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Program options when I can only get two workouts in per week

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  • Program options when I can only get two workouts in per week


    I had been following Starting Strength for the better part of the year and had success with it and got into a good flow. Then, my daughter was born in September and weeks of sleepless nights and exhaustion led to a precipitous drop in my gym attendance. I’ve made it there three times in the past three months.

    But, she is sleeping most of the night now and my wife and are a lot less bleary eyed. Plus, we’re finding something that resembles a routine. With that I think I’m at a point where I can find two opportunities weekly to get in workouts, hopefully more will follow.

    Should I stick with Starting Strength? Is there anything that would be good with a limited amount of time? I’m really just looking to get back in the habit. My mental health has missed lifting.

  • #2
    Congratulations guzaarish!!

    I have a 2 year old son and another on the way. When the first kiddo was born I was training 4 to 5 days a week, well, after the two weeks paternity leave at any rate. Yes, that is with sleeping upstairs in the spare bedroom during the working week and then back downstairs in the master bedroom with wifey and kiddo on weekends. Yes that is including getting up to change nappies, bottle feed, burp, and give my wife a break so she could get in a block of sleep (i.e. she would skip a feed and would sleep for a 4 hour block). Was training amazing? No, but it was fine.

    It is something you need to discuss with your wife. If training is important to you, you will discuss and find a way to fit it in. I trained three days a week during the work week, and then on Saturday and Sunday I was at the gym at sparrow's fart, got it done, and got back home to help. Generally I got a minimum of 3 workouts in a week ('twas a bodybuilding program so at the least it was legs, back, and chest and delts with some arms tacked on to the end of back and chest/delts). I also started training at work (the gym closest to my work place; across the road actually) during the week so the disruption at home was kept to a minimum, just the weekends. Now I basically do all my training at the gym close to work, although I am trying to get a GPP day on Saturdays now.

    I think The Bridge 1 is for you. Why? RPE. It will help regulate the training load based on how tired/exhausted/out of your mind/bleh you are. SS modus operandi is to add weight to the bar at all costs. I can tell you, adding weight to the bar when you have had broken sleep for months, got up three times last night, couldn't get back to sleep as burping took 1 hour, haven't eaten enough, freaking out when kiddo is ill (high temp, random rash, whatever), is not going to happen. RPE? Fine, do 5 reps @8 for 3 sets. Do first set, adjust weight down, do second set, need to adjust weight down again. Done. Training goals met, training stress applied, feel good because you got your training in and can face the day again knowing you did it and didn't fail @RPE 10 grinders just to add 1.25kgs to the bar. If you can't do conditioning? Fine. Get three days in, maybe tack on some conditioning to the end of your training days. Or maybe bicycle part of the way to work, walk from the station every day rather than catch the bus, etc. It is not perfect but it will get you moving.

    Happy to discuss and provide more insights (if I have any more that is, question dependent ).

    Kids are the toughest and best things to ever happen. They have their challenges and they force you as a dad (or for the mums out there including my wife) to be flexible. I can tell you that I am still having conversations with my wife about training around the toddler, as his energy level is @11, so RPE is invaluable to me. The wife is still training with said toddler and 20 weeks preggers, not as consistently, but she is under the bar SBD&P but using a vague notion of RPE so she can still get some training in.

    You'll be alright.
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    • #3
      ... and when they are older, they will be in the garage gym cranking out low bar squats, stealing your good bar and getting in your way
      and that is success.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pegener View Post
        ... and when they are older, they will be in the garage gym cranking out low bar squats, stealing your good bar and getting in your way
        and that is success.
        If that is success, I'll happily take it.
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