Time Crunch Workouts for The Holiday Season

One of the number one excuses that comes up during the holidays, not having enough time. “I just don’t have the time to workout right now”, “Everything is so crazy currently I’ll get back into things when the holidays are over”, “The Hallmark Christmas movies are running right now and I haven’t stopped crying for the past week” (This is a judgement free zone on that last one…). But you get my point and they are exactly that, EXCUSES! The minimum required time for a bout of physical activity to carry over numerous amazing physiological effects, improved cardiovascular health, decreased stress, better sleep, preventing numerous diseases, improving your mood, improving your energy level, in the interest of you continuing to read without getting bored I’ll stop here, is 10 minutes. That’s it. 10 minute bout of physical activity and you’re welcoming all the above into your life. You’re not going to look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t have those ten minutes are you *slowly raises eyebrow in suspicion*? If you hadn’t noticed by now, yes, I’m going the tough love route on this one. But sometimes that’s exactly what we need in our lives is a little bit of tough love. I want you to be better and I want you to have these benefits, but you’re going to have to make the distinction right now, you are not missing out on physical activity because you don’t have time, you are missing out on physical activity because you are choosing to do so. I unfortunately can’t do the training for you, but what I can do is start you off with a little gift. 3 different workouts, approximately 10 minutes each, no equipment necessary. Get in, get out, get on with your holiday’s, sound like a plan?

Workout 1: 10 Minute AMRAP (As Many Rep’s as Possible)

Ascending Rep Scheme Style: Set a timer for 10 minutes, run through each exercise starting with 1 rep, then run through each exercise with 2 reps, then 3 reps, and so on, getting as much work in as possible by the end of the 10 minutes.

Exercise 1: Bodyweight Squat

Exercise 2: Pushup (Any Variation your heart desires)

Exercise 3: Pullup, or Bodyweight Row, or “whatever you’ve got lying around the house” row (dumbbell, milk jug filled with gravel and water, the Christmas ham, get creative)

Workout 2: 12 Minute EMOTM (Every Minute on the Minute) = 4 rounds total

EMOTM: Each minute you are going to do the exercise prescribed and whatever time you have left after completing the exercise is your rest time then you move onto the next movement on the next minute. For example if you finish the burpees in 30 seconds you get 30 seconds of rest and then onto the next exercise. If you need to take a rest minute at anytime completely fine, just jump back in on the next minute, likewise you want to aim to be getting at least 20 seconds of rest, preferably more like 30, so you can modify rep ranges down if you find yourself finishing around the 40 to 50 second mark each time (or up if you’re absolutely killing it and finishing each exercise in 10-20 seconds)  .

Exercise 1: 8-12 Burpees

Exercise 2: 8 reps Each Leg Alternating Lunges (Add Weight if Desired, that ham would work here too… just sayin’)

Exercise 3: 30 second plank (This will automatically net you a 30 second rest)

Workout 3: (My personal favorite) “Literally Anything” AMRAP

Understand that physical activity doesn’t have to mean a gym, or weights, or push ups and squats, or all this other stuff we associate with exercise. Go for a walk in your neighborhood and see the Christmas lights. Take your kid’s out to see some holiday parade’s, light shows, you name it. Setup a nice little family feud football game or whatever grudge match sport you can think of. Even your holiday shopping at the mall could count for physical activity depending on what pace you like to chase down presents at (Judging by what I’ve seen a lot of people are getting in their physical activity this way). Don’t just think you’re stuck with the same old same old, enjoy yourself a bit and still get in that physical activity.

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.