Updated: Jan 25, 2022
Many people often use their jobs as an excuse not to work out and get in the gym.
Many people claim that they don't have the time, or that it would simply be too tough to fit in a whole workout session.
But there's always something you can do.
There's always a way you can work around your daily schedule.
In this post I'll be running you through the ideal daily schedule for your 9-5 job, and giving you tips and pointers along the way to maximize the results from your hard work both in and out of the gym.
After this, you should have little to no excuse for not getting in the gym and smashing your workouts!
The Workout Plan for Your 9-5 Job
7:30 AM - Wake Up
Rise up! It's time to shine.
Waking up at 7:30 should be perfectly doable for most people.
Or if you're an early bird and prefer to wake up earlier, that is completely fine too.
Just make sure you're getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night so that you give your body enough rest to grow and come back bigger and stronger.
Alternatively you could even afford to get up at 7:45 or maybe even 8 depending on how close you live to your office/work grounds!
I just recommend getting up slightly earlier so that you're not in a hurry to get your morning routine done.
Nobody likes to be stressed first thing in the morning racing to get to work.
It can ruin the rest of the day for some people, and even have a negative impact on your workout later on.
Plus, it makes many people (including me) feel good first thing in the morning when we started out days somewhat early.
Right when you wake up you should look to have a glass of water and do whatever else you have to in order to prepare for the day ahead and your gym session afterwards.
7:45/8:00 AM - Breakfast
Many people think that this is the most important meal of the day.
And while breakfast isn't completely necessary, it is recommended that you fit it into your daily schedule so that you can get more calories in throughout the day and reach your goals quicker.
Remember, every meal that you skip could easily be 300-600 calories you miss out on throughout the day.
And this is especially crucial if your main goals are to gain strength or build muscle at the most optimal rate.
You ideally want to be eating in a calorie surplus, and it's going to be tough to do that if you're skipping an entire meal every single day.
If you are going to have breakfast, you want to make sure that it's got a good amount of protein in it and also some carbs so that you've got energy to burn heading into your day at work.
The amount that you eat will depend on several different factors like your gender, your bodyweight and the number of meals that you plan on eating throughout the day.
For most people, the size of breakfast is generally going to be somewhere between 300 and 500 calories.
Some good examples of breakfast would include:
Protein smoothie (if you're short on time)
Eggs on toast
Take your time with this meal, and make sure that you're feeling good heading into your work day.
Oh, and in the time between your breakfast and the time you start work you should look to pack your lunch and snacks so that you've got enough food to last you up until your gym session.
9:00 AM - Start Work
Nothing that I can really tell you here.
You start your work.
Enjoy what you do and crush your day on the job!
12:00/12:30 PM - Pre-Packed Lunch
There's no doubt that you're going to start to feel a little tired and hungry after a couple of hours at work.
Especially if you've got a job that's a little more physically demanding.
Now is the time to enjoy your pre-packed lunch (or you can buy a lunch if you really prefer).
Once again, make sure that this is a meal high in protein and carbs, as you're going to need lots of energy to get through the rest of the day and lots of protein to allow your muscles to grow at the most optimal rate.
Whatever you do, this meal should definitely not be skipped.
Some good examples of a healthy lunch could include:
Grilled chicken and broccoli on rice
Tuna pasta with garden salad
Nicoise farro salad
Sirloin steak, garden salad and baked potato
Pork and egg fried rice
Salmon fillet, potato wedges and mesclun salad
Make sure to have plenty of water during this meal as well and that you're feeling full!
You're going to need the extra energy.
3:00/3:30 PM - Snack or Meal
This snack or meal (your choice) is actually incredibly important.
It's the meal that's going to be the most responsible for fueling your workout and giving you energy as you train.
You could choose to have anything that's got some protein and carbs in it.
For example, you could have:
What you eat doesn't matter that much, just as long as you're eating something that's going to give you enough energy to get through your workout and crush it!
5 PM - Finish Work
And you get off work!
Hopefully you're not feeling too tired and beat up, because now you've got your evening gym session!
For many of you reading this, it's going to be the highlight of your day and the thing that you look forward to during your shift at work.
So go home and grab your stuff or head towards the gym now if you've already packed your things!
5:30/6 PM - Begin Your Workout
If you're truly committed to your goals and getting in the best shape of your life, this is something that you'll have been looking forwards.
Even if you hate your 9-5 job (do try and fix that), your evening workout can be something that you look forward to and enjoy.
Now that the time is here, you just have to go hard in your workout and make the most out of your time in the gym!
If you're still feeling a little tired from work, you could opt to have some pre-workout to get a quick boost in your energy levels and prepare for your training session ahead.
Otherwise, enjoy the workout and go hard!
7:00/7:30 PM - Head Home
Depending on the length of you workout and the time that you started your session, the time that you get out of the gym can differ from the person next to you.
But that doesn't matter for now.
Head home, go enjoy the rest of the day and prepare to have dinner!
8:00/8:15 PM - Dinner
Alright! We're nearing the end of the day.
It's time to have your post-workout dinner, and really give your body the fuel that it needs in order to grow and come back both bigger and stronger than before.
As with all your meals and snacks so far, you should ensure that this meal is high in protein.
However many calories you've got left for the day to reach the right intake range, this meal should more or less help you finish them off unless you're planning to have another snack later during the night.
Also, remember to get lots of water in!
It's also very important if you want to get the most out of your body and see some proper growth from your hard work.
Some good examples of a healthy dinner could be:
Steak and eggplant salad with rice
Salmon with noodles and mixed greens
Chicken and peas on rice
Cheesy ground chicken pasta
Ground beef and potatoes skillet
10:00 PM - Snack Before Bed
This step is actually optional.
Many people prefer not to eat late at night for various reasons, and some just prefer to have larger meals so that they feel more satisfied after eating each time.
However, if you find that you're unable to reach your daily macro intake goals and aren't able to fit all of it into your 3 main meals and a snack, you can opt to have another snack if you would like an hour or so before bed.
Just use this snack to finish off the rest of your calories and your macro intake to make sure that you get everything you're meant to eat.
This could be anything such as:
Scrambled eggs or avocado on toast
Hard boiled eggs
Peanut butter celery sticks
Try not to have this too close to bedtime, as you can risk indigestion and negatively impact your sleep (which will affect your gains in the long run).
Try to have it at least an hour to an hour and a half before going to sleep.
11:00/11:30 PM - Sleep
And now we're actually at the end of the day.
Now is the time for you to get some quality sleep and allow both your body and your mind to get some rest from all the hard work that you're putting in!
Days can be extremely tiring if we're working full time and committing to a regular fitness program, and it's important that you get some rest so you don't burn out and negatively impact both your performance in the office or work grounds and the gym.
Burning out can lead to plateaus and decreased motivation in the gym, which is never a desirable thing to have.
You could see significantly slower progress and gains, or stop seeing them completely if you burn out hard enough.
Make sure you're giving your body and your mind the rest that they need to keep functioning and getting through all your hard work both in and out of the gym.
You can definitely alter the bedtime to suit your own goals and preferences, but make sure that you're getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night so your body is getting enough recovery to grow.
Things to Note
Before I end this post, I have to stress that there are a couple of important things that you really should note when you're working around your 9-5 job and creating a workout schedule.
Make Sure to Drink Water
It's vitally important that you're getting enough water in throughout the day so that you're able to keep hydrated and performing at your best, whether you're in the office/work grounds or the gym.
Drinking more water is also going to help you make better gains and see more results from your hard work in the gym.
According to this study conducted by Isabel Lorenzo, our muscles are made up of approximately 76% water.
It should make sense that if you want to see proper results and make the most out of your time and effort, you should be feeding your body enough water.
Most of the Time, Your Job Should Come First
Don't feel the need to put your fitness first over your job or your career.
If you're working late at your job and you're not sure whether you should finish your work or leave and go to the gym, choose your job first.
Fitness and getting in shape can wait.
But if something happens at work that causes you to lose your job (and it's your primary source of income), you're going to be in for a rough ride.
You probably wouldn't even be able to afford to keep going to the gym anyways.
You Could Also Work Out in the Morning
If you're an extremely early bird or have other commitments that take up time after your 9-5 job, you can always wake up a little earlier (probably around 5:30-6:00 AM) and fit in a workout session before you head to the office/work grounds.
I understand that many people simply prefer to work out in the mornings or can't make time for an afternoon session, and just wanted to clear up that training before heading to work is definitely an option.
You Can Work Out in the Weekends Too
If you're a very busy person and find it hard to fit in too many gym sessions on a weekday or work day, you can definitely choose to work out in the weekends as well.
For example, instead of having to rush to get in the gym and feel stressed by it 4 days out of the work week, you can choose to work out on both Saturday and Sunday and only have to go to both work and the gym two days out of the work week.
However many people like to take the weekends completely off away from both work and the gym, and it's all up to you what you choose to do.
There Are Ways to Shorten Your Workouts
I get that you're likely going to be in a rush when you have to head from work to the gym right after getting off your shift.
In that case, you could look to use some intensity techniques or shorten your rest periods to increase workout intensity and get more done in a shorter period of time.
This isn't going to be completely optimal for those of you looking to maximize your results in terms of building strength and muscle, but it's going to be better than trying to stay committed to a workout program that's not practical at all for your schedule.
You Could Work Out At Home Too
If it really does become too tough to fit everything into your day and get around everywhere, you could always choose to work out at home instead.
Now whether this means you commit to purchasing your own weights to use at home (more expensive upfront than a gym by better in the long run), or simply work out with your bodyweight is up to you.
It's all up to your own preferences and what you'd rather do.
Workouts at home tend to take significantly less time because you don't have to spend so much of it driving everywhere, and also don't have to wait for anybody that's either distracting you or using equipment that you also want to use.
You shouldn't use your 9-5 job as an excuse for not getting into the gym and being in the best shape of your life.
All it takes is some careful planning and considerations to get it sorted out!
Some of you will have it tougher than others, but there's almost always something that you can do to make the most out of your situation and get things up and running smoothly!
Thanks so much for reading this post!
I hope you've learnt something and have enjoyed it.
If you did, remember to share it with your friends so we can reach more people!