Like most serious sport athletes, you’ll do whatever it takes to become successful. Because it’s important, you’ll find time, make time, and commit to practicing specific sport skills, team practice/strategy sessions, conditioning, strength training, and other necessary components. If you’re a non-athlete, but enjoy exercising to get fit, lose fat, gain muscle, become stronger, or achieve another goal, you’ll also find a way to train consistently if you’re committed to achieving your goals.

 

Both athletes and non-athletes occasionally face the reality of being pressed for time. That hour you thought you had now becomes twenty minutes. Work, school, family obligations, extracurricular events, unexpected emergencies, travel, etc. can get in the way of even the best designed training schedule, thus Plan B – a shorter session – is employed. Plan B is still a plan, so it shouldn’t render a training session useless. In fact, it can be a better fit in many cases, especially when it comes to conditioning and strength training exercise sessions.

 

Plenty of legitimate research shows that brief, demanding exercise sessions produce results similar to lengthier, lower-level sessions (Study at McMaster University, National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Japan, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, European Journal of Applied Physiology, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research). In other words, instead of a 45-minute session, a 20-minute session will suffice if you train really hard! Why not? That’s an extra 25 minutes to devote to something else.

 

Knowing that brief, intense conditioning and strength training are effective, let’s take a look at some examples. Literally, there are hundreds of exercise, drill, run, workout prescription, and time-to-complete combinations that can be used. That is a good thing because it will allow your specific situation to be addressed and you’ll have plenty of variety to choose from. 

 

Here are a few ideas:

 

20-Minute Conditioning:

 

Shuttle Runs

Dynamic warm up – 3:00

20 x 30 yards @ :08; recovery time @ :32

Cool down – 3:00

 

Versa Climber, Arc Trainer, or Stair-Stepper

Warm up - 2:00

16 x :30 hard effort/:30 easy

Cool down – 2:00

 

Bodyweight Circuit

Dynamic warm up – 3:00

As many rounds possible in 15:00: 10 x push ups, 15 x squats, max rep chin ups, 50 x mountain climbers, and 15 x abs

Cool down – 2:00

 

10-Minute Conditioning:

 

Versa Climber, Arc Trainer, or Stair-Stepper

Warm up - 1:00

14 x :20 very hard effort/:10 rest

Cool down – 2:00

 

Bodyweight

Dynamic warm up – 1:00

Burpees with push up, walking lunges, and body weight ground pull up - each for as many reps possible in 2:30

Cool down – 1:30

 

Sprints, Shuttle Runs, or Other Running Drill

Dynamic warm up – 1:00

20 x all-out effort @ :05; recovery time @ :15

Cool down – 2:00

 

20-Minute Total Body Strength Training:

 

One of Everything

1:00 rest between sets – achieve overload within listed rep ranges – use barbells, dumbbells, plate-load or selectorized machines.

 

Chest Press x 10-14

Low Row x 10-14

Overhead Press x 8-12

Pulldown x 8-12

Dips or Incline Press x 8-12

Lunges x 6-10 each leg

Leg Press x 12-16

Glute-Hamstring Raise x 8-12

Abdominals x 15-20

 

Super Set

No rest between exercise pairs - 1:00 rest between segments – achieve overload within listed rep ranges or max reps – use barbells, dumbbells, plate-load or selectorized machines.

 

Overhead Press x 8-12

Pulldown or Chin Ups x 8-12 or max reps

Overhead Press x 8-12

Pulldown or Chin Ups x 8-12 or max reps

 

Chest Press or Push Ups x 8-12 or max reps

Face Pulls x 8-12

Chest Press or Push Ups x 8-12 or max reps

Face Pulls x 8-12

 

Dips x max reps

Upright Row x 8-12

Dips x max reps

Upright Row x 8-12

 

Squat x 10-14

Leg Curl x 8-12

Squat x 10-14

Leg Curl x 8-12

 

10-Minute Total Body Strength Training:

 

1:00 rest between sets – achieve overload within listed rep ranges – use barbells, dumbbells, plate-load or selectorized machines.

 

Push-Pull-Lower

Incline Press x 6-10

Low Row x 6-10

Leg Press x 10-14

Dips x max reps

High Row x 8-12

Romanian Dead Lift x 10-14

 

Lower-Pull-Push

Squat x 10-14

Pulldown x 8-12

Chest Press x 8-12

Leg Press x 8-12

Upright Row x 8-12

Overhead Press x 8-12

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