Strength Training On Limited Time

For whatever reason if you’ve got limited time to get your workouts in, don’t despair, there’s still ways to get stronger and build more muscle.


Key Points

1. Limit the number of exercises

2. Every other day training with upper/lower split
3. Ensure you get soft tissue work for a couple areas as well as some dynamic stretching and activation prior to your strength work

4. Pick one main exercise, one supplemental, and one accessory.


Example:

Monday – Day 1 – Lower Body

Foam Roller: Quads/IT Bands/ T-Spine
Dynamic stretching: Quads, Hip Flexors
Activation: Glute Bridges
Squats 5×5

RDL 4×8

Weighted Plank 3×60 sec


Wednesday – Day 2 – Upper Body
Foam Roller: T-Spine/Pecs/Lats
Dynamic Stretching: Pecs/Lats
Bench Press 5×5
Chin – ups 4xmax
Barbell Curls 3×10
Friday – Day 3 – Lower Body
Foam Roller: T-Spine/Quads/IT Bands/Hams
Dynamic Stretching: Hamstrings/Squat-to-stand
Activation: Glute Bridge variations
Deadlifts 5×3
Split Squats 4×12
Hanging Leg Raises 3×15
Monday – Day 4 – Upper Body
Foam Roller: Pecs/Lats/T-Spine
Dynamic Stretching: PNF Patterns for shoulders
Activation: Wall Slides, Scapular retractions
1- DB Push Press 5×6
Seated Cable Rows 4×10
EZ-Bar Skull Crushers 3×10
Volume Considerations
Progressive volume manipulations will also keep you from plateauing.
Using squats as an example:
Starting week 1 with an 80% 1RM load (225 lbs), volume progressions might map out as follows. Weeks 5-8, 9-12, and 13-16 use the same manipulations as weeks 1-4.
Week 1: 5x5x225 Moderate volume moderate load
Week 2: 4x5x225 Reduced volume, moderate load
Week 3: 8x3x245 Increased volume, increased load
Week 4: 3x6x205Significant volume and load reduction (deload week)
Week 5: 5x5x230
Week 6: 4x5x230
Week 7: 7x3x255
Week 8: 3x6x215
Week 9: 5x5x235
Week 10: 4x5x235
Week 11: 6x2x260
Week 12: 3x6x220
Week 13: 5x5x240
Week 14: 3x5x240
Week 15: 5x2x265
Week 16: 2x6x225
Such volume manipulations allow increased for strength increases that you wouldn’t otherwise get from simple linear progression.
The same types of variations can be done with all main exercises, and some supplemental exercises such as chin-ups, and weighted pushups.
If you’re a beginner, you can probably keep the same main exercises throughout the 16 week period, intermediate and advanced lifters need to switch out the main exercises after each 4 week block.
Example substitutions include but are not limited to:
Main Upper Body
Bench Press
Board Presses
Floor Press
Military Press
Fat Bar Press
Swiss Bar Press
Weighted Pushups
Dynamic Effort work with bands/chains
Main Lower Body
Squats
Box Squats
Giant Cambered Bar Squats
Safety Squat Bar Squats
Zercher Squats
Front Squats
Deadlifts
Trap Bar Deadlifts
BTR (Beyond The Range) Deadlifts
Sumo Deadlifts
Rack Pull (Partials) Deadlifts
Dynamic effort work with bands/chains
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