Tag Archives: time saving


Six session set ups to optimise your time.
Breaking down how to set up a training day can be complex or simple, opting for the latter will save you much stress.
Here are my suggestions for you:
I’m aware these mean nothing yet, so try looking at them in terms of minutes and section of training.
Warm Up – Main – Accessory Work
You’ll find for some people a little more senior in their years will get a great benefit from the 30-20-10 option as the longer W/U & ramp can allow better mobilisation, injury prevention and a better overall feeling in the main session.
An average person can do well on 20-30-10, meaning their W/U can lead nicely into the main and a few little extras for posture etc can be thrown in at the end.
This simply helps you manage time well.
If you’re looking at different lengths of session you can use 50-75% of the numbers above, giving you 30 & 45min training sessions.
There’s nothing magical about 30,45 or 60min, it just makes life easier to manage, for people and also PT’s too as many fall about in a fuss not really knowing what to do or how to best use their time.
Thus working in a time block will potentially help stop people wasting time because if you can’t utilise what you have well then adding more time to your training by taking it out of your day from somewhere will not provide better results, it’ll just be more wasted time.
An example of a couple of training days:
Day 1 – 20-30-10
A1 – Mobility Flow – 20min
B1 – Barbell Complex – 30min
C1 – Loaded Carries & Core Work (planks) – 10min
Day 2 – 10-30-20
A1 – Loaded Carries & Climbs – 10min
B1 – Giant Sets x2 body parts – 30min
C1 – Postural Work – 10min
Day 3 – 30-10-20
A1 – Isolation/Pre-exhaust Work – 30min
B1 – CV Intervals – 10min
C1 – Stretching & Trigger-point Work – 20min
I’m sure you get the idea.
Tracking your total amount of work achieved in the time you’re working will be a great way to see if you’re legitimately progressing either via total volume accumulation of reps or increased average intensity (load, watts, etc).
You should investigate this thoroughly.

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A little time

You might that guessed I’m in quite the pensive mood of late.
Today I shall break with that trend and give you something you can use in the gym 🤗
It’s called ’25-35-45′
This is the length of time you will spend training in minutes.
You will cycle through them each session.
Because it will stop you faffing about.
You might be thinking that you can’t get anything done in 25min.
Well you can, in fact you can get quite a lot done however it relies on you pulling your finger out and being productive.
The cycling of session time will get you out of the mindset of –
“I need to train to feel tired/worked/like you did something”
Instead it will get you in the realms of –
“What can I do that is productive and not a waste of time?”
There might be some trial and error while you find the flow of it all, however once you do you will find that it’s not about the amount of time you spend in the gym, oh no.
It’s about the amount of effort, the quality of work and having a purpose that makes all the difference.
Don’t believe me?
Try to do 10 Thrusters & 5 Pull Ups without rest for 25min solid (wave loads as needed) and tell me you’ve not achieved something notable.
Here are a couple of ways you can set up the rotations.
1 – Pull/Squat, Hinge/Push, Loaded Carries/Movement
This takes 9 sessions before you start the cycle again, meaning each of the above (Pull/SQ etc) gets a 25-35-45min session.
2 – 25-35-45 & 1/2/3
25min session = 1 lift
35min session = 2 lifts (ideally in superset fashion)
45min session = 3 lifts (tri-set is good)
1 lift = pick a big movement that hits the entire body
2 lift = choose 2 solid half body movements
3 lift = 1 big lift, 1 auxiliary lift & 1 isolation/weak-point lift
Pick one or two lifts for an EMOM (ever minute on the minute), or choose as many lifts as you like and complete as many reps/rounds as possible in the given time.
4 – 200-300-400
The above are rep targets.
25min = 200reps
35min = 300 reps
45min = 400 reps
You can cycle the days as in option 1, I’d go for a simple Pull-Push-Legs so you might end up with something like this:
25min – 200 Presses (a combination of press/dip etc)
35min – 300 Squats (Squats, lunges, step ups etc)
45min – 400 Pulls (Dl, rows, chins, swings etc)
It will take 9 sessions to have each movement go through each rep/time set.
5 – Recovery, Run & Ramp
25min = Recovery work day – foam rolling, stretching etc
35min = Cardio work of your choice
45min = Lifting day where you ramp the weights/volume up
There are many options, however the 4 above should be enough to get you started.
Take some time to think about how much time you waste in the gym and for what other reason than you just feel like you should be in there for a certain amount of time.
Do less better.

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Multiple reasons you should be doing the Dumbbell Clean & Press.

This exercises was a favourite of the lifters of yesteryear.
Here is why:
– It hits a multitude of muscles
– You can torch a lot of calories in a short space of time
– Higher reps equal an added conditioning bonus
– This one move can make you very strong
– The power generation will help with sporting endeavours
– A great time saver that will leave you feeling worked
– Daily activités will become easier
The list could go on, however you get the idea.
A good place to start with this lift in terms of sets/reps and loading is as follows –
3-5 sets
5-10 reps
1/4 bodyweight (each dumbbell, so if you weight 80kg that’s 20kg per hand)
The old strength standard for this was being able to successfully press half your body weight in each hand for a solid 5 reps.
Might seem easy on paper, not so machine practice.
Be sure to add this lot to your training and you’ll soon see the benefits.

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Two Day Triumph

This post is for those who have little to no time to train. Let’s say life has gotten in the way, you’ve got a promotion at work, a new bouncing baby or just no motivation to do more than 2 days per week training. All are viable reasons to use this method I will give you today. It’s not gospel, it’s simply a guide and you can mould it to fit your specific needs.

Here are the workouts:

Day 1 –

– Squat
– Press (Overhead or Dip)
– Chin Up or Row

Day 2 –

– Deadlift (trap bar ideally)
– Press (Overhead or Dip)
– Chin Up or Row

– Hypertrophy: 50 to 100 reps per lift (half this for deadlift 25-50).
– Strength: 25-50 reps per lift (DL = 15-25).
– Endurance/Fat Loss: Timed sets of 15min per lift of AMRAP.

*Rep Goals = Goal Dependant, rep ranges for Hyp are best in the 8-12, str the 2-6 and end are just as many as possible with good form in repeated bout efforts. You can also play with tempo, rest periods and a whole host of other variables so find what works and run with it. Add weight where you can, if you can’t add weight add reps, if that’s not possible add sets, hit the rep goal however possible and remember that the key to progression is progression.

You obviously have other options but these are some example that are tried and tested. The reason you have only three move per workout is because they will hit all the major muscles, the limited moves will also force you to maximise the reps and up your effort levels. Boring but brutally effective.


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Do You Really Need That?

Morning guys,

What do you have planned for the day?

Legs, Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms or CV?

It was deadlift day this morning for me.

The reps where simple. Warm up to 80% for 1 then do 2,3,4,5 with that weight and start adding weight thereafter for a countdown of 4,3,2,1 to a heavy sub-max single, then there was some bent over rows for good measure. I you were to do this workout you could even add a few cheeky curls at the end.

The workout could look like this:

A1 – DL – 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1
B1 – Row – 10,8,6,20
C1 – Curl – 8min AMRAP


Keeping your workouts to 2-4 exercises makes you focus and put in some real effort and quality work. I’ve always found that having 9 different variations of bicep curl gets boring and tedious, this also leads to a lack of intensity.

When you take a look at your workout how many exercises do you have?

If it’s more than 4 I would start to question why. Now, there will be a lot of people who will answer and say how it helps them progress etc, but have they really made any real progress, honestly…

There will be obvious exceptions in the way of the genetically gifted and the ‘enhanced’ but for the majority of people doing too much is well, doing too much and won’t give them any extra benefit. if anything it will send them backwards and potentially leave them imbalanced because they will end up doing more of what they like or want to do as opposed to the things they don’t like but in fact NEED to be doing.

Your program should be balanced and set with at least a 1-1 ration of the following:

Get Up/Loaded Carry-CV

Provided you actually record your workouts (if you don’t I suggest buying a training log immediately) then you will be able to see how they fair in terms of balance. We shall assume that you’re a good trainee and that your program is perfectly balanced but you just have too much going on and you’re finding your workouts less and less intense while evermore time consuming.

Here are some options for you to consider based on training 2,3 or 4 days per week. If you train more, say up to 7 this style of limited movements can work quite well for strength/size/fat loss goals provided you’re programming correctly, but you do well to would work in bouts of say 10,20 up to 40 days straight (goal dependent) and then take a rest week,

I have also known people to stick with the same weights for round 9 days and have a testing day on the 10th to establish their weights for the next 9 days, more on that later.

2 Day Example:

Day 1 –
– Squat
– Press (horizontal)
– Pull (horizontal)
– Ab Roll Out

Day 2 –
– Deadlift
– Press (vertical)
– Pull (vertical)
– Ab Roll Out

3 Day Example –

Day 1 –
– Squat
– Press (horizontal)
– Pull (horizontal)

Day 2 –
– Deadlift
– Press (vertical)
– Pull (vertical)

Day 3 –
– Get Up
– Loaded Carry
– Hill Sprint

4 Day Example –

Day 1 –
– Squat
– Press (vertical to horizontal)

Day 2 –
– Get Up
– Loaded Carry
– Hill Sprint

Day 3 –
– Deadlift
– Pull (vertical to horizontal)

Day 4 –
– Get Up
– Loaded Carry
– Hill Sprint

What about Sets & Reps? This will be very objective depending on your overall goal, but these rep targets will help you know the total amount of working reps you will need.

Warm Up sets 2-6 (Ideally 2-4)

Full Body Movements – 10 Reps (deadlift, snatch, clean & press/jerk, get ups)
Half Body Movements – 15-25 Reps (Squat, Row, Press)
Isolation/Ballistic Body Movements – 50+ Reps (Swings, Lateral Raises, Face Pulls)
Carries/CV – Distance or Time – Min 100m or 2min

As for the loading that will again depend largely on your goal but here is a good baseline to follow:

Strength 85%+ of 1RM
Hypertrophy 60-80% of 1RM
Fat Loss 60-70% of 1RM

When it comes to your CV you can get nice and technical and us Karvonen Formula to establish your target heart rates and aim to stick between 65-90% of HRR (heart rate reserve) for optimal results.

However, with both of the guidelines above you could always opt for using the RPE scale of 1-10 (rate of perceived exertion). This will mean 10 RPE is max effort and 1 is doing nothing. Therefore when lifting weights an RPE of 8 will be roghly the same as 80% 1RM which means you should get 5 solid reps and maybe 6 at a push, for CV it’s almost the same, 10 is max effort and 7 is a hard but sustainable jog.

I’ve given various rep/set schemes in the past so today there will only be a few examples, if you want more just look back through older posts.

10 rep target – 10×1, 5×2, 3×3, 2×5, 5-3-2, 4-3-2-1
15-25 rep target – 5×3, 5×4, 5×5, 4×6, 3×8, 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1
50+ rep target – 5×10, 4×15, 50 reps (rest as needed)
Distance/Time – 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 3min, 5min, 8min

You can play around with what numbers you fancy as long as they fit in with your workout and hit the target numbers.

Don’t be afraid to cut out useless exercises, if you think your arms will shrink then do some supinated weighted pull ups or weighted tricep dips, there are lots of possibilities that will give you a lot of bang for you buck and keep things exciting and save time too.


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No Time? No Problem!

Morning Guys,

I want to start off by telling you that there is no such things as a wasted gym session even if you can only do 20min 3x per week. It’s still better than not doing anything.

A 20min session might seem like a waste of time because by the time you’ve warmed up the session will be over; or will it?

There plenty of ways in which you can utilise your time and get thefts bang for your buck out of just 20min. I will give you several different options depending on your goal on how you can make an effective workout with 3 exercises or less.

Fat Loss –


-Kettlebell Swing
-Farmers Walk

Workout Protocol:

-20x Swings, 40m Farmers Walk (20 away, 20 back), 8-12x Squat – Repeat for 20min increasing the weight each set as necessary.
-One Lift Per Day – Do one lift for 20min, rest as needed and let the weight dictate the reps.
-*Lift & Sprint – As the name suggests you will do an exercise (you can pick the reps/weight), then you sprint a certain distance. Repeat the until 20min is up.

Strength –


-Clean & Press

Workout Protocol:

-*5,4,3,2,1 Strength Count Down – Start with a light set of 5 to get the juices flowing, then increase the weigh up to a moderately heavy single for that day. If you feel strong go for a couple more singles.
-*3×6 – You’re aiming to work up to a HEAVY set of 6. Literally, you want to only just hit 6 on your last set.
-One Lift Pre Day – Pick a lift and let the weight dictate the reps (2-3 are great for strength).



-Pull Up

Workout Protocol:

-3×8 – Do all 3 exercises use the first two sets as progressive warm up sets, your last set of 8 should be an all out set of 8.
-*100 Reps – You do the reps in however many sets you need, let the weight dictate your reps. You will want to feel a nice pump doing this workout.
-*10,8,6 +20 – Work up to an all out set of 6reps, then drop the weight back to your original 10 rep weight and smash out 20 reps.

*Depending only our level of training you can use one, two or all three exercises, but be warned… It’s not easy.

So there you have it, 9 different workout options across 3 varied goals and each one will only take 20min!

It’s also worth remembering that you don’t just have to do the movements I’ve suggested, you can also mix the protocols together if you wish. I.E, Strength one day, Fat Loss the next and then Hypertrophy, or 2x hypertrophy and 1x strength. The options are almost endless.

If you plan on making your own 20min workouts there are a couple of KEY things to remember:

Use the exercises that give you the best Bang For Your Buck (compound movements are good).
Keep the Protocols Simple.

Now even if you only have 20min you have no excuse not to have a decent workout that will provide you with the results you want.

Bonus Workout:

No Gym? No Problem!


*Press Up
*Pull Up
*Single Leg Squat

*You can use easier or more difficult variations, such as Handstand Press Up etc.

Workout Protocol:

-1-10 Ladder – Start at one rep for each exercise and aim to hit 10 before 20min is up, but if you fail a rep then all the exercises start again at 1.
-One Exercise Per Day – Pick one bodyweight movement and do any many quality reps as possible.



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