“I don’t have time to workout.”
Yep, every once in a while I’ll still hear that phrase. Rather than go into some diatribe about priorities and time management I’m simply going to provide a few options for short training sessions. And by short I mean 10 minutes or less.
Since this post is all about brevity I’m going to jump right into it… Here are 4 training options to complete your workout in 10 minutes or less:
1. Max Reps For Time.
Set a timer for 10 minutes (or less depending on your fitness capacity and exercise selection). Now do as many repetitions of the chosen exercise as possible in the alloted time. Rest as needed but get back to work as soon as possible. Write down how many reps you complete and try to beat your score the next time you do the drill. Here are a few exercises that work well with max reps for time:
• Box jumps.
• Man makers.
You should be working at an intensity level where resting will be required during the 10 minutes. If you are blazing through the entire duration without needing a break, select a more challenging movement.
2. Tabata Times Two.
Tabata intervals are 20 seconds of maximum work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for 8 cycles. So one Tabata drill takes a total of four minutes. Let’s double down on that to get us closer to the ten minute mark (8 minute workout ftw!). Here are a few exercise pairs to try with the Tabata Times Two drill:
• Body weight squats and skipping rope.
• Kettlebell swings and box jumps.
• Sledgehammer strikes and push ups.
For the true Tabata experience stick with one exercise for the first 8 cycles and do the other exercise for the final 8 cycles, as opposed to alternating between the two with each work interval.
3. Couplet AMRAP.
AMRAP stands for “as many rounds as possible”. With the couplet, we use two different exercises and designate a specific number of repetitions for each. Set your timer and get through as many rounds as possible. Here are few exercise pairs to try with the AMRAP drill:
• Barbell squats for 8 reps, Knees to elbows for 8 reps.
• Deadlift for 5 reps, burpees for 10 reps.
• Ball slams for 10 reps, thrusters for 5 reps.
The weight selected for the barbell movements should allow for unbroken reps in at least the first round. But if you can do the entire 10 minutes with out having to break up the reps, you probably need to select a more challenging weight.
4. Push, Pull, Legs.
When in doubt and you want a good full-body workout, select one upper body pushing exercise, one upper body pulling exercise, and one leg exercise. Instead of designating specific reps as we did in the AMRAP workouts above, you’ll do maximum repetitions of each exercise before moving to the next. Continue for as many rounds as possible in the designated time. Here a few good push, pull, legs combos:
• Pull ups, push ups, body weight squats.
• Push press, hang high pull, front squat.
• Ring dips, body rows, dumbbell lunges.
For exercises using free weights, I like to select a weight that allows for between 8 – 12 reps in the first round. For body weight exercises, I like to stick to movements that allow 30 reps or less the first round. So if you can bang out 50 regular push ups like it’s nothing, you may want to use feet-elevated push ups or handstand push ups instead.
You don’t have to save these workouts for when you are pressed for time. This type of burst activity training is always good for general conditioning and can be a great compliment to a solid strength training program. But if you are looking for quick workout options set your timer for 10 minutes or less and try max reps, Tabata times two, couplet AMRAP, and push, pull, legs training combinations.
What are your favorite 10 minute workout options? Share your thoughts in the comments below.