Concept: Training When You’re Pressed for Time

20 minute Workouts

You’ll never have more focused, productive workout than you will when you are pressed for time.

I’m serious.

Sure, 45-60min is probably the best case scenario for a complete workout, but hot damn if some of my best workouts have come when I look at the clock and realize I have no time to waste.

Yesterday I had 20 minutes to get a workout in.  I adapted my regularly schedule training session into a complex format.  I used two kettlebells, both 53lb (24kg) and I got to work.

Warming up with authority, especially when pressed for time, should provide some aerobic benefit as a by-product.  Yes, a warm up should be more than arm circles, head rolls and leg swings.  Prepare your body for 3-dimensional movement and the demands of the training session ahead.

When there is no time to waste, you’ll find that you will only execute the activities that matter.  There is nothing to contemplate, no over-thinking, no procrastination.

In my case yesterday, this is what I worked through in this exact order:


  • Foam Roll:  Glutes, back, lats.
  • Band assisted Mobility/Stretch:  Tall Kneeling Hip Flexor (I have tight hip flexors)
  • Activation:  Glute bridging, band walks and wall slides.
  • Movement Prep:  Elbow to instep, sumo squat, lunge matrix, eccentric focused bodyweight push ups, hand walks.
  • Movement Warm Up Circuit:  Bodyweight squats, pushups, jumping jacks, reverse lunges.
  • Workout:  Kettlebell Complex (5 rounds, 60sec rest, 6 reps per movement)

Shower and out the door.


If you were to stand on the sideline and watch a training session like the one I describe above, you would notice that there is no separation between each of the different components.  Everything flows.  It is non-stop movement from the beginning to the end.  There is no time to waste.

Is this ideal?  No, probably not.  I would have like to focus more time on correcting my problem areas and had the workout be less of a work capacity style event and more of a strength based session.

Is this better than sitting on my ass for 20 minutes?   Absolutely.  Movement matters in any way you can get it.

Don’t make the excuse of lack of time.  Things are rarely “ideal” in life, so find a way to get the work done.  Work through a fast paced session when you are pressed for time.  You’ll probably never have a better training session.  You’ll feel better that you did it, that is for sure…






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