Multi marathon workouts,
splitting the split routines and giant sets are all very well for
professional bodybuilders, fanatics or people who don't have to earn
But many other people wish
to train with weights and expect to make progress but are naturally
apprehensive to say the least over the thought of having to endure
long schedules. And more, realistically, are seeking shorter or even
abbreviated routines which still bring results. Not everyone wishes
to become a gym bum - there is life after the gym. So for shift
workers, business people, or those who have to be more economical
with their time, and thus require short and more PRODUCTIVE
workouts. Here follows some ideas to save time and yet still bring
David Gentle & Joe
former Mr America & Mr
Photo Courtesy - David
The routines are graded from
brief to medium length workouts. Please note that SHORT does not
imply EASY. For example, the first suggestion of ONE exercise
routines can be very strenuous when applied correctly and with zeal.
Remember the prime requisite for a short exercise routine is that
the exercises practised must involve as many large muscle groups as
possible and call into play the bodies vital organs, ie., lungs and
heart with strenuous exercise. For example it would be useless to
make up a workout with small isolated exercises such as concentrated
curls, dumbell laterals, wrist exercises etc.
Suggestions for those with only FIVE MINUTES a day to
Just three sessions a week and lets face it this is
possible for EVERYONE. Hardly time to clean your teeth? We suggest
training Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Certainly if you can not find
time for health, then you will HAVE to take time off for illness.
But we appreciate there are genuine cases of people who do have a
hectic work load and heavy social schedules to meet, so leaving
little time. So for those people, we suggest working hard on just
ONE EXERCISE! So choose from ONE of the following.
SQUATS, or deep knee bends.
Note you donít even have to possess a
barbell or weights. The weight of your own body is enough to give
you a tough workout. Progress by working up repetitions. At first it
may be just ten or twenty you can make, then increase the reps
gradually up to thirty or forty - even going into the hundreds. All
good exercise, will make you call upon your lungs to gasp for
breath, pump your legs and help you add muscle ALL OVER. Progress by
also doing squat jumps, or gradually working into SINGLE LEG SQUAT,
holding onto a chair or similar support for balance.
SQUATS WITH A
Mainly to cut down the repetitions. Progress
naturally by working up to 25 reps with a light weight then
gradually add extra discs as your strength grows. Use squat racks,
and if possible, have someone standing close by as a
Other version of SQUATS i.e.
Where the bar is lifted to hip height from
behind the legs, arms straight or STRADDLE LIFTS, wherein
you, as it suggests, straddle the barbell, with hand grasping it
either side and stand upright, making sure that your legs and not
your back, does most of the work.
FRONT SQUATS .i.e.
bar held in front of chest, elbows pointing forwards. This style
ensures you keep an upright stance and is probably safer than the
older type of squat if you train alone. To make life easier,
whenever possible, take weights from squat racks.
style snatches with barbell
Either squat style or fore and
aft method with normal progression by adding poundage. Aim for
fairly high reps of 15 to 20 in all of these ONE EXERCISE
Dead Lifts with barbell
difference from the normal power lifting program, is that you only
handle medium weights and go for higher reps rather than trying low
reps and maximum weights. So aim for higher than usual reps as the
exercise must leave you breathless.
you spend TEN MINUTES a day training for just three times a week? If
you do have more time, choose one of the previous major exercises
i.e. SQUATS, do your first one set, which should leave you seeking
extra air, and then immediately follow on with one set of light
DUMBELL PULLOVERS to aid and assist chest expansion, lat and
Further ideas for other two exercise systems
1. SQUATS and BENCH PRESSES
LIFTS and BENCH PRESSES
3. Combination exercise of
BARBELL CLEANS and OVERHEAD JERKS. (Edís Note: I know
a few of them mate!)
4. SQUAT variation and BARBELL
PRESS BEHIND NECK
5. Any SQUAT variation and any
ROWING exercise, barbell or dumbells
For a program which should take less than twenty
minutes, but still bring about fabulous results, often better than
any overlong routine, try this:
1. SQUATS, BENCH PRESS
and ROWING. Try I x I5 of each. If you get more time, add
extra sets and lower reps to 10.
2. SQUATS, PRESS BEHIND
NECK and BARBELL CURLS - as above.
UPRIGHT ROWING and back to BENCH PRESSES.
basics which cover most muscle groups. Add poundage, sets and reps
when time and energy allow, but at least stick to one set of
So you get the idea? Do your prime exercise, followed by
one, two or even three important multi muscle mass moves. Only later
when you have the time or inclination, do you need to add lesser
shaping or isolated concentrated exercises.
Finally what else
can you do, when time is limited to aid health and gain more muscle?
Well many exercises can be carried out almost imperceptibly at
various odd moments during the day. You can always pay attention to
POSTURE. You can suck in your abdomen, performing isolations as the
yoga exercise. Try also isometric type exercises at your desk or
office. Rocket grip exercises can be used if you wish to strengthen
your hand power. Self resistance moves work and you can also
consider the use of chest expanders; cheap to buy and yet really
result producing. Light to carry and useful when you go off on
holiday. They must be good as most bodybuilders use them to pre pump
their muscles when entering contests.
And further ideas will follow.
You too may have some good ideas, like performing calf raises when
waiting for the bus on the curb side or even helping the wife carry
in the washing - the scope is enormous and the time spent will be
worth while. Happy training.