBM as possible and mixing that up with training that improves overall athletic performance. I bulked a bit over the Summer and while the newfound muscle has stuck nicely, I think being 10-12 lbs heavier than usual killed me in soccer. I just did not have my usual speed (which I need to compensate for the fact that I only picked up the game about 2 1/2 years ago. LOL)

I am thinking of somehow doing upper body 2 days a week, lower body 1 day a week and then a third day of part lower body and part Olympic lifts/strongman stuff. I would mix that in with as much… GASP!.. cardio as I deemed necessary. Endurance seems to be an overlooked fitness element here at the Nation on occasion.

Definitely keep us updated on what you decide to do. I think that’s a pretty cool premise to start from - if you had all the time you needed during the week, what would you ideally do?

I think that the perfect schedule might be one that doesn’t necessarily match up to the days in a week. Something like:
Day1. Lower body day
Day2. Upper body day
Day3. Active Rest (just to get the blood pumping to your muscles for recovery)
Day4. Repeat


Day1. Quad dominant (squats)
Day2. Upper body
Day3. Posterior chain (deads and Olys)
Day4. Upper body and core
Day5. Active rest
Day6. Repeat

The problem with those is that my lifting schedule can’t rotate through the week like that because of my work and family schedule. I can’t guarentee lifting time on any particular day, so I would end up missing days and going too long between certain excercises. I used to do something like the second one, but I’d have to skip a day or two in there, and I’d often end up squatting only once every 7 or 8 days.

But if you can get gym time on any particular day you want it, I’d look at freeing yourself from the weekly calendar, because there may be much better splits out there.

Maybe you could even experiment with different times of the day. You could lift on the morning of the first day, the night of the second day, the morning of the fourth day, etc. This would essentially give you 1.5 days, 36 hours, between each session. That might give you just enough rest to maybe hit the same muscle group similarly in two consecutive lifting sessions that are 36 hours apart, instead of just 24.

I don’t know if that would be too much or not, but maybe it could be split something like the first session could be power or max based, then 36 hours later, you do more of a hypertrophy session. Then you rotate on to another muscle group for two sessions, giving the first muscle group several days to recover from its doubleshot of stimulus. Something like this:

Day1Morn: Big, Max Squat day
Day2Eve: Hypertrophy quads day (squats for like 4 sets of 10, wall squats, single leg squats.
Day4Morn: Big Bench and Incline day
day5Eve: Shoulders, flys, tris, etc.
Day7Morn: Big Posterior day (Olys, Deads)
Day8Eve: Posterior hypertrophy (good mornings, lunges, Glute Ham Raises, etc.)
Day10Morn: Back (maybe only a day of back because deads and Olys work this well)

…and so on.

Just some thoughts. I wish I could try them myself someday.