quick-hit countdown workout

I’m lucky enough to have a company gym at my disposal at work (big thumbs up to all the health-conscious employers out there!), and on a (almost) daily basis, I’ll spend my lunch break working up a sweat. It’s great for me, not so great for my coworkers who have to look at my post-workout hair for the rest of the day. I do shower before returning to my desk (c’mon, not even I am that gross), but I qualify a shower as using body wash. Shampoo doesn’t make a daily appearance in my life.

Anyway, now that I’ve shared this healthy hair tip with you and/or grossed you out, let’s get to the workout. A couple weeks ago, the lunch hour ended up being tightly nestled between two meetings, so my goal was to put together a quick workout that would get the job done in under 30 minutes. I ended up completing it in about 20 minutes, which was perfect. You’ll need a kettle bell for this workout; I used a 15lb one.

For the first round, you’ll do 10 reps of each exercise, doubling up the split squats: 10 burpees, 10 leg lifts, 20 split squats, 10 clean and press with each arm. The next round, you’ll do 9 reps of each, and so on, counting down until the last round you do 1 rep of each exercise (2 split squats). Here’s the breakdown:

10, 9, 8, 7…

  • Burpees: Squat down, placing hands on the ground in front of you, carefully jump back into a plank position, jump back up to squatting, then stand up and jump with your arms in the air.
  • Leg Lifts: Laying on your back with hands under your bum for support, lift legs off the ground and up, perpendicular to the ground (keeping them straight the whole time). Lower.
  • Split Squats x2: Start in deep squatting position with feet staggered. Back foot should be on the ball; front foot should be flat. Jump up and switch legs, landing back in deep squat with opposite leg in front.
  • Clean and Press (each arm): With feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, bend knees and bring kettle bell from a straight-arm hanging position to closely held by the center of your chest with arm bent. From there, straighten legs as you extend your arm skyward. Reverse the moves to bring yourself back to starting position. Try to keep the kettle bell towards the center of your body throughout this move. When done correctly, this isn’t just an upper-body workout, but great for your core.

While I originally did this workout at my office, the pictures (clearly) were taken elsewhere. Sorry, company gym, but the beach is just simply prettier than you.

Next time you’re strapped for time and want to get a quick workout in, give this one a whirl and let me know what you think!

{shorts: Nike}
{top: Under Armour}



  1. Anonymous says:

    LOVE your workouts- so glad you were FP so I can follow along. Thanks

  2. myhonestself says:

    I love love LOVE countdown routines! It keeps my mind focused and makes things more interesting. I am pretty sure I’ve got exercise A.D.D because I lose my focus so easily – this helps keep me going!

  3. how cross-fit-ish of you! will have to give this one a try soon. unfortunately here in DC it’s hard to find a beach to workout on, though…

  4. I’ll try that out! I’m loving the shorts btw 😉

  5. I can totally relate to this blog thats for sure, though the beach is ‘my carpet’ where I randomly throw myself down at any odd hour and do BURPEES…or push ups and due to A.D.D. I forget so many things ‘upstairs’ that my 13 steps to 2nd floor must count for something over the course of a week and forgetting 10 times where I placed my keys wallet or cell phone. 🙂 EVERYTHING COUNTS as long as you are sweating!

  6. Thanks for the workout! I think its a great addition to a morning routine for only 20 minutes! I’ll try it out tomorrow!

  7. dude you just kicked my butt. i added an insanity type warm-up and now i can’t walk up my stairs. i’ll have to sleep on the couch in the living room tonight 😛

  8. Hey Pumps and Iron – this (along with the card play workout) are absolutely brilliant. Lancashire Yogi loves work outs like this along with his usual yogic endeavours. I love the burpees – they don’t half get your heart beating (well particularly for an old english yogi. Thanks for sharing and Om Shanti to you and your followers. Namaste,

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