Use a Smart Bro-Split
Look man, bro-splits are king. And I do consider things like upper-body/lower-body to be bro-splits. Anything outside of full-body training in a single session is basically a split. And bro-splits rule for anyone past the rookie stages who wants to maximize development.
But if you can only train 30-minutes a pop, it’s best to focus on one, or at most, two muscle groups within that workout. How you decide to finagle it is up to you. First think about how many days you can train, then organize your workouts from there.
Here are some templates you can work with based on the number of training days a week you have open:
3 Days A Week
- Day 1: Quads and Hamstrings
- Day 2: Chest and Back
- Day 3: Shoulders and Arms
Ok, so on day 3 you’re looking at basically three body parts, but you can knock out some brutal work for biceps in 3 minutes. Don’t think so? Try 100 reps of empty-bar barbell curls.
4 Days A Week
- Day 1: Quads
- Day 2: Chest
- Day 3: Back and Hamstrings
- Day 4: Arms
Notice there are hamstrings with back work on day 3. This means the legs are still getting some work twice that week. But you can consolidate back and hamstring work to save time as well, and we’ll cover that in a bit.
5 Days A Week
- Day 1: Quads and Hams
- Day 2: Back
- Day 3: Chest
- Day 4: Shoulders
- Day 5: Arms
Notice the sequencing of body parts here? We start with legs, probably your toughest day of the week. Plus, day 1 is often on a Monday, which is International Chest Day. You should have the leg machines and squat rack all to yourself.
The other part of the sequencing is that you may be slightly more fatigued as the week rolls on. You’ll be knocking out the two biggest areas in the first two days. From there, you just smash chest, shoulders, and arms. If you set your chest day up properly, you can minimize the work that needs to be done on days 4 and 5.
How? Emphasize progressive overload on chest day. Go for both rep PR’s and major strength work on some select compound lifts. Then use the shoulder and arm days as metabolic stress days. Just blast out some ultra high-rep work with single-joint movements. This could also serve as a restorative stimulus from the hard and heavy chest pressing, providing some localized recovery.