Building Muscle On a Busy Adult's Schedule

  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 05, 2013 8:35 PM GMT
    Most of the guys I have met on RJ, in the gym, work, etc have developed their muscular physique in their late teens and early to mid twenties. I happen to start lifting after college and during a time where I'm trying to establish a career, which has taken a lot of effort and time, especially in this economy. I am a hard gainer who gains fat easily. All of the lifters and trainers I follow on youtube all have their life built around training.

    For all the muscular guys with a busy career who started lifting after 28 y.o and saw great gains:

    - How long did it take you to start making noticable gains?
    - How do you maintain a bodybuilders diet (eat every 2-3 hours, 2800 calories or more) while maintaining your professional integrity at work?
    - How did you balance gym time and excessive work hours 50 hours +?

    Please help, inquiring minds would like to know. Feel free to inbox me personally with details if you wish. Thank you.
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    Jan 05, 2013 8:56 PM GMT
    Hey, Mich! I've mostly done bodyweight training and have gotten extreme results from it. You can too. I would check this out. It'll take 30-45 minutes out of your day and you'll still meet your goals - I'm sure. The best part, no equipment needed!

    http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2012/12/getting-started-with-your-first-portable-bodyweight-routine-bodyweight-fitness-for-travelers/
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    Jan 05, 2013 9:08 PM GMT
    I started seriously lifting and running after college. Honestly, you have to make the time to workout. When I was out of work, I used to go run in the late mornings and then hit the gym later. But after I got a job, there was no way I was going wake up at the crack of dawn to run, and then go to work. And it would be too late/dark to run/lift after work. So I started running during my lunch breaks. I'd run as fast/far as I could for 30 minutes, and then use the remaining time to clean up. No showers at work, but wet wipes and a towel were sufficient for me. Then I'd eat lunch at my desk while I work. After work, I'd hit the gym. As for your questions:

    - I could feel myself getting more muscular. But I was still a little flabby, so my muscularity wasn't that obvious. Also, I didn't have a trainer. So it was just me, some lifting/fitness books, and lots of trial/error. So I'd say after about a year, I was seeing the difference.

    - Nutrition is tricky. I tried the bulk/cut routine like all newbies do. Didn't work out that well for me. I got pretty big. Like footballer big. I think my highest weight was a little over 190. But it totally killed my running times. And I didn't like the bloated look. So it took me a while to drop the weight. I really don't buy into the x calories for y bodyweight. Personally, I just eat whatever. My body will tell me if I'm not eating enough or too much. It also depends on your goals and your metabolism. As I get older, my metabolism isn't what it used to be. So I eat about 2 - 3 meals a day. High protein/medium carbs during the day. And then increase the carbs before and after the workouts. Mainly to replenish the glycogen that was burned off. Do some research on carb timing. I think it will help you build/maintain your muscularity, while you burn off any unwanted weight.

    - Find/make the time. Also, consider that you don't have to spend hours at the gym, everyday. At one point, I was going to the gym every other day, for 30 minute workouts. Basically, one or two muscle groups per workout. Once you figure out what exercises/routines work best for your body, your workout sessions will be more efficient.
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    Jan 05, 2013 11:33 PM GMT
    When I was already about 250lbs and nearly 40 I landed a really good job with a three hour daily train commute and long hours oftentimes spent in conference rooms where the sandwiches, Mrs. Field's cookies and pastries kept on coming. I knew I'd be 300lbs plus in no time if I didn't take immediate action. The hours and my life were such that only the weekends would be time for friends and family so because the company also had a great subsidized cafeteria, a gym by my train station at home, limited travel outside the office, I could keep a small fridge under my desk, and I had hours that were so long that I left and came back to a sleeping house it was easy to do this:

    5am - get up
    6-7am - lift
    7-7:30am - steady state flexdeck treadmill walking on an incline
    8:10-9:15 - walk to train and have whey protein in shaker and half dozen hard boiled egg whites on train (which made me popular, as you can imagine)
    9:15-9:30 - walk from train to work
    10:30am - sugar free jello snack
    1:00pm - same lunch every day of grilled salmon, salad, blueberries, picked up and refrigerated dinner
    3:30 - half dozen hard boiled egg whites and whey protein in a shaker
    6:00pm - same dinner every day, chicken wrap with a spinach or whole wheat tortilla
    7:00pm - sugar free jello dessert
    8:30-9:30 or 9:30-10:30pm: train home
    9:30 or 10:30pm: walk to gym and finish lifting "ancillaries" (abs, calves, forearms) AND/OR a 1 hour yoga class OR 1 hour steady state lap swim sprinting with no rest
    11:00pm or midnight - protein in a shaker and bed
    5am - get up and repeat

    On weekends I sleep in late - really late. I'd have one cheat meal and one cheat dessert. I'd take a 90 minute yoga class (after having taken 1 or 2 during the week), have a leisurely weightlifting workout, and a long relaxing lap swim because on weekends the pool was largely empty.

    I never counted calories or I'd have never been as disciplined about eating because years afterwards when I calculated them I realized I'd been eating 1800 calories per day. So of course within five months I lost over 60 pounds and looked like a bodybuilder - the closeup of my chest doing pushups in my profile was taken after training 5 months and the back double biceps pic after 7. (The date-stamped photos are the most current.)

    This would've been even more do-able had I been your age (31). Having to rebuild myself a second time around at about age 50 after a series of health issues which came immediately afterwards (unrelated to that first transformation) I couldn't keep up that pace any longer.
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Jan 05, 2013 11:48 PM GMT
    This is really impressive, and you got the results. I'm nowhere near that hardcore. I have worked out and participated in sports my whole life, with ups and downs. What I find efficient for basic fitness and some muscle development on a busy schedule is crossfit. One-hour, no BS exercise. Three times a week will get you results. Then you can add on other things if you want. Also, be mindful of nutrition. I constantly have to adjust it for myself, depending on what I'm doing and how my body feels, but it's clearly a big part of the picture.
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    Jan 05, 2013 11:50 PM GMT
    Short workouts and home workouts are better than no workouts. Workouts are actually easier to schedule than all the time that goes into a truly healthy diet.
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    Jan 05, 2013 11:51 PM GMT



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    Jan 05, 2013 11:52 PM GMT
    MadeinMich said- How did you balance gym time and excessive work hours 50 hours +?
    I quit the gym altogether to make room for school, stuck it out a few years (while getting fat) to study for the career change, and now have plenty of time for working out and eating right...not to mention the job is much funner. icon_wink.gif
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 05, 2013 11:58 PM GMT
    paulflexes said
    MadeinMich said- How did you balance gym time and excessive work hours 50 hours +?
    I quit the gym altogether to make room for school, stuck it out a few years (while getting fat) to study for the career change, and now have plenty of time for working out and eating right...not to mention the job is much funner. icon_wink.gif


    This is where I'm at now. I'm about to begin a career change and had a very difficult, unbalanced 2012 work wise. I spent a great deal of 2012 unemployed travelling to different cities for work in my field. Now I'm going back to school. In that process I picked up some weight now I must burn it off.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Jan 06, 2013 12:03 AM GMT
    MadeinMich saidMost of the guys I have met on RJ, in the gym, work, etc have developed their muscular physique in their late teens and early to mid twenties. I happen to start lifting after college and during a time where I'm trying to establish a career, which has taken a lot of effort and time, especially in this economy. I am a hard gainer who gains fat easily. All of the lifters and trainers I follow on youtube all have their life built around training.

    For all the muscular guys with a busy career who started lifting after 28 y.o and saw great gains:

    - How long did it take you to start making noticable gains?
    - How do you maintain a bodybuilders diet (eat every 2-3 hours, 2800 calories or more) while maintaining your professional integrity at work?
    - How did you balance gym time and excessive work hours 50 hours +?

    Please help, inquiring minds would like to know. Feel free to inbox me personally with details if you wish. Thank you.
    Its difficult but it can be done. I would say start out with a trainer first. tell them exactly what you are trying to accomplish and they can help you set up your training regiment.
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    Jan 06, 2013 12:12 AM GMT
    MadeinMich said
    paulflexes said
    MadeinMich said- How did you balance gym time and excessive work hours 50 hours +?
    I quit the gym altogether to make room for school, stuck it out a few years (while getting fat) to study for the career change, and now have plenty of time for working out and eating right...not to mention the job is much funner. icon_wink.gif


    This is where I'm at now. I'm about to begin a career change and had a very difficult, unbalanced 2012 work wise. I spent a great deal of 2012 unemployed travelling to different cities for work in my field. Now I'm going back to school. In that process I picked up some weight now I must burn it off.
    In that case, the best advice I can give you is to figure out a process that works for you. Personally, I simply gave up on everything fitness related till I could pick it up again. Obviously you're more dedicated than I was, so you'll probably figure out a way to get things going again.
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 06, 2013 12:12 AM GMT
    Thanks to everyone for your encouragement and your advice.
    That was an exceptional breakdown of your daily routine.
    When I'm being a good boy I have a regime that is similar to yours.

    I recently took a very stressful contract position in the hopes of getting hired and I sort of let that over take my fitness goals. Now, like you I sort of have to rebuild. I have the muscle I've gained but now I have to loose the weight.
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 06, 2013 12:22 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    MadeinMich said
    paulflexes said
    MadeinMich said- How did you balance gym time and excessive work hours 50 hours +?
    I quit the gym altogether to make room for school, stuck it out a few years (while getting fat) to study for the career change, and now have plenty of time for working out and eating right...not to mention the job is much funner. icon_wink.gif


    This is where I'm at now. I'm about to begin a career change and had a very difficult, unbalanced 2012 work wise. I spent a great deal of 2012 unemployed travelling to different cities for work in my field. Now I'm going back to school. In that process I picked up some weight now I must burn it off.
    In that case, the best advice I can give you is to figure out a process that works for you. Personally, I simply gave up on everything fitness related till I could pick it up again. Obviously you're more dedicated than I was, so you'll probably figure out a way to get things going again.


    Thats the thing paulflexes. I am scared to death of loosing whatever I've worked so hard to gain muscle-wise. So I've just dropped off the cardio (and it shows) but I try to lift for each muscle group once a week or once everyother week. Nothing intense but just 30 minutes of lifting, 6 - 8 sets per muscle group, where I used to do 12 sets per muscle. I workout about 3 times per week where it used to be 6 times per week. When I get more stable I shall pick it up. At some point I would like to try P90X or Insanity at home.

    I feel my genetics are so bad (with two obese parent, even obese dogs growing up) that I feel if I'm not in the gym 5 days a week hitting it hard and eating like a bodybuilder I'm not changing my body or mainting it well.

    On the bright side you 40+ guys give me hope that its still possible to acheive your end goal no matter the obsticle icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 06, 2013 3:01 AM GMT
    MadeinMich said
    paulflexes said
    MadeinMich said
    paulflexes said
    MadeinMich said- How did you balance gym time and excessive work hours 50 hours +?
    I quit the gym altogether to make room for school, stuck it out a few years (while getting fat) to study for the career change, and now have plenty of time for working out and eating right...not to mention the job is much funner. icon_wink.gif


    This is where I'm at now. I'm about to begin a career change and had a very difficult, unbalanced 2012 work wise. I spent a great deal of 2012 unemployed travelling to different cities for work in my field. Now I'm going back to school. In that process I picked up some weight now I must burn it off.
    In that case, the best advice I can give you is to figure out a process that works for you. Personally, I simply gave up on everything fitness related till I could pick it up again. Obviously you're more dedicated than I was, so you'll probably figure out a way to get things going again.


    Thats the thing paulflexes. I am scared to death of loosing whatever I've worked so hard to gain muscle-wise. So I've just dropped off the cardio (and it shows) but I try to lift for each muscle group once a week or once everyother week. Nothing intense but just 30 minutes of lifting, 6 - 8 sets per muscle group, where I used to do 12 sets per muscle. I workout about 3 times per week where it used to be 6 times per week. When I get more stable I shall pick it up. At some point I would like to try P90X or Insanity at home.

    I feel my genetics are so bad (with two obese parent, even obese dogs growing up) that I feel if I'm not in the gym 5 days a week hitting it hard and eating like a bodybuilder I'm not changing my body or mainting it well.

    On the bright side you 40+ guys give me hope that its still possible to acheive your end goal no matter the obsticle icon_smile.gif
    Lifting 3x a week is perfect for maintaining, and "good enough" for slowly building muscle if the intensity is hard enough (may wanna add an extra set, even if it's really low weight).

    As for the cardio, do enough to keep a healthy heart and lungs; and don't worry about the few extra pounds you gain. As long as you maintain the muscle, the fat is easy to lose when you get more time.