T Nation

Training When Working Full Time


Hi CT,

I wanted to get your advice on how to train when you have a full time job and busy weekends. I have just started a new job and can only train for mon-fri and either at night or early morning. The problem is I am unsure how to train for the power look you have been describing, as I presume the traditional layer system would be too much given my restraints.

How would you train around these limitations but still pursue muscle gain in those specific areas you are fond of?

Any help greatly appreciated


I'm curious why you believe the Layers would be too much to do if you can do 5 days/week?


Same here.I own my own business,work 7 days a week a lift every day.You kinda just get used to the load and I think the layer systems(how I train) is perfect for anyone with a lot on their plate really.


I don't work full time, so I'm not going to make it sound like that's not a lot on your plate. However, you definitely aren't the only person with time constraints; I would imagine that most members here work full time jobs and many have families. I don't think your situation is a special case that requires the advice of an expert on how to structure your training


This basically. I have a family, kids, work 50-55 hours a week usually, and manage to get to the gym 4-5x a week. I think it's safe to say most people here, or at least a lot, are in a similar boat. Priorities. You gotta choose them.


All of the above. I too work a full time job, 9+ hours mon-fri, and 6 on saturday. I CHOOSE to get up at 4:30am mon-sat to train. I don't have to, and then I would get busy after work and before I know it it's 9pm and there's no time for the gym. Those doors don't just open up for you when it's most convenient and say, " Hi, everything else in life is completely under control. Now come on in and get the workout of your life without having to do very much." Sorry bud, doesn't exist. MAKE time. The gym and training do not attempt to make time for you. YOU and you alone have to do it. I have been doing the layer system for almost two months now. Kicks my ass and I love it. Somedays I'm stronger, some days I'm weaker. But more importantly, I'm THERE. While most are still sleeping, I'm there. Choose!


what is the layer system?

And hungry4more....you have a lucky wife :wink:

And I agree....training HAS to be in the morning when you are a busy person or it just doesnt seem to get done as there always seems to be more shit at the end of the day....only way it works for me is if I schedule it in then. I must admit, I have been a bit of a pussy this summer and this thread helped me realize that.


If there is a coyote, he's pretty lucky himself!!


Hellooooo nurse! :slight_smile:

Ahem...the Layer system is Thibaudeau's most recent approach to training for the power look. There should be a thread in the Bodybuilding Forum titled "Layer system" with a brief run-down of the basic approach. He has a lot of variations on days now, but the basic approach is there. I am sure it is also here, however I don't spend as much time here so I don't know where the "basic archive" is.

It is basically a one-lift-a-day program. I loved my time on it.


Yep - all about prioritising.

If you cannot fit the gym in, then stop rationalising and don't go. I was to busy for the last 18 months working 100 odd hour weeks (don't ask) on a project. Everything got dumped for that period.

Now, I work 60-70 hr weeks, g/f, friends & gym. I'm doing my version of the layer system & it's working fine. It's in/out within 60-70 mins at most (provided you don't need 5 mins break each set) Do you have a spare hour ?

@Coyote - example of layer system here; http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/reactive_pump_training/voluminouss_reactive_pump_training

Effectively 1 lift a day for 4/5 days a week - then 2 exercises next 4-5.

I like it !


Morning does ensure that you get it done. If you train at night, make sure you go directly from work. Once you get home, things tend to come up. To save time on the layer system, just do the mandatory lift of the day. Eliminate the extras and it doesn't take that long. (add some lunch break chins at a park near work if you want)


Oh man i can relate to this. Fit it all into your day somehow, even if you have to break it up. Not everybody can do this, but I bring my pullup bar to work and do pushups on a yoga mat. I work in a 6 floor building so I can do a ton of stairs for cardio or whatever. Just take whatever opportunity is at hand and use it.


hey guys
coyote throws a compliment at hungry4more, and everybody else starts chasing her.
that testosterone really is something. save it for the weights and other ladies.
that coyote may bite you!


worked about 35 hours a week+school for the last 3 years. Working 40 as a manager plus school for the next two years. I train 6-7 days a week with medium/high volume. My best advice is wake up between 5-6am every day and go to bed between 9-11pm every day. morning lifting is best lifting for a busy person as stated above.


agreed. if i dont train first in the am, it aint happening.


When I was working full time, I actually had better workouts because I knew that the only time was a specific one, so I got pumped up for that time. Now that I don't work, I am kinda ehh, I can play another hour on the PC and go after.


Build a specific time into the day to train. For some, early morning works, for me, it's afternoon. I know when I start my coaching season I have to cut back to 4 days a week, so I plan for that as well.