The Only Five (10-minute) Workouts You’ll EVER Need

 In Blog, Gymnastic

I’m participating in my 8th Whole Life Challenge… each time I’ve had breakthroughs in one area or another – sometimes in something that I’m struggling with, other times, they come as a complete surprise.

I was thinking about the workout practice as part of the daily requirement of the WLC. The requirement is that you workout for at least 10 minutes every day for 56 days. EVERY DAY. By the way… that doesn’t necessarily mean going hard – the WLC definition of exercise includes active recovery and play time.  

Creating the space for intentional exercise every day is an incredibly useful practice… but one that requires me to deal with a two very real hurdles.

Hurdle #1: In my mind, working out (to be effective) means a minimum of 30 minutes, but probably more like 60. Even though I know that that’s not true, I have a lot of resistance to starting anything unless I have at least 30 minutes available. For the WLC, that’s a big FAIL.

Hurdle #2: In reality, going to the gym for a class is much longer than 60 minutes… it’s travel to and from, changing for class, showering afterward… it can be upwards 2 hours. If the process is 2 hours every day, that equates 14 hours every week, and over 8 weeks, that’s 112 hours – and I definitely don’t have time for that!

Does it HAVE to be this way?

So the question that I deal with in every Challenge: How do I get past these hurdles? Or am I just stuck with it having to be this way? The obvious answer to my second question is no… but it’s funny how even a fitness professional like me, who’s been doing this stuff for almost 25 years, collapses right back into the trap of thinking I can’t do it.

So I sat down to answer the first question: how do I get past these hurdles?… and I decided that the best way would be to make a very short list of simple workouts I can do that are 10 minutes or less. In designing them, I came up with a few requirements…

Requirement #1: I must have a written plan for all my options in advance. But the list must be short enough that it’s easy to pick.
Requirement #2: I don’t have to leave my house (or room) if I don’t want to. I don’t even have to put on shoes.
Requirement #3: They must have variety
Requirement #4: They must include bodyweight movements and metabolic conditioning

The list below are my workouts, which, I have no doubt, will give me ability to satisfy my 10 minute exercise practice for the duration of the Challenge.


1. Tabata Anything (intervals for max reps of any single movement)
– bodyweight (squats, sit ups, push ups, lunges, bicycles, flutter kicks, v-ups, burpees, etc),
– metabolic – running, rowing, cycling, jumping rope
– interval options (work seconds:rest seconds)
20 second work intervals – 20:10, 20:20, 20: 20:40, 20:60
30 second work intervals – 30:30, 30:60, 30:90
60 second work intervals – 60:60, 60:120

2. Repeat for 10 minutes:
Run around my block once (1/3 mile?)
40 squats (substitute any bodyweight movement here).
Repeat as many times as possible.

3. Repeat as many times as possible in 10 minutes: 5 push ups; 10 bicycles (sub v-ups, flutter kicks, sit ups); 15 lunges (sub squats or good mornings)

4. Repeat 5 – 6x
30” Handstand Hold
30” lateral plank left
30” plateral plank right
30” cobra hold

5. Get as far as possible in 10 minutes:
5 donkey kicks (sub 10 plank ups)
10 v-ups
15 burpees
20 flutter kicks
25 push ups
30 bicycles
35 squats
40 sit ups
50-100 double unders
35 squats
30 bicycles
25 push ups
15 burpees
10 v-ups
5 donkey kicks (sub 10 plank ups)


Wednesday’s Workout

“Franklin Hill”
6 on the 6

And Coming Thursday

A) For quality load in 15min
Heavy triple snatch-grip high pull

B) For quality load in 15min
Heavy triple snatch-grip jerk

C) 2 Rounds for quality
200m Run
200m Row




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