Rob MacDonald is the Training Director of Gym Jones, one of the country’s most elite and hardcore gyms, located in Salt Lake City. He’s broken multiple power-endurance world records. He enjoys exercise induced suffering and burgers.
A workout doesn’t have to be long to be tough. These quick 20 to 30 minute workouts from Gym Jones are testaments to that. They’re short, but incredibly brutal and unforgiving. Are you game?
If you want something even quicker, check out The Unbelievable 4-Minute Cardio Workout.
Row the Distance
Time: 20 minutes
Do it: Row or run for 20 minutes straight. Your goal: Go the greatest distance possible.
Try to increase your distance every time you do this workout. Eventually you’ll reach your mental and physical limit—and that’s where true fitness breakthroughs happen.
Bodyweight Rep Out
Time: 20 minutes
Do it: Pick one bodyweight exercise like a pushup, squat, reverse lunge, or burpee. Do as many reps as possible of that movement in 20 minutes. Focus on form throughout.
There’s a fine art to this. You can’t max out your first set or you’ll have trouble making it to the end.
My go-to strategy: Every time the second hand is at 0, 15, 30, or 45, do three to five reps. Eventually your wheels will fall off, but try to sustain that pace for as long as you can.
Time: <20 minutes
Do it: Load a bench press barbell with 135 pounds. Do as many bench press reps as you can. Then do as many reps of dead hang pullups as you can. That’s one set. Do five sets, resting two minutes between each set.
If you do this right, you’ll feel like your upper body is about to explode by the end of the test.
RELATED: The 23 Best Biceps Exercises
Time: 28 minutes
Do it: Perform the first exercise for 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds. That’s one set. Do 4 sets total. After your final set, rest two minutes, then move on to the second exercise. Repeat the procedure until you’ve done all five exercises.
This is one of my favorite total-body workouts, regardless of how much time I have to work out. It challenges your endurance and teaches you how to breathe under tension during the hell squats.
Place your hands behind your head. Bend your knees slightly and hop forward. Immediately hop again after your feet touch the ground.
2. Split jump
Stand in a staggered stance with your feet 2 to 3 feet apart, your right foot in front of your left. Bend your legs and lower your body into a lunge. Now jump with enough force to propel both feet off the floor. While you’re in the air, scissor-kick your legs so you land with your left leg forward. Repeat, alternating your forward leg.
Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a squat until your palms rest on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Kick your legs backward to a pushup position. Perform a pushup, and then quickly reverse the movement and perform a jump as you stand up.
Get into pushup position. Keep your body perfectly straight as you bend your arms and lower yourself so your chest touches the ground. Push yourself back up.
5. Hell squat
These are just like regular body-weight squats, but you’ll spend the 30-second rest periods holding the bottom position of the squat.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back as of you’re about to sit in a chair, and lower your body until your hips are in line with your knees. Stand back up.
For 8 more fast and furious routines that take 30 minutes or less, check out The Anarchy Workout. (One guy lost 18 pounds of pure fat in just 6 weeks!)
Prison Burpee Workout
Time: <30 minutes
Do it: Do this workout ladder style. Start by doing 20 burpees in a row, then walk 5 meters. (This short walk is your “rest.”) Immediately do 19 burpees in a row, and then walk 5 meters. Continue doing one less burpee each set until you only do one burpee.
The length of this workout depends on how hard you’re willing to go, but it should take less than half an hour. Most people can’t do the entire ladder without stopping at some point. You’ll know you’re truly fit when you can power through the entire routine.
(Want to guarantee you finish in less than 30? Then master the burpee. Here’s everything you need to know about the exercise in Your Burpee Blueprint.)
Time: 30 minutes
Do it: Pick either the squat or the bench press. Now load a barbell with 225-pounds. Set a timer for 30 minutes and do as many reps as possible until the timer goes off.
Aim for at least 100 reps. (Note: If 225 pounds is too heavy, use a weight you can lift 10 times.)
This workout is simple, but not easy. My best is 272 bench press reps.
For more ways to transform your mind, check out The Better Man Project, the new book from the Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health. It’s a jam-packed user’s guide to every aspect of a man’s life, with more than 2,000 body hacks and fitness, nutrition, health, and sex secrets. All to make you a better man in every way that counts.