Short Workouts

Short workouts are often needed for the person with a busy schedule that can’t dedicate an hour a day to hit the gym. Also, quite often the person with a lack of time on their side needs to utilize training methods with minimal equipment because they likely don’t have the time to head to the gym as frequently as they should.

So in the interest of saving time I will keep this article very short and provide you with some options, some short workouts. What I will do is provide just a collection of random workouts for various different goals just to get you thinking the right way.


This can be done on an indoor rower (preferred), running on a sports field or any other single modality of cardio type training you can think of.

Tabata x 3

A Tabata is 20 seconds of effort followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated eight times. Simply do a Tabata at absolute maximum intensity then rest for 1-2 minutes after the eight intervals. Do this three times. Quite simple and very short. Ensure intensity is at an absolute maximum.

MAXIMUM STRENGTH Approximately 20-25 minutes

Squat for 5-3-1 reps (increase weight on each set)

Weighted pull-ups for 5-3-1 reps (increase weight on each set)

Weighted dips for 5-3-1 reps (increase weight on each set)

Overhead barbell press for 1-1-1 reps

FULL BODY MUSCLE GROWTH Approximately 20-25 minutes

Squat for 12-12 reps

Bent over row for 8-8 reps

Bench press for 8-8 reps

Overhead barbell press for 8-8 reps


This can be a run, a swim, a row, cycling….whatever.

Quite simple, just go as hard as you possibly can for seven minutes. That might mean a maximum seven minute run for example. Basically you are pushing the absolute maximum capacity of your body for just that period of time. You should feel pretty cactus after this.

POWER Approximately 15-20 minutes

Cleans for 5-4-3-2-1 reps increasing weight with each set

POWER AGAIN Approximately 15 minutes

Traveling broad jumps for 5-5-5

Depth jumps x 7

Travelling tuck jumps for 5-5-5

SPRINT SESSION Approximately 20 minutes

10m x 5

20m x 4

50m x 3

100m x 2

For all sprints ensure you are sprinting at the maximum possible pace.

OVERALL STRENGTH, MUSCLE GROWTH, FAT LOSS AND GENERAL CONDITIONING Approximately 20-30 minutes (depending on rest between sets)

Deadlift for 8-5 reps

Walking barbell lunge x 20 steps

Pull-ups for one set of max reps

Push-ups for one set of max reps

Overhead barbell press for 8-5 reps

Finish with three one-minute intervals at absolute maximum intensity. This is best done on the rower, trust me. Rest 40 seconds between each interval.


Complete as many burpees as humanly possible in 10 minutes.

GENERAL METCON CIRCUIT Approximately 15 minutes

Complete the following for time…

Run 400m

20 pull-ups

30 push-ups

40 squats (bodyweight)

Run another 400m

CROSSFIT’S “FRAN” Approximately 5-10 minutes

21-15-9 reps for time of….

Thrusters (at 95lbs or about 45kg) and pull-upsCROSSFIT’S “CINDY”

As many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of….

Pull-ups x 5

Push-ups x 10

Squats x 15 (bodyweight only)

This can also be done in a mini version for just 10 minutes.

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Ok, so there we have it, a bunch of short workouts that anyone without any major injuries or health concerns can do. These can be fit into anyone’s schedule, I don’t care how busy you are. For instance, who the hell hasn’t got time for a seven-minute run? If you can set aside a very short amount of time most days for a short workout at a high intensity then there is no reason that you can’t achieve a very high level of fitness.

Please note that this needs to be combined with a very sturdy diet. No amount of exercise will offset a shitty diet.

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