The Busy Gym Survival Kit - Chris Mason Performance

The Busy Gym Survival Kit

Every year it's exactly the same, 

The gym was empty in December, but crazily busy in January.

So busy that you can't find a bench free in the weights area, the dumbbells you want to use are always taken and the treadmills are either full or have the last persons sweat dripping all over them.

Without doubt, this is a scenario you'll be encountering

Which is crazily frustrating when you're now ready to build muscle, drop fat and improve your fitness but can't seem to create a productive workout that fits your goals.

I mean, are you really going to be able to achieve head turning results when this is what you see when you walk in the gym?

So what do you do? 

Miss the training session?

Come back another day?

Quit all together?

No, no no.

You're going to use the busy gym survival kit that i am about to share with you instead!

Perform Straight set work

Say your main goal right now is to lose body fat and you're training 3x per week. Your best approach would be to train each and every muscle group in every session that you do. 

Straight set work is where you simply pick an exercise and don't move onto the next exercise until you've completed all your sets and reps. This works really well when the gym is busy and you cannot superset exercises or perform circuits.

This could look like this;

A. Chest Press - 3 sets - 8 reps - 60s rest

B. Seated Row - 3 sets - 8 reps - 60 rest

C. Shoulder Press Machine - 3 sets - 8 reps - 60s rest

D. Face Pulls - 3 sets - 8 reps - 60s rest

E. Lying Leg Curls - 3 sets - 8 reps - 60s rest

F. Leg Press - 3 sets - 8 reps - 60s rest


Grab a pair of dumbbells for the exercise that you're weakest at and perform the following as dumbbell circuits. That's just you and a pair of dumbbells - nothing else.

Circuit One

A1. Floor Chest Press

A2. DB Bent Over Rows

A3. DB Squats 

A4. DB Deadlift

3 sets - 8 reps - 60s rest

Circuit Two

A1. Shoulder Press

A2. Lunges

A3. DB Upright Rows

A4. Single Leg DB Deadlift

3 sets - 8 reps - 60s rest

BARBELL Complexes

Granted, you might have an easier time finding a pair of dumbbells rather than an olympic barbell but if you do happen to walk into the gym and the only piece of kit free is a barbell then complexes are the workout you'll do to elevate your metabolism and kick start fat loss.

Whilst these are a little more technical, here's how you do them.

Again start with the weight for the exercise that you can lift the least on.

Circuit One

A1. Deadlift

A2. Bent Over Rows

A3. Cleans

A4. High Pulls

3 sets -  8 reps -  60s rest

Circuit Two 

A1. Back Squats 

A2. Shoulder Press

A3. Bent Over Rows

A4. Deadlift

3 sets -  8 reps -  60s rest

Body Weight Circuits

Let's say for whatever reason you can't make the gym or you've tried and it was that busy that you couldn't even perform the above routines. Here's a body weight circuit for you to try. Here you could perform straight sets (A, B, C), Supersets (A1 + A2, B1 +B2) or Circuits (A1, A2, A3, A4, A5) - just split the exercises up into the way you want to order them.

A1. Forward Lunges

A2. Press Ups 

A3. Squats

A4. Shoulder Pikes / Plank Walk Outs

A5. Planks 

A6. Superman Back Extensions

A7. Side Planks

A8. Sprints On The Spot 

3 sets - 20 to 30 seconds on each - 60 to 90s rest

Intervals / Cardio

Right after you've completed your weights / resistance training workout, here are some cardiovascular options to pick to finish up the productive workout in style that you would have other wise missed.

Sprint Intervals

20s as fast as possible - 60s recovery - 5 to 10 times

300 metre rows as fast as possible - 60 to 90s recovery - 4 to 6 times

Steady State Cardio

15 - 20 minutes continuous - 7 out of 10 effort level (not too fast that you're too breathless to continue but not too slow that you don't feel like you're having to put any effort into it)

So there you have it.

Many options to pick from even if your gym is too busy for a conventional workout!

If you found this useful please feel free to share this article with friends or family that might find it useful too!

Now if you do happen to find that the day you visit the gym is a little clearer and you can complete a harder workout, be sure to check out the next two articles;

German Body Composition Training

My Top Ten Tips For A Body Transformation Result

Speak Soon, 


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Chris Mason