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  1. #1
    Registered User Flipperman2a2w's Avatar
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    How would you lift with only 30 minutes a day?

    I've been lifting for about 25 years now. I did a couple of natural bodybuilding competitions several years ago and got my pro card. My wife and I decided to start a family at the ripe old age of 40

    I'm now a stay-at-home dad, which is a tremendous blessing and challenge. My wife and I each have 30 minutes to exercise in the morning, before she leaves for work. We already get up at 4AM after a hit/miss night of sleeping with our 6 month old, so rising earlier isn't an option. I have a basic (but decent) home gym in my garage with free weights, power rack, pulldown station.

    I usually do legs on the weekend when I have a little more time.

    Question: How would you optimally spend 30 minutes in the gym Monday-Friday? By the time I feel like I'm starting to get warmed-up, it's time to go shower and take the baby... What's the best use of my time? I'm looking to at least maintain until I have more time and it's safe to start hitting the local gym again.
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    Registered User x-trainer ben's Avatar
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    I would either do 1 body part per session or a mix of cardio daily( if you have the mass you like ) and weaker body parts that need to be brought up.
    I too learned how to do fast workouts and you can cram a lot in if you take short rests between sets.

    Monday, back
    Tuesday elliptical
    Wed calves
    Thursday bike
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    Registered User adamgentile's Avatar
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    Superset everything. My split is Chest/back, Shoulders/arms and legs. I would stick with only compound pound movements for the larger muscles. Your home gym sounds exactly like mine. For example on Chest/back day. I start with chin-ups, then straight to Incline Bench, then barbell rows, then some dips or pullovers, then some variation of pulldowns. 3 sets for everything.
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    Originally Posted by Flipperman2a2w View Post
    By the time I feel like I'm starting to get warmed-up, it's time to go shower and take the baby..
    Can you warm up as part of your daily routine? At one gym I had to walk uphill to get there, I found that if I just walked faster I was breaking a sweat before I walked in and didn't really need a warmup.
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    Can't you just work out however you want at some point during the day with the little one in a playpen, stroller, etc. within view?
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    Quick and intense!
    A brief warm up of some kind maybe 5 minutes.
    Then as mentioned one or two basic movements.
    Something like one chest one back exercise,biceps triceps,quads shoulders.
    When your kid gets older you could have a play pen near by and have a bit more time.
    Ive been through it, just get something in like a big compound movement.
    This will at least keep your basic strength.
    It will get though hang in there.
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    Registered User Mandrako's Avatar
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    I do kettlebell 4x/week and yoga 2x/week +1x rest
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    If I literally only had 30 minutes, all I would use is my C2 rowing machine one day, the other day possibly a barbell complex like "the bear"..alternating the days 5 -6 days a week. A good hard 30 min row, or 5 or 6 sets of 3-5 reps of the bear would be some good work done. On the bear day if you had anything left after completing your work maybe some upper body push work to compensate for all of the rowing "Pulling"
    Please record my time/reps if I pass out
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    Da1UnV bodyhard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Flipperman2a2w View Post
    I've been lifting for about 25 years now. I did a couple of natural bodybuilding competitions several years ago and got my pro card. My wife and I decided to start a family at the ripe old age of 40

    I'm now a stay-at-home dad, which is a tremendous blessing and challenge. My wife and I each have 30 minutes to exercise in the morning, before she leaves for work. We already get up at 4AM after a hit/miss night of sleeping with our 6 month old, so rising earlier isn't an option. I have a basic (but decent) home gym in my garage with free weights, power rack, pulldown station.

    I usually do legs on the weekend when I have a little more time.

    Question: How would you optimally spend 30 minutes in the gym Monday-Friday? By the time I feel like I'm starting to get warmed-up, it's time to go shower and take the baby... What's the best use of my time? I'm looking to at least maintain until I have more time and it's safe to start hitting the local gym again.
    Man you got your pro-card and you are asking these bunch of old OV35'ers for advice? You should be giving us advice
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  10. #10
    Registered User George2100's Avatar
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    I’m currently lifting 3x per week 30 mins per day. 1 upper body pull, 1 upper body push, and a lower body compound every session. So, full body. 6 sets 6-8 reps of everything. Short rest. I do some high rep side and rear delt work and some band arm work after
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    Originally Posted by adamgentile View Post
    Superset everything. My split is Chest/back, Shoulders/arms and legs. I would stick with only compound pound movements for the larger muscles. Your home gym sounds exactly like mine. For example on Chest/back day. I start with chin-ups, then straight to Incline Bench, then barbell rows, then some dips or pullovers, then some variation of pulldowns. 3 sets for everything.
    This ^^^^.
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    There's 2 approaches you can take.

    A. An intensity approach where you would hit 1 bodypart per day, take a little more time on it, hit it harder than approch B; but only once per week. If you were really trying to actually gain muscle/size, this would be my way of going at it.
    Mon=delts
    Tues=back
    Wed=chest
    Thurs=bis
    Fri=tris
    Sat or Sun=legs
    And I would do them in that exact order to limit overlap and give proper rest for secondary muscle groups. Only problem with this is only 1 day off; if that fits your lifestyle.



    B. A frequency approach where you would hit everything except legs twice per week. If just looking to maintain, frequency is the way to go.
    Mon=chest, bis, tris
    Tues=back, delts
    Wed=off
    Thurs=chest, bis, tris
    Fri=back, delts
    Sat or Sun=legs
    This gives you 2 rest days

    Either way, I would definitely incorporate supersets and drop sets for maximimum intensity.
    In option A, I would shoot for 2 movements per body part at 4 sets each (1 warmup and 3 working). You should be able to fit that in in 30 mins. I'd do 1 compound and 1 isolation.
    In B, I'd still try to get in 2 different movements per bodypart, just less sets per session; but you'll make that up because of higher frequency. And still 1 compound and 1 isolation.

    This is definitely going to take some adjusting here and there but I think either one would work for you.
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    Originally Posted by bodyhard View Post
    Man you got your pro-card and you are asking these bunch of old OV35'ers for advice? You should be giving us advice
    I wanted to say this at first, exactly what I was thinking!

    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Either way, I would definitely incorporate supersets and drop sets for maximimum intensity.
    Dropsets with home equipment doesn't seem viable in a scenario where you're trying to save time. Just take a 135 BP, do your reps, pull the 45's load a 25 a 10 a 5 and a 2.5 on each side, then take off the 2.5's for a set, then take off the 5's and replace with the 2.5's and on and on. Certainly be a good cardio addition and get a good burn, but someone's gotta rack the weights at the end of the workout and he's outta time.
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    temporary illusion supramax's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Flipperman2a2w View Post
    I've been lifting for about 25 years now. I did a couple of natural bodybuilding competitions several years ago and got my pro card. My wife and I decided to start a family at the ripe old age of 40

    I'm now a stay-at-home dad, which is a tremendous blessing and challenge. My wife and I each have 30 minutes to exercise in the morning, before she leaves for work. We already get up at 4AM after a hit/miss night of sleeping with our 6 month old, so rising earlier isn't an option. I have a basic (but decent) home gym in my garage with free weights, power rack, pulldown station.

    I usually do legs on the weekend when I have a little more time.

    Question: How would you optimally spend 30 minutes in the gym Monday-Friday? By the time I feel like I'm starting to get warmed-up, it's time to go shower and take the baby... What's the best use of my time? I'm looking to at least maintain until I have more time and it's safe to start hitting the local gym again.
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    In search of V-Taper ectoBgone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bando View Post
    Dropsets with home equipment doesn't seem viable in a scenario where you're trying to save time. Just take a 135 BP, do your reps, pull the 45's load a 25 a 10 a 5 and a 2.5 on each side, then take off the 2.5's for a set, then take off the 5's and replace with the 2.5's and on and on. Certainly be a good cardio addition and get a good burn, but someone's gotta rack the weights at the end of the workout and he's outta time.
    Good point. When I saw the thread I was going to recommend performing a couple of exercises using myo-rep techniques. I think what drop sets intend to do, myo-reps do better anyway, and not having to mess around with weight changes is just another plus.

    *edit* LOL - bb.com won't allow the link
    https://borge-f-a-g-erli.com/myo-reps-in-english/

    Take out the dashes.
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    Originally Posted by bodyhard View Post
    Man you got your pro-card and you are asking these bunch of old OV35'ers for advice? You should be giving us advice
    True!
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    Originally Posted by Bando View Post
    I wanted to say this at first, exactly what I was thinking!

    Dropsets with home equipment doesn't seem viable in a scenario where you're trying to save time. Just take a 135 BP, do your reps, pull the 45's load a 25 a 10 a 5 and a 2.5 on each side, then take off the 2.5's for a set, then take off the 5's and replace with the 2.5's and on and on. Certainly be a good cardio addition and get a good burn, but someone's gotta rack the weights at the end of the workout and he's outta time.
    there is a smarter way to do the above, don't use 45's at all. Use 25's-10's-5's and 2-2.5's

    just saying, but I don't care at all for drop setting. I like increase sets
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    For bodybuilding purposes - I would hit one main compound movement hard, then squeeze in some accessory work as a circuit at the end the best I could.
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    Originally Posted by adamgentile View Post
    Superset everything. My split is Chest/back, Shoulders/arms and legs. I would stick with only compound pound movements for the larger muscles. Your home gym sounds exactly like mine. For example on Chest/back day. I start with chin-ups, then straight to Incline Bench, then barbell rows, then some dips or pullovers, then some variation of pulldowns. 3 sets for everything.
    Yeah, I think supersets are the way to go. That way, I'm able to work an opposing muscle group during the "rest time." I usually save legs for the weekend, since I like to have a little more time to go heavy and catch my breath after intense sets.
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    Originally Posted by Bando View Post
    Can you warm up as part of your daily routine? At one gym I had to walk uphill to get there, I found that if I just walked faster I was breaking a sweat before I walked in and didn't really need a warmup.
    That's a good idea! At the moment, I usually take my son out twice a day for walks (weather permitting). We're clocking about 4.5 miles a day, which is actually quite tiring. He enjoys the change of scenery from being stuck indoors, so I guess it's a win/win.
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    Registered User Flipperman2a2w's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Can't you just work out however you want at some point during the day with the little one in a playpen, stroller, etc. within view?
    I hope that will happen someday, but I'm not quite there yet. He always wants to be held and freaks out when I'm in the room and not holding him
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    Registered User Flipperman2a2w's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bodyhard View Post
    Man you got your pro-card and you are asking these bunch of old OV35'ers for advice? You should be giving us advice
    Ha ha ha! I may have gotten my pro card, but I still need plenty of advice in the time management/life category
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    You're a stay at home dad with a home gym and the only time you have to work out is 30 min. in the am? Maybe I'm missing something here but that doesn't sound right. 6 mo kiddo's are not very active and spend a lot time sleeping. Put the little one in a pack and play with a mobile on it and get after it during the day. Unless there are things you are not telling us about your day, you should have ample time to fit a good work out in your day. Also, does the 30 min include your warm up time?
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    Originally Posted by Bando View Post
    I wanted to say this at first, exactly what I was thinking!



    Dropsets with home equipment doesn't seem viable in a scenario where you're trying to save time. Just take a 135 BP, do your reps, pull the 45's load a 25 a 10 a 5 and a 2.5 on each side, then take off the 2.5's for a set, then take off the 5's and replace with the 2.5's and on and on. Certainly be a good cardio addition and get a good burn, but someone's gotta rack the weights at the end of the workout and he's outta time.
    It's funny you should mention the issue of racking the weights! It actually takes more time than I'd like to admit, since my weight tree is crammed into a small space between the wall and my power rack. I also have to be mindful of the fact that my wife is working out after me, so I can't leave the bar loaded or weights on the floor
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    Originally Posted by Flipperman2a2w View Post
    I hope that will happen someday, but I'm not quite there yet. He always wants to be held and freaks out when I'm in the room and not holding him
    That's not going to stop if you keep on picking him up and soothing him. It's just reinforcing the negative behavior. It's going to be hard and you'll feel like complete crap but eventually you're going to have to just let him freak out and let it go. It's not just you who is going through this. Several coworkers, who know Pediatricians, have talked to them about this exact thing. A lot of newborns, during the Covid time, are not adjusting to daily care and other people due to the lack of social gatherings.


    As far as working out, giant sets are the way to go. Brian Alsruh has a video up on Linear Progression and he utilizes giant sets. Example workout below.

    Chest/back


    1. BB row, Bench, Abs.

    2. DB row, incline and abs.

    3. Pull downs, Chest exercise of your choice and more abs.
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    Originally Posted by Flipperman2a2w View Post
    That's a good idea! At the moment, I usually take my son out twice a day for walks (weather permitting). We're clocking about 4.5 miles a day, which is actually quite tiring. He enjoys the change of scenery from being stuck indoors, so I guess it's a win/win.
    I want to live in the part of NY where I can walk during the winter

    PS I'm a pu55y in the cold.
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    Get a backpack for your son! He's a bit young now, but soon he'll do great in it. I used to cut grass with my daughter 23-24 years ago. And now she has a daughter, and until the weather turned cold, she and I would go on nearly two mile walks. Kids just love being outdoors and the constant change of scenery. You didn't mention cardio, but walking with your son will definitely burn a few calories, and grab a few dumbbells and you could even do some squats with him in the backpack too.
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    Originally Posted by icetrauma View Post
    It's going to be hard and you'll feel like complete crap but eventually you're going to have to just let him freak out and let it go.

    Easier said than done when there's another half and the "mother" at that, but hey the all the weak today get divorced when things don't go their way. I could be wrong about OP though.
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    Originally Posted by Flipperman2a2w View Post
    It's funny you should mention the issue of racking the weights! It actually takes more time than I'd like to admit, since my weight tree is crammed into a small space between the wall and my power rack. I also have to be mindful of the fact that my wife is working out after me, so I can't leave the bar loaded or weights on the floor
    Just tell her that putting plates away is her warmup
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    For years I did 3 full body workouts a week. I kept a log and timed my rest intervals to gauge progress. I only did the big multi joint movements. Took 30-35 minutes. About killed me but I hate working out so much I just wanted to get it done.
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