Is it possible to build strength, muscle and stamina if you spend your day working at a desk?
Of course, it can be done but you’ll have to drop the notion that it is so difficult to have a consistent weight training routine while holding a demanding full-time job.
I understand you have work, family, and other countless things you need to take care of every day. But, if you start your strength-building journey by telling yourself it is difficult, you will be setting yourself up for failure.
However, to achieve any meaningful goal, whether in fitness or any other area of your life, you must begin with the right mindset. Take time to think through everything and make a plan on how you’re going to handle any obstacles that might arise before you even start.
The first step when you start lifting weights would be to fix your posture and mobility issues by working on them at the beginning of every session. Doing this will help prevent injury by keeping any tight muscles and stiff joints flexible.
By focusing on and fixing your posture right at the beginning, you will build a strong training foundation because you will have started at a point of strength and not weakness. You’ll make faster gains once you get into your weekly lifting rhythm.
Below are simple and actionable ways to help you succeed at building strength and muscle mass even if you’re busy and don’t have hours to spend in the gym.
Focus on progress, not perfection
Who doesn’t want to make faster progress when working on any given venture? We all want big profits in business and higher promotions at work. And so, it is so easy to fall into the same trap when it comes to building strength and muscle in the gym.
If you aim to see progress only after a few weeks of work, or else you become discouraged and throw in the towel, then strength-building might not be for you.
To build a good level of muscle and strength, you’ll need to invest your sweat, time and dedication. There are no shortcuts.
Here are several factors that might affect your muscle-building and strength-training routine.
- Your age
- Current physical limitations or injuries.
- Time available for training.
- The nature of your job and any other family or social responsibilities.
Don’t measure your progress only by your ability to lift heavier weights week after week. Focus instead on perfecting your form at all times by working your muscles through their full range of motion.
So long as you can train every week without any joint aches and pains, you are on the right track. Stop chasing arbitrary numbers that mean nothing at the end of the day. Your goal should be to train for a better quality of life and function.
Pick a program you love and works for you
The type of training program you decide to follow does not matter. It all boils down to sticking to the program and executing it effectively.
Showing up and putting in the work is the only way to get the results you want.
Be practical and realistic about how much time you can set aside for weight training. Starting by picking a 5-day program that requires an hour every day is a recipe for frustration. You’ll quickly lose interest a few months down the line as it will be difficult to stick to.
If you’re a beginner, choose a program that you enjoy and that you can easily do without thinking. Make sure the program is short, simple, and not very challenging.
A good strength program must cover all the basic movements patterns. It should help you build basic strength and improve the way you move before going for a tougher and advanced routine.
You are not a body-builder
Most professional bodybuilders invest years of their time training every day to sculpt their bodies. The training methods they follow are not ideal for anyone other than other bodybuilders.
Thinking that you can take their programs and use them without first addressing the fact that you spent all your day seated is bound to fail.
You’ll find the programs frustrating and difficult to follow. This is because they’ll either be too general or super-advanced for you. And if you insist on following them, you’ll always be fixing injuries caused by overtraining.
So you can’t expect to go to the gym, start a new program and crush your workouts just like an elite athlete.
The push to always stack on the plates or training at your highest capacity will do you more harm than good as you will quickly realize that it is not the best way to go about it.
Have a slow start. Build your strength and stamina gradually while giving your body enough time to adjust to the physiological changes caused by training. You will make steady progress doing this than by trying to do it any other way.