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Get Fit in 10 Minutes Today (With Video!)

If you read Powerful Actions to Beat Procrastination, and you chose Time as your major obstacle, this post was written for you!

The number one excuse I hear from people that want to get fit but aren’t taking action is this:

“I just don’t have time.”

Bull, ladies and gentlemen. Bull.

I train a husband and wife that both work, have twin baby girls that are teething, and still find time to do their cardio on days that I don’t see them.

Time is a concept that you will never truly have enough of.  There will always be something else you should be doing.  There will always be a reason why you can’t make it to the gym.

The key to getting fit and being healthy is making it a priority, and finding ways to stick to it even when life gets in the way.

Everything else is an excuse.  You need to put you first in order to be effective at anything else.

So I thought I’d share my trainer wisdom with you all for when I hear the time excuse.

And to make it even easier to do all these moves, I’m going to SHOW you how to do them!  My first video post with exercise, boys and girls!  Here goes!

Please always remember to do a proper warm up and get a physician’s consent before engaging in physical activity.

1. Sprints

All you need is open space or a treadmill, 10 minutes, and some will power.

Sprints are one of the most effective ways to burn fat and increase your anaerobic threshold (geeky trainer talk for “getting better at cardio”) in the shortest amount of time possible.

Here’s how you do it: set yourself up in front of a long stretch of nothing (about 100 meters or so).  When I say “nothing,” I mean NOTHING.  No driveways, no curbs, no changes in ground surface- you don’t want to get hit by a car or eat it while going as fast as you can.


Go as fast as you possibly can–running away from a bear fast–until you reach the 100-meter mark.  Then, walk back slowly to recover… after you vomit… just kidding, please don’t.

Repeat until your 10 minutes are up!  Try to get in a minimum of 5 sprints.

2. Bodyweight Circuit

If you read Nerd Fitness, you know how effective bodyweight training can be.  I’m all for it!  All you’ll need is you… and the knowledge that in 10 minutes, the pain will be over.

Here’s your circuit:

Walking lunges- 10 out, 10 back for a total of 10 each leg

Push ups- from your knees if you can’t do a full push up- 8-10 reps

Plank hold- 30-60 seconds ideally right after you’re done with your pushups (no rest)

Rest 30 seconds


The point of this workout is to spend you by the end, so don’t rest more unless you literally can’t continue.  I bet you can.  Just get through it.

If this is too easy for you, try adding a sprint before your rest period for every circuit.  This is a great way to make meat-heads into cry-babies. ;)

3. Walk Up Some Stairs

That’s it.  For 10 minutes straight, walk up some stairs in a high building.  If you’re near a gym, use a step mill (the one that actually has steps that go around on a belt, not the one that has you take baby steps with a weird, unnatural airy resistance).

4. Run 1 minute faster than your normal mile-pace

For 10 minutes, run faster than you normally would.  If you’re a regular runner, aim to do 1 minute faster than your normal mile time.  If you’re not a regular runner, just aim to go fairly fast the entire time.

5. Lunge Circuit

Lunges are actually a great way to get you breathless as well as get some lean muscle working in your legs, butt and core.  Changing up the normal forward lunge is key to building a perky butt and getting some great 360 definition in your thighs and calves.

To do this, you’ll do all of these lunges:

Reverse- step back into a lunge, then step back forward to repeat.  Alternate sides for 10 each leg.

Side- step to the side, toes pointing forward from both feet.  Stick your butt back so that your hips are in line with your stepping leg, the other leg is straight, and both feet are flat.  Push back with stepping leg to start and repeat with other leg.  Keep alternating until you’ve completed 10 each leg.

Transverse (twisting)- this is a tricky one.  Imagine yourself standing at 12:00 on a watch face.  You’re going to leave your left foot on 12, while lunging your right to 4.  Your right leg should be bent, your left straight and your body facing 3, more or less.  If you’re not very flexible, start by lunging to 3 or even 2 first, then work your way up to 4.  Push with your right foot back to start and repeat with left leg lunging to 8, keeping your right foot on 12.  Keep alternating legs until you’ve completed 10 each side.

Repeat reverse, side and transverse lunges until your 10 minutes is up. Voila!  Soreness in 10 minutes!  You will thank me in a couple days.

6.  Do the plank circuit

They look so calm and peaceful, don’t they?  Who would ever know how painful planks can get after holding them for 30 seconds.  They are the best thing ever if you want a flat stomach and an ache-free back, though.

The plank circuit is this:

Side plank on your left elbow for 20-30 seconds

Modified plank from both elbows for 30-45 seconds

Side plank on your right elbow for 20-30 seconds

30 seconds rest, then REPEAT!

If you’re advanced, do these from your hands or up the time until it feels hard.  If you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t have to do too much tweaking.

If your back is hurting during the modified plank, try tucking your tailbone- imagine you’re a submissive dog, tucking your tail between your legs.  The tighter you pull in your lower abs, the less your back will have to take over.

7. Do as many _____ as you can in 10 minutes

When I’m feeling particularly mean, I do this to my clients: You have 5 minutes to do as many _____ as you can with minimal rest time. Go.

You will be sore.  You will think you can’t do it.  But it’s only 10 minutes!

If this scares you a little more than is healthy or if you’re brand new to working out, start by splitting the time between 2 or 3 moves.  Try 3 minutes of lunges, 3 of push ups, and 3 of pull ups.  Try not to break until you really need to, and start moving again as soon as you can.

8. Burpees!!!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… and you’ll hate me for it.

Burpees are a great way to get your heart pumping out of your chest, build some muscle in your everything, and boost some serious fat-burning hormones.

It’s also a great way to make a client check himself if he says, “I wasn’t sore last time.” ;)

Squat with your weight in your heels, keeping your chest up and abs in.  Put your hands on the floor just outside and slightly in front of your feet.  Jump feet back into a plank (push up position).

When you jump into your push up, land in a straight plank; no saggy planks!

Perform a push up from this position, or if you’re newer to these, drop your knees to the floor and do a push up from there.

After your push up, jump your feet back forward and stand up by pushing your heels to the floor.

Do these like you would intervals.  If you’re new to the horribly painful world of burpees, start with just 10 at a time, then rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat until the 10 minutes are up.  If you’re a cross fit superstar, do 20 of these at once, then rest 20-30 seconds in between… or start adding weight by holding dumbbells.  Still too easy?  Add a renegade row after the push up!

If this move is too difficult, take the push up out and instead just jump back forward after you jump your feet out from the squat.

9. Jump Rope

Tired of sprints?  Pick up a jump rope and get to it!

Don’t have one?  They’re super cheap and the one piece of equipment you can bring just about everywhere if you travel often or need to exercise on your coffee break.  Here’s one from Perform Better where I get all my exercise equipment (this one’s not even their cheapest at $15!).

Jump in intervals of 30-120 seconds depending on how new to it you are.  You’ll be surprised just how difficult this can get!

If you’re a pro, try to jump the whole time, only taking breaks if you REALLY need to.

10. Swim!

This is one that I have committed to trying out this year.  I know how to swim, I just want to start looking like this when I do .

Just kidding.  I really do need some help in the technique department, though.

Swimming is a great way to shake up the monotony of doing the same thing over and over again!  So pick up your suit (or don’t. no judgments here.) and jump in!


So that’s it, guys!  My first video exercise post!

Have fun, and keep a towel handy! (for sweating or for crying… you may do a little of both ;))

I’d really appreciate your feedback and, of course, feel free to comment here if you have any questions about any of the exercises outlined above!

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29 responses to “Get Fit in 10 Minutes Today (With Video!)”

  1. Christine says:

    Love, love, love this one! Such great ideas for wherever you are and whenever you have 10 minutes (or more).

  2. Doug says:

    Great videos and super clear instruction. The renegade row on the burpee looks brutal, I haven’t heard of that one.

    Thanks Amy!

  3. jenny says:

    These are great, but you know how you asked the other day about what women want to see in a women nerd fitness?

    Realistically, I can’t do 10 mins of anything without strapping into at least one if not 2 sports bras. Planks & Bodyweights, yes, but anything aerobic, no. So anything that works around that would be useful to me!

    • Amy says:

      Ah, you’ve got a conundrum there, Jenny. I recommend you stick with planks, push ups and the other non-bouncy exercises if you don’t have a chance to do a quick change. Realistically, however, most kinds of heart-pumping exercises have you moving up and down, so they do require a bit of reinforcement, if you know what I mean.

      You know what, though? The more often you practice changing super-fast, the better you’ll get at it! Just close the door to your office, use the jog to the loo as your warm up, or do the under-the-shirt change in an inconspicuous area!

      I’ll try to come up with some other exercises soon that are more office-attire friendly! ;)

  4. Shari says:

    I LOVE your videos! I’m going to show them to my manager at work. “The Company” has been stressing “healthy body, healthy community” for a couple of years now. I think this set of videos could really help some of us figure out how to fit a good workout into our busy lives. Thanks, Amy!

  5. Dave Ursillo says:

    Great post Amy! Adore the format and the videos infused with your natural bubbly-ness and humor :) Let’s Skype soon!

  6. Benny says:

    Love the videos Amy! You’re a natural in front of the camera! much to say about them but they suck! LOL! They kick my ass in such a short period of time. Great workout though.

    Have you tried double unders with the jump rope? It looks innocent enough, but so much more tiring!

    When is the homework out DVD coming out? :)

    • Benny says:

      And that’s what I get for commenting past my bedtime. That should be “home workout”. :)

    • Amy says:

      Benny. There is a reason I didn’t do double unders in the jump rope video. I would have fallen on my face! ;) Another goal for this year!

      Haha! I always warn my clients if they’re doing a move perfectly that they will be doing it in my video. Maybe I should make that a reality!

  7. Mars Dorian says:

    Damn, you’re doing good on video ? The charming personality actually helps watch all of them, considering that I have a minus 20 passion for fitness !

    I’m actually doing some of your actions – clearly not looking half as good as you doing it.
    still, MISSION accomplished !

    I hope this is not the last time you are doing video – get off lazy peeps like and spread the fire of fitness AMY.

    In all your glory

    • Amy says:

      Yes! I’m so excited that you’re trying some of the moves, Mars!

      I will most definitely be doing more video after receiving so much positive feedback about them. Thanks so much for the support! It means a lot!

  8. Mary says:

    Amy!!! I’m obsessively reading all your posts. These are so good and super helpful and motivating. Plus you’re a video natural! I like the way you inject humor into everything, too. : )

    • Amy says:

      Mary!!! Thank you so much! That means a lot coming from you- you’re hilarious! I’m planning to do video at least every other week, so I’ll get more practice. :)

  9. Mary says:

    I bookmarked this so I can do it today!! I have a request though… I think it would be awesome if you made podcasts for workout sessions. You may have already done that, but thought I’d put that out there. I’d love to have you in my ear telling me to do more burpees and I have 2 minutes left of them! I listen to my mp3 player when I work out and listen to podcasts exclusively. It would be a great way to keep track of the 10 minutes too because I actually don’t own a wristwatch!

    • Amy says:

      That’s a really great idea, Mary! I have a bunch of things in the works right now, but I will definitely think about that for the future!

  10. lynette says:

    I gotta do some of those. :) . I think that would help me loss/shed some thanks for the videos.
    I’d also like to share this book I’m reading, which I’ll be finished in a few coz it’s just a few pages. [link deleted]
    It’s a book about starting out too. He’s tough too! Very straight forward. Like you! Thanks again.. Hope to see some more of your videos. And I’ll definitely do those, except for the sprint. Don’t like jogging/running/sprinting.

    All the best,

    • Amy says:

      Hey Lynette!

      So glad you like the videos!

      I have been on a bit of a hiatus from the videos due to my upcoming book launch, but I have some great ones in the works! Stay tuned!

      P.S. You don’t have to run- you can go as fast as possible on any piece of cardio equipment, walk uphill, or swim and get the same blood-pumping workout!

  11. Savannah Kiez says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! I’ve been working the plank right into my morning yoga session for some extra kick, and I work on the 12th floor of an office building so I just run stairs for ten minutes of my lunch. Awesome!

  12. Lisa says:

    Love this! Discovering sprints was a life changer for me. I have 3 kids and don’t always have time for longer workouts. Thanks for this list, looking forward to incorporating these into my week!

  13. Jessica says:

    Thank you. Good ideas.
    You asked for feedback:
    1. The music becomes irritating after a while.
    2. Add one video for those who have foot and joint complaints.

    • Amy says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Jessica! I totally understand where you’re coming from with the music! This was a very early video (my first one ever, in fact) and I hope they’ve gotten better since :) For foot/joint complaints, The Strong Inside Out Workout Videos might be more up your alley, especially Finding Balance. Hope that helps!

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