Looking for a quick workout plan?

There are multitude of benefits for completing an exercise routine within 15 minutes.  This change is fantastic to shock your system into achieving new gains.

The major issues to avoid in an exercise routine is stagnation or a plateau.  We all at some point go through the motions of a workout and do the same old thing.  The 15 minute workout can break through the plateau and put you back on track to achieving your health and fitness goals.


This workout can be structured to high intensity, muscular strength, or endurance.  It can even be focused to upper, lower, or full body work or just core work.  There are virtually no limitations with this style of workout.  In this article we will break down the 15 minute workout and explain its importance.

How to structure your 15 minute workout

When designing your high intensity workout, the clock is obviously your driver.  Have your workout set up as a circuit and utilize exercises involving the full body.

Remember, a high intensity workout’s primary goal is to maximize caloric expenditure.  Exercises that fill that demand are multi-joint, plyometric, or calisthenics.

The sets and reps for the 15 minute workout can be designed a multitude of ways:

– as many reps possible

– a set number of reps

– number of sets to complete

– complete as many sets possible

The number of exercises you want to complete in this circuit training is 4 to 6. The tabata concept coincides with this training modality.

Incorporating strength training to your 15 minute routine

For the strength training and muscular endurance focus, it is better to complete a specific area of the body; upper, lower, or core.

For the resistance training and strength developing workout, have your sets per exercise at 3 to 4 and your repetitions from 8 to 12.  Your rest time is 35-45 seconds per completion of set.

With muscular endurance as the focus, your sets are ranged from 2 to 3 sets, with repetitions from 12 to 20 and rest time is 25 to 30 seconds. With both training applications, there is very little down time.  Your objective is to complete 8 to 10 exercises in that 15 minutes.

Circuit training can also be involved with this style of workout (I recommend it!).  Adding a push/pull concept will accomplish your strength and endurance training goals all the while improving workout efficiency.

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Stagnant workouts? Add some intense cardio

If your cardio has stagnated or has become mundane, the 15 minute workout utilizing a high intensity focus is extremely beneficial.  The cardio equipment, whether treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or stair mill, used in the high intensity design will definitely create a metabolic shock.

Begin the cardio session with a 5 minute warm up at a low to moderate intensity; 65-75% of your heart rate max.  Determine a resistance level on the cardio device so that you can achieve 85-95% of heart rate max in the interval time frame.

The recovery period after the interval is the lowest settings on the cardio equipment, allowing your heart rate and breathing to return a low to moderate threshold.

Basic structure for a 15 minute cardio workout

A basic design of this program is 30 seconds at the determined high intensity level, followed by 60 second recovery at the lowest setting.  After the 60 second recovery is complete, begin the interval process again.

Ideally, you to complete 4 to 5 intervals.  Once the intervals are complete, finish your workout with a cool down phase, allowing your heart rate and breathing to return normal homeostatic levels.

I hope the three examples of a 15 minute workout creates ideas to change up your workout and add variety.  The time allotted workout is great for adding a challenge.  Alright, set your watches, 15 minutes on the clock, Let’s GO!

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