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Train Like a Pro: How to Get a Great Workout in Twenty Minutes

Bell in our Silver Charge Tee and below in our Bolt Short.

With Mike Bell, professional fitness trainer

Whatever your fitness goals may be, it can be hard to find the time for consistent and intensive training. But getting a good workout is more about variation than duration, says professional trainer Mike Bell.

According to Bell, in order to make a shorter workout more effective all you need to do is crank up the intensity.  Creating a routine centered around full body explosive movements can transform your twenty minute break into a highly effective workout. Even better, it can be done from almost anywhere!

Here are his favorite repetitions for making the most of a shorter workout routine:

1. Intense Warm-Up

To get warm, start with five push-up walkouts. When standing, start to crawl your hands along the floor until you’re in a plank position. Then complete one full push-up and walk your hands back to your feet to roll back up to standing. After you’ve done five of these reps, get into a high plank and complete ten step outs with each leg, alternating between legs. To finish your warm-up, get into a side plank and complete ten top leg lifts on each side.

2. 25 Double Unders OR 50 Single Skips

Get your heart pumping with some quick and intense cardio. If you’ve got a jump-rope handy, put your schoolyard days to use with fifty single jump rope skips, or twenty five double unders (or double jumps). 

3. 10 Push-Ups

To work on core and upper body strength, do ten more push-ups. Make sure your body gets low enough to the ground so that your elbows reach a ninety degree angle before pushing back up to your plank position.

Push UpsPush Up
4. 15 Burpees

Ah, burpees. Kick-up the intensity with fifteen reps, remembering to keep your head lifted and maintain a neutral spine. If you’re new to burpees, don’t sacrifice form for speed. Slow down the pacing to ensure that your head, hips and heels are in line as you hop back to a plank before completing the push-up. The more stable your core and hips, the better you’ll perform this repetition.


5. 10 Squats

Next, work your lower body with ten strong squat reps. Remember to keep your chest lifted and your chin parallel to the floor while you complete these reps. To protect your knees and get the most out of your squat, lower your bum and upper legs until they are parallel with the floor before rising back up to standing.

6. 20 Plyo Lunges

Also known as the jumping lunge. To do the basic plyometric lunge, start with one foot forward and lunge down, leaning your torso slightly forward without rounding your spine. Jump straight up as you exhale, and land back down with the opposite leg forward. Repeat ten times per leg, alternating sides between reps (twenty total).

7. 20 Rotating Sit-Ups

Work your obliques by keeping your feet on the ground and adding a twist to your sit-ups. Rotate your torso as you move your chest towards your knees, alternating the direction you rotate and completing twenty total reps.

Rotating Sit UpRotating Sit Up
8. Low Plank Arm Reach Outs

To finish your cycle with an ab toning exercise, lower down into an elbow plank. If you want extra stability, move your heels farther apart from each other. With your back is straight and your spine neutral, alternate extending your arm straight out with your thumb pointing towards the ceiling. Do as many as you can for one full minute.

Low PlankLow Plank

Repeat all of the steps (except for the warm-up) three to five times, depending on your speed. After twenty minutes, you will definitely be feeling the burn.

Mike Bell is a NYC personal trainer and athlete. Originally a sprinter and hurdler, his training now includes a wide array of movements including kettlebells, gymnastics strength training, and rock climbing.

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