You have 20 minutes: An express workout

Class was let out at 9:40 this morning, and I didn’t need to meet with my advisor until 10:30. With just under an hour I made the trek across campus to hit the gym. Even though I didn’t have much time, something is always better than nothing; it is possible to have a good workout in just twenty minutes. 

I swiped into the rec center just after 9:50 with a plan already worked out in my head. Because I didn’t make it to the gym yesterday (we all need a rest day okay?!?!) I wanted to get a total body workout that maximized calorie burn. Whenever I am short on time, I focus on lifting the large muscle groups to get the most out of my time. 

I focused on thighs, glutes, shoulders, and back. I also threw in a few other things because I had extra time. Keep in mind that this express workout is not something I do every day… maybe once a week when I really can’t take another day off, but I really don’t have a whole hour to spare. 20 minutes is like 7% of your day. I believe you can spare 7% for your health and your body. 

Hayley’s 20 Minute Express Workout

Stretch a little bit. On a normal workout I run 1 mile to warm-up, but today we are in a rush. Just do what you need to do. 

Abductor and Adductor machine–  90lbs: 2 sets of 12

There has been controversy around this machine, but my legs are getting shapely and I have not experienced any hip pain. Listen to your own body for that call. 

Shoulder Press– 22.5 lb dumbbells: 3 sets of 10

Sumo Squats– 60lb kettle bell: 2 sets of 12

Make sure you keep your abs tight, back straight, and push through your heels. 

Bicep curls–20lb dumbbell: 3 sets of 10

Lawn mowers—35lb dumbbell: 3 sets of 10

Leg press– 250lbs (two 45-plates and one 35 on each side): 3 sets of 10

Seated Row–120lbs: 3 sets of 10

If I have extra time to kill I will do some calfs or pull-ups. 

The key to the express workout is rest, or lack thereof. I give myself 20 seconds of rest in between my sets and move to whatever machine is open. When there is not time for you organized and complete workout, just take pride in the fact you went. 

20 minutes can make a difference. Just do it. I completed this and made it to my meeting early! 

After I finished I did walk 3 miles home… because Preston and I have a movie date tonight AND I love popcorn. Since I couldn’t get a complete work out, I balance the express with a lighter food day. I am eating 500 calories of scrambled eggs and veggies, 200 calories of some grilled chicken, and 500 calories of popcorn (without butter. Don’t ever add butter… that is just a waste of 400+ more calories). 

5 ft 4 in 134 pounds. Still on track for my goal of 133 on April 15




6 Comments Add yours

  1. Rebecca says:

    You are a beast! Such great advice. I love that you walk, people forget that is functional exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PHhealthylife says:

      Yup! I burned a good 200 calories power walking with my backpack for 3 miles. And I enjoyed some sunshine too.


  2. lexilife says:

    Thanks for sharing this workout. Sometime’s I need a refreshing with my routines so thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PHhealthylife says:

      Of course! Glad it could inspire some variety. I get stuck in a routine too, but our bodies love (and need) a change sometimes. 🙂


  3. Sarah Burris says:

    Can i write back to this? Ab and adductor machine actually helps my old hips! Nice post hayley

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. PHhealthylife says:

      Lol yes! And I have only had benefits, but there are some articles about the strain it might be placing on your joints. Gotta do want feels good!


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