10-Minute Workouts to Fit Anyone's Busy Day

Tom Kelso

Contributor - Strength and Conditioning

St. Louis, Illinois, United States

Strength and Conditioning

Here's an interesting tidbit: the inventor of P90X workouts - approximately one hour-long workouts - is also the brains behind the 10-Minute Trainer workouts. 10-Minute Trainer workout formats are designed for those with minimal time to train. So, if you cannot find an hour to engage in the P90X program, does the 10-minute session now trump the one-hour P90X session? Seriously, give me those extra 50 minutes to use elsewhere.


This may create a quandary for the person seeking the right program to use. In today's depressing environment of laziness, horrible eating, and reliance on technology to move us from point A to B, I believe any physical activity is better than nothing, so let's go with it.



workouts, short workouts, ten minute workouts, 10 minute workoutsI'm all for busting your ass in training - safely. But understand hard work and time have an inverse relationship, generally. That is, the closer you come to a one hundred percent effort, the shorter your workout time will be. Think all-out sprinting: an all-out sprint ends sooner than a 50%-effort run. All said and done, the greater your intensity, the shorter your workout time. So, which is better - shorter and extremely intense or longer and moderately intense? It's a subjective topic and similar to the apples versus oranges debate.


But for certain, as I mentioned, something is better than nothing. I think you would all agree with that. I completely understand that sometimes people have limited time to devote to meaningful exercise due to work and family obligations. That being a reality, let's look at some viable options that fit a busy lifestyle. If only 10-minute segments fit into your daily schedule, here are some workout suggestions.


10-Minute Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Workout 1: Running Only


Simply go for a 10-minute run as hard as hard as you can. Your running pace will diminish quickly, but keep pushing hard for the duration. It's amazing how those 10 minutes of all-out effort will put a strain on your cardiovascular and energy systems. Ultimately, it may put you in the fetal position. Remember, something is better than nothing.


Workout 2: In Your Home




Only equipment required: a pull-up bar/device and dumbbells or a barbell. Disclaimer: this could be the worst 10 minutes of your fruitful life. But remember, it's only 10 minutes of your 24-hour day. One minute of the following exercises, with no rest between them:


  • Burpees

  • Squats

  • Push ups

  • High or low-bar pull ups

  • Bicycle crunches

  • Jumping jacks

  • Mountain climbers

  • Bar or dumbbell overhead press

  • Run in place

  • Burpees


Workout 3: Resistance Equipment Required


Five exercises performed to volitional muscular fatigue at a 10 repetition goal, using a 4-second raising ("up") phase and 8-second lowering ("down") phase with no rest between exercises:


  1. Multi-joint leg exercise - a squat, leg press, or dead lift.

  2. Overhead Press - using a barbell, dumbbell, or machine.

  3. Pulldown - using a either a close or wide grip via body weight or on a plate-load or selectorized machine.

  4. Chest press - using a barbell, dumbbell, or machine.

  5. Low row - using a barbell, dumbbell(s), or machine.


It's amazing what you can accomplish when time is minimal - provided you work hard. Not much time? Now there’s no excuses.


Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.

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