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15 Minute Workouts

So I stumbled across this 15 minute workout article by Charlotte Andersen  because I saw that Mark’s Daily Apple was included in the list.

It is a whole list of workouts that work your body in under 15 minutes. Some I really like…others not so much.

But the point is…You CAN get in a GREAT WORKOUT even if you only have 15 MINUTES! Sometimes you even get more out of a short workout then you do out of spending hours in the gym…actually I would say more often than not keeping it short and sweet is the way to go! (Definitely not always 15 minutes short, but still…)

Which got me to thinking about some of my favorite 15 minute workouts….or well short workouts at least.

Below I’ve included two different ones both under 30 minutes although I’m not sure exactly how long.

One is a pretty full body cardio blast that is based off of the Training For Warriors Hurricane and the other is a strength training workout that is sure to burn out your legs!

“Hurricane” (This is what the volleyball girls have to suffer through for cardio sometimes)

So below are three different circuits. You will complete three rounds of each circuit before moving on to the next circuit. Your rest between each round of the circuit should be short and no more than the time it took you to complete the round. In between each circuit, take a slightly longer break of about a minute or two.

Circuit 1 x 3 rounds (If doing with a partner alternate who goes.)
Shuttle Run (or Suicide Run…takes about 15-30 seconds to complete)
Forward/Backwards Crawls (length of the longest suicide or shuttle sprint)
Sit Thrus x 10 each side

Circuit 2 x 3 rounds
Shuttle Run
Lateral Crawls (length of the longest suicide or shuttle sprint)
Mt. Climbers x 25 each side

Circuit 3 x 3 rounds
Shuttle Run
Circle Crawls x 5 each way
Single Leg V-ups x 15 each side (So one leg is straight up toward the ceiling while the other is straight out an inch or two off the ground. Crunch up and reach for the toe that is up then lower the upper body down and switch which leg is up and crunch up again with the upper body. Repeat alternating legs until all reps are complete.)

NOTE: Crawls are all table top crawls. When doing circle crawls, pretend your belly button is attached by a string to the ground and you are moving around that point with your hands and your legs.

15 minute Quad focused Blast

Set a timer for 15 minutes and do as many rounds as possible!
Single Leg Squats 8-12 reps each side
Split Squat Jumps 8-12 reps each side
Reverse Sled Drag 50 ft (HEAVY) (If you don’t have a sled back pedal up a hill or back pedal pulling anything heavy!)

To work my quads I prefer to use these compound movements. While they will work other muscles besides my quads, they really are super quad focused and your quads will be toasted by the end of the 15 minutes!

Try to rest only enough so that you can continue completing all of the exercises with good form.

Cardio using a towel – The Towel Taz

So today our metabolic workout included, among many tortuous things, the Towel Taz.

The Towel Taz has become one of my favorite aerobic conditioning moves. While not necessarily hard if you do it for 10 or even 20 seconds, it becomes brutal at about 30 seconds and completely destroys you if you do it for a couple of minutes.

So what is the Towel Taz?

It sort of looks like this, especially when you get tired and start to grimace.

Basically it is you shaking a towel as powerfully and quickly as you can up and down while moving quickly around from side to side, in a circle, forwards, backwards and every which way. (Just like the Tasmanian devil above, you are basically moving around as fast as you can in a whirlwind!)

Trust me…It is harder than it sounds. That towel that at one point seemed light (although the moving blankets we use don’t exactly feel light even to begin with) gets pretty heavy, pretty quickly. And your legs get amazingly fatigued moving around quickly.

BUT I also like this move because it is something that anyone at any level can do.

AND you can easily do this move even at home…or well…anywhere for that matter! All you need is a towel or blanket. Even a freaking bath towel will work! You don’t even need a lot of room to do this move (just make sure there isn’t anything around that you could knock over with the towel!).

So the next time you want to do a little aerobic conditioning, but don’t feel like going for a run or you don’t have a piece of equipment like a treadmill, bike, VersaClimber or elliptical handy, grab a towel!

Start with 3 two-minute rounds of Towel Tazes. Try to decrease your rest from 2 minutes in between each round to only 30 seconds between each round. BUT if you decrease rest, make sure that you aren’t doing it at the expense of working hard the next round. It is better to rest for 2 minutes and work just as hard the second and third rounds than it is to rest for only 30 seconds and be super sloppy the last couple of rounds.

Once that feels easy try 5 rounds or even up the time that you do the Towel Taz.

OR if you are looking for a great metabolic circuit, try the one I did today!

WORKOUT:

3-4 Rounds of the following 9 exercises, with one minute rest between rounds.

Each exercise is done for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest to change to the next exercise.

Towel Taz
Sled “Fight” (Push, pull, rotate the sled every direction within a small amount of space.)
Power Ropes battling waves with shuffle (So alternate arm waves while shuffling side to side.)
Push against Wall (So if you don’t push yourself on this one it isn’t hard, but what you do is literally push against a wall as if you want to move it!)
Lateral Shuffle, Sprawl, Sit Thru (So shuffling in a semi-circle, at random points drop to the ground and perform a sit thru, which is an ab move where you lift your left hand and bring your right foot up to replace your hand and literally “sit through.”)
Bag Carry (Take a heavy bag, sandbag or any other awkward heavy bag and bear hug it and walk around quickly.)
Sidewinders (Using a two-inch, 50 ft rope, stretched out all the way, rotate side to side creating waves like a snake moving over the ground. A total ab killer!)
Woodchop Sit ups (Hold a weight with both hands over your right shoulder. Knees bent, sit up and drive the weight across down to your right hip. Then lay back down and repeat)
Glute bridge with twist and reach (In a glute bridge reach your right hand as far back over your head on your left side as you can. Then come back center and reach your left hand across your body and as far overhead to your right as you can.)

Super good! AND lots of different ways to move!

Anyone else have any random exercises that they love that look kind of stupid and not that hard but are actually KILLER?

Barf

The easiest thing ever is to kill someone with a workout and make them have to barf.

Yep it’s easy.

Make them do hard exercises as fast as they can. BINGO!

AHHHHHH!

But seriously what does that accomplish!?! So you FEEL like you got a great workout…But what does it really improve!?!

Is it really making you lose weight? Or are you just getting worn out?

Is it really making you perform better? Or do you just feel rundown?

I mean stringing a buttload of tough exercises together and making someone do them super quick may be difficult but the workout is totally bogus and TOTALLY LACKS DIRECTION!

But trainers continue to do it and clients continue to want it. I’ve even had friends who will go do cardio after a weight training workout just because they felt like they hadn’t sweated enough and weren’t totally exhausted.

While I understand WHY people like killer workouts that doesn’t mean they are always right.

Or good for you.

Honestly, I prefer to work below the barf line. Heck I even like not necessarily being sore the next day.

Honestly. I just want a well thought out workout which doesn’t necessarily mean a killer workout each and every time!

A killer workout each and every time leads to overtraining, which leads to injury which means forced time off.

I don’t have time for that!

I don’t feel like being sidelined with an injury!

So I plan and progress my workouts. I do stabilization days, which include lots of isometric holds. I do strength days, which can mean slow, heavy lifts that don’t even make me break a sweat.

And yes…occasionally this progression does mean workouts that absolutely destroy me.

BUT THEY ARE WELL THOUGHT OUT…Not just freaking hard exercises done as quickly as possible without rest.

Actually most of the “killer workouts” I do aren’t at all like most people do to create killer workouts.

But I was very very very close to barfing. Only of course because I worked as hard as I could.

So what are the killer workouts that I accept?

300 ft in one minute on the VersaClimber.

Or like today…

VersaClimber 30 seconds on 1 min 30 seconds off for 5 rounds

REST

Tsunamis 25 on about 2 minutes off for 5 rounds

REST

5 rounds with over 2 minutes rest in between each round:

Sled pushes 100 ft
20 Sidewinders
5 Squat Thrusts

Doesn’t seem like much right? It isn’t the hardest exercises EVER with no rest. But guess what!?! It made me feel more destroyed than almost any other workout I’ve done.

And I didn’t have to do it super quickly to feel destroyed.

It was a well thought out program with movements to help me progress toward competing well at the Kettlebell Competition.

And I probably won’t be doing another workout like it for a little while.

Because…For one, I don’t need to. There is no point. It wouldn’t get me closer to my goals. And two, it would only make me risk injury!

And when I say that workouts like this put you at risk for injury, I mean that workouts like this put a ton of strain on the body and usually only serve to perpetuate bad movement patterns.

If you want the most out of your workouts, even the killer ones, you need to do some non-killer workouts to improve your movements so you actually get the most out of everything that you do.

Stop wasting your time on killer workouts and really start working toward your goal.

So mix things up and try this stabilization workout!

Workout:

5 rounds of 1 minute holds on each exercise. Try not to rest between exercises, but take a short rest between rounds.

Toes (literally just balance up on your toes as high as you can. Don’t rock to the outside toes either, really use the big toe!)
Squat hold (squat at lowest to 90 degrees or to right above where compensation occurs. Keep the chest up!)
Bat Wings (AKA scapular hold. Pinch your shoulder blades back and lean against a wall only your elbows touching.)
Push up Hold (So set up at the top of a push up and try to hold from your hands and toes. Keep everything in one straight line without sagging!)
Glute Bridge Hold (Lay on your back and push up, driving through your heels and upper back. Once a minute becomes easy, do a single leg bridge)
Pull up hold (Do a chin up and hold at the top with legs straight for as long as possible. If you need to, straighten your arms and hang at the bottom until the minute is up)

Not a long workout. A great stability/recovery day so you can get everything working properly! TRY IT!

P.S. Going back to my whole New Year’s Resolution theme of the last couple of days….Not doing killer workouts, especially at the beginning is super important. For one, your body isn’t ready to handle workouts like that and you risk injury. And two, you risk making yourself so sore that you can’t workout for days, which won’t help you get into the habit of working out consistently, which in turn will only make it harder for you to get on track to reach your goal!

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