Getting the Most out of a Quick Workout

My workout routine has been a bit weird this week. On both Monday and Wednesday, I failed to get in my morning workout and ended up having to squeeze one in during my lunch break at the writing center. Since I only had 45 minutes to walk to the gym, change, workout, shower, and get back to work, I had to be super efficient to make it work my time and energy.

While I prefer to have more time at the gym, the short time frame forced me to eliminate all the procrastination that usually occurs in my workouts. Casually walking to the water fountain, gently dabbing sweat from my face, pondering over what equipment to use – there was time for none of it. I put together an interval workout on the bus ride to campus and I had to go all out once I was at the gym to get the most out of the 25 minutes of actual workout time that I had. The great thing about that was that I pushed a lot harder than I do when I have more time and can thus, do more rounds. I kept telling myself that 20 minutes was all I had to give and it motivated me when things got sticky. This underscored two things for me. Firstly, it reminded me of how often I waste time during my workouts. This is something that I’m aware of but often neglect to change in the moment. When I only had 20 minutes, I felt like I had to push to make it worth my time. Secondly, it reminded me that workouts need not be an hour long to be effective. When finished my 20-min AMRAP (As many rounds as possible) workout on Wednesday, I was absolutely gassed. There was no doubt in my mind that I had gotten a good sweat session in.

This is all to say that if you’re struggling too be time to workout in your day, you shouldn’t worry about carving out a large chunk of time. Not only is a twenty minute workout time-effective, it can also absolutely grooling  when you challenge yourself. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and AMRAP style workouts are your best friends if you’re trying to save time while working towards your fitness goals. Here are some links to some great workouts that require minimal equipment and take less than 20 minutes (Including the one that I designed for my workout on Wednesday). Have fun!

20-Minute Plyo Burn from FitFoodFinds

20-Minute Bodyweight AMRAP Workout from Pumps and Iron 

My AMRAP Workout from this Week: 

  • 400m row on row machine (can replace this with some other form of machine or bodyweight cardio if you don’t have access to a row machine – comment to ask for suggestions!)
  • 8 Box Step-ups with 15# weights (can replace with regular lunges if you don’t have a box – can also replace with box jumps if you’re about that life) 
  • 8 burpees (with or without pushups) 
  • 8 thrusters a.k.a squat to overhead shoulder press 
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • 8 deadlifts (choose your weight appropriately) 

Adjust the reps to your liking/fitness level. 

Set your timer for 20 minutes and see how many times you can loop the circuit. I got through 3 full rounds, a 4th round of rowing and 2 steps up. Beat it! 



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