Time-Saving Methods for Strength and Muscle Building

Jun 22, 2023

As a father with boys on the autism spectrum, a full-time job, and numerous caregiving responsibilities at home, finding time for strength and muscle building can feel like an impossible task.

Most programs out there while great - ususally require a minimum of 1-2 hours in the gym and a serious level of program commitment. 

What you need to realise is that most programs won't be the right fir for you. So rather than just trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, follow these rules to ensure you can get the work done in the time available to you. 

Train Efficiently and Adjust Intensity

Rather than fixating on the amount of time I think a workout should take, I focus on training for the time available. This means designing workouts that are intense and efficient, allowing me to finish early if necessary. It's about quality over quantity.

Embrace Time-Saving Techniques

Incorporate time-saving techniques like Escalating Density Training (EDT), which involves performing alternating sets of two exercises within a specific time frame. This method allows me to accomplish more work in less time, maximising both strength and muscle-building benefits.

Explore Complex Training

Complex training combines strength exercises with plyometric or explosive movements. By combining movements, I can engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, saving time while still challenging my body to build strength and power. It's not for everyone, and if your joints ar a bit moody, proceed with caution. 

Implement Strength Circuits

Strength circuits involve performing a series of resistance exercises with minimal rest in between. This approach keeps the heart rate elevated, promotes muscle endurance, and saves time by minimising rest periods. It's great for general muscle building, although nicking all the equipment in the gym won't make you any friends... 

Utilize Supersets and Compound Movements

Incorporating supersets, which involve pairing two exercises back-to-back with minimal rest, and compound movements that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, allows me to maximise efficiency and time effectiveness during my workouts.

Leverage AI for Time-Saving Workouts

When my mental bandwidth is low or I lack the creativity to design a workout, I rely on AI-powered fitness apps and programs. These platforms generate customised workouts based on my goals, available equipment, and time constraints, helping me save time and stay consistent with my training.

Example: When I'm short on time and struggling to create a workout, I use the AI fitness app "FitGenius" to generate a 20-minute full-body strength and muscle-building session. The app considers my preferences, limitations, and time availability to provide a workout that ensures I make the most of the limited time I have.

Another alternative is to simply use ChatGPT and 'prompt' the AI to write you a progam. Try this prompt: 

Write me a [TIME AVAILABLE] minute workout based around [YOUR GOAL] using this available equipment [LIST YOUR EQUIPMENT]. I am a [AGE, GENDER, ABILITY] and I need the workout to be [INTENSITY LEVEL] 

Emphasize Compound Movements

Prioritise compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and rows. These exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, allowing me to train more effectively and efficiently while maximizing strength and muscle gains. When time is short - stay off the machines. 

Opt for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Incorporating HIIT sessions into my routine helps me save time while still reaping cardiovascular and metabolic benefits. These intense bursts of training keep the workouts brief yet highly effective. It only takes 10-15 minutes to see benefits over a couple of sessions. 

Implement Time-Under-Tension Techniques

By manipulating the tempo of my lifts and emphasizing time under tension, I can make my workouts more challenging and productive without needing to increase the duration. Slowing down the eccentric (lowering) phase of the movement and focusing on controlled contractions can enhance muscle growth and strength gains.

Prioritise Recovery and Adaptation

Recognise that adequate recovery and adaptation are crucial for progress. Make sure to schedule rest days, prioritise quality sleep, and maintain a balanced diet to support muscle repair and growth.

Being a busy dad with additional needs children and multiple responsibilities doesn't mean sacrificing our fitness goals. By implementing these time-saving program methods, adjusting our mindset, and embracing the available tools and techniques, we can optimise our training time, build strength and muscle, and improve our overall well-being. Remember, it's about finding a balance and making the most of the time we have, ensuring we prioritise both our family's needs and our own self-care.


I am excited to announce the upcoming launch of the Sustainable Strength mobile app, specifically designed for busy dads like us who want to build strength and muscle while maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

As a special offer, I am offering early launch access to a 14-day power building program exclusively for dads.

If you're interested in being part of this transformative strength experience, fill in the contact form on my website. I'll keep you posted on the launch date.