Two Workouts Under 30 Minutes

Hi everyone!

I hope all of my US readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Will and I spent time with his family down in Connecticut and enjoyed lots of visiting, lots of laughs and an exceptional amount of pie and stuffing. I didn’t take any food pictures, just because I really don’t feel comfortable interrupting a family dinner to take a lot of photos of my plate, but let me just say that the food we had this weekend was amazing. Will’s older brother raised the turkey that we ate, and it couldn’t have been more fresh or delicious! But beyond the food, we were able to spend a lot of time with family and friends, and that is what the holiday is all about, so I’ll consider it a highly successful Thanksgiving weekend here in the Rondeau household.

apple pie

I contributed this apple pie, which may have been my best yet! 

Today I wanted to share a few quick workouts, for those times when you don’t have hours to spend in the gym but still want to get a good session in. This time of year, things tend to get a little bit crazy, and some people unfortunately get rid of their workouts all together when they realize that between the holiday parties, gift shopping and gift wrapping, they don’t have time for their usual 1-2 hour training sessions. This is where workouts like this become as valuable as gold — you don’t have to have a ton of time to complete an effective workout.

If your holiday season is anything like mine coming up, you might not feel like you have any spare time to work out. But there is always something that can be done, so if you can take a half hour out of your day to try these out, you’ll be happy that you did! Both of these workouts can be done in 30 minutes or less, and depending on what type of workout equipment you have at home, you may not even need to trek out into the cold to get to the gym.

Barbell Complex:

I’ve been doing a lot of barbell complexes lately, mostly because I love training with barbells, but I haven’t quite gotten back up to ultra heavy lifting since my concussion. I am working the weights back up, but in the mean time, I try to do a complex at least once per week, to keep my body used to the movement patterns and weight distribution of having the bar on my back.

Complexes are a great way to combine cardio and resistance training, and also a very effective way to get a killer workout in a very short amount of time. For most people, especially during this time of year, efficiency is key. If you can get a killer fat burning workout done in 20-25 minutes, that leaves more time for other important things in your life. To do a barbell complex, start out with a weight much lighter than you’d do any of these exercises at — if you’ve never done one before, you probably want to start with just the barbell.

Complete 10 reps of each exercise (yes, that means 10 each leg with the rear lunges), and don’t rest in between exercises. I transition from the rows to the OHP with a clean, but if you don’t know how to do that you could always re-rack and reposition yourself. Remember to breathe throughout — this will get your heart rate up and will leave you breathing heavy by the end of one round, so get ready!


 25 Minute Spin Workout

Please excuse my lingo here as I’ve been to a spin class exactly twice in my life. I do really like spinning though, and the last class I went to left me feeling like a pile of goo on the ground. My gym has a couple of spin bikes that can be used on your own outside of group classes, so I’ve been using those a lot lately, just for something different. The workout below is probably better for someone like me who is not quite a spin expert, but is just looking for a good, quick cardio interval session.

Also, if you don’t have access to a spin bike, you could always adapt this to other pieces of cardio equipment, such as the treadmill or stair climber.

This workout is grouped into zones. For the first few minutes, keep the resistance low and focus on getting your legs loose and warmed up. Due to the nature of spin bikes, I can’t give you an exact number of resistance to shoot for. Instead, gauge this by your RPE, or Rate of Perceived Exertion.

Minutes 1-4 – This should start out very easy, and increase to about 5/10 on your exertion scale as you get more warmed up.

Minutes 5-9- This should be a little harder. Your 30s of moderate resistance/speed should put you at about a 5-7 on the exertion scale, while the 30s recovery periods should go back down to about 3-5. You can moderate this with both resistance and speed.

Minutes 10-19- Again, the 30s moderate intensity should put you at about 5-7, the 30s standing period should be about 7-9, and the recovery period back down to 4-5. I keep the resistance low for recovery period, turn it up a bit for the moderate intensity, and turn it up again for the standing portion.

Minutes 20-25- Back down to recovery speed/intensity. I’ll usually keep this a bit higher than my initial warm up, about 5 for RPE.


Readers: What is your favorite go-to workout when you’re short on time? Have you tried barbell complexes? 

3 thoughts on “Two Workouts Under 30 Minutes

  1. Walking on an outside track, yoga poses that focus on strength. And I also do a circuit with weights.

  2. First – that’s awesome that Will’s brother raised the turkey – sustainability, yeah! Second, I have recently been feeling very empowered by my at-home circuits. Sure, they’re a little harder to get motivated for than being in a fitness class, but they’re effective, quick, and best of all, completely free. It’s always good to think about how doing just a little bit of fitness work is better than none at all.

    1. Oh my god, the turkey that we have there every year is SO GOOD!! They have chickens too, and we get eggs from them often — nothing beats fresh, farm raised eggs that literally came from the back yard! I hear ya on the home workouts too — I’ve been doing a lot of home circuits with my KBs, and I kind of love them.

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