If you are a busy parent and also busy at work most of the day, it can be difficult to get to the gym 3 or 4 times a week like back in the day.
It’s important to remember that the benefit of one workout per week is massive, compared to doing nothing – so don’t give up. Even if you just have to maintain strength, fitness and/or MMA technique for a couple of years – the lack of progression can be frustrating but the alternative is to get overweight, unhealthy and probably a bit unhappy too.
In fact, just a few minutes of high intensity exercise can make a massive difference to your fitness levels.
Below are some ideas for a once a week workout at the gym and at home.
Gym Once a Week Workout
Warm up with a Tabata Interval of bodyweight squats*
Also do at least 1 warm up set with a lightweight before each exercise
Exercise 1 – Deadlifts x 4 sets of 4-6 reps
Exercise 2 – Push Press or Military Press x 3 sets of 6-10 reps
Exercise 3 – Chin Ups x 2 sets of Max reps
Exercise 4 – Plyometric Press ups x 3 sets of 6 reps
Exercise 5 – Hanging leg raises x 2 sets of max reps with perfect form
Finish your workout with another Tabata Interval:
|Kettlebell or Dumbbell Tabata|
|General Fitness||Number of 20 sec Rounds||Round Rest|
|Alternating Lunges||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Goblet Squats||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Hammer Curls||1||10 secs in between each round|
|In & Out Squats||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Overhead Tricep Extensions||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Renegade Rows||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Shoulder Press||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Squat & Press||1||10 secs in between each round|
Gym Once a Week Workout 2
Use 10 minutes of steady state cardio and/or a Tabata of Bodyweight squats to warm up
Exercise 1 – Back Squats x 4 sets of 6 – 10 reps
Exercise 2 – Barbell Bench Press x 3 sets – 6 – 10 reps
Exercise 3 – Bent Over Barbell Row x 3 sets of 8 reps
Exercise 4 – Dips x 3 sets of 6-10 reps
*Tabata Interval sessions consist of intense workouts for 20 seconds, then resting for 10 seconds. This cycle is repeated seven more times per workout.
More info on Tabata Intervals can be found here.
Once a Week Workout at Home
A Tabata Interval is a great option if you are at home and have no equipment
|Bodyweight Tabata||20 sec Rounds||Round Rest|
|Bodyweight Squats||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Froggers||1||10 secs in between each round|
|High Knees||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Knee Tuck & Plank Jack||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Mountain Climbers||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Tuck Jumps||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Squat Jump Turns||1||10 secs in between each round|
|Speed Skaters||1||10 secs in between each round|
For a more advanced Tabata Home Workout, you can add another 4 minute interval including the following exercises:
- Plyometrics ‘clap’ press ups – push off and clap mid air on each rep
- Hindu Press Ups – Start in a downward dog position, touch your nose to the floor and press back up
- Single leg/Pistol Squats
- Chin Ups & Kettlebell exercises if you have the equipment
To maintain mobility, The World’s Greatest Stretch is arguably the most time efficient stretch to do.
Stand with your feet about hip’s distance apart. Bend at the knees into the squat position. Keep your weight in your heels. Jump lightly so that your feet are a couple inches apart. Squat down again, and continue jumping in and out for wide and narrow squats.
Resistance Bands Workouts
Resistance bands or tubes are a great option if you only have time to workout at home.
They require very little space to use and to store, and the variety of exercises that can be done with them is pretty vast.
Its also a bit safer to train in the house with bands, compared to, for example a kettlebell which could also break something or accidentally KO a child.
Resistance Band Workout
Warm up with a Tabata interval of bodyweight squats.
- Millitary Press 3 sets of 12 reps
- Bicep Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
- Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 12 reps
- Squats – 3 sets of 15 reps
For a more advanced workout add:
- Tuck Jumps 2 sets of 8 reps
- Jumping Lunges 2 sets of 10 reps
- Clap Press Ups 2 sets of 6 reps
PDF. Workout Programs
Below are a number of pdf workout programs that you could use to adapt and create a once per week workout routine. Focus on using all the muscle groups, with ‘compound’ multi joint movements. For example, use chin ups for biceps, instead of curls.