THE TIME YOU can allocate for your workouts will not always stretch beyond the hour mark. For some particularly busy guys, even half an hour might be pushing it. If you often find yourself in that latter time-crunched camp, you’ll need to be smart about the approach you take to training. Focusing on structure and efficiency over maximum poundage will be your best approach.
Quick-hitting, super effective protocols like this double-duty circuit from trainer Mat Forzaglia, NFPT-CPT can be the best option for your limited circumstances. This type of session is representative of the programming Forzaglia designed for his new Men’s Health MVP Premium training plan, All Out Studio’s 20-Minute Muscle: Volume 2.
This workout gives you an opportunity to train two major muscle groups: legs and core. The key is to move quickly with intention—there should be no long breaks in between movements and you perform your reps.
The Legs to Abs Circuit Workout
Perform 3 to 4 rounds of the following circuit. Rest as little as possible between exercises, with 1 minute between rounds.
Dumbbell Sumo Romanian Deadlift
8 to 12 reps
Start by hitting your posterior chain with this dumbbell exercise. You’ll also give your back muscles some love as you maintain good posture, holding the weights.
How to Do It:
- Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands and stand with your feet just wider than your hips. Squeeze your shoulder blades and engage your lats, squeeze your core, and allow for a soft bend in the knees.
- Push your butt back and lower your torso, descending with the weights in a straight line until you feel tension in your hamstrings.
- Once you’ve hit your ideal range of motion, squeeze your glutes and stand straight up.
Copenhagen Side Plank
20 seconds per side
Move over to the ground to shift your attention to your core—your oblique muscles, to be more exact.
How to Do It:
- Get down on the ground on your side, then place your elbow and forearm flat on the floor with your arm perpendicular to your torso facing out.
- Extend your top leg with the side of your foot on the ground. Bend the knee of your bottom leg, with your foot behind your torso.
- Push down on the ground with your top foot to drive your hips up, elevating your bottom leg off the floor. You can raise your off arm for balance.
You’ll find fast-moving routines like this—and a whole lot more—with the Men’s Health MVP Premium membership.
Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. You can find his work elsewhere at Mashable, Thrillist, and other outlets.