Fitness Articles

15-minute workouts to help achieve any goal

Ultra-swift options for when you’ve really got better things to be doing


The Muscle Builder

Resting? Amateur hour. The cool kids do AMRAPs – As Many Rounds As Possible – and aim for a new high-score every time, like really exhausting pinball. “Start with 7 minutes of 6 press-ups, 6 inverted rows, 9 hand-elevated press-ups and 9 rows,” says DIY workout specialist Andrew Tracey. “Rest a minute – time permitting – then do 7 minutes of: 3 strict presses, 6 push-presses, 9 barbell rows, 12 press-ups and 15 curls, all with the same bar or dumbbells. Pick a weight you can comfortably handle for the presses, or it’ll catch up with you fast.” Spoiler alert: it’s horrible anyway.

15-minute workouts to help achieve any goal 1

The Core Improver

It’s not just about your abs. “Your core’s made up of abdominal, lower back and glute muscles,” says trainer Tom Wright. “So the goal of your training is to keep everything between your sternum and knees tight.” Start with 3 rounds of 10 v-sits, 10-second crab holds and crocodile walks, then do 3 rounds of 10 arch-ups and hollow-rocks and a 10-metre zombie crawl, keeping your toes pointed gymnast-style. Finish with three minutes of plank – basically, the top of a press-up – resting whenever your hips start to sag.

15-minute workouts to help achieve any goal

The Leg Booster

Foolishly tossed your name into the London Marathon ballot, then outraged all the “proper” runners you know by grabbing a slot? Easily done: but you’d best do well, or they’ll be furious. Strengthen your legs before things get serious in January to avoid injury. “Get everything set up one place and do your workout in one giant set,” says trainer Stephen Box. “Warm up with some bodyweight squats, then do 3 sets of back squats, Romanian deadlifts and Bulgarian split squats – do 12 reps of each in the first set, 10 in the second and 8 in the third.” Then crawl back to the office.

15-minute workouts to help achieve any goal 5

The Fat Decimator

“I call this one The Pressure Cooker,” says strength and conditioning coach Andy McKenzie, who doesn’t believe in easing you in. “Once you’ve taken out the rest and Instagram time from the typical 60-minute gym session, it’s about the same amount of work.” You’re going to do an “on-the-minute” session: start a clock running, then in minute 1 do 5 “thrusters”, 3 front squats and 1 push press. In minute 2 do 3 chin-ups, 5 press-ups and 5 burpees, and in minute 3 jump on a rower for 100m. Now just alternate those three for 15 minutes, and develop an almost physical aversion to rowing machines.

15-minute workouts to help achieve any goal 2

The Full-Body Showstopper

The mother lode. The end of days. The finisher. “You’re going to do 3 rounds of the same moves, totalling up your total metres covered and reps done to give you an overall score,” says trainer Richard Tidmarsh. “Start with a minute on the SkiErg – or rowing – then do a minute of burpees. Now rest for 1 minute, then do as many bodyweight squats as you can. Finish with a minute of plank, then rest 1 more minute and repeat the whole lot. Twice.” Curl up into a ball for a bit, then jot your scores down and try to beat them next week, when you’ve almost forgotten how intense it was.

15-minute workouts to help achieve any goal 6