Last update August 1, 2010 9:37 PM          Email us



Don't lose the PL.O.T.T.

An acronym that I use for a Pl an O f T raining T imes

Many people find that fitting training into the daily routine can often be a struggle, and in the case of a lot our gym members it usually comes down to fitting a training session into a meal break of 40-45 minutes unless we can manage to train before or after the shift.

This approach can then cause problems with eating patterns and sometimes people can put training first and that could bring on health problems by training and not eating and getting enough energy into the body to continue for sustained periods, without the fuel the engine soon slows and grinds to a halt.

Always take on plenty of liquids when training either water or high-energy drinks and plan your eating so you don't go hungry for the sake of a training session.

The best way to avoid these problems is to form a Pl an O f T raining T imes.

There are many ways to organise your plan of training times,

1) Start by working out exactly how much time that you can allocate to each session of your training.

2) Decide how many sessions a week you will be able to commit to.

3) Decide what you want to gain from your training sessions, i.e. build muscle, work on cardio, cross train, circuit train or just a daily general work out.

Also don't forget to speak to the gym manager for assistance with setting out your targets and routines if you are unsure, Kelly is there to help and is always happy to meet members and give assistance when needed. Once you have decided on the above then it's time to sort out your routine, I'll base this on a 40 minute break, don't forget time to change and shower.

If you are on a weight training routine, have 40 minutes a day and can train 3 days a week you're weekly workout could look something like this;

Allowing 2 minutes to get changed (x2), 5 minutes to shower and 2 minutes to stretch before and after (all this is based on an average) then this totals 13 minutes and gives 27 minutes training, don't take all these times as written, this is just a rough work plan training guide and will differ for everyone, it's up to each individual to work out there own plan.

27 minutes doesn't sound a lot but if you plan your workout and know what you're going to do before entering the gym then it's plenty of time.

I would also recommend that you buy a stopwatch or timer, something along the lines of the gymboss with multiple alarms, timers and stopwatch which can be picked up on E-Bay for around £12.


On Monday I would choose some upper body excercises, I would not be going for specific reps but aiming for specific times (this is where the stopwatch alarm comes in handy).

1) Smith Machine Bench Press 30 seconds as many reps as possible, and then add weight, repeat x3

So if you start with 20kg for example push out as many reps as possible in 30 seconds then add another 10 kg and repeat for 30 seconds then add another 10kg and repeat for the last 30 seconds, this sets your target and gives you something to beat, when you can beat the targets easily and regularly then you can up the starting weight to 30kg and so on upwards. Allowing 30 seconds between each set to add weight this should total 3 minutes.

2) Around the world, an excellent exercise for working the chest and shoulders, start with 10kg dumbbells and do as many reps in 30 seconds as with the Smith Machine then repeat with the 12kg dumbbells and the 14kg dumbbells, again these totals 3 minutes.

3) Cable Crossovers, as with the other 2 excercises as many reps as possible in 30 seconds with 4 plates either side then repeat with 5 either side and then 6 again this totals 3 minutes.

Total so far 9 minutes now take 2 minutes rest.

(Don't forget that these are all examples, you can start at whatever weight that you are used to, only start with weights that you feel comfortable with, don't risk injury)

4) Seated Front Pulldowns 30 seconds add weight repeat x2

5) Seated cable row 30 seconds add weight x2

6) Pullups, as many as possible in 30 seconds, 30 seconds rest then repeat x2

As before this should total 9 minutes at this point again take a 2 minute rest.

7) Finish off with 3 sets of Dumbbell Flys as many reps as possible in 30 seconds upping the weight each time as above with 30 seconds rest in between.

Ending with 2 minutes at a steady pace on a bike with slow breathing to bring your heart rate down and relax.

This has taken 27 minutes just by working strictly to the stopwatch and fitting as many reps in as possible in a short amount of time.

Tuesday Rest day

Wednesday I would plan a lower body workout using the same work plan as above.

Thursday Rest day

Friday I would do a full body workout such as the Randy Couture MMA workout

which I can recommend very highly and some circuit training or a core workout

to fill up the session.

I have trained this way many times myself if time has been short, by working to a stopwatch any workout can be maximised, all it takes is planning.

Work out what you want to achieve, plan in advance what excercises you will be doing on the day (if possible always try and have a fallback exercise in case you get in the gym and the piece of equipment you want is in use) and stick to the times that you set, this way you make the most of your time and will feel the benefits.

Remember, plan in advance, most of the time I usually plan my workout regime 4 weeks in advance so I know exactly what I will be doing and I then change my routine after the 4 weeks to shock my muscles, work different muscle groups and stop them getting used to a particular workout.

As I said this way of training can be used for any form of exercise, whether it's running, weights or some other training it's all about planning.

Links below for all these excercises

Smith Machine Bench Press

Around the world

Cable Crossovers

Seated Front Pulldowns

Seated cable row


Dumbbell Flys

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