How to Lift HEAVY In Only 15 Minutes

There’s plenty of great training videos out there that focus on getting you a kick ass workout in 15 minutes or less. Unfortunately most of these videos focus on bodyweight conditioning style training, while traditional strength training movements like the squat and deadlift get thrown under the bus.

Most people just don’t think about the possibility of even attempting to lift heavy when you’re strapped for time, however, f you are truly dedicated to the strength game you can 100% get an effective, and SAFE, heavy training session completed in under 15 minutes.

Don’t believe me? Check out this clip of Dr. Austin Barakin warming up and completing a 661lb deadlift in under 5 minutes.

Here’s the tricks you can employ to improve your time efficiency with a strength based workout.

1. Warm-Up With the Movement You Intend to Do

No fancy bands, stretches, or warm-up routines needed, the fastest way to warm-up is simply doing the movement you intend to train for that day.

If you’re doing squats start with bodyweight squats,, switch to the empty barbell, and then slowly build up the weight as you go. Same idea for movements like the deadlift and bench press. Start super light, and buildup simple as that.

The definition of a warm-up is very simply lower intensity exercise that gradually builds up to higher intensity exercise. Even though you are only doing a single exercise warmup this will still keep you 100% safe and reduce your risk of injuries. So long as you aren’t just jumping straight into your working sets you have nothing to worry about.

2. Non-Stop Warm-Up

In addition to keeping your warm-up simple, keep a fast pace to your warm-up sets.

This means don’t hit 10 reps on the empty bar then sit around for 3 minutes, then hit 135lb and sit around for 3 more minutes and so on…

If you want the most efficient pace possible do a non-stop warm-up until you hit your first “working set” (working sets are generally anything at or over an RPE 6 effort). This means the only real “rest” you are going to be getting on your warm-ups is the time it takes you to put more weight on the bar. No standing around in between, just hit a warm-up set, add weight, jump right back into it.

Repeat this until you get to your first true working set THEN you can go ahead and give yourself some rest.

This non-stop warm-up does take some getting used to and will feel very tiring at first, just expect it. The more you do it, the better your body will get at handling it and the less taxing it’s going to feel.

3. Understand This Isn’t Optimal and that’s Okay

The main argument against training like this is…”but this isn’t optimal.” No it is not…but that’s okay.

If you are getting a strength session completed in under 15 minutes, it’s not to prove a point, but because you have no other options available. This can come in clutch for competitive lifters who have a busy schedule and would otherwise have to skip a training day if the workout wasn’t completed quickly. Additionally this can help newer lifters get over their excuse of “I just don’t have enough time in the day”.

I will concede that’re probably only going to be able to complete one strength movement in a 15 minute time frame. This isn’t a full workout for sure. But again, any training will always be better than no training.


Matt Molloy

Matt Molloy

I'm a graduate the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Exercise Science. I’m a local guy (North Penn) and athletics has dominated my life. I've led teams in basketball, baseball, soccer, golf and my passion, long distance running. I've been strength training for 6 years with a focus in power-lifting but have recently stretched to strongman since joining the pride here at the Den. When I’m not in the gym I enjoy, spending time with my friends, music, and relaxing and playing some video games.