Training Only 20 Minutes?

Interested to read your thoughts. A family member tagged me on their page, trying to “prove” that I train too much. (I train 4-5 times a week for about 40-60 minutes, including warmups and add in some cardio)

Bill claims that he only trains for 20 minutes a day but, at 54 years old I find it hard to believe that he maintains that body with that little amount of training. Even if he is on something like TRT which to my knowledge he does not use. So, I decided to ask him about it.

I wanted clarification on what he meant by “20 minutes a day.” I wasn’t sure if he only showed a portion of his workout or if he followed some kind of circuit routine. He was nice enough to respond and explained that his daily posts are his entire 20-minute training session. He claims it’s the only exercise he does, apart from walking his dogs for 30 minutes.

I am not going to accuse him of lying on his own page but, was wondering what you all thought?

Bill Maeda (@billmaeda) | Instagram

fitprohawaii - YouTube

I listened to him for a while on Mark Bells podcast. Seems like a nice guy but, I really doubt he only trains 20 minutes a day.

I think this is one of those situations where “20 minutes a day” means something different for different people. I have been into Crosffit for about a year now, and most of the WODs are under 20 minutes. I don’t know Bill and don’t use instagram, but at nearly 50 I’m pretty fit. I think it would be misleading to say I work out only ~20 minutes a day.

Look at a recent track workout that took only 20 minutes or so:
200m full effort spring, rest 30 seconds, 200m full effort spring, rest 30 second, 200m full effort sprint. Rest 2-3 minutes, repeat a total of 4x. To get myself to the point I can push hard for this workout, I need to warm up for at least 15 minutes. Some full body preparation, jogging, gradual acceleration, active mobility, etc… before I hit that first 200m sprint. The same is true for a WOD that involves snatches, box jumps, hand stand push ups, etc… You need to really, really go hard for shorter workouts which requires longer warm ups and gradual build ups to the movements.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and there can be some truth to what your family friend says. It’s really common for people to replace intensity and effort by extra time and piling on more sets of lower effort reps. If you want to get results from a short workout, it better be intense; in fact some people just can’t (or won’t) reach the level of intensity needed. Most of the people I know that workout will spend way longer training than I do (huge amounts of time on the elliptical and set after set of low intensity isolation movements). But, they don’t look like they workout.

At my Crossfit gym, those that look good train hard. This is obvious, you say, but is more pronounced when you’re given a relatively short time window to push hard. Going through the motions on easier variations of movements and feeling “hardcore” because it’s a WOD won’t get you anywhere, and many of these people would be better served adding volume to compensate for their lack of intensity.

Sorry for the longer than needed response.


You can get a LOT done in 20 minutes.


For me it is a given that he warms ups before hand and does not count that. However, warming up is not going to add or maintain muscle.

These are examples of his 20 minute sessions.

  • plyometric push ups and pull-ups

  • 15lb resistance band fly’s and push-ups

  • suitcase deadlift with 90lbs.

  • static orbit lunges with a 26 lb KB.

It is a lot of “functional strength” work. His movement is very deliberate. He is not pushing hard to save time.

He has a great physique regardless of age but, the stuff he does is stuff I may do at the end of a session or on a day off.

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He does not.

I’m not on instgram so I can’t tell.

But man, give me 20 minutes 7 days a week? That’s incredible. Hell, @Dan_John has a whole book on this “The Easy Strength Omnibook”. And those are “easy” workouts too. If you wanted to, you could go full psycho on it.


Like @OM.Bodi mentioned he is not going all out with his training. It is not some type of HIT routine.

fitprohawaii - YouTube

This is his YouTube. His video shorts are the same posts.

fitprohawaii - YouTube

I can definitely see maintaining that physique with 20 minutes of training and a good diet. Achieving it from ground zero would take far more doing.


Yes on this. He looks like he’s very athletic and lean, and keeps it up through diet and workouts. You (OP, not T3hPwnisher) say what he isn’t doing is HIT or all-out, but in the admittedly short time I spend looking at his stuff, he’s doing things like banded ring dips, pistol squats, and difficult calisthenics. The kind of things most people could NEVER do. So he put in the time to get to this point, and with proper diet and consistent practice, he’s able to maintain that.

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You could train a single lift every day at home if youre well equiped, with a single ramp up and top set in 20 min. Do a different lift for every day of the week, 7 days a week. Could work and be cool

I wouldnt care about trying that though, Id rather do normal training at the gym with proven results

Looking at this guy, I think doing calisthenics training as a 50 years old newbie wont get you anywhere. He already built his skills and is maintaining as someone already said.

If he really does maintain this on 20 minutes of training (and I tend to think he probably does) it just highlights how little training needs to be done to maintain a physique that looks really good.


This is the key part that is left out.

Agree 100%.


I feel designing and executing a 20 min program could be a fun challenge.

It could probably work well for hypertrophy - nothing fancy, compound movements, ~10+ hard sets a week per movement pattern, sets taken close to failure, moderate rest periods and moderate loads (>60% 1RM). Possibly using supersets or circuits for time efficiency.

Some people spend over an hour in the gym and barely do 10 minutes of true work.

People should be more like Bill.


This is the answer

Exactly. It’s like the massive guy who is touting veganism but got there with years of training and animal proteins. Getting there is the battle, maintaining it isn’t nearly as hard.

My first thought……another Liver King.

The latest in a very long line of people using their physique on social media for attention, money, or some other kind of personal gain and not being FULLY honest about what it took to get, or keep, that physique.

They tell the story of their extreme hard work, steadfast dedication, years of consistency, discipline, cutting-edge diet, and highest-quality supplements.

But they leave out their superb genetics and/or use of PEDs or HRT.

My guess is he’s on 100-150mg Test/week and 1-2 IU GH per day.

With all these fitness personalities, athletes, and actors, there’s no way for any of us to be absolutely sure if they are natty or not, unless we were able to get our hands on all their past medical records and also able to pull some random, unannounced labs on them. And quite frankly, those things are none of our business.

So no sense in wondering about it or debating it. Doing so will only drive us nuts.

Don’t get me wrong, I, too, get irritated to the point of rage, by the folks that have superhuman physiques, attribute it to hard work + something they are peddling, and then leave out PEDS and/or HRT.

But look how many of them get “exposed” every month. And, as it is becoming less and less taboo to talk about PEDs and HRT, look how many of them are coming out every day and “admitting” they were/are on PEDs or HRT.

Bottom line, it’s a good rule of thumb these days that if you see someone with an incredible physique on the internet or social media, and they are asking you to follow, like, retweet, share, or subscribe, there is a very good chance they are pharmaceutically enhanced.

Everything I was going to say here was already covered by @T3hPwnisher and @antiquity, only they used better words.

Not all minutes are created equally.