Are 20 minute workouts enough time to get an effective workout?

20 minute workouts


What do you think?


There was a time when I would have scoffed at a 20-minute workout. The no pain no gain mindset, the two-hour marathon training sessions, and working out seven days a week was the norm for me. That was me at one point in my life.


Not anymore – I ran myself into the ground training that way. It even got to a point where I couldn’t even go to the gym. I resented it. I had let the fitness game, and the pursuit of “health” and physique dominated my life.



It took taking off some time from the gym and changing my style of training to make a change and take back my life.


Side note – Did you know that taking off time from the gym is a good thing for your body?


Yep, it sure is. It’s important to let the body rest and recover. Our bodies heal, grow, and repair during rest and sleep, not when we are in the gym. Believe it or not, the change happens outside the gym.


After my fitness breakdown, I took off a few weeks and ever since then, I make sure to sprinkle a whole week off now and then throughout the year. And if I miss a day?  It’s not the end of the world.


It’s a game changer; I encourage all my clients to do it. You can come back to your fitness routine rested, refreshed, and ready to crush! You should try it, your body and your mind will thank you!


So, Candace, you mean to tell me I can get a good workout in, in 20 minutes? Yes, you can!




By training with some intensity. The workouts are usually total body in nature, which means you will hit upper and lower body in one session. You will also get a conditioning effect, i.e. cardio. Since it’s only 20 minutes, you will be taking minimum rest.


With 20 minute workouts, I like to use two systems. One system is to complete all the movements in a circuit fashion. So anywhere from 5-6 exercises, strung into a circuit. You will complete each move one after another and then rest at the end of the circuit.  Repeat this for 20 minutes.  The circuit style of training hits different muscle groups, so while one muscle group is being worked, the rest are resting – waiting their turn.


The second way is Metabolic Effect’s Rest-Based Training. RBT is a style of training that is controlled by the individual. There is no structured rest. You control the rest interval as well as the work interval. You can even rest right in the middle of the set


Essentially you push until you can’t do anymore, then rest until you can push again. The point is to rest. No pacing yourself because the timer is ticking. However, you still complete the exercises with proper form.


So, you set the timer for 20 minutes, and you’ll again have 4-5 exercises to complete for reps. For example:


  1. Goblet Squat x 12 reps
  2. Push-up Row x12 – 6 per side
  3. Goblet Reverse Lunges x 12 – 6 per side
  4. Romanian Deadlift Row x 12 reps


Go through each movement, rest whenever you need it, and repeat until that timer goes off.


You should be breathing for your life, and your muscles will be burning. Don’t think about it; you will be done in 20 minutes. Remember it’s only twenty minutes.


I’ve been doing this style of training for a while now and 20 minutes is over before you know it and you will be on to the rest of the tasks for the day.


Lastly, I’ll say that you don’t have to spend hours upon hours in the gym to see results – don’t get me wrong, I love my gym workouts. However, there are times in life when you just can’t make it to the gym, but that doesn’t mean your workouts have to go away. Nor do you have to train seven days a week – who has time for that anyways?


Most importantly, I can’t leave this blog without saying that your Nutrition is the driving force of physique change/fat loss. So, get that in check and train with some intensity, and I’ll betcha you will still make progress!


I can assure you that you can get results with shorter style workouts, maintain your fitness, save time, and have fun. Did I mention this style training is fun and challenging? I always want to beat my rounds from the week before.


Do the above workout, and I dare you to tell me it wasn’t an efficient and effective workout.


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Tanksgiving Consistency Challenge

Just because life is busy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your workouts,

it simply means they need to be adjusted.