The Most Effective Workout in the Least Amount of Time


time to workout

The idea behind this workout is to produce maximum results with the least amount of overall time spent working out and the least number of total exercises.

Get in, work hard, get it done and go about your day. For busy people who don’t have a ton of time to work out, this routine aims to achieve the most for your time and effort. If you’re strictly working out at home, and are ready to go past body weight exercises, there are a few basic pieces of equipment that can have a major impact on your fitness progress.

Another concept that this routine builds on is optimal rest and recovery to maximize the results of each workout. While some lifters focus on isolating individual muscle groups throughout the week, this workout can be completed 3-4 times a week and works a variety of muscle groups in each session.

Workouts if you’re busy…

Other principles involved include focusing on major, compound lifts performed at a low rep high weight. This formula produces muscle growth with less sets and repetitions, focusing on each heavily weighted repetition. For larger athletes who are looking to cut down, switching this out for lower weight higher repetition may be preferable.

For beginners workout, this is an excellent way to build a hard muscular foundation along with developing strength through difficult exercises like the pull-up and dip. Movements like these are challenging especially as you are first getting into them, but they are great for developing a strong, toned physique.

Esthetically, this workout aims for the cut, strong look with hard defined muscular development. The goal here being a more lean athletic look than a bulk oriented routine. Challenging exercises combined with weight and cardio into an interval arrangement produce gains in strength, muscle hardness and endurance in the minimum amount of time for a workout.

Let’s get into it. Beginning with a warm-up and stretching are always necessary, regardless of the type of workout you’re about to perform. However, because this workout impacts multiple muscle groups, a light jog and a 15 minute stretch and foam roller session will get your blood flowing and prepare you tear it up.

Equipment Need For Your Quick Workout

As mentioned, this workout can be done at home or at the gym but requires some basic equipment. The first piece of these is a pull-up / dip rack which will also be used for leg ups. The second thing is a good speed oriented jump rope—a wire rope is preferable for developing quickness. The last piece of equipment needed is a trap bar or Olympic bar for squatting—this can also be done with bodyweight if unavailable.

Workout if you're busy

Jump Rope – 25-50 reps between sets

A good speed rope can add calorie-torching intensity to any workout. In addition to providing an excellent warm up for your workout, the jump rope performed at rounds of 50-100 jumps will train your aerobic energy system while training your other muscle groups.

For an added challenge, try performing double-under, completing two rotations of the rope per jump. This will require a slightly larger hop and work your shoulder muscles, using a greater effort to whip the rope. Rounds of 25-40 double under in between sets. It will require a very fit athlete to jump rope between every set of this workout, so try every other and gauge your fitness level. Adjust accordingly if you feel able to make each set into an interval.

Trap Bar Squat – 4 sets x 8 reps

As we always remind you, the squat works a huge portion of your body’s muscles, adding the work of the arms by using a trap bar, this number increases to 85% or more. The squat is the single most effective use of weight lifting for your body’s overall strength and muscular development. This move belongs, perhaps more than any other, at the core of this workout.

As always, be aware of your form; toes bent slightly outward, feet shoulder width apart, back straight, stick your butt out, tall chest. As you sink down drive your feet into the floor and your knees outward to anchor yourself into the lift. The trap bar will take a bit of adjusting if you’ve squatted before with a barbell. Instead of carrying the weight on your back, you’ll be surrounded by it, and your arms will get an additional burn from holding the weight. You’ll need to adjust your weight down from your back squat.

Dip – 4 x 15 reps

The dip is a classic and challenging body weight driven exercise that will do wonders for your chest and triceps. Few exercises can carve out a horseshoe on the back of your arms like a dip. As you descend into this one, it’s important to get down to at least a ninety degree angle. If you’re comfortable going lower, the additional challenge to your arms will pay out, but avoid this if you’ve had injuries or feel unhealthy stress on your joints. The major thing to keep in mind on squats is that the further you push your feet out behind you, the more stress goes to your chest. The more you keep your feet underneath you, the more your arms will be doing the work.

Hanging Leg Raise – 4 sets x 12 reps

Resting your elbows on the rack, or hanging from the bar of the pull-up rack, slowly and in a controlled fashion, raise your legs out in front of you, keeping as much your core stationary as possible. A bend in the knees will ease the stress on this move and lighten the load.

As you practice this move more and more, you can work away from bending your knees to bring your legs out straight in front of you. Protip: one thing that adds an effective touch on the hanging leg raise is a final squeeze and almost crunch-like move when your legs reach their high point.

Focus on squeezing your abs and lift a little higher, bend a bit in the lower back allowing for a crunch motion.  You can vary this by adding a twist as you bring your legs up. Overall this is about the best abdominal exercise you can get and will develop the oblique muscles that everyone loves. Remember, there are no other dedicated abdominal exercises in this workout.

How to workout if your busy

Push-up – 3 sets x 30 reps

There are reasons why many people do push ups almost every day. The pushup, which you can vary up using different widths in your arms, or moving your hands closer together to target your arms. Push yourself on these and go for sets of 25-30. This will work your chest and arms but also tighten up your core.

Hammer Grip Pull-up – 4 sets x 10 reps

The pull-up and chin-up bar can provide you with enough variation to build a strong set of shoulder and back muscles almost completely on its own. The reason why the hammer grip pull up was chosen for this workout is because of the secondary muscles involved in this move. The pull up is an excellent method for developing functional upper body strength but does a great deal to work the abs in addition to the upper body muscles in the arms, shoulders and back that are responsible for push ups.

Why you should workout if your busy


The focus of this workout is to make the absolute most of every single repetition, not to isolate each muscle with set after set after set. These moves take some time to get strong with but are key to developing real strength and a hard cut physique. Adding the jump rope (or running or biking) between sets will keep your heart beat up, and make this both an aerobic and anaerobic workout. So if you’re tight on time, or you just would rather spend your time outside of the gym, give this a try—it won’t be easy, but it’ll payoff.

Adding the jump rope (or running or biking) between sets will keep your heart beat up, and make this both an aerobic and anaerobic workout. So if you’re tight on time, or you just would rather spend your time outside of the gym, give this a try—it won’t be easy, but it’ll payoff.

-Terry Asher

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Gym Junkies Founder & Editor in Chief at Gym Junkies LLC
I’m Terry and I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want with the proper guidance. Through my extensive fitness blog, top fitness videos, leading workout supplements, and top selling eBooks, I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My passion is helping people all around the world change their lives for the better.
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