The Time Effective Workout Plan For Busy Dads - Dean McMenamin

The Time Effective Workout Plan For Busy Dads

If you want to not only lose the dad bod, but also be physically strong, and look as good as you feel, but just don’t have hours every day for fitness, here’s a simple (and brutally effective) training program for you.

You can put this to work at home or in a gym.

So you’ll be training full body workouts, 3 times per week, rather than a ‘bro split’.

Why full body?

Because whenever life gets in the way, you know, kids, work, and everything else… If you miss a workout (or two), you’re still training every major muscle group at least 1-2 times a week.

If you do that consistently over a long time, and given you train hard and progressively, you’ll get yourself in way above average condition. Because the average man doesn’t workout consistently, so although these workouts are short , they work incredibly well… If you do.

Hitting The Basics Consistently & Progressively Creates Results

You’re going to be hitting the fundamental human movement patterns multiple times per week…

  • Upper body push (horizontal and vertical)
  • Upper body pull (horizontal and vertical)
  • Squat
  • Hip hinge
  • Single leg

Every muscle in your body is getting stronger as long as you’re doing these consistently and progressively over time.

There’s a very strong argument for weighted carries, direct core work, and rotational work to be included, too. But for the sake of most guys who are extremely time limited, and yet to dial in practice and progress with the fundamentals, this is how we start.

So each day is a full body day and goes through these steps…

Day 1:

1 – Mobility training

2 – Upper body pull horizontal (bench press, press up, etc)

3 -Upper body push horizontal (db or barbell row, bodyweight row etc).

4 – Squat (barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell).

Day 2:

1 – Mobility training

2 – Upper body pull vertical (pull up, pull down, etc)

3 -Upper body push vertical (overhead dumbbell/KB press, but if you have no weights you can do another form of press up)

4 – Single leg (lunge, split squat, etc).

Day 3:

1 – Mobility training

2 – Upper body pull horizontal (any form of bench press, press up, etc)

3 -Upper body push horizontal. (any form of db or barbell row, bodyweight row etc).

4 – Hip hinge (deadlift, Romanian deadlift, hip thrust, back ext, or kettlebell swing etc).

Once you get used to the exercises and know the routines, you can get each of these workouts done 40 minutes.

What is Mobility Training?

We use the warm up section to get some important joint mobility work done. If all you do is traditional strength exercise and general walking around every day (combined with all the sitting modern living promotes) chances are you’ll run into problems.

So here we use exercises like deep lunge and rotations, 90/90 hip drills, cat/camels, prone Y to Handcuffs/Cobras, etc to mobilise the spine, shoulders and hips.

Why Less Leg Work?

Majority of the guys I coach are busy, they don’t have much time to train, and they also use their legs a lot in other activities, Like cycling, football, running, or whatever. In terms of aesthetics the care more what their upper body looks like. So I program to help them achieve this goal whilst still getting strong legs with a minimal effective does.

Adding In Accessory Work For Faster Gains & A More ‘Complete’ Body

If you have more time and want to speed up your progress, this is where you’ll add in some ‘accessory’ work, like direct core training, arms, calves, or weighted carries.

Add in 2-3 sets of whatever after you’ve hit the main part of the workout.

But if you’re outta time, don’t worry about it till later down the line.

How Many Sets?

Do 3 hard working sets of all exercises, as well as 2-3 warm up sets prior to those harder working sets. Here’s anther video about warm up sets:

How Many Reps?

In the name of simplicity, for the complete beginner, you can start with a rep range of 5-10 on everything for a while to build your foundation of strength.

The main thing, though, is progressively increasing how much you can lift, or increasing the difficulty of bodyweight exercises by changing the angle, and how many reps you can do with heavier loads and harder bodyweight movements over time.

But if you’re starting out with no weights then just do what you can do on bodyweight exercises, and increase your reps into the higher rep ranges over time. Don’t over complicate it.

Rest Times Are A Crucial For The Muscle Building Affect

Resting too little between sets to make your workout more ‘intense’ can damage the muscle building affects of the exercises, because your performance will drop on each proceeding set.

Yes, little to no rest ‘feels’ like you’re working harder in the heat of the workout, but can be damaging on your results if you really want to build muscle, which, is also important if you want to lose fat effectively, and not lose muscle during weight loss.

If you’re doing straight sets of each exercises before moving onto the next exercise, then rest at least 2 minutes between your working sets.

Or, a more time efficient way to do it is alternate your upper body exercise sets, back and forth with 90 seconds rest between sets, which lets one muscle group recover whilst you work the opposing muscle group, in ‘push pull’ fashion.

You could also choose to go through all of the exercises like a circuit (but with 90 seconds rest between each) if you have the luxury of equipment and space all to yourself.

A program like this can serve you well for at leas 6 months if you really commit to it.

If you got any kind of value from this, let me know!

Thanks for reading.


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About the Author Dean McMenamin

Dean McMenamin is an Army veteran, father, dog-lover and body transformation coach to every day men all over the UK & Ireland. He's also a big eater of ice-cream.

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