The Weekend Warrior

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Imagine the position of my uncle.  He wakes up extremely early M-F to make the 6:13am train to NYC where he works.  The Train commute is 90 minutes.  Assuming he works an 8 hour day (most likely closer to 9-10), and adding in another 90 minute train ride back home.  Now add in 20 minutes (each) to and from the train station.  Total that all up and he leaves his house at about 5:45 am(approx), and doesn’t return home till roughly 7-8pm depending on the day.  He also has a wife and teenage daughter who he really does enjoy spending time with.  How will he ever have time to make it to the gym?

Now not everyone is in the same situation as my uncle, but I bet there are a lot of people who are in similar situations.  They work long hours and have families at home to take care of and spend time with.  Realistically getting to the gym for a 3-4 day a week program just isn’t going to happen.

Your training does not have to hinder to those factors just because you cannot get into the gym 3 or more times per week. Yes getting to the gym at least 3 times a week would be the ideal way to go, but a short time frame of twice a week does not have to slow you down, as long as you’re smart about your programming and hit all of the right areas that your body needs.

Insert The Weekend Warrior.  A two day a week type program that can be done on Saturday and Sunday that will give the individual a real workout that can facilitate all of their bodies requirements.

Strength and Conditioning coach Mike Boyle said “Push something, Pull something, and do something for your legs and core”. I agree with this statement, but I plan to not only elaborate a little bit, but also take it one-step further.

Since you are pressed for time, I like to use a quote from Strength Coach Dan John. “What you do in the first 15 minutes of your workout is probably the most important, treat it as such”. He is 100% correct; the first lift of your training should get the majority of your focus, and should be the exercise where you would like to see the most improvement.  It should also be the exercise that does the most “bang for your buck” for your body.

For me (and hopefully most of you), this lift should be either a Squat variation (Back squat, Front Squat, Goblet Squat, Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat {RFESS} etc.) or a Deadlift variation (Trap Bar, Straight Bar, Sumo Deadlift, Rack Pull etc.). Lower body exercises set up the foundation for the rest of your exercises because they require the most muscle fiber recruitment to complete the exercise.  Obviously the frequency of the exercises will not be where they should, but it will give you just enough to give your body the workout it needs.

Simply put it will consist of two full-body workouts with some specific guidelines to break down the workouts.  Each day will begin with a main lower body movement: Quad Dominant (Squats and such) or Hip Dominant (Deadlifts and whatnot).  These two groups will be done on different days.

The Upper body workouts work similarly.  Pushing and Pulling should be separated as well.  And finally your core exercises will be added in as accessory work to your main lifts (because your main lifts will be designed to work the core as well).

Here is a generic sample of what your days could look like:

Day 1

A1) Lower Body (Squat/Deadlift variation)

A2) Anti-Extension Core (Planks, Stability Ball Rollouts, etc.)

B1) Posterior Chain (RDL, Hip Bridges/Thrusts)

B2) Horizontal Pulling (Bent-Over Rows, Seated Cable Rows, etc.)

C1) Single Leg Stance (Split Squats, Lunges, etc.)

C2) Vertical Pressing (Standing Kettle Bell/Dumbell Overhead Press, )

D1) Diagonal Stabilization Core (Deadbugs, Birddogs, etc.)

D2) Metabolic Burn (Medicine Ball Slams, Battling Rope, etc.)

Day 2

A1) Lower Body (Squat/Deadlift variation, opposite to day 1)

A2) Anti-Rotation Core (Belly Press, Lateral Rope Pulls, etc.)

B1) Single Leg Posterior Chain (Single Leg RDL, Single Leg Bridges, etc.)

B2) Horizontal Pressing (Barbell Bench, Dumbell Bench, Pushups etc.)

C1) Single Leg Stance (Step-Ups, Single Leg Squats, etc.)

C2) Vertical Pulling (Chin-Ups/Pull-Ups, Lat Pulldowns)

D1) Lateral Stabilization Core (Side Planks, Farmers Walk variations, etc.)

D2) Metabolic Burn (Medicine Ball Slams, Battling Rope, etc.)

(Exercises labeled (A1, A2), (B1, B2), (C1, C2) and (D1, D2) are to be done back-to back {Super-set})

Each exercises should be done at least with 3 sets, as far as weight I would say use an approximate 10 Rep Max weight for sets of 6-8 reps for each of the exercises.

As I said this is just a sample, the important part is to remember to cover all of your bases and hit every movement pattern (not just the muscle group):

Lower Body:

  • Quad Dominant (Squats)
  • Hip Dominant (Deadlifts)

Upper Body:

  • Horizontal Pull (Rows)
  • Vertical Pull (Pullups)
  • Horizontal Push (Bench Press)
  • Vertical Push (Military Press)

Core:

  • Anti-Extension (Plank)
  • Anti-Rotation (Pallof Press)
  • Lateral Stabilization (Side Plank)
  • Diagonal Stabilization (Deadbugs)

The only cardio you really need is the running you will be doing to catch the train.

This type of program is not for everyone.  It is meant to be for individuals who truly have no way of making it to the gym during the week (watching survivor is no excuse, they have these magical boxes called DVR’s).

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