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  • Gym time savers

    This comes up enough that I've decided to generate a reference dedicated to it that I will link to in my "list of references I've found useful." Please provide your own tips to add to this!


    For workouts with 3+ exercises:
    • Warm up for the 2nd exercise during the rest periods of the first
    • Change the 3rd exercise into a Myo rep version
    • Serious time crunches can be off set with super-sets. Austin said that he would super-set squats and benches when he was seriously crunched for time during school/residency, but he has a garage gym.
    Other strategies:
    • Convert a 3 day to a 4 day (see below for my way of doing this for The Bridge)
    • Warming up for [email protected], you "may be able to count this [the last warmup set for reps] as one of your back off sets depending on the [email protected]"
    • Cut rest times down to 3 minutes, 2 or less for @7s or less
    • Use an actual timer
    • 10# and 25# bumper plates take longer to swap out than the steel versions
    • Deadlift jacks of some kind also save time. If your gym doesn't have them, a dead wedge costs $14 and fits in your pocket/bag.
    I've got a buddy I've been working out with for a year now, and at first as he was getting up to speed with BB work, my workouts took longer. That's no longer the case. If he's not with me, a workout takes 10 minutes longer. We have a good groove where we divvy up the work of getting and returning plates and such.


    *As mentioned above, here's the 4 day bridge I ran this summer:

    Monday: Day 1's Squats and DL variant
    Tuesday: Day 3's Press, Day 1's Bench variant
    Wednesday: GPP
    Thursday: Day 5 DL, and Squat Variant
    Friday: Day 5 Bench, Press Amrap or Myo reps. Some rows/pullups GPP

    I lose one squat block, and the Pendelay Rows, which I'm generally non-compliant on anyways since I hate them. Not having the upper body block between the Squats/DL blocks means the second block is probably at a little lower weight than it would be otherwise, but I can generally do my workouts in less than an hour.

    I'm currently doing the legacy 4 day hypertrophy, and it's the first time I've done a squat or DL variant every day of a 4 day program which is an interesting switch. Sucks when I have a 4 day work week and don't get Wednesday as a break from those.
    Last edited by Serack; 10-28-2019, 07:37 PM.
    Forum topics and other links I've found useful

  • #2
    I think the value of warmups and mobility exercises are dramatically overemphasized (especially if you are working out later in your day) and I would consider cutting them first if short on time. Obviously don't just jump to work sets but maybe hit something light, something halfway between that and your first work set, and then your work set. If your first work set is supposed to be a single, maybe hit some of the backoff volume on the way up instead of saving it for later.

    Other Ideas
    • If you don't want to spend any money on deadlift jacks, you can use your belt as a makeshift jack.
    • Purchase a few dumbbells and do your arm work and GPP at home when you have a few minutes.
    • try to time your "cutting" phases when you're in a "busy season," keeps your mind off food and gives you some more time to do anything else (like go to the gym!)
    • using ergogenic doses of caffiene may help lower your RPE with the same weight or less rest between sets so you may be able to train a bit quicker at the same absolute intensity (watch out for sleep issues though)
    This is not exactly the same thing but if you are losing weight fairly aggressively (like 1% BW or more a week) I think increasing total training frequency while holding volume constant can help you feel less burned out. I am currently running a modified version of strength one where my heavy squating and deadlifting days are never on the same day. Squating heavy day 1 and 3 deadlifting heavy on day 2 and 4 with 3 bench days and 1 press day. This may also have benefits of stimulating MPS a little more often each week as more trained individuals seem to have a shorter "anabolic window" than novice lifters, helping to stave off muscle and lean mass losses associated with more aggressive dieting. I feel alot better after each workout and decently recovered day to day with my first two days back to back and then a day off between day 3 and 4. Doing a squat, press day allows you to save some time as well since they share the same rack height. Maybe combine this with rack pulls so you never leave the rack (less time waiting for equiptment maybe)!

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    • #3
      Additional things that work for me:

      - For the 2nd and 3rd lifts, cut down the warm-up sets

      - No rest time between warm-up sets (except the [email protected] before the [email protected]).

      - GPP helps in reducing my rest time. Since I started running 5-10k per week, I could cut down my rest time from 3-7mins to 2-4mins.

      p.s. Jordan has mentioned on the forum you can do some of the prescribed back-off sets as warm-up sets when you are ramping up to [email protected] (i.e. Do some of the back-off sets before the [email protected] instead of after.) I haven't tried it myself though.

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      • #4
        Predicting and reacting to RPE is a big one too. Often just 2-5lbs overshoot can force longer rest periods or alternatively more difficult recovery due to fatigue induced form breakdowns if you do power through the set.

        Comment


        • #5
          It's obviously not an option for everyone, but a home gym is an enormous time saver. Even if your gym is only 10 min travel each way, you're still going to spend a couple of hours in transit if you're training four times/week. Though I have to admit, you are also prone to interruptions from family members too.

          Comment


          • Pat Hughes
            Pat Hughes commented
            Editing a comment
            I'd ideally like my own home gym eventually - do you find that you get more training in as and when you can? For example, I've always thought it would be cool if I had 30 mins free on a certain day to spend that getting a set of deadlifts in, or getting some training in if I'm finding it hard to sleep one night - I see that as one of the benefits of having a home gym.

          • ropable
            ropable commented
            Editing a comment
            For me, having the home gym is more of a benefit in removing friction for training (i.e. travel), so I'm less likely to skip out. It is also super convenient being able to just walk out the back and start training. Downside is that I don't have all of the cool toys.

          • sjalbrec
            sjalbrec commented
            Editing a comment
            I also workout at home. I don't ever squeeze in one set at random times. I workout four evenings a week and am pretty domestic while I workout. I strictly time my rest periods (https://forum.barbellmedicine.com/fo...recommendation) but there is a lot you can do in 3-5 minute chunks. I make dinner, interact with the family, do laundry, fold laundry, do dishes, clean, pay bills, internet, even watch a game (DVR is your friend). If my workout is 2+ hours, I don't just stay out in the garage between sets. Obviously, between really heavy working sets I have to sit and rest, but you'd be surprised how much of your regular evening you can fit in while working out at the same time.
            Last edited by sjalbrec; 10-24-2019, 04:53 PM.

        • #6
          For me the home gym is the backstop for the week’s training, but it’s not my primary training location. I can get a good session or two in during the weekends to catch all the things I may have missed during the work week.

          There is something motivating about a public gym, I tend to be more focused and stronger in that environment.

          Comment


          • #7
            How in the hell do you use your belt as a deadlift jack, show me the magic

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by brettkeefer View Post
              How in the hell do you use your belt as a deadlift jack, show me the magic
              Dunno, but I've used 2.5# plates as a crappy stand in for one.
              Forum topics and other links I've found useful

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              • #9
                Put the tongue of your belt on the ground and roll the innermost plate of one side onto it. Gives you enough clearance to get all the plates on that side on/off without a problem. Then you repeat for the other side or just flip the bar on the loaded end and all the plates fall off.
                Last edited by JoshA; 10-24-2019, 01:55 AM.

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                • #10
                  If your workout consists of a structure like [email protected], [email protected] and backoff sets of [email protected] Jordan once recommended performing it this way:

                  - warm up for your [email protected] weight, which should be relatively quick
                  - perform the first set of [email protected]
                  - increase the weight and perform the [email protected]
                  - do max. one intermediary warmup single (e.g. [email protected])
                  - perform your [email protected]
                  - go down in weight and perform your remaining back off sets

                  This structure has two benefits: it saves time on the warmups because you won't need much for the [email protected] and consequently you'll also need maybe one more warmup single for the [email protected] And since the singles cause relatively little fatigue, it's a great little break between the heavier [email protected] and the subsequent backoff sets.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by jwls View Post
                    If your workout consists of a structure like [email protected], [email protected] and backoff sets of [email protected] Jordan once recommended performing it this way:

                    - warm up for your [email protected] weight, which should be relatively quick
                    - perform the first set of [email protected]
                    - increase the weight and perform the [email protected]
                    - do max. one intermediary warmup single (e.g. [email protected])
                    - perform your [email protected]
                    - go down in weight and perform your remaining back off sets

                    This structure has two benefits: it saves time on the warmups because you won't need much for the [email protected] and consequently you'll also need maybe one more warmup single for the [email protected] And since the singles cause relatively little fatigue, it's a great little break between the heavier [email protected] and the subsequent backoff sets.
                    for building references, I try to go with direct source of what the Drs said for recommendations like this, and I managed to dig up this post by Jordan.

                    Cody,

                    Yea so I think there are lot of variables here that are the potential source of error. A few things:

                    1) If we are assuming that the 1 @ 8 is relatively accurate then subsequent weights for that day should be adjusted. If we have doubts about the accuracy, then we can do the first back off set at the planned weights without modification. E.g. if the rx is 1 @ 8, -20% x 5 x 5 and 300 was supposed to be the 1 @ 8, but it felt like 1 @ 9- then I would still do the first back off set of 5 @ -20% from 1 @ 8 and see how that goes. If the bar speed, technique, and effort are in line with the goals of the day then keep the volume sets there. If it moves worse, I'd base the back off weights off 5% less than the 1 @9, which should've been the 1 @ 8 for the day.

                    2) If your 1 @ 8 feels like 1 @ 9 instead, the next week's goal should be to move the e1RM up, which can be accomplished by planning on repeating the weight the following week. That said, your warm ups dictate what you should do in practice.

                    3) Looks like you're taking a > 10% jump from 255 to 280 and your warm up is not what I'd recommend if the prescription is 1 @ 8, -20% from single x 5 x 5. If planning on 285 for a single @ 8 I'd do this:
                    Bar x 5 reps
                    115 x 5 reps
                    165 x 5 reps
                    225 x 5 reps (may be able to count this as one of your back off sets depending on the 1 @ 8)
                    270 x 1
                    285 x 1
                    Forum topics and other links I've found useful

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Serack View Post

                      for building references, I try to go with direct source of what the Drs said for recommendations like this, and I managed to dig up this post by Jordan.
                      I don't remember where I found the original recommendation from Jordan, but it wasn't that post that I meant. It had to do with saving time specifically and he indeed recommended doing one of the [email protected] (and [email protected] if programmed) before the [email protected] to save time on the warmups.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by jwls View Post
                        I don't remember where I found the original recommendation from Jordan, but it wasn't that post that I meant. It had to do with saving time specifically and he indeed recommended doing one of the [email protected] (and [email protected] if programmed) before the [email protected] to save time on the warmups.
                        I have vague memories of Jordan/the coaches making a conflicting recommendation. My best recollection is that part of the purpose of the [email protected] is for the auto regulated selection of the backoff set weights, and that the proposed strat of performing the backoff sets first defeats that.

                        I also like the paradigm that ultimately the trainee is an adult and is responsible for the workout choices they make and how those choices are a set of compromises with certain priorities. Thus both recommendations have validities, especially if supporting posts/content can be pointed to.

                        As this topic is intended to be a reference with some level of authority derived from what the BBM staff have already recommended, I didn’t immediately post my objection based on a vague recollection. Instead I searched for posts/content* that might validate either position, and eventually found the one quoted above, which generally validated your comment (and thus a version of it got edited into the OP) but also had a parenthetical aside that gave a bit of a nod to the vaguely remembered conflicting recommendation.

                        Oh well, that’s my process. Yours was a great comment that I actually incorporated into last weeks introduction of [email protected] in week 5 of the legacy hypertrophy program I am currently running. So thanks for the input both for the sake of the reference and for my own training.

                        *I also combed through a lot of RTS material for this one
                        Last edited by Serack; 11-04-2019, 12:57 PM.
                        Forum topics and other links I've found useful

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Serack View Post

                          I have vague memories of Jordan/the coaches making a conflicting recommendation. My best recollection is that part of the purpose of the [email protected] is for the auto regulated selection of the backoff set weights, and that the proposed strat of performing the backoff sets first defeats that.

                          I also like the paradigm that ultimately the trainee is an adult and is responsible for the workout choices they make and how those choices are a set of compromises with certain priorities. Thus both recommendations have validities, especially if supporting posts/content can be pointed to.

                          As this topic is intended to be a reference with some level of authority derived from what the BBM staff have already recommended, I didn’t immediately post my objection based on a vague recollection. Instead I searched for posts/content* that might validate either position, and eventually found the one quoted above, which generally validated your comment (and thus a version of it got edited into the OP) but also had a parenthetical aside that gave a bit of a nod to the vaguely remembered conflicting recommendation.

                          Oh well, that’s my process. Yours was a great comment that I actually incorporated into last weeks introduction of [email protected] in week 5 of the legacy hypertrophy program I am currently running. So thanks for the input both for the sake of the reference and for my own training.

                          *I also combed through a lot of RTS material for this one
                          No offense intended, just wanted to mention that it was a different quote from Jordan I took this info from. But generally speaking you're right, the performance evaluation aspect of the [email protected] gets lost if done this way. However, you could still kinda extract relevant exertion info from the first [email protected] or you could still adapt the weight for the remaining back off sets following the [email protected] It's probably a little less ideal than doing it the correct way, but I think it's still not a bad option. Also I remember Jordan mentioning explicitly that he is doing it this way specifically when he's pressed for time, so it's certainly not a universal recommendation.

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