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The lazy workout which keeps you in shape while you’re busy or unmotivated

Published: Thu 8th December 2016

Note: my workout ethos and programming are heavily inspired by the books: Dinosaur Training and then, later on in life, Wendler's 5/3/1

Sometimes, I don’t have the motivation to train as often as I’d like.  Or if I’m on holiday/vacation and partying a lot it’s hard to get training in.

Usually, I would train 3 – 4 times per week, ideally using 5/3/1, but when I’m in “off” mode, I cut this down to 2 times per week.

A simple "lazy" workout looks like this. (I'll explain later why you can't actually be lazy for this to work).

Note: This isn’t for beginners, this is for people who are already trained and looking to hold onto existing strength and muscle.

Workout A)

Bench press – up to a max 5, 3, or 1.  Then 2 progressively lower back off sets with about 10 reps each. e.g. I might bench up to 140kg x 3, then do 100kg x 10, then 80kg x 10 as fatigue sets in.   The 5, 3 or 1 is chosen by how I’m feeling – this workout isn’t designed for structured progression – it is for maintenance.  The heaviest set should be a grinder, but you should not miss the rep (i.e. fail).  You can go to failure or beyond (drop sets, forced reps etc) on the back off sets.

Dumbell bench press – 3 sets AMRAP (As many reps as possible)

Barbell row – 3 - 5 sets AMRAP (progressively heavier sets, then a backoff or two)

Chin up or pull up (or mix it up) – 3 sets bodyweight each to failure

OPTIONAL - AOB (Any other business) e.g. isolation, flyes, pec dec, pullovers, curls, whatever you like - I don’t think it’s going to give you anything else but if you’re still buzzing from your pre-workout feel free to add in isolation movements  


Workout B)

Squat - up to a max 5, 3, or 1.  Then 2 progressively lower back off sets with about 10 reps each.

Deadlift – up to a heavy triple, then 1 back off set with about 10 reps You won’t have any energy for AOB on this day if done correctly.  


Do each workout once per week with at least 2 days in between.  (e.g. A on Monday / B on Thursday). It’s as simple as that. 


Each workout should take 60 – 90 minutes only and you should be gassed, feel sick and be soaked in sweat (particularly with B).  This is, of course, because training hard is not optional.

Training with less frequency is the idea here.  You still have got to bust your balls and attack the weights like an animal, trying to beat your strength records (even though it will be difficult with such an abbreviated program), and every set should be AMRAP (until you can't complete another rep despite your best effort) given this is such a low volume program.


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