Get jacked, increase your fitness, and finish your workouts in under 60 minutes!

Personally, I love lifting heavy weights. There is something so satisfying about seeing quantitative progress in the gym and getting under a heavy bar that could well and truly staple you at the bottom of your squat. I also enjoy conditioning exercises – another thing that brings me satisfaction is feeling as though I’ve trained like a savage and increased my level of ‘fitness’.

At the end of March, I wanted to incorporate more ‘fitness’ into my training but feared my sessions would take far too long. It’s hard enough to get a strength session done in 90 minutes, so what hope did I have of adding to my plate and incorporating other modalities of fitness as well without spending my whole day at the gym?

I came up with a neat little system that I’ll share with you today.

60 Minute Workout – Warm Up

I start every session with a 5-minute warmup that specifically works on getting my heart rate up, attacks my movement weaknesses, and primes my body for a hard session of training. My 5 chosen warm up exercises (specific to my body’s requirements) are upper back rotation work, 2 breathing drills, a core stability drill and a movement to open my hips up for deep squats. I run through these 5 movements, back to back, with minimal rest and repeat them for 1 further round.

60 Minute Workout – Lift Workout

I then program 2 main lifts for the day. This could be a combination of weightlifting movements (snatch, and clean & jerk), jumping and plyometric movements (med ball throws)  and/or powerlifting movements (squat, bench press or the deadlift). You could really choose any heavy compound movement that pushes you further towards your goals, such as overhead presses or RDLs as well. In my current cycle of training, I perform a high number of sets with minimal rest (60-90 seconds), which allows me to practice the movements and improve my technique, as more sets means more opportunities to practice.

60 Minute Workout – Workout Circuit

Once the main movements are done, I choose 3 accessories and perform them as a circuit. These accessories should be mainly compound movements and individualised to your goals. The common theme here is the short rests and the constant demand for my cardiovascular system to keep up with the imposed demands. In my main lifts and accessories, I’m taxing my energy system with short rests, whilst also getting stronger with sub-maximal loads. This style of training is certainly not for everyone, and it requires a lot of mental strength to keep pushing. When you’re doing a lunge, rows and a pressing movement as a circuit with 10-15 reps each as your accessories, after having done a number of sets of main lifts, you need to stay strong upstairs and push past the feeling of blood rushing to every muscle group and your lungs feeling as though they’re on fire.

60 Minute Workout – Wind Down

After having done my accessories, I’ll pair a core exercise with some conditioning to finish up – this could be a 30 second side plank on each side paired with rope slams for 20 reps x 5 rounds.

A sample session may look like:

Main lifts:

Snatch: 4×3 @ 75% 1rm
Squat: 6×3 @ 80% 1rm with 60 second rest between sets

Strength accessories:

Barbell Reverse Lunge x 8 each side
S.A Cable Row x 12 each side
Push up x 20 reps

Rest 2 minutes after completing circuit and repeat for 3 rounds.

Supplementary work:

Rower x 20 calories
Hanging Leg Raises x 12 reps
Repeat until 5 minutes has surpassed. Count how many rounds you got through and try and beat it next week.
If you’re someone that wants to feel fitter on a daily basis but is also a meathead, this style of training is a no-brainer for you.

Sessions in the gym don’t need to be 2 hours long and this is something that I’ve been making sure of in recent times with a lot of my clients. If you currently work with one of our coaches and would like to apply this strategy, message your coach and let them know.