Back to Back Issues Page
Put Your Workouts into Hyperdrive
September 22, 2015

How to Get an Excellent Strength Training Workout
in 30 Minutes

First of all, I am so happy to report that there is a great reason I missed the last two months’ newsletters. I was super-busy moving, and I am finally at my new destination and extremely excited to begin a new life in the Sunshine City of St. Petersburg, Florida!

Woohoo! Finally, after about 15 years of dreaming and visualizing getting here, after praying, affirming, meditating, and anything else I could think of…I made it!

Since arriving, I’ve been blessed with finding a great position at an Anytime Fitness in St. Pete, which is about 8 minutes (but who’s counting) from the beach. Can you say perfect???

It’s been a long and interesting ride getting to my dream city, but I am ecstatically traversing this new terrain, enjoying each new day as it offers opportunities yet to be discovered. I am truly blessed.

Anyway, I want to apologize for the two-month hiatus from these newsletters. I view these as a connection to my readers; this connection is something that means a lot to me, and I take this commitment very seriously. I am back in the writing saddle, so to speak, and am steering for my regular mid-monthly due date once again.


So, how are you guys doing out there? How are your workouts coming along? Are you making any progress with your fitness goals?

I don’t know about you, but I definitely go through phases with mine. Sometimes I like to hit the gym hard and other times I like to take my workout home.

Up until I began training at AF in St. Pete a couple of weeks ago, I’d been working out at home a lot. I am always coming up with different variations to keep it interesting and to keep my muscle from getting used to the moves. I do this for my clients as well.

I thought I’d share some of my ideas with you and hopefully help shake things up a bit in hopes of helping you stave off boredom and plateaus that are sure to plague you if you keep doing the same old thing day after day after month after year. And sadly, I know this can happen and does all too often.

Following are a couple of workout methods you can try, whether you are gyming or homing it. Are those real words? Yup! They are now! LOL. I think you get the gist.

30 Second Set Workout
Once a week, do thirty second interval workouts. Here’s how it works. I set my interval timer (I use a GymBoss) for thirty seconds. When the timer goes off I do a set until it beeps and then I rest until it beeps and then I do another set until it beeps and so on.

This makes for a fast-moving workout that really packs a punch! You’ll find with this little rest between sets that you won’t be able to lift as much as if you were resting 45 seconds or more between sets. You’ll also find that you are breathing heavy, meaning it brings an aerobic effect into your lifting portion of the workout. I like this because it is like killing two birds with one stone.

Doing it this way allows you to get a great strength training session done in about 30 minutes. I then go ahead and do 30 minutes of cardio, making an awesome, 60-minute, calorie-incinerating, muscle toning workout that’s both fun and super-effective! Make those 30 cardio minutes a HIIT session (High Intensity Interval Training) to really put this workout into overdrive! The best part is that it moves so fast that the time flies and the workout is over in what seems like no time at all! Woohoo! Win/win!

Bonus Tip: Always pick weights that you can maintain perfect form using slow, controlled speed during the exercises. Don’t confuse moving quickly from exercise to exercise for moving too quickly actually performing the exercise. Always use slow and controlled form.

Upper/Lower Non-stop
With this workout, you will be moving back and forth between upper and lower body so that you don’t have to take a break (except maybe to breathe), making this a very fast-moving workout also. Again, this incorporates an aerobic effect into the lifting phase, allowing you to get a great total body strength training session in about 30 minutes.

Remember, you can throw in another 15-30 minutes of cardio (HIIT or not) to get in a great 45 to 60-minute workout that will keep you moving towards your fitness goals whilst kicking your workouts into hyper-drive.

Structuring Your Workout
You can do the 30 Second Workout several ways. For simplicity’s sake, I will talk about two today: Total body and split training.

This can be done going back and forth from upper to lower, or you can just go down the muscle groups (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, lower body, core) since you will be taking a 30-second break between exercises, using this break to move to the next exercise. This is easiest to do when using a timer of some sort. It keeps things moving without having to watch a clock. Just switch when the timer sounds. The beep is when you break and then when it beeps again you exercise again. You will be doing a rep range of 8-12.

Following is a great example of what a total body, 30 second per set workout could look like:

Chest, Back, Shoulders, and Legs

Chest press beep DB squat beep chest fly beep bentover row beep lunge beep DB pullover beep shoulder press beep lying ball curl beep DB side raise. Rest one minute then start again for a total of two rounds of this circuit. That should take around 20 minutes. Next move into the arms and core.

Arms and Core
DB curls beep ball crunch beep triceps pressdowns beep twist crunch beep back extensions. Rest one minute then start again for a total of two rounds of this arm and core portion of the circuit. That should take around 10 minutes.

There you have it! Don’t be fooled by the shortness of this workout. Trust me it is intense!

Obviously, if you have good knowledge of exercises, you can substitute different exercises than I have listed, according to your options. The way I structured the above workout is chest, lower body, chest, back, lower body, back, shoulders, lower body, shoulders. Then, arms, core, arms, core. Always do arms after bigger muscle groups whenever possible. If you switch out your own exercises, be sure to switch out chest for chest, back for back, etc.

According to your level of knowledge, you can get creative and do split workouts instead of total body. You could go with chest, shoulders, and triceps for one workout. And you could do back, biceps, and legs for another workout. However you want to do it is up to you.

Yet another great option for a power-packed 30-minute workout is:

Upper/Lower Non-stop
For this workout, you only break long enough to catch your breath and then push on through! When I do this workout for 3 circuits it takes me about 27 minutes’ total. This could look like:

Push ups/Squats/Pull ups/Lunge/Shoulder Press/Deadlift/Swiss Ball crunch
Repeat 1-2 more times

Biceps curls/Triceps kickbacks/Russian Twists/Back extensions
Repeat 1-2 more times

Again, this workout is intense, so proceed with caution!

I truly hope you will give these awesomely intense workouts a try! Done correctly, I promise they pack a punch that will definitely shake things up for you! Until next month, happy lifting and enjoy!

Remember: Always check with your doctor before trying this or any exercise program.

Please feel free to contact me with any fitness question you may have. I love hearing from you!

Be sure and check out my blog site! Just click here to head on over and give it a read! I will be posting a new blog in the next few weeks.

You can also purchase my books at most of the popular online bookstores in whatever format you may require. Please sign up for my mailing list and subscribe to my blog so that you can be informed when I post a new blog. I am a believer in less is more so don't worry about being inundated with posts telling you every time I had a snack or a new thought. On the other hand, I hope you find the wait between posts worthwhile as I plan to speak directly from my "writing" soul and I look greatly forward to it.

Say! Did you know that you can follow me on Facebook? Well, you can! Jump on over to and "like" my page, please. I post a fitness tip most days. Feel free to leave comments and check in often. Thanks ever so much! If you have read any of my books you can also go to my new facebook page at and drum up a conversation with other readers or me or whomever. It's brand new so don't let the crickets scare you. Somebody has to get this party started, right?

Thanks so much for subscribing to this newsletter and for reading it and for your support. Our relationship is reciprocal as I live and learn from all that happens in my life, just as you live and learn through yours. We are truly in this together, and I empathize with your challenges as I do my own. I promise to hang in there and learn and grow along with you, and I hope that sharing through my writing maybe helps you a smidge. If it does, that is my payback. It is why I continue to do what I do.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to pay it forward to anyone you think would like it too. That is the best compliment you could ever pay me, and I appreciate it very, very much.

And don't forget to tell everybody about and Now What? Fitness Blog where they can get all the fitness info their heart desires and sign up for this newsletter while they are there.

From my heart to your health,

Linda Burke, CPT

Back to Back Issues Page