I want to pose a question to everyone…
What is the number one reason you skip workouts? I’ll bet that the majority of the answers are “I just didn’t have the time.”
Normally I’d call you out on that because we can, and all should, allot an hour or so three to four times a week in which to train. The President’s Council on Fitness published a statistic that tells us less than 5% of adults participate in at least thirty minutes’ physical activity a day. I get it, sometimes it just isn’t possible. In fact, this happened to me just yesterday. I was more than motivated (even drank my pre-workout supplement) but found myself thirty minutes late to start and having to attend an appointment later that afternoon. Coincidently my night didn’t let up until about 9:30 p.m. and I had to wake up at 5:00 a.m. the next morning. I had two choices, skip the workout (the wrong choice) or condense it (the right answer).
The following Condensed Workouts can be done in around fifteen minutes and are a great alternative to skipping the day. The great thing about these workouts is that they are fast paced and intense. They effectively combine resistance training and cardio into one all out session. These short burst workouts are a hybrid between super setting and High Intensity Interval Training, better known as HIIT.
If you can’t find fifteen minutes to fit these in, then I seriously question your priorities and recommend you take a hard look at your schedule. No excuses allowed here.
Note: These workouts are highly effective as convenience sessions. They should not be utilized to replace your entire training regimen.
Instructions for Condensed Workouts
*Use a weight that will allow you to complete 10-12 reps
Do all three Super-Sets, rest 60 seconds, then repeat for a total of three each.
To do a Super-Set you finish the prescribed reps of one exercise and immediately jump into the next with no more rest than it takes to reposition yourself and equipment.
To do the Condensed Intensity version replace the 60 second rests with some form of cardio that can be done on the spot (running in place, jumping jacks, jump rope, shadow boxing)
BARBELL CURL (Straight bar or EZ bar)
LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION (with dumbbells, cable, or barbell(skull-crusher)
SEATED INCLINE DUMBBELL CURL
CABLE TRICEP EXTENSION (bar or rope attachment)
CABLE CURL (alternate hammer curl if you work out at home or don’t have access to a low pulley cable)
OVERHEAD TRICEP EXTENSION (elbows should be positioned next to your ear to maximize triceps
FLAT BENCH BARBELL BENCHPRESS
INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS
DECLINE DUMBBELL FLYE
CONDENSED SHOULDERS & BACK
BARBELL UPRIGHT ROW
MILITARY PRESS or ARNOLD PRESS
REVERSE GRIP LAT PULLDOWN
LYING LEG CURL
SEATED or STANDING CALF RAISE (alternate leg press calf raise)
*BONUS Tri-Set Calf Raise (5 reps standing straight, 5 reps toes pointed out, 5 reps toes pointed in)
On The cardio machine of your choice warm up at moderate speed for 3-5 minutes.
Do an intense bout of activity for thirty seconds then follow that with a moderate fifteen second (rest) burst.
Perform 5-10 of these high/low intensity intervals followed by a three-minute moderate cool down. This is an effective HIIT workout. This workout benefits greatly from Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC which allows the body to burn calories up to several hours post workout.
So there you have five intense and time saving Condensed Workouts. However, since you’ve read this far I am going to include an added bonus! That’s right for a one-time fee of only…just kidding. Seriously though, I am going to share with you a custom workout that I created a few years ago. It is a full body blast sure to get your muscles working and your metabolism raging. The great thing is it can take as little or as long as you want and can be a fun challenge to yourself or your training partners. I once shared this workout with an acquaintance who at 49 years old had pretty much mastered the sedentary lifestyle. He utilized this to jumpstart a weight loss of thirty pounds that left him with a desire to get back to his college football weight.
I present to you, The RAPID FIRE WORKOUT
(workout design by Tim Santoro)
Do this work out as follows. Use a weight that allows you to do the prescribed number of reps. Do each set without rest until all 9 are complete. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat if you can. Try to work up to 3-4 complete circuits. Do this 3-4 times a week with a day of active rest between. Example Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. Notice the last set (crunches) has 20 reps. If you can’t do 20 then do what you can and try to add 2 or 3 each time.
After the first week try to add in some cardio to your rests by doing jumping jacks or jogging in place.
Challenge your training partners to see who can do more circuits. Video examples are included.
Squat- 10 reps
Bench Press- 10 reps
Upright row- 10 reps
Military Press (alternate Arnold Press)- 10 reps
Shrug- 10 reps
Bicep Curl- 10 reps
Triceps extension- 10 reps
Standing calf raise- 10 reps
Crunch- 20 reps