The 30-minute Athlete

For those of you that say you never have time to get in shape, well here is something for you! Thirty minutes 3 times a week is all you need to get your body into better shape. Everyone has 30 minutes to spare within his or her day, whether it’s in the morning before you start work or sometime after work before dinner. Activities can include jogging, sprinting, swimming, playing a round of basketball, weight training, almost anything can be cut down to 30 minutes or less when used effectively. In essence, a lot can be accomplished within that time frame when you use your time effectively. The idea behind the 30-Minute Athlete is that there is always a way to get healthy, build muscle and lose fat.

Utilize traffic Jams

We all know the exact times of the day when the streets are packed with cars. Use that time to schedule a workout. Instead of sitting in traffic for 30 minutes, use that time to head to the gym and get a workout. If you don’t have access to a gym, go to a park and jog for 15 minutes anywhere and 15 minutes back. If you prefer harder workouts, do sprints. Whatever it is, you will have that time that you can utilize for your workout. This can be done before or after work during peak hours of traffic jams.



Weekends are a great way for you to get the athletic body you want. You will have very little large commitments and it’s a prime time to get moving. Weekends will give you much more time and flexibility than weekdays. You can use more time than just the 30-minutes and it will allow you to work much harder. Like I stated earlier, you only need to workout 3 times a week. By using the weekends, you will already knock out 2 out of the 3. It’s up to you to schedule your third day (maybe during a traffic jam within the week).


Simplify Your Workouts

Often times we see these programs that pack a ton of exercises that could last up to 2 or 3 hours. That’s great for those who have the time to do 2 or 3 hour workout sessions. But to be effective you only need a total of 6 exercises that will target every part of your body:

–       Squat: Legs(Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes) Core, Back

–       Deadlift: Upper and lower back, Legs(Hamstrings and glutes), Core

–       Pull up(pull down): Upper and lower back Biceps, shoulders, core

–       Bench press: Chest, shoulders, triceps

–       Military press: Shoulders, triceps, core, upper back

–       Row: Upper and lower back, biceps, shoulders, core

You can get big results by just using these 6 exercises and their variations(that I will leave for another article).



Chances are you are connected to others with full schedules, and you can use your co-workers as workout partners. Push each other to challenge each other to improve. Play team sports with other 30-minute athletes. Make it a group event and invite people to get in shape with you. A beach volleyball tournament would be great during the summer. Or a basketball game during the colder seasons. Other fun activities include laser-tag. The trick is to invite friends and make it fun.



Ranging from weight training to playing a full game of soccer, 30-minute activities are endless. Here I will name a few:

–       Walking briskly

–       Jogging/running

–       Sports(Basketball, volleyball, soccer, badminton)

–       Swimming

–       Weight training

–       Walking the dog

–       Yoga

You see, you can be an athlete in many ways! You just have to choose the right path for yourself. All it takes is 30 minutes. I read something through my studies that I found relevant for athlete with limited time: Being healthy is important, not a chore. If you can’t find 30 minutes in your day to spare for exercise, then you have not properly prioritized your health.

Sample workout:

Day 1:

Squat: 8 reps x 3 sets. Rest 1 min

Bench press: 8 Reps x 3 sets. Rest 1 min

Military Press: 8 Reps x 3 sets. Rest 1 min

Jog 15 mins

Day 2

Deadlift: 8 reps 3 sets. 1 min rest

Pullup/pull down: 8 reps x 3 sets. 1 min rest

Bent over row: 8 reps x 3 sets. 1 min rest.

Day 3

Jog/walk 30 mins


Sprint: 40 meters x 6 sets. 1.5 min rest

If you want a harder workout or have more than 30 minutes, click here.

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