I work in a big IT company and it's really hard to keep yourself fit when sitting in front of your monitor for 10 hours per day (I'm doing even more than 8 hours per day to get a permanent position).

I try to do some simple weight-lifting with two 4-Kg handles I bought during the week at evening and go to run for an hour or so on Saturday and Sunday.

I feel that this is not enough to keep yourself fit and I'd like to ask what kind of body-building-like exercises could I do with my two 4-Kg handles, as the only gear available, during the week.

What I usually do is:

  • 1-2 series of 60 abs each
  • 1-2 series of 100 lifts per arm (4 Kg per arm)
  • 20-25 series of deltoids (lateral lifting)
  • 60 push-ups
  • ~40 pectorals by lying down on two chairs (adapted as a bench)
  • Is getting a stand-up desk out of the question? I'm a software engineer, and I love standing up for most hours of the day. I've also used a treadmill desk which is even better. Also, controlling what you eat is actually the best thing you can do IMHO.
    – Max
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 19:22
  • I don't think I can put a treadmill desk in my office, standing up is allowed but is terrible working that way for many hours
    – Marco A.
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 21:11
  • Sitting for many hours is just as bad. Your body needs to keep moving to stay in shape. That's why breaks are highly recommended (the ones where you stretch/walk). If you can alternate 1 hour sitting/1 hour standing, you'll be in much better shape (including burning more calories overall). Again, if that's not something you want to consider, I'd say your diet is the best way to stay in shape (even if you exercise).
    – Max
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 0:23

3 Answers 3


Since you work 10 hours a day, time isn't your friend. As a result, you want to achieve maximum result in the shortest time. The goal is to perform as many whole body exercises as possible. As a result, do something similar to this:

  • Get a pull up bar and place it on your home bathroom door. Everyday (preferably before work), perform pull ups, chinups, and legs up on them. Do as many as you can and try to increase the numbers frequently. That should take you about 5 minutes in all.
  • If you drive to work, park at a far distance from your office and jog/power-walk to your office. (If you can sprint, that would be awesome!)
  • Once you get to work, (preferably in an isolated location), perform about 10 burpees.Again, try to increase the numbers as you get stronger.
  • Purchase higher weight dumbbells (your goal is maximum result in shortest time and your current weights won't do that).You don't have to lift the weights at work; you can lift them at home after work.
  • During your break or your normal time, perform your pushups and any other exercises that time allows you to perform. For abs exercises, I recommend reverse crunches (about 40 reps) and/or standing crunches. I would ditch the 100 lifts and lateral lifting (all the previous exercises mentioned would have worked those muscles by now).
  • While sitting, do not slouch. Sit straight up and your core muscles will be engaged. You can rest your back on the chair time and again, but endeavor to sit straight for most of the time to strengthen those core muscles.

All those exercises should be part of your daily routine and you'll actually notice changes in your chest, shoulders, arms, back, and legs in a few weeks. However, you still need to create time (probably 3 times a week) to exercise. There are many exercises online to choose from, but the following seem to be the most popular as well as provide much results.

Do that and you'll see a transformation in your physique and energy levels.

Since you work in an IT office, if yours is similar to mine, avoid these as much as possible.

  • Doughnuts; you'll always find some lying around
  • Energy drinks. Too much bad stuff in it for you
  • Drink coffee, but with little/no sugar and creamer.

Try to eat as healthy as possible. If your diet sucks, your physique won't be good.

Rest as much as your time allows.

Incorporate exercising as part of your lifestyle; that way, it doesn't seem like exercising at all (and it actually becomes fun).

Join some fitness community to help you achieve those goals as well.

Never stop exercising.

  • I +1'd the other answers but I chose this one since it seems somewhat more feasible in my time schedule and since it extends to diet suggestions.
    – Marco A.
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 9:32
  • @DavidKernin Thank you. That's what I've been doing since I started my weightloss program in January. And with everything, I've lost over 30 lbs and 10 inches in waist. So, I know it does work. The good news is that even if you miss a day (for whatever reason) , you'll still do the same tomorrow again. :) Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 12:48

I presume from the tone of your question that you are normally pretty active and that you are getting frustrated with lack of time to train?

Presuming that this is the case. There are a few things I can suggested that will maximise the training effect with the time and equipment that you have.

Regarding your weight sessions, it sounds as if the weights you are using are too light for you. Generally the maximum of one exercise you would do is 25, and then you would increase the weight. So an ideal scenario would be for you to buy heavier weight, but if this isn't an option, I would suggest change to more advanced versions of the press ups - you could put your feet on a chair(whilst maintaining a good position). This will bring the weight over your shoulders and thus make the exercise harder.

The other thing you could do, is Keep all the exercises using the same muscle together, so muscles are tired before starting next exercise.

As for your overall training the week, I would add some Tabata training once or twice a week(not consecutive days). This is very high intensive circuit style training with very strict timed work/recovery. You need to select 3-4 (preferably multi-muscle exercises, ones that are not dangerous if you start to lose form. Burpees would be a good example. You could also do lateral lunges. Lunge to one side bring feet together and shoulder press, then lunge to the otherside(repeat). Tuck jumps, and lunges(alt legs)with or without weights. The 4 exercises make 1 round. You need to do between 4-8 rounds. I would suggest 30 seconds work/followed by 10 seconds recovery.

I would change the running long run on Saturday to be interval training. This could be fartlek or something like the following:- warmup for 10 minutes. Run 1 minute hard/followed by 1 minute jog. Repeat 6-10 times. Then do 10 minutes cool down jog. There are many different sessions you can do like this. I would stick with Sunday 1 hour run.

I think these small changes could have a big impact on your training


I would suggest getting some ankle weights to do leg lifts while sitting at your desk. I use the 1lb weights I ordered from Beachbody, and they are great because I can wear them under my pants and you can't even tell I have them on. I also try to park far from my office to get more walking in, and lunch breaks I spend outside (when its nice) and walk around.

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