Time Efficient Training – 15 min Bodyweight Training

If you consider the average person, he/she is more likely ‘to try to’ eat clean than to workout and, if workout is on the cards, he/she is definitely going to want to hop on a treadmill/elliptical or go for a run/bike ride than to actually perform a proper resistance training session. While there is nothing wrong with running, there are too many things right with resistance training to neglect it. If getting fit is your goal, resistance training is an absolute necessity (and we’ll discuss why in a different blog post).

When I asked a bunch of folks why they choose cardio on machines or running over resistance training, I got a number of answers… at least 50 different answers really. But when I looked into those answers in a little more detail, they all trickle down to the following….

  • Resistance training is time consuming.
  • I don’t know enough about resistance training to be able to design a workout. Its just easier to run.
  • I don’t know how to perform most of the exercises.
  • Home is where I can workout and that makes it impossible to do resistance training.
  • Driving to the gym and back takes too long and is more time that I can afford.
  • Gym memberships are expensive and so are buying equipment to be able to workout at home.

And among these answers lack of time, equipment unavailability and lack of program design knowledge seemed to be the most common! So, in this article, I’m going to give you some workouts that will work pretty much every part of your body, take less than 20 min, require little to no equipment and get you fit n fayne! Maybe you’ll consider resistance training then?

Beginner Bodyweight Training:

Workout 1:

– Choose a push-up variation that you can only do 20 of and a pull-up variation that you can only do 10 of.

  • Minute 1: 15 push-ups, 4 pull-ups
  • Minute 2: 12 push-ups, 6 pull-ups
  • Minute 3: 10 push-ups, 8 pull-ups
  • Minute 4: 12 push-ups, 6 pull-ups
  • Minute 5: 15 push-ups, 4 pull-ups

Repeat once more.

Total time ~ 10 min

Workout 2:

  • Max Height Jump Squats x 10
  • Jumping Lunges x 10/leg
  • Pike Presses x 10
  • Rest 30 sec

Repeat for a total of 4 rounds

Total time ~ 8 min

Workout 3:

  • Rest 30 sec.

Repeat for a total of 10 rounds.

Total time ~ 10 min.

Total weekly workout time ~ 30 min

Intermediate/Advanced Bodyweight Training:

Workout 1:

  • Weighted Pushups: 1 set of 8-10 reps
  • BW Chinups: 1 set of 70% Max reps
  • Pistol Squats: 1 set of 70% Max reps
  • Rest 1 min

Repeat for a total of 4 rounds.

Total time ~ 15 min

Workout 2:

  • All-out Sprint 20 sec
  • Plank for 40 sec

Repeat for a total of 8 rounds

Total time ~ 8 min

Workout 3:

  • Hindu Pushups: 1 set of max reps
  • Chinups: 1 set of max reps

Rest 2 min

  • Broad jump x 2
  • Squat jump x 4

Repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

Rest 2 min

  • Hindu Pushups: 1 set of max reps [Goal is to beat first set]
  • Chinups: 1 set of max reps [Goal is to beat first set]

Total time ~ 15 min

Total weekly workout time ~ 40 min

Don’t tell me you don’t have time for this! Do these three workouts every week for six weeks in addition to eating real food and I promise you that you will look, feel and function way better than you do right now! In the next post in this series, I’ll list out a few workouts that need nothing more than a single dumbbell. Trust me, it will be fun!


21 responses to “Time Efficient Training – 15 min Bodyweight Training

  1. Doreen June 12, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Respect your advice but how manyh beginning resistance people can do even one pull up?

    • RG June 13, 2011 at 9:09 am

      I’d say anyone who struggles to do 5 pullups is a beginner. But see the line above the workout ‘- Choose a push-up variation that you can only do 20 of and a pull-up variation that you can only do 10 of.’

      Find a pull-up variation that you can do only 10 of = chair assisted pullups, band assisted pullups, pullup negatives, inverted rows etc.

      The key is to make the workout fit your current fitness level. It shouldnt be too hard that you can hardly get any reps in and it shouldnt be too easy that you just smoke it.

  2. Sukanya June 12, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    pretty neat! looking forward to the single dumbbell workouts!!

  3. George June 13, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Great post Raj… and agree with Doreen on the number of pull-ups for beginners.. I dont think I can do more than 5 now… also if you can give youtube links to the terminology for the exercises will help non-geek-fitness-wannabe’s! .. more of the bodyweight stuff.. and a post on stretching pre and post workout will be much appreciated! Enjoy reading your blog!

    • RG June 13, 2011 at 9:10 am

      Pullups are hard… and thats why they are an awesome test of fitness. See my answer to Doreen’s question. Choose the right version of pullups.

    • RG June 13, 2011 at 9:11 am

      And yes… I will get to the stretching part soon. Been long due.

  4. Sam June 13, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Could you write a post about workout for those who may have injuries. Say, someone has a chronic knee injury, or a chronic shoulder injury etc. what should he/she do/not do and what to replace in the above list with what.
    Keep up the good work, always enjoy reading your blog.

    • RG June 13, 2011 at 9:12 am

      Tricky topic Sam. Mainly because injuries can be so different from person to person its impossible to write a single post to address everything. Anything in particular you’d like addressed? Let me know. That will help with keeping the post short and to the point.

  5. Chris Sturdy June 13, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Holy smokes, I just did one round of:
    Workout 1:
    Minute 1: 15 push-ups, 4 pull-ups
    Minute 2: 12 push-ups, 6 pull-ups
    Minute 3: 10 push-ups, 8 pull-ups
    Minute 4: 12 push-ups, 6 pull-ups
    Minute 5: 15 push-ups, 4 pull-ups

    After doing an Art DeVany-style warm up on my elliptical and I am beat. Those minutes go by fast!

    • Chris Sturdy June 13, 2011 at 8:48 am

      BTW: as a follow up to the other comments about pull ups, I failed after 6, 3.5 and 3.5 on the last 3 sets of pull ups, and I wouldn’t consider myself a beginner…

      • RG June 13, 2011 at 9:15 am

        If you did all reps with no issues the very first time you’re doing a workout… then is the workout going to help you? No!

        The key is to challenge yourself optimally. You only got 3.5 reps in the last two sets… and that is the reason your body will grow bigger and stronger (with good nutrition of course). Try doing the same workout next week, I guarantee you will get more reps. Slowly but surely (in 4-6 weeks) you’ll be strong enough to kill every rep of this workout. At that point its time to jump to the advanced workouts. Now that… is getting harder, better, faster and stronger!

    • RG June 13, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Those mins do fly by! When you’re able to do both sets and all reps, test your max pullup and weighted pullup. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  6. mlc June 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    can’t help but commnt abt yr VERY CUTE pix! 🙂

  7. Sam June 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Regarding workouts with injuries. broadly you could do two posts – one for those who have lower body injuries like knees or ankles etc. from torn ligaments/ recovering from fractures etc. who cannot do sprints or planks or even pushups, but can do pullups or an overhead press. and similarly one post for those who have temporary or chronic issues with sholuders or elbows etc. and can do sprints but not much else.

  8. George June 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Thanks for the reply Raj! much appreciate as always!

  9. Reva June 14, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Super post.. makes ‘making excuses’ pretty darn tough! Now how will I go around saying that I am really busy and hardly have the time to exercise? huh?
    On a serious note.. it will motivate beginners like me to crack the first set of workouts and move on to the ‘intermediate’ title. Now that will make it feel real sweet! 😀

    • RG June 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm

      will definitely make like real sweet! and guess what… the leaner you are and the fitter you get… the more you get to eat and the more flexible you get to be with your diet!

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