Only Got 30 Minutes to Workout?

We live in a time where our calendars are jam-packed and our daily to-do list is never ending. Because of this our exercise routine and workouts often get placed on the back burner. Many think that if they do not have hours to dedicate to working out then it will not be effective. Not true! You can get an effective workout in just 30 minutes. So, if you only have a short period of time to get a heart and muscle pumping workout in, what should you do?

Research shows that exercise for a total of 150 minutes a week will generate health benefits. The secret is to make sure that the 30 minutes you spend working out is carefully structured. When your time is limited it is not the quantity in the workout that counts but the quality.

When it comes to strength training, 30 minutes is a perfect amount of time to effectively work the large muscle groups – the back, chest, and legs.   Exhausting these muscles with a circuit of weights and high repetitions has strong calorie and fat burning effects, and builds muscular strength and endurance. Many personal training sessions will have a focus on circuits to ensure effective balance of caloric and fat burning while still building that muscle! If you only have a couple of days in a week to get in 30-minute session, then focus on total body workouts – using compound movements and supersets.

With regards to cardiovascular training, 30 minutes is a very effective amount of time to to get your heart rate pumping, increase aerobic fitness and put your calorie burn into overdrive. For those looking for a challenge delivering results, high-intensity interval training is the key. This will burn calories for hours after the workout, maximize aerobic fitness, unleash fast-twitch muscle fibers and grow lean muscle tissue. Tabata/HIIT is a great class offering that focuses on interval training (

Here is a 30-minute circuit workout you can try on your own:


  • Prisoner Squats(20-30 seconds)
  • Elevated Pushups, one hand on a dumbbell (15 seconds on each side)
  • Prisoner Reverse Lunges (20 seconds on each side)

Metabolic Resistance Training Round 1 (x3)

  • Bulgarian or Regular Split Squats (20 seconds each side, 20 seconds rest in between)
  • Dumbbell Chest Press (40 seconds, 20 seconds of rest)
  • Pullups or TRX Rows or Dumbbell Chest-Supported Rows (40 seconds, 20 seconds of rest)

Metabolic Resistance Training Round 2 (x3)

  • Goblet Squats or Kettlebell Front Squats or Regular Back Squats or Front Squats with Barbell (40 seconds, NO rest)
  • Dumbbell Incline Press (40 seconds, NO rest)
  • Dumbbell Chest-Supported Rows or Regular Dumbbell Rows (40 seconds on each side)

Total-Body Finisher

  • Total-Body Extensions (20 seconds, 10-second rest, 20 seconds, 10-second rest)
  • Regular Pushups  (20 seconds, 10-second rest, 20 seconds, 10-second rest)
  • Alternating Lunges (20 seconds, 10-second rest, 20 seconds, 10-second rest)
  • Burpees (20 seconds, 10-second rest, 20 seconds, 10-second rest)

*BONUS ROUND: Do the finisher again (Optional)

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