T Nation

Time off


I work out in the morning before work 4 times a week, We just got put onto 10hr days 6 days a week. I also have kids sports going on during the week till about 8 at night. With my new work hours I have to get up 2:50 A.M. to get to the gym and I'm only getting about 5 to 5.5hrs of sleep and I know that is not enough rest.

Should I just wait till my work load drops back down and lay off the gym. I do a pretty physical job and my ass is dragging the days I can make it into the gym. Shoud be back to 40hr week in 8 to 10 weeks.


You could just tone down the workouts, as your recovery will probably be compromised.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have the resolve to get my ass to the gym, so it depends how bad you want to achieve your goals.

8-10 weeks isn’t that long, it wouldn’t take too long to gain the strength back, or lean mass, provided you keep your diet in check.


Drop training sessions to 3 days a week and get more rest throughout the week or just make it when you can. If youre not getting the proper rest you’ll be burning the wick at both ends and do more harm than good. What about that 7th day? Use it! Its your only day off!


Take a rest. You’re not going to make any serious progress with a full load like that and only 5 hours of sleep. You can maintain at best, but at what cost? Try shortening your workouts or doing a few exercises a day at your house to save on time if you really want to stay active.


I had an exercise science teacher in college that swore to us (the guy is a genius so no need for me to question him) that simple maintenance was possible by working out once a week. Of course, you would not gain anything, but at the same time you wouldn’t lose what you have gained. I have not personally tried it, nor have I read the study that he cited, but if I were in your shoes, I would give it a try.

This study was most likely not done on a high level athlete of any sport. So, I would assume that if you went into a gym once a week and did 5 sets each of bench, squat, shoulder presses, rows, and maybe some curls and calf raises you could scrape by with minimal loss of muscle, assuming that you aren’t at the peak of your physical capabilities. Just a thought that may help you through this pressing time.


Reduce volume to a maintenance level: if you can keep your focus through a full-body session once a week (as suggested by Iron-Hoosier), go for it; when short on time, I found I did well on this split:

Day 1 : Bench/Row (accessory: arms, if you want)

Day 2 (two-three days later): Power Clean & Push Press/Front Squat (accessory: abs and calf)

Set/reps: 7-5-3 wave, (explication: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_best_reps , second and third page)

When I went back to regular training, I found myself STRONGER, even if I had lost a little mass.


Thanks for the info going to shoot for 1 to 2 times a week