It seems that “time” is the factor most people claim is holding them back from getting the results they want. Is this you? If so, there is good news: You don’t need a ton of time to get a load of results from your weight-training sessions.
It’s no secret that excessively long workouts can be detrimental to muscle gain as your body goes into a catabolic state after roughly one hour of working out. That said, if you’re looking to pack on lean muscle, you should maximize the time you do have in a given workout. This will both preserve your hard-earned muscle and keep your workouts under an hour so you can get on with your day.
As crazy as it may sound, you can get a productive session done in as little as 24 minutes. The key is to make the most out of each minute via the judicious use of supersets and shorter rest periods.
Before reading on, there are a couple points to consider. In order complete your workouts before the 24-minute buzzer goes off, and to maximize your results, you must observe the recommended rest periods. The rest periods are clearly listed for both the straight sets and supersets. For the supersets, understand that it is the down time between supersets, not the time between the individual exercises of the superset. The time between any two exercises within a superset is essentially zero, or rather as long as it takes you to get set up for the next exercise. For each set, select a weight that brings about failure at or near the rep range listed.
The week begins with a foundation-building session of total-body mass-builders (bench, squat and deadlift). These are to be performed straight-sets style, with 45 seconds of rest between sets. This will likely negate you going as heavy as you might with full rest (2 to 5 minutes) but the heavier, multi-joint work to start the week (while you’re fresh) will put your body muscle-building mode for the shorter workouts and recovery to come.
1. Power Day
2. Arms + Calves
5. Chest + Back
7. Active Rest
Day 7: Active Rest
Take an activity of your choosing, such as walking, hiking or yard work, and perform 20-30 minutes of easy work. This will help to facilitate recovery and provide a supplemental – if leisurely – calorie burn.
You’ve got the training plan now. It only takes 24 minutes of hammering the weights – and watching the clock -- to make some serious changes. Now, quit thinking and start doing. Print this sucker off and get to work.