Tip #1 – Use The Big 3
The first priority should always be to focus on the big 3 movements. If one dedicates 45 minutes three days a week to the big three, one will still make gains. Give each movement its own dedicated day. One day squat, another bench, and finally deadlift it is really that simple. To save time cut down on all the extra auxiliary work.
Tip #2 – Stay in the Rack on Squat Day
On squat day, no need to ever leave the rack. Vary rep ranges for whatever goal maybe. When in doubt I have found that four sets of six seem to be a solid medium for all disciplines. When main work is done, continue to squat using variations for secondary work. Front squats, wide stance, narrow, pauses, and whatever other variations can think of, just squat. An additional 3 sets of any two of the previous mentioned movements and there lay a recipe for making gains. No need for running around to five different machines. Simple, effective, hard work.
Tip #3 – Stay Basic when Benching
On bench day, follow the same basic template. Will never have to leave the bench! Vary rep ranges for whatever goals maybe. Again four sets of six has always been a solid game plan. Follow that up with some sort of bench variations. Use some boards, bands, chains, pauses, close grips, wide grips, or whatever other favorite one might have for your secondary movement. Once again a plain, simple template, but it will work.
Tip #4 – Stick to the Deadlift
The third day of training week, stick to the deadlift. Do them from the floor, from boxes, various heights.
One can do them verse bands or even with chains if that’s what they like.
One can do variations such as Romanians or snatch grips. Same rules apply as before, vary rep ranges based on goals and have a quick effective workout.
Final Thoughts on Limited Training
After reading this, don’t take it that there is no need to do any isolation work, or that auxiliary work has no value. Even with this one can still make gains on limited time sticking to the basic core lifts. Sure!
Add some full body workout! Hit the big three on different days. They can focus on moving more weight when given its own day, therefore making more gains. For now on, don’t use time as an excuse. Anyone can make gains, improve their body, and feel better about themselves with even limited time. Spend 45 minutes less time a few days a week watching TV, and lift instead.