The Best 30 minute workout I’ve had

So often you hear people complain that they simply don’t have time to workout. There’s books to be written on the subject (and many already written) but sometimes it just comes down to not having hours available each day. I can understand that, I’m fairly busy with my businesses and am lucky enough to be able to say “I’m carving out this much time to make sure I get in shape and stay there”.

However, today I was run through a workout that anyone can do in around 30 minutes that will kick your ass. Thoroughly. How do I know? Well, my good buddy Todd, who is for all intents and purposes a professional athlete paid to be in the best shape he can be (and who IS in incredible shape) did the workout with me, and at the end he said to me (between huffing and puffing) “Dude… that was brutal”. I was somewhat too busy at the time trying to stay conscious  hold on to my breakfast and also not cough up a lung. But at the same time I was stoked because I’d gone 0-100 on the whole series and survived.

For our warmup Todd and I alternated between a minute of intense rope jumping, and 10 burpee/40 mountain climber sets. We did 3 of them. Then we jumped right into the workout.

The workout works because it is timed, and you create a situation in which you are competing against yourself. You pick 5 exercises (SFF picked pullups, weighted step-ups, squats with a barbell and plates, sit-up presses and side-to-side jump overs over a box four our menu of pain) and then do them all in a row, 1 minute for each, no stops and no rest. Boom, boom, boom, boom and finally boom. Then you get a minute rest. Each exercise you count your reps in that minute. It helps to have a helper. Then you run through again. Minute rest, and again, repeating that pattern until you’ve gone through 5 times. With perfect efficiency you’ll have completed 5 circuits in 30 minutes, though moving from exercise to exercise does take a little time, but should NOT be used to rest. The idea is to push your body over that period of time such that by the end you simply have nothing left.

But here’s the catch, the idea is that each round you have to match or beat your previous round. Sounds impossible, and for some of the exercises (the weighted step-ups were brutal with my knees) they were, but on a number of them I improved nearly every round and on one I actually did more the last round than any other round.

Part of it is that you get warmed up, part of it is that you begin to realize efficiencies in the movements (though make sure you don’t cheat and be careful on form) but most of all the rush and push from needing just that one last pullup or squat to beat the previous round is enough to get your adrenalin pumping and get you through.

I have to say though, I’ve rarely been that beat at the end of a workout. I was thoroughly keelhauled. One of the gym owners had questions about tech stuff and it was all I could do to form cogent sentences. A few hours later and I am still wrecked, but in a good and happy way. Not pain from injury, but a solid soreness that reminds me how hard I went and how close I stayed to the numbers being put up by my friend.

Ok that’s actually not quite correct. In actual numbers, I averaged about 60-70% of his numbers on most of the exercises, save 2: on pullups I was doing jumping style pullups, he did them the real way, so advantage Todd. And on the side-to-side jumps he blew my total numbers away, I might have managed perhaps 50% of his totals. Outside of his fitness being at a much higher level than mine, I also have another 15-20lbs to remove from this frame. That’s a lot of efficiency lost and I imagine both of those movements become significantly easier when you’re not pushing that extra weight around. We’ll see.

I would also mention that a goal I’d set earlier in the year has come to fruition. While I normally don’t focus on actual weight (body fat, feeling, capability are all more important), because of my knees having to drop the pounds has been a bit of a focus. My goal was to drop under 200lbs by January 1st, meaning that over 3-4 days my morning weight prior to breakfast would average sub 200. Today was my 3rd day in a row of sitting under 200lbs, though just barely. I haven’t been this light in 5 years, and the lightest I’ve been in 20 years is 190.

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