A Bodybuilder Shared His Best Advice for Staying Swole on a Busy Schedule

As one of YouTube’s Buff Dudes, Hudson White kinda has to stay shredded at all times. But he also has a wife and kids, and so he’s adapted to fit his workouts around family life — like in the video where he learned to work out on just 4 hours of sleep a night. While that particular challenge isn’t exactly sustainable, White does have some more practical advice to offer when it comes to getting the most out of your workout time.

“It can get pretty stressful, pretty fast,” he says. “You can convince yourself you don’t have enough time, you’re trying to think of any excuse you have to not make it happen, then all of a sudden you go ‘uh-oh, now I really don’t have enough time’… But when you think about it, in a 24-hour day, a 1-hour workout only takes up 4%.”

Full body, 3-day a week, 5×5 plan

This workout focuses on compound exercises including squats, pullups, deadlifts, overhead press and bench press. It’s suitable for anybody; newbies can learn foundational exercises, and if you’re an old hand, you can jump straight in to work on your 1-rep max.

A typical 5×5 workout takes between 60 and 90 minutes, and can be pretty physically taxing, but as it’s only 3 days per week, it allows plenty of time for recovery (and doesn’t eat into your schedule). “Maybe if you’ve been out of the gym for a little while, it’s a great way to get back in, reacquaint yourself, get that pump, and feel like a badass,” says White.

Circuit training exercises

If you don’t have 90 minutes to spare, White recommends circuit training as a faster-paced, fat-burning alternative to the 5×5 workout: “By jumping from one exercise to the next with no rest in between, you’re keeping your heart rate really elevated, still working full body, so you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.”

You can complete a circuit workout in 30 minutes, which might appeal to your calendar, but the tradeoff is that the lack of rest periods and sustained physical activity mean it’s an intense, exhausting half hour. “You’re sacrificing a little bit of time, but a little bit more hard work,” says White.

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Dumbbell only exercises

This one is inspired by a workout the Buff Dudes devised while staying in an isolated part of Oregon with no access to a gym, and is perfect for anyone who wants to work out at home.

Using only a pair of 45 pound dumbbells, you can do supersets and variations which keep your heart rate up and can still yield results. “It just goes to show that even though you don’t have a lot of options, that doesn’t mean you can’t get into shape or stay in shape.”

Bodyweight exercises

Much like the dumbbell only workout, the advantage to bodyweight exercises is that you can do them any place, any time, and still train every muscle group — the only thing you need is the motivation to see it through.

White also offers up some tips for ensuring that you keep your nutrition a priority amid the hectic demands of work and family life. First, he sings the praises of slow cookers, which take minimal time and effort, meaning you can come home from work to a healthy, ready-to-eat meal. Then there are subscription services like Hello Fresh, which cut out grocery shopping time. And then there’s meal prep, which White prefers to do on the barbecue, batch cooking a week’s worth of meat and vegetables in under an hour.

The most important advice he can give, however, is to create a schedule and stick to it. “You might have some idea of what you’re going to do with your workout and your foods, but if you don’t have a schedule, it’s very easy to fall off track, to lose focus.”

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