If you’re rushing from pillar to post and struggling to find time to strength train, just 30 minutes per session can be enough to see genuine improvements, as The Movement Blueprint’s Harvey Lawton writes…
Most busy professionals will face a constant battle of trying to optimise their time across the working day – sometimes with success, sometimes resulting in sacrifice.
When it comes to health and fitness, the pursuit of attempting to do more in less time often results in one major shortfall: shortcuts. They could take the form of movement quality, execution, or a shortcut mindset that simply sees training as ticking a box rather than a daily health investment.
Multiple time-saving fads have launched, been tried and tested, then sunk. The reason for their demise is quite simply that they omit the principles designed to build the body up, and inadvertently prioritise the processes that in fact breaks the body down.
Sweating a lot doesn’t automatically mean success. Finishing on the floor after a full-send spin class multiple times a week is – for most – like drinking a cup of stress on top of your already consumed daily stressors.
I’m not saying high-intensity class-based exercise isn’t good; I believe everyone should strive to move as much as possible. What I am saying is doing stuff like that five times per week isn’t optimal or beneficial for most.
Training and fitness should always carry an overriding health-driven goal that simultaneously satisfies your wants (e.g. sweating/high intensity) and your needs (e.g. strength training).
A fusion does exist, and this fusion is an effective blend of movements that will help prevent the likes of back pain, movements that have positive carry-over to your health outside of the gym (carries, lunges and deadlifts), and movements that leave you feeling fulfilled not floored every session. This is where adherence, consistency, progression and enjoyment are unlocked.
MBP 30’ is our take on effective training within a compressed time window. In each of our 30-minute workouts, you’ll work hard to spend as much time in good positions as you can, through performing all key movements of the body.
You’ll refine these positions with single-limb-loaded work, alongside the usual compound patterns the body requires to adapt. You’ll breathe hard, move lots and have zero opportunity for distraction within each time-based segment.
Fancy trying one for size? Head to the gym, get your head down and enjoy 30 minutes of beneficial graft with the session below…
- Complete the first three sections as AMRAPs (as many rounds as possible), but focus on quality execution of each movement.
- For the final section, complete the descending rep scheme, going as far down the rep ladder as you can within the 4-min window.
- Take 2 mins rest between each section, as you set up the next lot of equipment.
1a. Bird Dog (right and left) x 5
- Create full-body tension before extending your opposite hand and leg.
- Ensure slow and controlled movements, bracing your core each rep.
1b. Dumbbell Tempo Heel-Elevated Squat x 5
- Position a pair of small weight plates under your heels.
- Hold a light dumbbell in both hands.
- Keep an upright torso angle and controlled knee and ankle bend.
- Perform each rep at a 3x2x1 tempo (three-second downward phase, two-second pause, one-second upward phase.
2a. Barbell (or Dual DB) Front Squat x 10
- Load with either a barbell or two dumbbells in a front rack position – choose a moderate load you can move well.
- Option to elevate your heels slightly to allow for a smoother and more vertical bar path.
2b. Barbell (or Dual DB) Pendlay Row x 5
- Choose a challenging load you can move well.
- Bend forward, hinging at the hips, until your back is parallel to the ground. Your knees should be slightly bent.
- Brace your core and lift the weight up to your abdomen by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Then lower the weight all the way back to the floor. Make sure your back stays parallel to the floor throughout the exercise – your arms and shoulders should be the only parts of the body that move during a rep.
- The intent here is power, so focus on the upward phase.
3a. Kettlebell (or DB) Dual Front Rack Walking Lunge x 10
- Load with two kettlebells in a front rack position. Choose a challenging load you can move well.
- Take a small step between each rep to stabilise.
3b. KB (or DB) Suitcase Carry x 20m
- Choose a heavy kettlebell.
- Hold the load away from your outside hip and aim to maintain this position throughout the carry.
- Take small but purposeful steps, maintaining core tension and an upright posture.
4a. Dual DB Thruster x 10,9,8…1
- Hold a pair of dumbbells on your shoulders, with your hands in a neutral position.
- Do a deep squat, keeping your back in good alignment.
- Drive up through your heels and punch the weights straight up in the air.
- Drop down into the next squat and repeat the process.
4b. DB Renegade Row 10,9,8…1
- Start in a press-up position, holding the handles of a pair of dumbbells.
- Row one dumbbell upwards and then the other, so that your thumb touches your armpit.
- Try to stay parallel to the floor – don’t twist.
The MBP 30’ training e-book by The Movement Blueprint is packed with 20 challenging, fun and progression-driven sessions! Head to themovementblueprint.co/mbp-30 to find out more.