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3 Ways to Get a Great Workout in Less than 30 Minutes

I just got back from a nice long four day weekend. It really hit the spot. I spent the time celebrating the marriage of two of my good friends. There were lots of laughs, some tears (talking about you Matt), and even more drinking, singing, and dancing.

You are all probably wondering. Did I partake in all of these festivities? Hell Yeah I did. I am not going to pass up an open bar, you crazy. I was also able to show off my two left feet on the dance floor. Did I mention singing? I sound like Barry White, in my head and William Hung to everyone else. Needless to say it was a great wedding, Congratulations Matt and Cory.

After two days of having Dunk and Doughnuts for breakfast I am happy to be back home and away from all those delicious treats.

So now that I am completely off track on this post let me get back to what the title is all about and what I promised last week. Last week I talked about the, oh so popular excuse, of not having enough time to do something healthy for yourself. You can read that here.

As promised, here are three ways to get you in and out of the gym in less than 30 minutes.


Complexes or finisher as some people call them are a nice quick easy way to get a quick workout in if you don’t have a lot of time. The great thing with complexes is you don’t have to have a gym and they require little to no equipment.

What You Need:

As I said above you can use anything. Barbells, Dumbbells, Straps, Kettelbells, Bands, or Bodyweight. These can all be used to complete a complex. You don’t need any fancy equipment or even a gym.  All you need is enough space.

How to Set UP:

Pick 3 to 5 exercises, which will transition well from one to the other. The complex will be full body. Your set range will be 2 to 5, your reps 5 to 10, and your rest 30 sec to 2 minutes.

When it comes to selecting a weight you will base it off of the exercise that you are the weakest at.

Example: If my complex is a Barbell front squat, to push press to good morning for 3 sets of 5. And I can front squat 185 for 5, push press 110 for 5, and good morning 165 for 5. My weakest link is the push press so I will pick a weight of about 95 pounds.


I put this in here because you should be doing every rep as fast as you can without compromising form. After every set you should be breathing hard and if you are not then you are not doing it right. You need to push past your comfort zone, it’s not meant to be easy. You need to go as hard as you can for every rep and set.


Beginners: 3 exercises, 2-3 sets, 5-7 reps, and 90sec-2min rest

Intermediate: 3-4 exercises, 3-4 sets, 5-8 reps, and 60 sec-90sec rest

Advanced: 4-5 exercises, 3-5 sets, 5-10 reps, and 30sec- 60sec rest

You can also increase the weight but I would leave that as the last progression.

Example Complex:

Barbell Lunge to Good Morning to Push Press: 3 sets of 6 reps 2 min rest

DB Clean, front squat, push press, RDLs, bent over row: 3 sets of 5 reps 60 sec rest


I am sure you have heard of the Tabata protocol. And I bet a lot off you have tried it, but I also bet only a small percent have actually done it to the intensity it was meant to be done at.

With this being said it is an extremely effective way to get a great fast workout in.

What You Need:BattleRope1

Like the complex you can use anything. Refer back to the complex.

How to Set Up:

The traditional Tabata is 20 sec of work and 10 sec of rest for 4 minutes. You can just do one exercise or cycle through a couple of different exercise. I prefer to use bodyweight exercise, med balls, or anything that is simple and can be done quickly and at a high intensity.


Again you are going as hard as you can go for 20 seconds. The first time you do this there is a good chance you will feel light headed or even not be able to complete the whole 4 minutes. Which is ok.


Beginner: 10 sec work 20 sec rest 4 minutes

Intermediate: 15 sec work 15 sec rest 4 minutes

Advanced: 20 sec work 10 sec rest 4 minutes

Example Tabata:

Burpees, that’s it, just do a crap ton of burpees as fast as you can. Does not sound too bad but I bet you won’t be able to finish your first time.

Squat Jumps to Med Ball Slams, do 20 seconds of squat jumps and then your next round do 20 seconds of med ball slams.

Go Big

If you are in a crunch for time then go big. Stick with your multi joint lifts, it’s not sexy but it works.

What You Need:

I prefer the barbell but you can also use dumbbell and kettelbells. But you will get the most out of the barbell just because you can lift more weight using a barbell then you can with the other pieces of equipment.

Unlike the two other protocols you are going to have to go to a gym or at least have some weights lying around the house to complete this.

How to Set Up:

Pick an upper and a lower body exercise. You’re going to do 5×5 for sets and reps.

If you do a knee dominant exercise and push dominant exercise on one day, then the next day you will do a hip dominant and a pull dominant exercise the next day.


You are not going to be going as intense as the two other protocols but you are going to be lifting heaver weights. This will allow you to maintain and gain strength.


Excuses make kitty mad


Day 1: Squats 5×5 and Bench 5×5

Day 2: Deadlifts 5×5 and Pull Ups/Bent over Row: 5×5

Final Two Cents

Complexes and Tabatas are a couple of great ways to get a quick intense full body workout in less then 30 minutes. If you do these correctly you will see an increase in aerobic and anaerobic capacity as well as see a decrease in body fat.

With the go big principle you will be able to maintain your strength when you can’t devote hours to the weight room.

With these three protocols you should have no excuse to find time to get a good effective lift in.


Josh Williams

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It’s Magic: Creating Some “Me Time”

The word on the street or streets (I don’t know any more, found out this week I am not all that hip with it any more) is that people don’t have enough time to get in shape. I have been told that the biggest reason that people don’t get a workout in each week is because of time.  Now I have not looked that statistic up, but it sounds about right.


One thing I took from an economics class back in my college days was that time is the most valuable commodity out there. Time is something that you don’t get back. There are 24 hours in a day and 8 of those hours go to sleep and 8 more for work and for the fun of it lets say you have to travel and you stay a little late at work because, well you like it so much, so lets say that’s another 2 hours. If my math is correct that only leaves 6 hours of free time for “you time”.

And that’s assuming you are living the bachelor or bachelorette life style, if you have kids, I am guessing it’s somewhere between 2 and 0 hours of free time (I don’t have kids so if you do let me know if I am correct on this one). And if I have episodes of Golden Girls (put in favorite TV show) to catch up on, then how in the hell am I supposed to find time to watch TV, eat, shit, and workout?

Since I study, eat and breathe all that is steel plates and barbells, you would think I wouldn’t have this problem of finding time to lift. Well, it is true that I am at a gym for a good 9 hours out of my day. But the last thing I want to do is workout after a long day at the place I was just at for the last 9 hours.

It’s not because I don’t like being there, in fact I love my job, have not worked a day yet. So how do I find time, well I don’t find time, I make time. I do this by shear magic and having the ability to make small miracles happen, like creating more time.

Even though the ability to create time would be awesome I unfortunately can’t, sorry for getting your hopes up, but what I can do is make it a priority. That is why it is one of the first things I do before going to work (wait, that does not make sense because I workout at my work, forget it, you know what I mean). If you care about something you love you don’t just find time, you make time.

In this case that something you love is you, If you don’t love you some you then there is something wrong with you.

If your significant other asked to go out to eat do you say, “I’ll find sometime to do it” or do you say, “I’ll make time to do it”. Which one sounds better? It should be a no brainer. Of course it’s the second answer. It’s saying that you care about them and if it’s something you care about, you will put aside everything else just to be with them.


If your health and quality of life is something that you care about, you make time. To get the benefits of an exercise program all you really need is 30 minutes three times a week. A whopping 90 minutes a week. This isn’t to say you will look like a fitness model if you do this but you

will be healthier for it.

We all have 30 minutes in our day to do something that will help out our heath in the long run. If you can’t find time then make time, if that does not work then congratulations you must be the busiest most productive person on the face of this luscious green planet, and I would like to meet you.

Next week I will give you a few different ways that you can get a kick ass workout in less than 30 minutes. In the mean time, make some time in your busy schedules to get out and do something good for you and your health.

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Josh Williams