Q: Between my job, kids, and wife, I barely have time to lift. If I only have time for three 45 minute strength training workouts per week, what should they look like?
I regularly run into the same problem when I’m picking out fireworks for July 4th. I don’t want the hoosker doos, hoosker don’ts, single whistlin’ kitty chasers, or whisker biscuits. I don’t have time for those little guys. I want the DYN-O-MITE.
Said without quoting Joe Dirt, you and I both want the biggest bang for our buck.
So, you’re going to do two things:
- Focus on the big muscle groups – chest, back, legs, and shoulders.
- Focus on the big compound movements – bench, squat, deadlift, overhead press, and row.
Because you’re crunched for time, you’re going to superset the exercises with their antagonist partners. If you’re trying to build muscle, you’re going to take 2-3 minutes between supersets. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll only be taking 60 seconds between supersets so that your heart rate remains elevated.
Each workout will be a total body workout.
So your weekly plan could look something like this:
1A. Incline Press 4×8-10
1B. Bent-Over Barbell Row 4×8-10
2A. Squat 4×8-10
2B. Hip Flexor Kneeling Stretch 3 x10s holds
3A. Standing Shoulder Press 4×8-10
3B. Chin Assist 4×8-10
1A. Front Squat 4×12-15
1B. Hip Flexor Kneeling Stretch 3x10s holds
2A. Dumbbell Bench Press 4×12-15
2B. Dumbbell Row 4×12-15
3A. Seated Dumbbell Arnold Press 4×12-15
3B. Lat Pulldown 4×12-15
1A. Deadlift 4×6-8
1B. Hip Flexor Kneeling Stretch 3x10s Holds
2A. Barbell Bench Press 4×6-8
2B. T-Bar Row 4×6-8
3A. Seated Overhead Rack Press 4×6-8
3B. Chins 4×6-8
That’s it. That’s your DYN-O-MITE.
For the 98% of dads out there like us, that’s all the exercises and volume we need to look like Super Dad. Every major muscle group is stressed three times per week, and even the small muscle groups like the biceps and triceps are indirectly hit with the major lifts like the bench press and chins.
Now all you’ll need to do is watch your diet and get your cardio from playing with your kids. You’ll be grilling out shirtless before you know it. Boom goes the dynamite.
*1A and 1B are considered antagonistic supersets. Perform exercise 1A and then immediately perform exercise 1B. Rest either 2-3 minutes or 60 seconds depending on your goal and repeat for the prescribed number of sets.