I don’t have much time to train. Between 3 jobs, a family and other interests I can maybe get in two workouts a week. Sometimes for an hour but more often for just half an hour.
What’s the best way to go about it?
The best way to go about it is to go to bed an hour earlier, get up an hour earlier and there’s the extra hour you need every day to train.
Having said that, there are some hard and fast recommendations for everyone interested in maximizing their time.
3 Rules to Maximize Training Time
Rule #1: Use only big, compound movements. Pop quiz, what works more muscle – the Trap Bar Deadlift or tricep kickbacks? The answer is obvious, so for maximum bang for your buck, use big compounds.
Rule #2: Focus on over-loading the muscle in just 1-2 sets. It may not be optimal but then again, almost everyone will benefit from focusing their efforts on 1-2 sets. If you only did one set last week and got 300 for 10 on deadlifts, 305 or 310 for 10 will accomplish what’s necessary – trigger an adaptive response.
Rule #3: Use jump sets. By pairing a push with a pull movement and supersetting both of them, you gain the advantage of performing more work for any given unit of time. So if you’re doing dips that day for your chest, superset them with pull-ups for your back.
Perform 3 or more supersets, and make sure to pick a rest interval between them – and stick to it. Once you have your benchmark for # of reps performed with XYZ weight, the fun begins. Every subsequent workout keep the weight the same, the rest intervals the same – everything the same – just make sure to get more reps.
Very, very time efficient method of training that creates overload by again, doing more work per unit of time – but in this case gives you the mechanical work necessary some need to trigger hypertrophy.
The final method I use and actually prefer is triple drops. Say you’re doing flat bench with DB’s. The first set you use 100 lbs. DB’s and get 3 reps, then immediately pick up the 80’s and do 7, then immediately pick up the 50’s for 10. Real adventurous types will add a 4th and final set of heavy negatives, which will thoroughly exhaust the muscle of all chemical energy. It’ll also over-train you though, if you do it too often.
What have you accomplished? I’ll tell you what – you’ve lifted a heavy weight for low reps, a moderate weight for medium reps and a lighter weight for 10. Total reps = 20, which is high reps in pretty much anyone’s book. More importantly it takes you a full minute to perform all 20, for a time under tension of around a minute – the optimal TUT associated with hypertrophy.
Using these techniques, you should be able to get quite a bit of muscle building action in just 30 minutes. In fact if you’re not gaining I’d recommend training only 3 days a week and keeping those workouts to no more than 30 minutes.
For most, you’re going to be shocked at what you’re able to accomplish.
Hope that helps.