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Creating A Functional Schedule

Most bodybuilders operate by way of a personal functional schedule, whether planned or unplanned. If you are starting out or want to become a little more serious about your game plan, then look no further. I want to go over this with you because it’s vital to your personal success.

My typical schedule. Click to enlarge

If you want to plot out your functional schedule, you will need to consider:

  • Sleep time

  • Eating time

  • Exercise time

  • Rest time


People sleep different amounts. I tend to sleep about 5-6 hours a night, but on Saturday I allow myself to sleep in until 6 or 7am (whenever the dogs get me up). My sister and her husband prefer longer sleep allotments, like 8-10 hours if they can manage it. Figure out what sleep times work best for you, as well as the amount of down time you need to achieve good sleep.

My own sleep schedule looks something like this:

  • M,T,Th,F - Awake at 3:30am to immediately go to the gym

  • Wed - Awake at 5am, rest day

  • Sat - Sleep in until 6 or 7am

  • Sunday - Awake at 4:30am to immediately go to the gym

  • All week long - Get to bed between 8:30pm-9pm, read for an hour or so

  • That reading is my “down time” which helps me get good sleep.


You have to really figure out what sort of eater you are. You might be a 6 small meals a day type of person or 2 meals with short intermittent fasting or something in-between. This can also change as you progress. You should try to eat your meals at the same time everyday and include a cut off time for meals/eating, as well as a hydration plan.

My plan tends to run a little early since I’m up earlier than most.

5:15am-ish - After I get home from the gym, I have a solid routine of getting the dogs fed, starting my hot water for tea, taking a quick shower, making my morning protein-green smoothie, and getting my tea ready to go. It takes roughly 15 minutes. I totally watch tv in the morning while getting my smoothie and tea down. I’m that person.

I try to drink 24-48oz water during work. I usually have my black coffee at work.

Noon - I eat a salad with lean protein at my desk. I work through lunch.

4:15pm-ish - After workout #2, I shower, feed the dogs, and then feed myself some dinner.

5:30pm - If I haven’t done it by now, I do it around 5:30pm - I start another pot of tea.

No food after 7pm. I can still finish that tea.

Exercise Time

Figure out what exercise time(s) work best for you. I find that I make it to the gym more often if I go first thing in the morning. I refer to that period of time as being “sleep dumb” - I don’t argue with myself, I just get up and go. I also hit the gym for a shorter time right after work. I stick with it because I see results. I’ve tried afternoon-only workouts and I find that I have every excuse in the world NOT to go. As a secondary workout, I’m a little more motivated and if I’m having an off day I can just shorten it down to a 30 min run or something.

3:45am for roughly 40 min weight lifting + 30 min elliptical run.

3:15pm - 30 min elliptical run OR 20 min stair climber, 15-20 min weight lifting

Rest Time

Planning daily rest time is essential to keeping your sanity. Every morning before work, I have a little rest time to drink tea and watch some tv. I also have time scheduled in the evening as rest time. Most of my weekends are filled with rest time and running errands/doing house chores. The purpose behind planning your rest time is practicing time management. If you are aware that you have a certain amount of time to do whatever, after exercising and work, then you will reduce your excuses. You are literally scheduling time for everything you need to get done.

Once you figure out your functional schedule, it should be rather effortless, then you'll find what seems like more available free time. It's probably simply being aware of when you have free time, but it feels like additional free time. I really want to emphasize this point because I often hear people, who are not regular gym-goers, that they don't have enough time. You do have time, you just have to go through your schedule.

I am a single person. I'm told that this gives me all sorts of freedoms; really it just gives me the freedom to 100% control my sleep times since I don't have to concern myself with another person. I still have to run errands, clean house, do regular chores, etc - but, it's all on me. I don't have the benefit of splitting chores. Anyway, I wanted to go over some things that I am currently spending my free time on, just to show you that I have a little time to spare.

  • Organizing a 2-day bigfoot expo

  • Started a masters program

  • Getting various art pieces together for a space and future themed art show

  • Bike rides, now that summer is here (15-20 miles)

  • A handful of writing projects

I often have time to spare.

Things I spend less time on:

  • Grocery shopping - I don't switch things up too often, so grocery shopping is pretty fast for me.

  • Chores - Cleaning house and laundry are typically done on Friday evening, so I have more time on the weekends for stuff.

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