Strength Training – How To Workout When You Have Limited Time

Updated July 12, 2013

This article was written by Jonathan Byrd, author of the eBook BIG: “Rapidly increase your strength using the BIG strength training system created by top ranked powerlifter Jonathan Byrd.”

What do you mean there is no time!

Often when we get busy with life, the gym if the first thing that goes. I see it all the time with people I help train online, even with people in my own family.

I stress to them that if it is important enough to them, they will find a way. That statement is normally meet with the reply, “there just isn’t enough time in the day!” Well fellow gym goers, I disagree with you. There is time, and you can make improvements.

Tip #1 – Use The Big 3

My first suggestion to you will be to focus on the big 3 movements. If you dedicate 45 minutes three days a week to the big three, you will still make gains.

Give each movement its own dedicated day. One day squat, another bench, and finally deadlift it is really that simple. To save time cut down on all the extra auxiliary work you are doing.

I mean how much do you really think the eighteen sets of curls was really doing for your gains? I am not trying to diminish the value of auxiliary work, but in the sake of time cut it free.

Tip #2 – Stay in the Rack on Squat Day

On your squat day, you will have no need to ever leave the rack. Vary your rep ranges for whatever your goal maybe.

When in doubt I have found that four sets of six seem to be a solid medium for all disciplines. When you main work is done, you continue to squat using variations for your secondary work. Front squats, wide stance, narrow, pauses, and whatever other variations you can think of, just squat.

An additional 3 sets of any two of the previous mentioned movements and you have a recipe for making gains. You have limited your time, no need for running around to five different machines. Simple, effective, hard work.

Tip #3 – Stay Basic when Benching

On your bench day, follow the same basic template. You will never have to leave the bench! Vary your rep ranges for whatever your goals maybe.

Again four sets of six has always been a solid game plan. Follow that up with some sort of bench variations. Use some boards, bands, chains, pauses, close grips, wide grips, or whatever other favorite you might have for your secondary movement.

Once again a plain, simple template, but it will work.

Tip #4 – Stick to the Deadlift

The third day of your training week, stick to the deadlift. Do them from the floor, from boxes, various heights. You can do them verse bands or even with chains if that’s what you like.

You can do variations such as Romanians or snatch grips. Same rules apply as before, vary your rep ranges based on your goals and you will have a quick effective workout.


Final Thoughts on Limited Training

After reading this I hope that you don’t take it that there is no need to do any isolation work, or that auxiliary work has no value. That is not what I am trying to tell you. I am simply saying that you can still make gains on limited time sticking to the basic core lifts.

I am also not telling you that a full body workout wouldn’t work. Just from my experience and point of view, I would prefer to see people hit the big three on different days. I feel like they can focus on moving more weight when given its own day, therefor making more gains.

For now on, don’t use time as an excuse. You can make gains, improve your body, and feel better about yourself with even limited time.

Spend 45 minutes less time a few days a week watching TV, and lift instead. You will thank me a year from now.


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