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The 10 Minute Workout

what is workout efficiency

You can do this with a barbell, dumbbell, or a kettlebell. You know that I love thy kettlebell, but for a month, I actually set the kettlebells down (for the most part) and picked up the barbell. It had been awhile, but when I experiment with something new, sometimes it’s just easier to use a barbell because it’s a little less subjective.

It’s been a bit busier than usual in our household the last few months, so sometimes you have to adapt and overcome. There wasn’t as much time to invest into working out this past month due to a family move, so I asked myself this question that I think everyone should ask themselves when it comes to health and nutrition:

How efficient can I be to get maximum results in the least amount of time?

Asking yourself this question in many aspects of life allows you to get rid of the excess and find the stuff that’s really necessary. Heck, we just did this while packing for the big move. It’s amazing how much random stuff we had that we took to Goodwill or just took to the landfill. This is probably why I love kettlebells so much, even though I didn’t use them as much during this month. But you have this steel ball with a handle and your options are limitless. Compare that to your $40(+)/month gym membership with all the bells and whistles, and you still won’t get more done at the gym than someone who’s well trained will with their steel ball with a handle. When it comes to lifting weights, multi-joint compound movements (Squats, deadlifts, rows, presses, pullups, lunges) are where the rent gets paid with your fitness.  I knew I wasn’t going to get my typical 5-6 days of working out per week, so I opted to workout 3 times per week and I adjusted my nutrition as well to accommodate for the lower amount of calories I would likely burn this month (more on this next week).

Week 1:

Workout #1

10 Min EMOM

Back Squat 185# x 4

Sumo Double KB Rows 62# x 4

Workout #2

10 Min EMOM

Deadlift 225# x 4

Bench Press 155# x 4

Workout #3

15 Minute Freestyle workout with KB

Each week I’d progress ever so slightly in either weight OR reps, NOT both variables in the same week.

In week 2, I added 5lbs to my back squat, deadlift, and bench press. I actually kept the Sumo Double KB Rows the same because it’s an 8lb jump to the next set of bells.

In week 3, I added +1 rep in each of the lifts.

In week 4, I added +5lbs to each of the lifts once again, except the Sumo Double KB Rows, which was pretty heavy for me already.

This program smoked me. Not in a “I can’t recover sort of way,” but I was amazed at how much volume I could get in just 10 minutes by breaking it up in this format. Every muscle fiber in my body was lit up, my metabolism was left cranking for the entire day, and I had a moderate level of soreness the next day. With one to recovery in between, this worked perfectly before I had to throw down again with workout #2. Workout #3 was just a feel good workout and did whatever I felt like doing.

In retrospect, I think this is a program that I will fall back to during times where I’m really busy, and even if that time frame is longer than a month, I think this format could allow for a massive amount of progress in strength, muscle, and fat loss in just 10 minutes. This is really just a basic linear periodization strategy. The truth is, success isn’t linear, so after about 4 weeks or so, some additional experimenting will likely need to be done. So here’s my proposed strategy:

Week 2: +5lbs

Week 3: +1 rep (5 reps)

Week 4: +5lbs

Week 5: – 1 rep (4 reps), -5lbs (recovery week)

Week 6:  +5lbs from week 4

Week 7: +1 rep (5 reps)

Week 8: -1 rep (4 reps), -5lbs (recovery week)

Week 9: +5lbs from week 7

Week 10: +1 rep (5 reps)

Week 11: +5lbs

Week 12: -1 rep (4 reps), -5lbs (recovery week)

Since I don’t see life slowing down for at least the next 3 months, I think I’ve found a plan to be incredibly efficient and still stay in tip top shape in far less time than I’d normally spend in the gym. I’ll probably be the only person in this new town crazy enough to go another round with this program, and there’s something really cool about being the only one willing to do it.

Is there no one else?

bench press, deadlift, efficiency, EMOM, fat loss, lift, metabolic conditioning, squat, strength training