Objective: Lean, Flexible & Strong

Your objective is to maintain a high intensity level of training, which is achieved by exhausting only a few muscle groups for each workout. By repeating the same exercise, minimal time is spent moving between machines and changing weights. As a result, your heart rate will remain fairly high for the entire duration, which will boost your metabolic rate.

Working with a time limit increases the urgency to work intensely with little rest. Since the workouts are so short, you’ll find yourself looking forward to the next one.

20 minutes a day is a realistic amount of time to dedicate to your physique. With this routine, it’s much easier to find time each day for your workout and to remain motivated for life.

There doesn’t need to be a structure to your workout regime, as long as you‘re regularly targeting your primary muscle groups, which are your chest, back and legs. All other muscle groups are stimulated as a result, so it’s not necessary to focus on all muscle groups.

Don’t exercise a muscle group if it’s sore from your previous workout. If you’re sore for days, it means you’ve exhausted them, so respect and reward your muscles by allowing them rest. This is when they’ll recover and grow.

Many people are familiar with either doing a full workout or not working out at all. There are huge benefits of doing quick workouts, as opposed to not exercising at all. For example, performing one set of push-ups till exhaustion takes less than 2 minutes and is an excellent, quick workout if you don’t have time for your 20-minute workout. One set of pull-ups till exhaustion or 100 squats are other examples of quick, efficient workouts that will boost your metabolic rate, increase lean muscle and release endorphins. You’ll also feel better knowing that you did some exercise that day.

During Your Workout

Always think about how your workouts will boost your metabolism. Keep your heart rate up throughout the workout by not resting. This is your cardio for the day.

Perform every set to failure without compromising form.

The objective is not to reach a certain number of reps in each set, but rather to maintain a 10/10 intensity for as long as possible. When you can’t do another full rep, slow down your movement and hold certain positions for another 10-20 seconds. This is when you’ll achieve most of your gains.

Only focus on the muscles you’re supposed to be using. Lift without ego, and don’t recruit other muscles in order to complete another rep. Get used to holding positions at the end of your sets.

Allocate 1-3 exercises for the muscle group that you’re training. If your equipment is setup so you can move swiftly from one to the next, then this is fine.

Otherwise, it’s just as beneficial to use one exercise and reduce the weight or reps as you exhaust your muscles. For example, if you’re using a chest-press machine, start out with a heavy weight and complete as many reps are possible. Don’t forget your slow reps and holds toward the end of the set. Reduce the weight each time and keep working with minimal rest. You’ll eventually be lifting close to no weight, but your chest will be exhausted. This is exactly what you want to achieve.

Constantly change your lifting speed, grip and holding points to stimulate growth.

The 20-minute workout is a guide. It’s okay to stay a little longer if you get caught up in a conversation or spend longer than usual setting up your equipment. The idea is to be efficient and intense with minimal downtime. Try not to spend more than 30 minutes working out. Of course, it’s great to change it up now and then by exercising and socialising with friends.

The 20-minute workout can be split up depending on how you prefer to exercise. For example, if you’re training legs and abs in one day, you can train your legs for 15 minutes in the morning and train your abs for 5 minutes later in the day. Working out twice in one day like this may even help boost your metabolic rate.

Your Muscle Groups

Primary muscle groups:

  1. Back
  2. Chest
  3. Legs

Secondary muscle groups:

  1. Abs*
  2. Calves*
  3. Shoulders*
  4. Biceps
  5. Triceps

The primary muscle groups are your largest muscles. Targeting these will increase your testosterone levels, which will stimulate overall muscle growth and boost your metabolism.

Reorder and add to the list of secondary muscle groups to suit your goals. For example, if you want impressive arms more than anything else, then put biceps and triceps at the top of the list.

The asterisks mark the muscle groups that you’re willing to incorporate in your routine. The more you have, the less often you’ll train them.