Best way to bridge over need for short / sub-optimal workouts Best way to bridge over need for short / sub-optimal workouts

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Thread: Best way to bridge over need for short / sub-optimal workouts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    68

    Default Best way to bridge over need for short / sub-optimal workouts

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    My pattern of training tends to go something like this: 6 weeks of exactly as programmed (MWF, linear progression) then 2 weeks where I have 30 min to an hour max on one or two nights (full workout takes close to 2 hours) then back to regularity for 2 weeks, two more crowded, time-deprived weeks, back to normal program, etc.

    My question is, is there a best way to bridge across several sub-optimal sessions? Does "only squats at last work weight" -- or "1 set of squats, 1 set of dl at last work weight" -- or even "linear progression with only one exercise" -- seem to make the most sense?

    I'm 55 so that probably explains why I even ask -- I assume if you are in your 20's you can ignore one or two missed sessions -- for me, I tend to get into trouble and have to de-load pretty quickly if I am not doing regular full workouts - even the "just squats and dls" is tough because I have to rest a long time between these two exercises to continue where I left off with dls...

    Thoughts welcome.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2020
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    To clarify, one or two nights only out of the two weeks, or per week?

    For me if I have two nights total, I would squat heavy and deadlift heavy spread across the 60-90 minutes you're allowing for because they move the most weight and I don't care if I have to detrain my pressing. Two nights per week would probably allow for enough pressing to maintain. I know Rip says older guys don't have to be as concerned about volume.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    I'm only 39, but I found myself severely time constrained for a while this past summer. I ended up training 4 days a week, 2 times per day. I would do one lift in the morning, and another in the evening. It wasn't ideal, but I was able to make progress.

    Monday: Squat morning, Deadlift evening
    Tuesday: Press morning, Bench evening
    Thursday: Deadlift morning, Squat evening
    Friday: Bench morning, Press evening

    It is sub-optimal and probably resulted in consuming more time in total. It did, however, fit the time slots I had available to me.

    I have the advantage of training at home and working at home. I don't have to drive to the gym (or deal with any of their bullshit) and my shower is very accessible.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Boston, MA
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    I am 54 and the training profile is similar.
    Three great weeks of consistent training followed by limited time and crazy schedule.
    It eventually gets back to a normal schedule, only to be screwed up again by life’s demands.

    To “bridge” those periods, I have found that keeping the weight heavy with less volume.
    Even if that means three sets of doubles or triples or even singles if time is that bad. Both Rip and Sully seem to agree that it is important for masters lifters (that’s you and me) should, when possible, go for intensity instead of volume if one of them has to give.

    And mentally it seems easier once your normal training schedule resumes. Don’t get me wrong, going back to full sets of fives is always a bitch, but at least it’s not a massive deload from where you left off.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2019
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  6. #6
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    Feb 2020
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    I would squat and bench one day and pull and press the other. You should be able to do that in an hour. If you have a few extra minutes at the end, chins and/or extensions. Just my opinion.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2011
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    Thanks! This makes a lot of sense -- keeping the lifts and intensity (max weight) the same as much as possible and decreasing volume to save time. So, in the worst case, maybe I am just warming up and doing one heavy set when I don't have time -- I think I should be able to fit that in (even reducing the number of reps in that one set if I am slipping and working those back up, linearly, when I have more time, rather than giving up weight on the bar - I like it.) Let's see how it goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by TommyGun View Post
    I am 54 and the training profile is similar.
    Three great weeks of consistent training followed by limited time and crazy schedule.
    It eventually gets back to a normal schedule, only to be screwed up again by life’s demands.

    To “bridge” those periods, I have found that keeping the weight heavy with less volume.
    Even if that means three sets of doubles or triples or even singles if time is that bad. Both Rip and Sully seem to agree that it is important for masters lifters (that’s you and me) should, when possible, go for intensity instead of volume if one of them has to give.

    And mentally it seems easier once your normal training schedule resumes. Don’t get me wrong, going back to full sets of fives is always a bitch, but at least it’s not a massive deload from where you left off.
    @JJ23: it varies, but generally I can get two workouts in, even on bad weeks -- but sometimes those have to be super short -- 30 minutes, or so.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    151

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    I have a similar schedule because I travel 1 week / month and have been trying to figure out a scheme that works for me. I'm 28 and female, so don't know if that changes anything. Maybe I should be focusing on volume instead of intensity? Although the whole women maxing out at 3R thing means additional sets across takes a lot of time.

    So far I've tried:
    -Squeeze a 4th workout in the week before travel, so I can treat travel week as a deload and just wander around doing some light stuff with minimal rest (Sometimes this is ok, sometimes it's too much for me, but I like that it means I don't have to travel with my shoes and belt)
    -Squat one day, Dead/Press one day
    -squat 1 day, deadlift 1 day, bodyweight upper body stuff before bed both those days

    If the gym is empty enough to snag 2 bars, I save time by pressing first, and doing my deadlift or squat warmup between pressing sets.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elle View Post
    Although the whole women maxing out at 3R thing means additional sets across takes a lot of time.
    I believe the extra 2 sets should be more than offset by reduced rest required between sets for females. I
    either imagined it or remember it being mentioned on the podcast. You can take this as either good news or bad news.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ23 View Post
    I believe the extra 2 sets should be more than offset by reduced rest required between sets for females. I
    either imagined it or remember it being mentioned on the podcast. You can take this as either good news or bad news.
    It's true that even on my heaviest sets, I only need 3 minutes rest. But that still adds up to ~20 minutes for a 5 sets, once I factor in warmups.

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