The 15 Minute Workout.
How many times have you caught yourself saying “I just haven’t got the time to exercise today”?
In the 21st century we are busier than ever before and even though we have the intention to workout, exercise is often something that gets put into the “too busy for that” column.
I found myself doing that exact thing while I was working two jobs, starting my own business, trying to maintain a social life and be a decent boyfriend.
My fitness was suffering but I kept using the aforementioned sentence as if it justified my lack of exercise.
Now personally I don’t think we should live a life where we are “too busy” to do anything that we want to do and these days I try not to but sometimes life just gets hectic. So this post is for those exact days when all we have spare is a few minutes.
This killer 15 minute workout will get the blood pumping and calories burning, so you can get back on with whatever it is you do best!
Intensity is key.
With only a 15 minute workout to utilise, intensity is everything. You can’t waste a second just shuffling around. Get your heart rate up and keep it up.
Research has shown that even just 15 minutes of high intensity training can net you the same effects as 60 minutes of regular intensity exercise. So less is more if you keep the intensity high.
Another benefit of high intensity training coupled with weight bearing activity is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or after burn for all you non fitness-jargonaughts.
Which means you continue to burn calories even after you finish working out. Who doesn’t want that?
So crank the intensity up and keep the foot to the floor throughout the entire workout.
What you need.
Although the 15 minute workout can be applied to any exercise, workout type or equipment. I am going to keep it simple and base all exercises on bodyweight so you can do this on the go with minimal equipment. Feel free to mix and match to suit your specific needs.
The only piece of equipment you need to complete this workout is an interval timer. Gymboss is my personal choice but any timer will do. You can even use a wall clock as long as you can keep track of how long each segment is.
Set your first timed interval to beep every 50 seconds and the second after a further 10 seconds. Signifying the end of a minute. Obviously if you are using a clock start at 0, stop at 50 seconds, then start again after 60 seconds.
The 15 minute workout.
Find a space with about 10m of room for you to crazily throw yourself around in. Trust me you will be that exhausted towards the end of this that you will look like a madman flailing around on the ground but that’s all part of it.
A patch of grass out in the sun is preferable but any room large enough will suffice.
Have a water bottle handy for a quick drink throughout and you are ready to go… Start your timer.
0-1 minute: Warm up… fast. Jogging on the spot, keep your knees high and pump your arms. Take deep breathes to expand the lungs and get the cardiovascular system firing.
1-2 minutes: Dynamic warm up. Spend 10 seconds on each of these dynamic movements: Squats, arms swings, lunges, Spinal rotations, bum kicks, then 10 seconds to breathe deep and prepare for the onslaught.
2-3 minutes: Squats. Drive up from your heels and focus on controlled speed. Contract your glutes and KEEP THE INTENSITY UP! At 2:50 catch your breathe, shake your legs out and grab a drink.
3-4 minutes: Push Ups. Any variation that you like. Try for 50 seconds straight but if need a mini-break that is fine. Just push yourself. After 50 seconds take 10 seconds to catch your breathe and shake your arms out.
4-5 minutes: Hip Thrusters. Keep your toes elevated at all times and really drive hard into the air. Squeeze your glutes at the top and hold for a 3 count. Push it out for the full 50 seconds.
5-6 minutes: Burpee Shuttle Run. Split the shuttle into a 5m and 10m distance. Do a burpee then run to 5m, do a another burpee then run backwards to the starting point. Complete another burpee then run to the 10m marker and do yet again another burpee. Run backwards to the starting point and repeat.
This will have your legs burning so good. ENJOY it for the full 50 seconds then take a breather. Grab a drink and shake your legs out. Get ready for the next minute of fun!
6-7 minutes: Plank. Any variation will do. Keep your core engaged, spine neutral and don’t allow your bum to sink or stick up in the air. Push it out for the full 50 seconds or take mini-breaks throughout if you need to. Take 10 seconds and get ready for the next round.
7-8 minutes: Broad jumps. Drive forward with your arms and jump as far as possible. As you land use your legs to control the descent and finish in a deep squat. Stand up, turn around and repeat again. Keep this going for the full 50 seconds then take 10 seconds to shake out your burning legs.
8-9 minutes: Mountain Climbers. Keep your core engaged and drive your legs towards your chest. Push for the entire 50 seconds. Do what you need to for the next 10 seconds but get ready for the next exercise!
9-10 minutes: Jump Lunges. KEEP THE INTENSITY UP! Drive up through your legs and pump your arms to maintain the speed. You know the drill by now and probably hate it… go, go, go till 50 seconds is up.
10-11 minutes: Supermans. Squeeze your shoulders, lower back and glutes while lifting your arms and legs off the ground. Hold for a 3 count, relax then repeat. Keep it up for 50 seconds.
11-12 minutes: Bicycles. Keep core engaged and breathe on each rotation. PUSH, PUSH, PUSH! This is the last exercise. Try and make it all the way to 50 seconds but if you can’t, take a mini-break then get back to it.
12-13 minutes: Walk around for 60 seconds. Get your breathe back, shake out your body, and grab a drink!
13-15 minutes: Stretch all major muscle groups. Back, legs, glutes, chest, arms and continue to hydrate. GREAT EFFORT! You’re all done and in only 15 minutes.
Fitting Fitness Into Your Lifestyle.
Health and fitness is something that should be integrated with your lifestyle and not a burden on your schedule.
As lifestyle designers we should be continually monitoring and adapting our work/lifestyle balance so we have time to do the things that we really want to. What “style” is there in a life where all you do is run from one busy moment to the next!
But on those days when you truly are too caught up, this 15 minute workout will kick your butt while hardly making a dent on your schedule.
Let me know in the comments below how it went for you.
– Dane Bergman.