10 Minute Workouts

Can You Really Get a Workout
in 10 Minutes?

A Tier 4 trainer sets the record straight on super-productivity.

In our time-strapped culture, instant gratification is the holy grail. Which is why the promise of an effective 10-minute workout inspires hope in so many exercisers. It sounds almost too good to be true…so is it?

“It’s my opinion that a 10-minute workout is feasible,” says Josh Stolz, a Tier 4 trainer based in Columbus Circle. “I wouldn’t recommend it as an everyday alternative to a full workout, but an intense bout of exercise – especially strength or power endurance exercises – will give you the most benefits in ten minutes.”

Just make sure your fast is furious – keeping your heart rate up during the workout will help keep your metabolism elevated for up to 36 hours post-session, which means you'll burn more calories at rest. The goal, says Stolz, “is to work as close to your max as possible, between 90 and 95 percent. Those ten minutes have to be all-out.” 

Try these mini-routines, designed by Stolz. For weighted exercises, he says, choose a weight with which you can maintain proper form throughout the set but will feel super-heavy when you’re finished.

Workout 1:
Repeat the following sequence for 4 minutes:
1. 30 seconds of burpee pull-ups
2. 30 seconds of squats

Rest for 1 minute, then repeat the following sequence for 4 minutes:
1. 30 seconds of front squat push presses (holding dumbbells with an overhand grip at shoulder height, knuckles resting against shoulders, squat, and as you rise up, use momentum to press overhead)
2. 30 seconds of box jumps (choose a box height of 12 to 16 inches to start; work your way up to 20 to 24 inches)

Workout 2:
Aim to complete this sequence every 2 minutes for 10 minutes straight:
1. 10 push-ups
2. 10 heavy medicine ball slams
3. 120 meters on a rowing machine.

Workout 3:
Complete one rep of each exercise (that’s one set), and complete one set every 30 seconds for 10 minutes.
Dead lift: 
Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding dumbbells in front of body, palms facing thighs. Arch back slightly and engage core, then hinge forward at the hips, slowly lowering torso until almost parallel to the floor, arms hanging straight. Push hips forward to return to standing while pulling the dumbbells to waist, bending elbows to the side. Return to start.

Snatch: Grab a dumbbell with an overhand grip. With feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the hips and squat down until arm is straight, keeping a slight arch in the back. Drive heels into the floor and in a single movement, bend elbow and thrust dumbbell up to the ceiling, rotating and straightening forearm so that palm is facing the ceiling and hips are pushed forward.

Overhead Squat: 
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand overhead, arms completely straight. Squat until thighs are parallel to floor, keeping arms straight and torso upright. 

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Photography by Craig Cutler / Trunk Archive