“I don’t have time to exercise.” Probably the most oft used excuse of all time when people are explaining their lack of working out. And I believe them! Sort of. While it is true that we all have the same 24 hours to dole out and some of us will dedicate a few of those to working out no matter what, I do understand that everyone is busy and that we tend to do what we enjoy first. It just so happens that I lovelovelove working out. But some people lovelovelove knitting or bird watching or, inexplicably, WWF wrestling.

But unlike WWF, exercising is good for your health and so you ought to find some time to do it, even if it isn’t your fave activity. For some people this means combining fitness with something they already love like dancing or rock climbing or – hey! – even video games! But others are more of the just-swallow-the-bitter-pill-and-get-it-over-with mindset. My husband is one of these people. He doesn’t hate exercising but his first love Ultimate Frisbee isn’t easily done on a daily basis (or even a weekly basis here after the first snow). So the other day he asked me to design a 30-minutes or less workout he could squeeze in during his lunch hour and still have time to shower, get back to the office and, you know, eat something. Oh and he wanted it to involve both weights and cardio using only basic equipment and with a minimum of studying.

The latter qualification ruled out renowned shortie workouts like CrossFit and the Monkey Bar Gym as both have a pretty sharp learning curve at the beginning. And so I made him a circuit. It hits all the major body parts and gets in some short bursts of high intensity cardio and thanks to supersets, your heart rate should stay up the entire time – not a bad bang for your workout buck! The Gym Buddies and I tested it out last week and all of us were quite sore afterward (although, weirdly, in different places: for me it was my inner things, Gym Buddy Krista was all about her butt, Allison felt it in her quads and Megan was just “tight.”)

So if you need a quickie workout – especially handy this time of year! – I present to you:

The Gym Buddy Lunch Workout a.k.a. The Leg Killer

(Or brunch, if you’re like us and can’t get out of the house before 10 a.m.)

  • 2 minute warm-up jogging/ellipticizing/biking/random flailing
  • Chest press w/ dumbbells alternating with flys (dumbbells) – 2 sets of each, 8-12 reps
  • Box jumps or step ups on weight bench for 1 minute (box jumps mean jumping on and off the bench with both feet at the same time, step ups are just stepping on and off the bench. The former is the tougher option.)
  • Upright rows alternating with deadlifts (barbell) – 2 sets of each, 8-12 reps
  • Sprint on treadmill for 1 minute (try setting it at level 8 or 9)
  • Arnold shoulder presses alternating with lateral raises (dumbbells) – 2 sets of each, 8-12 reps
  • Hindu squats for 1 minute (a Hindu squat means squatting low enough that your fingers brush the ground and your butt almost hits your heels. Do them as fast as you can.)
  • Bicep curls alternating with hammer curls (dumbbells) – 2 sets of each, 8-12 reps
  • Jumping rope for 1 minute
  • Tricep overheads alternating with pushdowns (dumbbell & cable machine) – 2 sets of each, 8-12 reps
  • Steep incline walk on the treadmill 1 minute
  • Cool down on treadmill: Easy run for the remaining time (we finished with about 8 minutes to spare.)

Which kind of workout do you prefer: short and intense or longer and slower? What’s your go-to workout when you have 30 minutes or less? Anyone offended by people stepping on the weight benches??

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