T Nation

30-Minute Workout Ideas?

hi there

Life has been bussy lately. I have been forced to train during the 1 hour lunch break and I do not think I will have anytime soon more time for working out.

Found a gym in a 5 min walk from the office. If I spend 20 mins for shower and dressing and undressing that leaves me with strict 30 mins to finish a workout.

The good news us I can do that probably 5 days per week.

The bad news is the gym is very small and crowded, so no EDT training is possible.

I am still playing soccer or running 2 days per week.

And since I am focusing on coaching soccer, rather than playing anymore, my desire is to work specifically for the better looks.

Any suggestions for 30 min workouts which do not have many super sets or if there are any let it be with for example dumbells that I can grab.

1 Like

Super Squats. Squat and lower body work MWF. Upper body Tues and Thurs

Or this


If I had to do my work outs in 30min flat and had 3-5 days a week I’d do 531 I aint doing jack. Potentially doing first set last to add a bit more.
If time allowed I’d super set in some rows/pull ups to the upper body days and core work with the squats and dead lift.

That or or EMOM.
These are quiet easy to set up. Select 2 non competing exercises. Including vertical loading (IE press and squat both vertically load). Then take your 5-10 rep max on each. At 00:00 seconds do between 2-5 reps on the first exercise. Depending on the weight you picked. Then at 01:00 you do the same with the second exercise. Carry on for 14/16mins.

I’ve seen the following paring used:
squat and pull up (use about 1/3 of your max reps)
press and any row
Dead lift and press up
goblet squat and press up / bench

1 Like

Full body HIT routine 3 times a week. One excercise per muscle group. Focus on legs, back, chest and shoulders - anything on top of that a bonus. Darden 30-10-30 or Brian Johnston’s Zone Training or his High Density Training. Add abs, lower back and calves divided/shared over the 3 workouts. And yes, this is for bodybuilding.

I’d do 531 for a single lift followed by a 5-round circuit of dips, pull-ups, and snatches. You can swap out for push ups, rows, swings etc…. For a change on the circuit.

M: BP 531 + circuit
T: SQ 531 + circuit
W: isolation or conditioning-focus depending on goals.
Th: OHP 531 + circuit
F: DL 531 + circuit


I’d probably go for something like:

1: Squats
2: Bench or Dips + Pull-ups or rows
3: Deadliftts
4: OHP + Pull-ups or rows
5: Lunges or squats OR possibly some fb circuit training or arms etc.

1 Like

All great suggestions, but there is a problem with supper sets and circuit type of work.

As mentioned the gym is small, lacks equipment and there are many people.

If that was not the case I would keep working my old way probably, which was density training. I was pairing front squats with RDLs for example and doing 5 reps each for 15 mins and trying to increase the total reps each workout. Or bench plus rows for example for upper body. This has been working well for me before.

That shit works great for athletic development. I did 70 front squats in 15 mins while doing RDLs with a weight i was barelly doing 20 reps separated in 4-5 sets and in a 30 min time frame. And that mental fortitute it builds transfers into soccer greatly. For example if you need to sprint like 5 times in 2 minutes you build the fortitude and perhpaps the strength and conditioning to sprint that often although you are already tired.

Just follow your preferred split and use Myo-reps. You can be in and out in 30 minutes. It is what I do when busy.

1 Like

Nothing I suggested required those…


I was about to reference the “One Lift a Day” program but you beat me to it.


This is exactly what I do and what I was going to recommend, although I would propose pairing non-competing exercises

1 Like

This was on your recommendation for EDT.

1 Like

I’m glad you found it effective :slight_smile:

It is extremelly effective for athletic goals. It builds mental fortitude, conditioning and strength that transfered very well on soccer. When you feel you are tired and cant do another sprint, you find the energy to make it.

Of course it was combined with lots of running to build the conditioning, but I do pay tribute to EDT as well.

I do not know if you remember I was looking for pre season training for semi pro soccer club in the begining of the winter.

I was extremelly well prepared for the season. Changed teams, got Covid. Yet I was ready for the 3rd game. Our coach was fired on 5th game. I had very strong games. When he was fired I talked with the owner to coach and he agreed. We lost away to the 2nd placed team, won home the first placed, lost to 3rd placed team in home and then won 4 straight games. From last team in the league we finished mid table.


I’m currently doing a variation of One Lift a Day, and I think it would work very well for your schedule and goals. Because I have equipment constraints, I currently do my own rep scheme. You can change the reps to meet your bodybuilding goals, if you like. A potential week could be -

Monday - bench press, then max reps pullups in the last five minutes

Tuesday - squats (front or back) then max reps goblet squats in five minutes

Wednesday - barbell rows, then max reps pushups or dips

Thursday - overhead press, then curl and rear delt flyes supersets

Friday - deadlifts, then max reps walking lunges

You have many options. Maybe test three different methods for a month each, so you learn what you like.

1 Like

I’d find some place for power cleans. A huge bang for the buck.

1 Like

That’s so awesome man! Great effort on your behalf to get your body right. You should be very proud

Just pick a couple big lifts and get your heavy reps in at the gym. You may not even have to shower. Then you can get some bands and do body weight/ band stuff at home for volume. That’s likely what I’d do.

As a chest example (because duh):


  • Bench: work up to a heavy 5, then a back-off set of ~12
  • DB Incline: 2 sets of 8 and then a double drop set


  • Banded push-ups drop to regular push-ups, drop to knees
  • Banded flyes superset with crunches

If you wanted to go PPL, you’d throw in band pressdowns, lateral raises and band pull apart a.

I also just go to the gym in the morning before work, because I figure I’m already showering then so it saves time to not throw in another shower later in the day. My lunches tend to be working, so that isn’t really an option for me anyway.

My random thoughts.

1 Like

@TrainForPain I do a similar thing sometimes. I’ll just do my main work during my scheduled training time and then throughout the day, I’ll do my assistance work via bodyweight, bands, or dumbbells. After you get you main exercises done, do whatever else you want throughout the day for volume/general health.


so the general consensus is 1 lift a day with good volume and effort squat, bench row, ohp, dl. And basically whatever afterwards if there is time left.
I hope I am concluding right.