Six Blistering Bodyweight Workouts You Can Do in Under 30 Mins

One of the biggest reasons why people say they don’t exercise is because they don’t have time. Of course, we all have the same amount of time, and there are plenty of really busy people who work out despite having many other things to do. I trained for and ran the SF Marathon while doing Ridejoy, and have written about the benefits of physical activity for entrepreneurs.

But I also understand that the best way to build a new habit is to make something dead simple — so you can put all your mental resources in pushing yourself during the workout, rather than in thinking of what you should do. So I’ve compiled six workouts you can do any time. No more excuses about not having the time or equipment to workout.

Here’s the deal with these workouts:

  • They’re short. Including warmup and cooldown, they should take less than 30 mins.
  • They’re (almost) equipment free: You just need a small clean(ish) space on the floor to do these workouts
  • They’re total body. You burn more calories when you work your whole body at once, and I think it’s a more satisfying experience.
  • They incorporate strength training with cardio. Unlike spending 45 mins on elliptical or just doing pushups, these workouts train across your systems.
  • They’ve got variety: our brains our novelty-seeking instruments and there’s lots of variety in these workouts to keep you engaged.
  • They work for all levels.. These workouts are scalable, which doesn’t mean that they can handle ten thousand requests per second, but that they can be made harder or easier depending on how fit you are.
  • They’re tested. I ran through these workouts earlier this year during Wellness Month at Percolate. We had about a dozen people at every workout, and the program got rave reviews, including from co-founder James Gross:


The Program

Each of my workouts were organized in a similar way – there was a brief warmup phase that typically involved jogging in place, some arm circles and whatever else you might need. I don’t think it’s critical to spend a massive amount of time warming up if you aren’t going do lift super heavy weights or do something that requires massive strain.

Then we would do the light workout, which took about 3 minutes (and also sort of acts like an additional “warm up”)

Finally, we would complete the heavy workout, which was the key piece of the program. This would take up to 10 minutes and was meant to be especially challenging, pushing both the muscular and aerobic capacities.

Minutes 0-5: Warm Up
Minutes 6-10: Light Workout
Minutes 11-25: Heavy Workout
Minutes 26-30: Cool down / Stretch

The Workouts

Because I work in tech, I’ve decided to give each of these workouts a internet/computer related name.

  1. Port 80
  2. Pull Request
  3. Migration
  4. End Point
  5. Virtual Machine
  6. Client Server

Workout 1: Port 80

Light Segment: go all-out for 30 seconds on each movement

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Rest (break)
  • High Knees (running in place)
  • Plank

Heavy Segment: Two rounds of Tabata – 8 rounds of 20 seconds going all out, 10 seconds rest.

Tabata 1: Rotate through all exercises 2x

  • Lunges
  • Pushup Rotation
  • Speed Skater
  • Plank to Pushups

2 mins rest

Tabata 2: Switch between these two exercises 4x

  • Burpees
  • Jump rope

Workout 2: Pull Request

Light Segment: go all-out for 30 seconds on each movement

  • Shoulder Taps in Push-Up Position
  • Air Squats
  • Rest (Break)
  • Punches (Shadow Boxing)
  • Wall Sit

Heavy Segment: two rounds of the Tabata protocol

Tabata 1: Rotate through all exercises 2x

  • Fast Feet (Step forward / back in a 1-2, 3-4 pattern)
  • Dancing Crab (On all fours with torso facing up, touch left hand to right toe, then alternate)
  • Knees (Pulling both arms down and thrusting a single knee up, then alternate)
  • Spiderman Pushups (bring one knee up to your side as you dip into the pushup, bring it back as you push up, alternate)

2 mins rest

Tabata 2: Rotate through the exercises 4x

  • Deep squat to high jump
  • Mountain Climbers

Workout 3: Migration

Light Segment: go all-out for 30 seconds on each movement

  • Jab, Jab-Cross, Jab-Cross-Hook
  • Slips
  • Rest
  • Jab-Cross-Slip
  • Jump Rope (if no actual jump rope, you can imagine one)

Heavy Segment: 7 rounds of Crazy One Minute Cardio (1 min on, 20s rest

  • Burpee
  • Tuck Jump
  • 4 Jumping Lunges (Switching)
  • 4 Mountain Climbers

Workout 4: End Point

Light Segment: go all-out for 30 seconds on each movement

  • High knees
  • Squat hold
  • Break
  • Shoulder taps
  • Plank

Heavy Segment: Another Tabata Protocol. (8x 1min on, 20s off). You’ll repeat the exercises 2x, then rest 2 mins, then do the whole thing again.

  • Burpee no push-up
  • Jump forward – jump back
  • Push up one knee in, push-up other knee in
  • 4 jumping jacks

Workout 5: Virtual Machine

Light Segment: 8 rounds of the following

  • 10 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Punches

Heavy Segment: I nicknamed this adorable portion the “300 Routine”. Complete 3 rounds of the following:

  • 20 Mountain Climbers (both legs = 1 rep)
  • 20 High Knees (both knees = 1 rep)
  • 20 Shoulder Taps (both shoulders = 1 rep)
  • 20 Squat Jumps
  • 2x 10 Side Plank Crunches

Workout 6: Client Server

Light Workout: go all-out for 30 seconds on each movement

  • 30s knees
  • 30s 1-2, 3-4
  • 30s break
  • 30s pushup with rotation
  • 30s imaginary ball throws

Heavy Segment: Ideally this is done with a partner, but you can do it alone if you need to:

  • Step 1: Set a timer for 45 seconds and do as many burpees as you can (with no pushup)
  • Step 2: 10 rounds of burpees for 30 seconds. Cheer on and count for your partner – they must not go below the number they set in the 45 second timer. If you’re doing it by yourself, same thing, but don’t rest for more than 30 seconds between sets.



Four Total Body Workouts When You’re Short on Time

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and this is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You know the drill: attempt these workouts at your own risk.

Finding time to work out when you’re working a demanding job is tough. Add a big commute, errands, family responsibilities, and exercise time gets lost to the ether. And yet we know that physical activity is so critical to our physical, mental, emotional, and social performance and quality of life.

No matter how busy you are, skipping exercise is almost always a big mistake. Yes, being active takes time, but you can get a solid workout in a short amount of time if you’re willing to haul ass. Here are four workouts that will give you a great full-body workout in less than 15 minutes, and three of them don’t require any special equipment.

Are you ready to give up your best excuse for not exercising?

On High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

The idea behind all of these workouts is that they have periods of intense work, and periods of rest. The rest periods are short by design. This type of training has been shown to burn fat efficient, develop aerobic and strength benefits and boost your metabolism for 48-72 hours after the workout. Continue reading…

Are These The Hardest Pushups Ever?

(Can’t see the video? Click through)

After finishing up my max squat jump challenge, I wanted to bring it back to something that worked arms, shoulders, chest. Something that was hard, and wouldn’t have a rate limit.

Pushups are always a good candidate for an upper body workout, but I didn’t want to plain vanilla pushups. I started Googling around and found these so-called “Azetc” pushups. They kind of remind of me jackknife dives so I’m adding that to the name.

They are freaking hard! It requires explosiveness, like a really aggressive clapping pushup. But it also requires quads, hip flexors and abs to pull your legs in to touch your toes. In the video, you can see how after a while, I need to take a breather even in a one minute scenario.

They’re also pretty fun. I’m looking forward to seeing how many I can do at the end of the month. I personally feel that finger pushups are also high up on the list, but I’m willing to call these Aztec Pushups at least ONE OF the hardest pushups out there.

It turns out the Guinness Book of World Records for Aztec pushups was recently broken by a University of St Francis student, from 20 to 31. I feel like I could get pretty close to that if I’m diligent with my training. Let’s see…

FitChal #5: Max Pull-Ups + What Happened in April

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me on the Monthly Fitness Challenges. As you might remember, I’ve been setting these personal challenges for myself where I test myself on a particular activity, train for about month and then re-test myself. It’s a fun way to stay fit.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

So what happened in April?

Well, my goal was to train for the flagpole. If you don’t know what a flagpole is, it’s where you grip an upright pole and pull yourself horizontal. It requires a lot of core strength + alternate bicep/tricep strength (depending on what side you push/pull on).

Here’s a picture of me doing one in a photoshoot for Outside Magazine:

photo (4) Continue reading…

FitChal #1 Finale: Max Sit-Ups in 1 Minute

So, it’s February 1st – which means I need to see how I’ve done with my monthly fitness challenge. The focus on January was as many sit-ups as possible in one minute.


As I mentioned before, sit-ups aren’t actually a great ab workout in themselves. They use the hip flexors and only work the top part of your abs, not the bottom. So when I was training, I started out by focusing on planks and slow butterfly sit-ups. On somedays I would do my old gymnastics routine of 35 V-ups, 50 tuck-ups and 100 hollow back kicks.

Then someone emailed me who had been in the army and gave me some advice:
Continue reading…