I have started to do workouts just recently, and I am doing weight training, but I seem to have a very busy schedule so I only get to go to the gym once a week.

What I do currently though is I jog around 1.5k before going to work everyday(from the parking lot to the office, around 5 blocks away), but I feel it's not enough.

I do have some dumbbells at home but I don't know which exercises should I use so I could compensate for the lack of time in the gym.

I can usually have half an hour to an hour of free time when I come home from work, so I am looking for exercises that I could do before going to bed. I want to do it at night since I get home at around 8pm, and because I have to be up early morning to go to work(I leave the house at around 5:30 am).

What exercises would be the most effective based on my schedule (gym once a week, jog every day) and resources(dumbbells at home, half an hour per day)?

  • 1
    What type of job do you have where you have to work from 5:30 am to 8pm?
    – Chad
    Dec 11, 2013 at 6:59
  • People who try to work out at home typically do not have the space or extra equipment (eg. benches or the equivalent) to get a worthwhile workout. Do you have both? If not, you may want to look at using rubber bands.
    – rrirower
    Dec 11, 2013 at 14:14
  • Perhaps this answer can help you, see fitness.stackexchange.com/a/13078/3778
    – FredrikD
    Dec 11, 2013 at 20:56
  • @Chad I'm a Web developer and my division is a little bit understaffed at the moment so I work an hour or 2 later than my work hours.
    – marchemike
    Dec 12, 2013 at 0:06
  • 1
    What are your training goals?
    – user4644
    Dec 12, 2013 at 5:46

2 Answers 2


Given your current training schedule, your basic load of low intensity training is in the recommended range of 2-3 hours (120 to 180 minutes, see e.g. CDC recommendation) per week.

Assuming that the 1.5k run takes 8-10 minutes and you do this twice a day, five days a week plus 60 minutes in the gym -> 140 to 160 minutes.

The basic load of high intensity does not have to be that high, NY times: The 4-minute workout, e.g. one 4 minute high intensity exercise per week.

So the recommendation is (given that you don't have a specific goal and don't want to over train):

  • Once or twice a week do a 4 minute tabata, e.g. with burpees or mountain climbers.

  • For those days you skip the parking log jog, take a walk or slow jog at night

Assuming that the dumbbells are too light to impact your large muscule groups and given your available limited time, they are of little use. Consider replacing them with one or two kettlebells

  • I'll try this one for a couple of weeks and see how it works.
    – marchemike
    Dec 16, 2013 at 3:05

Whenever I miss the gym, i do around 200 squats and 100 crunches and perhaps Jogging for 15-20 mins. If you have dumbbells, then you can do some upper body exercises as well like overhead, side-bending etc.

  • 200 squats! I'm assuming you mean without weight? Isn't that a lot of stress on the knees?
    – Josh
    Dec 20, 2013 at 16:54
  • Yes of course without any weights... Well it all depends. I started with 10 squats per day when i started to work out like 2 yrs ago. Also i do squats in a set of 50. So its like 4 sets of squats and same with the crunches.
    – Madhura
    Dec 23, 2013 at 9:09

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