The Perfect Workout Plan for Those Who Don’t Have Time to Workout

Let’s be honest, if you’re not already into fitness, getting into fitness is incredibly hard. Scheduling a daily workout in between work, school and family requires precision planning. And that’s not taking into account the unpredictability of life, like getting a flat tire or having to work late on a random Tuesday.

However, if you’ve made the conscious decision to start working out, there is no shortage of plans, schedules and splits to choose from. They key is finding a workout plan that legitimately fits your schedule and puts you on a path to your particular fitness goals.

If find yourself with a busy, unpredictable schedule, and you’re looking to generally lose 10 to 15 lbs and gain some muscle and tone, then the following workout plan may be perfect for you. This split provides the flexibility to keep you in the gym, on your schedule.

 

The 3-2-2 Split

This workout is generally referred to as the 3-2-2 (“3 by 2 by 2”) split. It has you lifting weights 3 days a week, doing cardio 2 days, and resting 2 days. The reason this workout is so flexible is that any day’s workout can be done any day of the week.

We’ll dive into the details below, but the overall idea is that beginning on Monday, as long as you get 3 days of weights and 2 days of cardio in by Sunday, you’re on track and on schedule. For example, let’s say you hit the weights Monday and Tuesday, and planned on doing cardio Wednesday, but a business meeting goes well and turns into an extended happy hour. That’s okay because Wednesday just became one of your rest days. As long as you can get two days of cardio and another weight session in between Thursday and Sunday, you’re good to go.

In addition, most of us have to go to a gym to lift weights, and only having 3 days of weight lifting makes it easier to stay on schedule. In general, cardio doesn’t have to be done in the gym, so between the 2 off days and 2 cardio days, each week has a lot of flexibility of when and how you complete your workouts.

The 3-2-2 split rotates bi-weekly, meaning there is an “A” workout and a “B” workout, which helps you keep variety in the workout. The weight lifting days are divided into overlapping muscle groups: Chest/Back/Core, Legs/Biceps, and Shoulders/Triceps/Core. The cardio days are open for whatever type of cardio you’re into, but the goal is to get at least 30 minutes of low to moderate cardio exercise, and burn at least 400 calories. Some cardio suggestions are included in the program below.

The 3-2-2 split works best when used for an 8 week cycle (Workout A and Workout B are each performed 4 times). While this is one of our favorite routines, no workout is perfect forever. Programing change into your workouts is key to maintaining and improving your fitness. You can maximize this split by incrementally increasing the amount of weight you use each successive week.

As you’ll see, this workout utilizes supersets and circuits. A superset refers to doing two workouts back to back, and then resting after doing the two exercises. A circuit is similar to a superset, but involves doing 3 or more exercises back-to-back-to-back before taking a break. We recommend only taking 90 seconds to 2 minutes rest between each superset/circuit. This pace keeps each day’s workout under an hour in duration, and gives you some additional anaerobic benefits as well.

 

 

Workout A:

Chest/Back/Core

(Day 1)

 

Circuit                Set 1                            Set 2                              Set 3                              Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Incline bench   10   8   8   6
Pull ups   12   12   AMAP   AMAP
Sit ups   15   15   15   15

 

Circuit                 Set 1                               Set 2                          Set 3                               Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Bar Row   10   10   8   8
Flat DB Bench   12   10   8   8
Spidermans   16   16   16   16

 

Circuit                                                Set 1                               Set 2                                Set 3

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Incline DB Butterflies   12   12   10
Lat Pulldown   8   8   8
Low Cable Row   8   8   8

 

 

Cardio

(Day 2)

 

5K Jog/Up-Hill Walk

 

Legs/Biceps

(Day 3)

 

Superset             Set 1                           Set 2                            Set 3                              Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Squats   10   8   8   6
EZ Bar Curl   10   8   6   6

 

Superset             Set 1                               Set 2                           Set 3                             Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Sumo Deadlift   10   8   8   6
Seated DB Curl   12   10   8   8

 

Superset                                            Set 1                               Set 2                                Set 3

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Bulgarian Split Squat   8   8   8
Calf Raises   20   20   20

 

 

Cardio

(Day 4)

20 Minutes Eliptical/Bike

Heavy Bag HIIT: 20 minutes

 

 

Shoulders/Core/triceps

(Day 5)

 

Superset               Set 1                          Set 2                                Set 3                           Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Shoulder Press   10   8   8   6
Leg Raises   15   15   15   15

 

Superset                             Set 1                               Set 2                                Set 3

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Upright Row   8   8   8
French Press   8   8   8

 

Superset                                            Set 1                              Set 2                                Set 3

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Rear Delt Raises   12   12   10
Tricep-Rope Cable Ext.   10   10   10

 

Superset             Set 1                           Set 2                               Set 3                            Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Lateral Raises   10   10   8   8
Cable Twist   16   16   16   16

 

 

 

Workout B:

 

Chest/Back/Core

(Day 1)

 

Circuit                Set 1                            Set 2                             Set 3                             Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Bench Press   10   8   8   6
Chin Ups   12   12   AMAP   AMAP
Sit ups   15   15   15   15

 

Circuit                        Set 1                         Set 2                             Set 3                         Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
DB Row   10   10   8   8
Narrow Incline Bench   10   10   8   8
Russian Ball Twists   20   20   20   20

 

Circuit                                                Set 1                               Set 2                                Set 3

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Flat DB Butterflies   12   12   10
Pullovers   8   8   8
Low Cable Row   8   8   8

 

 

Cardio

(Day 2)

 

2 Mile Jog/Up-Hill Walk

20 minute Yoga session

 

Legs/Biceps

(Day 3)

 

Superset               Set 1                          Set 2                              Set 3                              Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Deadlifts   10   8   8   6
Seated DB Curl   10   8   6   6

 

Superset                Set 1                        Set 2                             Set 3                             Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Front Squats   10   8   8   6
Cannon Balls   12   10   8   8

 

Superset                                            Set 1                               Set 2                                Set 3

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Lateral Lunges   8   8   8
Calf Raises   20   20   20

 

 

Cardio

(day 4)

 

Stairs: 75 flights

 

 

SHoulders/Core/triceps

(Day 5)

 

Superset               Set 1                          Set 2                           Set 3                              Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Shoulder Press   10   8   8   6
Leg Raises   15   15   15   15

 

Superset                             Set 1                               Set 2                                Set 3

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Upright Row   8   8   8
French Press   8   8   8

 

Superset                                            Set 1                               Set 2                                Set 3

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Rear Delt Raises   12   12   10
Tricep-Rope Cable Ext.   10   10   10

 

Superset             Set 1                           Set 2                            Set 3                               Set 4

Workout Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Lateral Raises   10   10   8   8
Cable Twist   16   16   16   16

 

“AMAP” – as many as possible

Featured image credit: independent.uk

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