The Too Busy Fitness Plan: How to Create a 30-Minute Workout

If your progress has stalled and you need a way to ignite your workout, I have one word for you: Density. This principle focuses less on how much weight you use, and designing a simple plan that allows you to do more work in less time, and with minimal equipment.

In other words, density workouts might be the perfect solution to, “I’m too busy to workout.”

The hardest part won’t be doing the workouts or feeling like you just completed you had a great workout. It’s believing that a plan with as few as four exercises per session and just 30 minutes can help you see results.

While there are some limitations, almost anyone can benefit from density workouts either as a short-term workout approach, a weekend warrior type routine, or even your plan any time you hit the road for travel.

This 30-minute workout design will make your workouts more efficient, naturally increase your intensity (because of a lack of rest), ignite fat loss, and build new muscle.

Try this four-exercise  to spark new growth, exhaust your muscles, and push your body to the limit. The workout is based on EDT, a technique made popular by Charles Staley.

The Anatomy of a Quick, Effective Workout

The secret of density-style workouts, especially those that follow EDT methods, is that you don’t start fast. You have to remember that 15-minutes is a long block of time.

That’s why you’ll be picking a weight that might feel light for the first few sets. (More on this in a moment.) In order to make it the full 15-minutes, you can’t sprint out of the gate and run out of steam too early.

When you do density workouts the right way, you’ll quickly find that your strength and endurance will improve, which makes it perfect for a shorter workout period.

Start with four multi-joint exercises—two that work your upper body, and two that work your lower.  The movements should work major opposite muscle groups (back and chest for your upper body, and quads and hamstrings/glutes for your lower body).

This approach makes it easy to create even 15-minute workouts that separate body parts. But, you could also pair an upper body exercise (pullups) with a lower body exercise (squats).

If you’re using dumbbell, barbells, or kettlebells, select a weight that you can do 10 reps with, and perform only 5. Alternate back and fourth between the two upper body exercises, moving as fast as you can without any rest (take breaks, though, if needed).

Once your 15 minutes is up, rest for 2 to 3 minutes, and then move to the lower body exercises. Repeat the same protocol, and you’re done with your workout. Thirty minutes, four exercises, and a total body workout that will leave you feeling like you just completed a plan twice as long.

You’ll want to do a few density workouts to create your baseline. But once you can increase the total amount of work you can perform by at least 20% (think of this in terms of total pounds, although you can count total reps, if you prefer), then increase the weight by 5% or 5 pounds.

You can even follow the concept with bodyweight exercises, but if you do shift the rep range to anywhere from 6 to 10 reps per movement.

The Dumbbell 30-Minute Workout

Upper body routine: 15 minutes

The exercises: Clean and press + renegade rows (pushup + dumbbell row)

Lower body routine: 15 minutes

The exercises: Goblet squat + Romanian deadlift

The Bodyweight 30-Minute Workout

Upper body routine: 15 minutes

The exercises: Pushups + inverted rows

Lower body routine: 15 minutes

The Exercises: Bodyweight squat + single-leg hip raise

Personalized Workouts and More

If you want a plan that caters to your schedule, gym, travel life, and even your dietary needs, apply for a spot in Born Fitness online coaching. This program helps you find a way to fit workouts into your life for your goals. To learn more click here.

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