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Least amount of resistance training

gdfrewgdfrew Member Posts: 37 Member Member Posts: 37 Member
Now I realise this is going to be a controversial topic however I want to state its not about lack of motivation or effort or anything else like that. But surely like everything else there's surely no need to spend 26 hours a day in a gym or at home leaving my life empty outside of fitness. If we follow everything we're "supposed" to do in life there's very little time left for fun and chill out time

My question is what is the best and quickest workout program out there to maximise some gains. I'm not talking about 2-3 times a week. It's what's inside the actual workout plan you have. Any ideas of even a simple plan. Including chest, arms back and core.

Im currently missing the gym as although I do like free weights I prefer the machine weights as its just quicker set up and such.
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Replies

  • riffraff2112riffraff2112 Member Posts: 1,719 Member Member Posts: 1,719 Member
    nothing wrong with wanting to maximize your time and effort. What is your experience with weight training? What look are you in search of? Size, strength, definition?
    A decent workout program is stronglifts 5x5. I have used it in the past, and had awesome strength and size gains, more importantly it was a pretty quick workout that didn't need hours to get through.
  • gdfrewgdfrew Member Posts: 37 Member Member Posts: 37 Member
    My experience is fairly limited. I've been to a few gyms here and there. More recently I've learning more about perfect form and still learning about hypertrophy and progressive overload. I'm currently skinny fat. I'm looking for something around 15% bodyfat just mainly because I don't feel the need to dedicate a 32 day month to training down to 8 or 10%. I'm looking to add some muscle definition. An all rounder if you will. Some strength a decent amount of mass without going overboard. I have a new dumbbell set at home and keep adding to my sets but I'm looking for a good program to stick to that isn't hours apon hours. I'll certainly check out the stronglifts 5x5
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,720 Member Member Posts: 1,720 Member
    gdfrew wrote: »
    My experience is fairly limited. I've been to a few gyms here and there. More recently I've learning more about perfect form and still learning about hypertrophy and progressive overload. I'm currently skinny fat. I'm looking for something around 15% bodyfat just mainly because I don't feel the need to dedicate a 32 day month to training down to 8 or 10%. I'm looking to add some muscle definition. An all rounder if you will. Some strength a decent amount of mass without going overboard. I have a new dumbbell set at home and keep adding to my sets but I'm looking for a good program to stick to that isn't hours apon hours. I'll certainly check out the stronglifts 5x5

    What is your current height and weight Do you have an active job or sit at a desk?

    Hate to break it to you but you need to look a your expectations. You don't want to put in the time working out but want an "athlete" level of bodyfat and add mass. This will take time and hard work. Nothing wrong with wanting to be time efficient, that is a good thing. To do that you will want a program of virtually all compound movements such as Stronglifts 5x5mentioned by @riffraff2112 and probably a minimal amount of machine work because most machines tend to support your body instead of engaging your core.
  • KHMcGKHMcG Member Posts: 1,060 Member Member Posts: 1,060 Member
    I have had excellent success with body weight exercise sets done during the work day. 3 times a day, a set of push-ups, a set of body weight squats and chair dips.
  • DoubleG2DoubleG2 Member Posts: 42 Member Member Posts: 42 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Lol, everyone wants "gains" but doesn't want to put much effort or time into them. Hate to tell you that if you want to get them (unless you're some genetic freak) then you have to put in the time. Sorry man, but you're only going to get out what you put in.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    ^This...

    I started lifting three years ago. I was the text book definition of skinny fat. I dropped 20 lbs over the course of six months while running a structured DB program centered around a 3 day push/pull/legs split. I saw noticeable improvement in 8 weeks.(I was a wad of cookie dough after all) But it was only after I joined a gym and refocused my workouts on a 5x5 program where the gains really began. I am presently running a 5 day split with some cardio thrown in to help manage a slight calorie deficit. Been doing that since Jan. and I am significantly leaner with more muscle mass. I hit the gym early am so it doesn't impact the rest of my daily activities. There are no shortcuts. Nothing wrong with a less volumetric approach, but you may need to reset your expectations.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,650 Member Member Posts: 18,650 Member
    You seem to have a view it'll be hours and hours required - I think you may be starting with a viewpoint that is setting you on the wrong foot.

    But you say NOT 2-3 times a week.
    Well - that leaves 1 time a week.

    You say NOT hours upon hours.
    So I guess that means 1-2 hours perhaps?

    You say maximize some gains - as long as you realize that is in the scheme of your limitations that you've set.
    And you won't be seeing these gains for a long time - motivation from changes will be hard to come by.
    Your muscle definition will be based on fat covering them, that will take a long time to change.
    Best to eat at maintenance if already at healthy weight.

    Forget SL5x5 - it's strength program, not hypertrophy, besides it's 3 days a week, about worthless 1 day a week, not enough volume.

    The order of lifts on your 1 day depends on your focus, upper or lower body. Same basic compound lifts as SL, but you don't have time for the sets and pauses for 5x5, because you need more volume.
    Alternate between upper and lower, push and pull.

    4 sets x 12 reps - about 90 sec rest, as heavy as you can get it. (that's about 30 min rest in total)
    If dumbbells don't get you there with 12 reps - do more reps.
    Should take about an hour with slow speed on movements, not fast to get it done with if weight too easy.

    That's my opinion totally based on desired stated. Minimal program for minimal involvement for minimal results - but trying to get some volume out of there somehow to maximize what can be done.

    Bench
    Squat
    Bent over row
    Deadlift
    Overhead press

  • rjmwx81rjmwx81 Member Posts: 258 Member Member Posts: 258 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Lol, everyone wants "gains" but doesn't want to put much effort or time into them. Hate to tell you that if you want to get them (unless you're some genetic freak) then you have to put in the time. Sorry man, but you're only going to get out what you put in.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Couldn't agree more. There's no secret magic bullet program. In general, if you want to look like you spend hours each day in the gym you're going to have to spend hours each day in the gym. Yes, some routines are more efficient than others, particularly those that focus on compound lifts, and you can maximize the results for whatever amount of time you put in, but the maximum results from 2 hours a week is never going to equal the maximum results from 10 hours a week, nor even come close.
  • gdfrewgdfrew Member Posts: 37 Member Member Posts: 37 Member
    I knew as soon as I posted the question it would be controversial and I wasn't wrong.

    To answer a few questions I'm male obviously, 6ft 1 and currently 159lbs or 73kgs. I don't have a job currently which I lost in January so I'm missing out on my neat activity from that as it was a busy job doing between 10000 - 15000 steps a day

    Heybales - I think you misunderstood the 2-3 part I'm not saying I'm not willing to put in 3 days, heck I don't mind putting in 4 days as I don't really like to be idle. It's the hours part that throws me. I'd like a program where it would be over the course of 2-4 days where it would be an hour preferably or 1-30 max

    I struggle with motivation through certain life events that changed my whole life last year (that's another story) that has me with anxiety issues.

    Cardio is easy enough as it's outdoors enjoying nature. Being skinny fat I tend not to overdo it on running although, I still like to jog as I aspire to do a 5k, so I'm also working on that as well.

    Today's workout was 3 sets of each with various weight and reps

    Goblet dumbbell squat
    DB incline chest press
    DB rows
    DB shoulder press
    Ab wheel roller
    DB Russian twist
    DB Lateral raises
    Plank 1 min
    And a few calf raises and such other stretches

    Also 6.8mile walk/run (around 3 miles of running in that)

    Does this seem enough?

    Any advice is more than welcome.
    edited April 6
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 590 Member Member Posts: 590 Member
    If you are prepared to go to 4 days per week, with an hour dedicated to the actual exercises plus maybe 10 mins each end max for the warm up and some stretches and I think you could get some very decent results with the right programming.

    I have to agree with the advice of a previous poster to limit machine use or avoid altogether even when back at the gym. You get much more bang for your buck with free weights and if you want to keep time spent to something reasonable then you need that bang.

    Be prepared to be in this for the long haul, though, and keep at it. Results can be slow and are often erratic, even when your performance is textbook. You say you struggle with motivation so you need to get into an exercise habit. Motivation will only get you so far even if you have bags of it. But an exercise habit that is set in stone, as much as brushing your teeth is, will get you where you need to go.

    Exercise is fantastically good for your mental health, especially when you find the formula that suits you best. It has got me through some rough patches (if you had told me this 10 years ago I would not have believed you). So harness it to your benefit and it should help you with the anxiety issues.
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 2,433 Member Member Posts: 2,433 Member
    Just an idea. I wouldn't say I'm as built as some of these guys in here, but for 56, I have a pretty decent amount of muscle and a six pack when I'm closer to 187 or so than my current 195.

    I do lift around an hour or two a week, but I row for my cardio. I do it on a machine, which would be drudgery for you, since you said outdoors is great.

    To be honest, running is the anti body exercise. I ran for 7 years until I couldn't. My wife hated my body then. Once I started rowing instead, I recomped in a very nice way and the wife is ecstatic.

    Biking outside, rowing classes, rock climbing might all be cardio exercises that build muscle too.
  • serapelserapel Member Posts: 487 Member Member Posts: 487 Member
    Kick boxing is so much fun and I lost so much fat taking it up in addition to my weight training
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,493 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,493 Member
    Just an idea. I wouldn't say I'm as built as some of these guys in here, but for 56, I have a pretty decent amount of muscle and a six pack when I'm closer to 187 or so than my current 195.

    I do lift around an hour or two a week, but I row for my cardio. I do it on a machine, which would be drudgery for you, since you said outdoors is great.

    To be honest, running is the anti body exercise. I ran for 7 years until I couldn't. My wife hated my body then. Once I started rowing instead, I recomped in a very nice way and the wife is ecstatic.

    Biking outside, rowing classes, rock climbing might all be cardio exercises that build muscle too.

    I agree that rowing, on-water or machine, is cardio that can increase strength and muscle. Most of any muscle mass I have came from rowing; I lift some, off and on, but not enough to really gain anything. (I don't have lots of muscle mass, but I think it's decent-ish for a 65-year old woman who was a sedentary lump until her mid-40s and already post-menopausal.)

    If time efficiency is part of the desire, though, rowing is seriously not a good way to build muscle or strength. It's the slow boat, and it won't happen much at all without substantially better technique than most people at the gym have, because they don't have the technical skill to create even modest progressivity. (I know you, Mike, do have enough technical skill for that - that's not a dig, it's just me being cynically realistic about what I see more commonly in real life.) For any gains, even slow, it's going to take frequency, duration, and good technique.

    For a reasonable rate of progress, moderate time spent (calendar and wall clock), weight training is the thing.
  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 1,114 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,114 Member
    gdfrew wrote: »

    To answer a few questions I'm male obviously, 6ft 1 and currently 159lbs or 73kgs. I don't have a job currently which I lost in January so I'm missing out on my neat activity from that as it was a busy job doing between 10000 - 15000 steps a day

    If you don’t like spending extra time on resistance training and you’re currently looking for a new job, would it be possible to find a job that requires physical activity and helps you gain muscle, or at the very least helps you maintain whatever you do gain through intentional exercise? Hard to say if this idea is in any way compatible with your skills or career goals, but it’s something.
  • lorrpblorrpb Member Posts: 11,441 Member Member Posts: 11,441 Member
    Do The 5 lifts in strong lifts:
    Squat
    Deadlift
    Bent rows
    Chest press
    Overhead press
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 2,433 Member Member Posts: 2,433 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Just an idea. I wouldn't say I'm as built as some of these guys in here, but for 56, I have a pretty decent amount of muscle and a six pack when I'm closer to 187 or so than my current 195.

    I do lift around an hour or two a week, but I row for my cardio. I do it on a machine, which would be drudgery for you, since you said outdoors is great.

    To be honest, running is the anti body exercise. I ran for 7 years until I couldn't. My wife hated my body then. Once I started rowing instead, I recomped in a very nice way and the wife is ecstatic.

    Biking outside, rowing classes, rock climbing might all be cardio exercises that build muscle too.

    I agree that rowing, on-water or machine, is cardio that can increase strength and muscle. Most of any muscle mass I have came from rowing; I lift some, off and on, but not enough to really gain anything. (I don't have lots of muscle mass, but I think it's decent-ish for a 65-year old woman who was a sedentary lump until her mid-40s and already post-menopausal.)

    If time efficiency is part of the desire, though, rowing is seriously not a good way to build muscle or strength. It's the slow boat, and it won't happen much at all without substantially better technique than most people at the gym have, because they don't have the technical skill to create even modest progressivity. (I know you, Mike, do have enough technical skill for that - that's not a dig, it's just me being cynically realistic about what I see more commonly in real life.) For any gains, even slow, it's going to take frequency, duration, and good technique.

    For a reasonable rate of progress, moderate time spent (calendar and wall clock), weight training is the thing.

    You might be right. Took me nearly two years to learn how to use my core and legs the right way. Perhaps Kayaking or Canoeing instead would give better results while still enjoying the outdoors.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,493 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,493 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Just an idea. I wouldn't say I'm as built as some of these guys in here, but for 56, I have a pretty decent amount of muscle and a six pack when I'm closer to 187 or so than my current 195.

    I do lift around an hour or two a week, but I row for my cardio. I do it on a machine, which would be drudgery for you, since you said outdoors is great.

    To be honest, running is the anti body exercise. I ran for 7 years until I couldn't. My wife hated my body then. Once I started rowing instead, I recomped in a very nice way and the wife is ecstatic.

    Biking outside, rowing classes, rock climbing might all be cardio exercises that build muscle too.

    I agree that rowing, on-water or machine, is cardio that can increase strength and muscle. Most of any muscle mass I have came from rowing; I lift some, off and on, but not enough to really gain anything. (I don't have lots of muscle mass, but I think it's decent-ish for a 65-year old woman who was a sedentary lump until her mid-40s and already post-menopausal.)

    If time efficiency is part of the desire, though, rowing is seriously not a good way to build muscle or strength. It's the slow boat, and it won't happen much at all without substantially better technique than most people at the gym have, because they don't have the technical skill to create even modest progressivity. (I know you, Mike, do have enough technical skill for that - that's not a dig, it's just me being cynically realistic about what I see more commonly in real life.) For any gains, even slow, it's going to take frequency, duration, and good technique.

    For a reasonable rate of progress, moderate time spent (calendar and wall clock), weight training is the thing.

    You might be right. Took me nearly two years to learn how to use my core and legs the right way. Perhaps Kayaking or Canoeing instead would give better results while still enjoying the outdoors.

    Sadly, not much leg strength in standard kayak/canoe. (I canoe and kayak too, just not often because *rowing* - I have a little bit of a boat problem 😆). There's a little leg action in a boat that lets you brace, but not as much potential to be progressive for legs like in rowing.

    All of these are fun, and worth doing, though. They will have small, slow strength benefits, IMO, with enough frequency/duration/patience. Rowing has more potential to be slightly progressive for more body parts. I actually wonder if swimming might do some good, too - again, very sloooooow - but I don't know because I avoid swimming whenever possible.

    I really do think that people who want strength/mass gains, weight training is the efficient, effective thing. One can do it outdoors. 😉 Or there's recreational stone-wall building, maybe. 😆
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 2,433 Member Member Posts: 2,433 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Just an idea. I wouldn't say I'm as built as some of these guys in here, but for 56, I have a pretty decent amount of muscle and a six pack when I'm closer to 187 or so than my current 195.

    I do lift around an hour or two a week, but I row for my cardio. I do it on a machine, which would be drudgery for you, since you said outdoors is great.

    To be honest, running is the anti body exercise. I ran for 7 years until I couldn't. My wife hated my body then. Once I started rowing instead, I recomped in a very nice way and the wife is ecstatic.

    Biking outside, rowing classes, rock climbing might all be cardio exercises that build muscle too.

    I agree that rowing, on-water or machine, is cardio that can increase strength and muscle. Most of any muscle mass I have came from rowing; I lift some, off and on, but not enough to really gain anything. (I don't have lots of muscle mass, but I think it's decent-ish for a 65-year old woman who was a sedentary lump until her mid-40s and already post-menopausal.)

    If time efficiency is part of the desire, though, rowing is seriously not a good way to build muscle or strength. It's the slow boat, and it won't happen much at all without substantially better technique than most people at the gym have, because they don't have the technical skill to create even modest progressivity. (I know you, Mike, do have enough technical skill for that - that's not a dig, it's just me being cynically realistic about what I see more commonly in real life.) For any gains, even slow, it's going to take frequency, duration, and good technique.

    For a reasonable rate of progress, moderate time spent (calendar and wall clock), weight training is the thing.

    You might be right. Took me nearly two years to learn how to use my core and legs the right way. Perhaps Kayaking or Canoeing instead would give better results while still enjoying the outdoors.

    Sadly, not much leg strength in standard kayak/canoe. (I canoe and kayak too, just not often because *rowing* - I have a little bit of a boat problem 😆). There's a little leg action in a boat that lets you brace, but not as much potential to be progressive for legs like in rowing.

    All of these are fun, and worth doing, though. They will have small, slow strength benefits, IMO, with enough frequency/duration/patience. Rowing has more potential to be slightly progressive for more body parts. I actually wonder if swimming might do some good, too - again, very sloooooow - but I don't know because I avoid swimming whenever possible.

    I really do think that people who want strength/mass gains, weight training is the efficient, effective thing. One can do it outdoors. 😉 Or there's recreational stone-wall building, maybe. 😆

    Ironic you mention that. I have a huge pile of rocks in my yard and we're redoing the back. I'm considering building a mortarless rock wall with succulents and a water feature myself on our side yard. Most of the boulders are 100 lbs plus.
  • serapelserapel Member Posts: 487 Member Member Posts: 487 Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    Do The 5 lifts in strong lifts:
    Squat
    Deadlift
    Bent rows
    Chest press
    Overhead press

    Add barbell hip thrusts
  • davew0000davew0000 Member Posts: 65 Member Member Posts: 65 Member
    This article is interesting. The research is surprisingly consistent that more is more, but not very much more.

    I’ll bet I get a few dislikes though. My own view is there are plenty of people on these forums willing to put in 3x the effort for that extra 10-20%. 😉😃

    https://www.painscience.com/articles/strength-training-frequency.php
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