Your busy. I get it. Between being connected and expected to respond to every email that comes though, conference calls, travel, that boss waiting on those TPS Reports, and we havnt even gotten into your PERSONAL list yet…kids, bills, events the list goes on.
And you still want to get into shape.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so being able to be efficient, goal oriented and consistent are key to the busy people of today’s working world in success in their fitness goals.
Today I’m going to build out a way to approach those goals, over Lunch Break.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to achieving fat loss, muscle gain, and strength goals. You can read this faster than it takes you to heat up that Healthy Choice microwave meal. Dive in!
Components of an efficient, effective lunchtime program:
Zero in on the major goal
Cut out the fluff
Warmup as you RAMP Up
Frequent exposure to the stimulus
Active Rest Periods
Zero in on the goal
"The man who chases two habits, catches neither." - Confucius
What is your goal? Do you want to get stronger? Do you want to shed body fat? Pick a goal, and lock in on it for at least 8-12 weeks. It’s perfectly okay to have multiple smaller goals, but try to ensure that they coincide with the major goal. By doing so, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
Here’s an example of what ancillary goals look like alongside the major goal:
Major goal: Add 25lbs to Bench Press
Build up triceps
Add some muscle in upper body
Improve overall leg conditioning
Cut out all the fluff
For most people, a 90-minute workout is complete overkill. If you are a competitive athlete or simply have a lot of free time, do you, but for most of us a workout is something we need to find room for on top of the 500 other things on the list for the day.
As you build your workout, be sure to hit your big lift for all the reps you need, then hit a secondary movement, and wrap it all up with your conditioning. Efficiency on point.
Here’s an example workout with the same goal as above;
A1: Bench Press - 5x5 (75-80%)
A2: Ab Wheel - 5x6-8
B1: Close Grip Floor Press - 3x4-6
B2: Goblet Squat - 3x12-15
B3: Pull-ups - 3x6-10
Finisher: (leg Conditioning focused)
“Super Legs”: All 4 movements back to back. Rest 1 min, repeat.
20 bodyweight squats
20 step back lunges
20 split squat jumps
10 jump Squats
Warmup up as you RAMP up your compound lift
A very efficient way to warmup is to get in your corrective/activation work while building up to your working sets on your major lift for the day. This not only saves you time, but gives you real time bio-feedback as to how each set feels after each corrective/activation movement, allowing you to adjust accordingly for how you feel that day. This warmup should not take longer than 5-10 minutes.
Again, using the same goal as above, here is a warmup that might precede the workout listed above:
Foam roll T-spine, glutes, and lats - 30 sec/part
Dead bugs with full exhale between each breath - 6-8/side
Set 1: 135lbs x10 reps/Corrective + Side Lying Windmill 5xside
Set 2: 155lbs x8-10 reps/Activation + Plank w/shoulder Taps
Set 3: 165-175lbs x 6-8 reps/Corrective + Half Kneeling Thoracic Extension on Bench 5-7 reps
Set 4: 185-200lbs x5-7 reps/Activation + Straight arm Band Pulldowns- 20-25 reps
Set 5: 200-215lbs x 5-7 reps/Corrective/Stability + Side Plank (20 sec/side) or Plank with protraction/retraction (scapula pushups) 6-10 reps
Simply put, you have to consistently get more weight on the bar or get more reps with the weight currently used. You are sacrificing extra movement volume with the time crunch of your workout, so by incorporating smaller, consistent increases in weight on the bar you’re able to increase your overall weight progression.
Week 1: Bench Press - 5x5 (75%)
Week 2: Bench Press - 4x3 (80%), 2x6 (75%)
Week 3: Bench Press - 4x3 (85%), 2x8 (75%)
Week 4: Bench Press - 3x2 (80%), 3x5 (75%)
Add 5-10lbs to starting weight and repeat cycle
Frequent Exposure to Stimulus
Lifting is a skill, and the more you practice, the better you get at doing it. So if you’re looking to improve a compound lift, practice it hard and often—the poundage will only go up.
Here’s a sample week outlining frequency for the goal above:
Day 1: Bench Press - 5x5 (75%)
Day 2: Deadlift/Core work
Day 3: Bench Press - 4x1 (60%), 2x3 (80%)
Day 4: Rest/Eat/Walk
Day 5: Bench Press 1-2x AMRAP (80%)
Day 6: Total body (bodyweight or light weight complexes)
Day 7: Rest/eat/walk
Active Rest Periods
Mobility work can be a great way to cash in on rest periods. Sure, we might all hate this type of work, but it’s important in improving compound lifts. Do you have sub-par ankle mobility? Do some ankle rolls and loaded stretching in between sets. Are your hips tight? Stretch them between heavy bench sets. Give yourself time to rest while still improving.
Want to know how to customize this template? Simply take it step by step. Plug in your goal and work from there.
If your goal is gaining muscle mass, focus your main lift by adding in more time under tension (shoot for 40 sec sets), and make your split more upper body/lower body splits.
If your goal is fat loss? Shorten the rest periods in between movements, and keep the weight progressing. Perform 4-6 movement super-sets after your main lift. The point here is to keep your heart rate up for a 10-15-minute time period after your heavy work is done.
There you have it. A step-by-step approach of how to structure a lunchtime workout (45-minutes plus a shower). Remember, zero in on the goal, cut out the extra BS, and maximize those rest periods for the most benefit. Lunch break is over, get back to work!