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The Busy Persons Strength Plan

We're all busy these days. Finding the time to train can be difficult. Some people call it an excuse. In reality, it's just prioritization. You'll always prioritise what's most important to you. People aren't bad at prioritising, they're just sometimes bad at using their brains.

Contrary to popular motivational YouTube video belief, there's nothing wrong with prioritising your work, family and sleep over lifting weights. Not everyone wants to be an elite level power-lifter or Mr. Olympia, which is perfectly fine.

With that in mind, you must understand that if you actually want to see results and achieve your fitness goals, whatever they may be, you need to work out at some point! If time is an issue for you, here are some top time-saving tips:

1. Keep your workouts short and intense, it's more likely that you'll stick to them! You may even get better results (depending on what you're training for).

2. For strength training, focus on the big, compound lifts, accessory exercises aren't as important... They can be helpful though so be sure to include them in your plan somewhere.

Bent-over rows are big, compound lifts, bicep curls are not...

3. Always warm up, but don't overdo it. Focus on the areas you're training, don't waste time on pointless stretches. 5-10 mins should be plenty of time to warm up. Any longer and you're probably wasting time and energy.

4. Plan your training schedule wisely. Which days of the week do you have the most time? Plan to complete your longest training sessions on those days.

The '30 Minute Strength Plan'

I've put together a strength training routine that can be completed with just 30 mins of your daily time. Do it when you wake up. Do it at lunchtime. Do it when you finish work. If you can't find 30 minutes in your day to work out, now you're just making up excuses.


Mon - Chest and Shoulders

Bench Press - 5 sets of 5 reps

Incline Dumbbell Press - 3 sets of 8 reps

Cable Flyes - 3 sets of 12 reps

Overhead Barbell Press - 3 sets of 10 reps


Tues - Back

Pull-ups - 5 sets to failure

Bent Over Row - 3 sets of 8 reps

Rack Deadlifts - 3 sets of 8 reps


Wed - Cardio and Stretching


Thurs - Arms and Calves

Barbell Curls - 3 sets of 10

Hammer Curls - 3 sets of 10

Tricep Pushdowns - 3 sets of 10

Overhead Tricep Extensions - 3 sets of 10


Fri - Legs

Squats (Alternate back and front each week) - 5 sets of 5 reps

Leg Extensions - 3 sets of 15 reps

Hamstring Curls - 3 sets of 15


Sat - Cardio and Stretching


Sun - Active Rest


The 'Less Than 30 Minute Single Exercise Strength Plan'

Still taking too long?

Sometimes, if I'm really struggling for time, I'll do just one exercise. Yes, just one! I will however, do a larger number of sets, There's no point in going to the gym to do 3 sets of bench press! This kind of workout saves time changing exercises, warming up, etc. Another bonus is that you'll see a huge improvement in your lifting technique. Training like this can make you a master of the movement, resulting in more strength and more GAINS.

An example week of this training may look something like this:


Mon - Chest

Bench Press - 10 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8, 8, 5, 3, 1, 12, 12 reps


Tues - Rows

Bent Over Row - 10 sets of 8 reps


Wed - Shoulders

Barbell Overhead Press - 10 sets of 15, 13, 10, 10, 10, 8, 8, 5, 15


Thurs - Pullups

Pull-ups - 10 sets to failure


Fri - Legs

Squats - 10 sets of 10 reps

Squats, just squats...


Sat - Deadlifts

Deadlifts - 10 sets of 7 reps


Sun - Active Rest

Due to the extremely low volume in this example, full rest days are not really necessary, unless your lifting at an elite level, with some serious poundage! Everybody's different, just listen to your body and rest as required.

As for cardio, simply try and fit it into your daily schedule. Think of walking wherever you can. Do you have a bicycle? Can you cycle to work? What about squeezing in a jog over lunchtime? There are many ways to get some exercise in if you get creative!

Don't forget to stretch. Once again, fit it in where you can. Get some mobility work in wherever possible. Have a lacrosse ball at work and do some self-mobilisation at your desk. Foam roll whilst watching TV in the evening. Stretch whenever you get a chance. You'd be amazed at how much this will improve your recovery! Also, you'll prevent injuries and feel much better.

Stretching outside barefoot is best - that way you'll get the benefit of 'grounding' or 'earthing' yourself


Another Top Tip - Get Your Own Equipment

I have yet to plan and construct my personal home gym but I'll be sure to keep y'all posted when I do. I do have some equipment though and my favourite piece is the pull-up bar.

Doing pull-ups whilst watching David Attenborough is always a good idea...

You can get a half decent pull-up bar for less than £30 online. The one pictured here was a Christmas gift from my parents. It’s very handy (no pun intended). Once assembled (it took 5 mins), it can be dismounted and remounted between any doorway you find in a matter of seconds! My very own portable pull-up bar! Get one! You won’t regret it!

Also, look out for bars and things to pull-up on when you’re going about your day. You’d be amazed at how many missed opportunities there are to bang some pull-ups out! Rest is important, but training frequency can make a huge difference. Just adding a random set here and there will improve your pull-ups.


I hope this article helps you find more time to exercise. Remember, the only thing stopping you for achieving your goals, is you.

Much Love.

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