Weight Training Program With A New Baby - Q and A
I was wondering what your opinion on these are?
My wife's about to give birth to our first baby in a week or two & I'm sure I'm going to be limited time wise in the gym.
What would you recommend for a routine?
A: Congratulations. I'm wondering what you mean exactly as I could take this to mean your training over the next few weeks, or your training after the baby arrives.
Either way, with limited time, I'd simply switch up the program to make it quick and heavy with lots of off days to recover and spend time with wife and baby.
Change is good. Changing your program every 6 weeks is a must. I answered another reader question about How To Deal With A Mental Blockage In Weight Loss and recommended this very same thing called Periodization.
After time, your muscles begin to adapt to the stress. Changing your program every 6 weeks keeps the body guessing as to what's happening next and it continues to adapt and grow.
A rest is also good, so in this case with limited time and a new baby, I'd reduce the amount of time in the gym as my method of change at this juncture.
You should not be training any longer than 1 hour at a time anyway. Research suggests that the optimal amount of time to train is actually 30 to 45 minutes, but certainly no longer than one hour. After the 1 hour mark, your hormonal state would be doing more damage than good. For more information about this, I invite you to sign up for my 5 part How To Build Muscle E-Course.
So, what I suggest is to cut back to 30 minutes of training 3 or 4 times a week. Do one body part at a time, use compound exercises and super sets to maximize volume. Use heavier weights and lower reps (in the 6 to 8 range) and get out after 30 minutes regardless of whether or not you're finished your assigned exercises.
You go heavy, you focus on one body part, you maximize volume and then you go home. Wait 24 to 48 hours and then train again.
I don't know what your program looks like now, so this may be something totally new to you. Again, for more information on the logic behind this, go sign up for the How To Build Muscle E-Course.
Work one body part every other day using this type of split:
3. Shoulders - but a little lighter
(with a day of rest between each body part)
You work the entire body over 9 days and then have a day off before starting again. Shoulders get worked in any upper body exercises, so they're stimulated during Chest movements as well as Back movements. Train them just slightly lighter on their day so as to avert injury. Then you've got two more days of training of Arms and Legs before using your shoulders again on the Chest day.
As well, by giving yourself a day between, you're allowing much more time for recovery and the full use of all the Testosterone that occurs from the rebound affect after training. If you train every day, you will interrupt the Testosterone output by releasing more cortisol. Do NOT train every day. Allow for the rest.
I'll be writing more about Hormonally Intelligent Exercise over the next few weeks, so make sure you subscribe to my blog posts for updates.
With the new baby coming, or when it arrives, you're going to have to optimize your sleep as well. Cutting back on training time and allowing for more rest between days, gives your body a chance to pump out lots of HGH, which improves sleep and stress levels. I get a kick out of supplement companies that offer HGH for you to buy when you can just have your body create it itself.. free (well, I guess you have to pay for it with a bit of pain).
What I'd like to impress upon you is to allow for the rest periods. If this type of program seems foreign to you, give it a try. Think of it as a "Training Holiday" if you will to at least get you to do it. You will probably find that you get better results than the current program you're following.
Good luck with the baby. Some pictures would be a nice follow up!