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Default 30 Minute Workout
by BendtheBar 10-19-2011, 08:22 AM

30 Minute Workout
by Bill Mason (1972)


How many times have you felt that you had too little time to train, and as a result missed a workout or took a ďshortĒ layoff? My guess is that it happens pretty often, even though you are well aware that missed workouts add up to slow progress.

Donít despair. There is a valid solution to this problem. If you work hard enough, you can thoroughly train your entire body in 30 minutes or less. The routine that I will discuss consists of 20 sets that can be conveniently done in half an hour. If you use fairly substantial poundages the intensity of this routine will definitely build tissue and give you a killer workout. And, due to the necessary speed of training you will be breathing very hard throughout, helping to achieve a considerable degree of cardiovascular fitness.

A short routine has two distinct advantages. First, it can be used when your life is crowded with demands and you are very busy. This half-hour routine three days a week, plus a long shower, will take up less than three hours weekly. The second advantage is for the bodybuilder or lifter who is short of time on a specific day. He can use a short routine in place of his usual two-hour training session and keep himself on the road to positive gains.

The following schedule is for the entire body and should be preceded by a sound warmup. If you are going to complete this routine on time rest as little as possible between sets, and work toward cutting the total time of the workout down from day one.

work the thighs and lower back first. The initial exercise is a warmup set of 20 light squats. If you arenít too strong yet use a light weight, but if youíre getting there, do the first set with bodyweight. Perform the first few reps slowly, and then gradually accelerate until you are really banging them out by rep 20. Now, move immediately to a set of 15-20 stiff-legged deadlifts. This exercise should be done with as heavy a weight as you can handle for the required number of repetitions. The deadlifts will really work the backside of your entire body. Now take a one-minute break, during which time you should be piling on plates for a final set of squats. Put on enough weight to allow for about 8 reps and then try your hardest to force out 15. Really push this set, as it is the most important one in the program.

Next, it will take you four sets to thoroughly work your back. Superset power cleans and bentover rowing for two sets of each exercise. You may need to use straps to aid you grip if you use heavy enough weights. Use lighter poundages for the first superset and then pile on more plates the second time through. Do 6 power cleans and return the bar to the floor. Immediately do 8 bentover rows. Do the first few reps slowly and strictly. Cheat as much as you need to on the last 2 or 3. Rest one minute before the second superset.

The next four or five minutes you will spend with chest work. I like to do a series of three exercises that include three different angles of work. First, do a set of dips for as many reps as you can manage. Next, do a set of heavy bent-arm laterals on the flat bench immediately followed by a set of incline dumbbell presses. Keep the reps between 8 and 12 for these two exercises, but donít stop until you cannot possible do another rep.

Next on the agenda is the shoulder girdle, which will take about two minutes to exercise. This area takes a little less time as you have already worked them pretty hard with the dips and inclines. Shoulder work will consist of one superset of high pulls to at least sternum level and overhead pressing. Do at least 15 reps in the high pull with a substantial weight, going as high as possible in the first reps. Then immediately do between 10 and 15 reps of the press. Be sure to force out every possible repetition on both exercises, using some cheating in the final reps. Go to a push press when you can no longer press the weight strictly.

Arm work consists of a series of five exercises that should take you no more than six minutes to perform. Start off with heavy dumbbell curls for 10-15 reps. You can curl with both arms together or alternately, but work hard either way. Next, grunt out 8-12 hard reps with a heavy weight in the incline french press. After that do a set of 6-8 barbell curls with your favorite grip width. Follow this with a set of 10-15 pressdowns on the lat machine. The final arm exercise is a set of 20 heavy wrist curls. Try them at the end of a declined bench.

At this point you should have about five minutes left in which to train the remaining Ė the calves, abs and neck. Do a cycle of one set of standing calf raises, a set of weighted situps or leg raises, a set of seated calf raises and a set of side bends. Calf to abs, calf to abs. Keep the reps around 20 for all these, then spend the final minute of your workout with a neck strap.

Thatís it! It may sound pretty easy to the inexperienced, after all itís only 20 quick sets. Donít be fooled. If itís easy youíre not using enough weight. If youíre going to do this routine on a regular basis for any length of time, donít up the poundages until you can complete the entire workout in a half hour. Substitute exercises only if they are appropriate variations. Get the rest you need, eat well, and forget about the workout until youíre actually doing it.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:27 AM   #2
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Sounds intense
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:07 PM   #3
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Great article, perfect for the "I have no time to exercise" group as well. 30 minutes is great and even 15 minutes is better than nothing, if that's the only time available.
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