Work It Out: 15 Minutes Is All It Takes

Who doesn’t love a quickie?


Cardio!  What are you thinking?!

In my last couple of weeks of competition prep I’ve added cardio.  15 minutes per day, high intensity.  Normally I run sprints but – of course – I pulled my hamstring.  No more sprints.

In effort to get my cardio in, I’ve had to adjust.  This week’s Work It Out is dedicated to my back up plan.



I dislike forced cardio.  Some days when I’m antsy or when the weather is nice I love a good run, but when it’s prescribed I’m less enthusiastic.

Mindset is important.  I get up in the morning and get it done.  15 minutes of fasted cardio.  15 minutes is all it takes is my mantra.  

You can do anything for 15 minutes!

15 Minutes Is All It Takes


You are probably familiar with most of these moves.  When you do the jumping jack and running portions, do them quickly to ensure you keep the intensity up.

Wacky Jacks may be the one you haven’t tried.  I “borrowed” it from my P90X days.  What I like about them is that they work your core too.  You start like a regular jumping jack with your hands behind head.  Then drive your elbow to the hip or knee, jumping to alternating sides.  Click here for a quick video demo.

Pop Squats I’ve talked about before here in the Save Your Knees Work It Out.  I love these for the burst of energy.  They are great for the buns!

Note: You can modify these movement to accommodate your specific needs or limitations.  For instance, do the push ups from your knees, or replace pop squats with regular squats.  Listen to your body.  If it hurts, stop.  NO need to be a super hero and risk injury!


With a few days left till my competition, I’m doing these or getting on the elliptical doing intervals, forward and backward, every day!

What is your favorite “quickie” exercise?

Do you prefer cardio or lifting?  Neither?  Both?



  1. says

    Such a great workout!
    I love a good mix of Cardio and weights. I lift 4 times a week, but I need some Cardio cause I like it. Currently, I am doing a few times sprints on the treadmill or Intervals on the stairmaster with too loud beats blarring in my ears – it just keeps me going. Otherwise I do my sprints along the lake which is beautiful and even more I like stair sprints! They rock!
    And sometimes it just has to be a long easy run in the sun, or cycling on my home spinning bike while catching up on Trash TV :-)

    • Laura says

      I love working cardio in between sets too. Active rest seems less painful and you’re using every second in the gym efficiently.

  2. says

    YOU ROCK!!! Weights of course for me but I still do a ton of cardio – stupid friggin body type & add age to that. I have always had to do more cardio even with the intensity of my workouts. I think that is one thing people do need to understand. Depending on what they eat & how much & their body type & age, some of the quickie workouts may not be enough to lose BUT great for timer crunch OR people with bod types that this is just fine for – never been me – damn!!!. :)

  3. says

    Looks like a good workout. I try to squeeze a quick workout in during my lunch break sometimes and this would definitely fit the bill.

    And I prefer cardio. I like running. Mostly.

  4. says

    I love quickie cardio workouts! Vishnu recently purchased the Focus T25 DVDs by Shaun T, so I did the cardio workout yesterday. It was tough. Even though it was only 25 minutes, it had me sweating (and huffing and puffing) in about 5.

  5. says

    This looks awesome! With things getting crazier as we near the holidays, I know I’ll be looking for a quickie workout like this! My hubby had me do some pop squats right before I ran a 5k last weekend. He said it warmed up the central nervous system. Works for me! Haha!

  6. says

    Awesome. I tend to go through phases with interval workouts – like if I’m injured and can’t run kind of phase LOL. I always enjoy them when I do them and mostly prescribe them for my clients. They’re quick so fewer excuses about lack of time.

  7. says

    I am with you! Make it short and sweet and keep the intensity up and you don’t need to spend an hour on the treadmill! This even comes from a girl who loves some good long distance running. 😉 If I had to choose, however, I’d pick strength training that incorporates high intensity movements into the workout, like burpees, KB swings and box jumps as well as snatches, push ups, some type of row, etc. I go in real spurts and phases for my running – some days I love it and other days I don’t run for months at a time.

    Great workout; hope that hammy heals up soon!

    • Laura says

      I’m the same way with running. And if I am going to run, then it must be outside. I feel like a hamster on a treadmill!

  8. Allana says

    Both! But I do love a quickie workout with intense intervals of cardio and strength. It’s like having the best of both worlds. This workout is a perfect challenge for me with the dreaded BURPEES! You just hate/love them…they make you sweat and take your breath away; but you feel on top of the world when you’re done :)

  9. Hanna says

    Oh I should try it every morning before 12hours work day! I have no power after coming back home from work so I might just get up 20 mins earlier! 15 mins working out and 5 mins for a shower! it sounds quite good :)

  10. says

    I loathe cardio, and have managed to cut it out completely (a reformed cardio bunny/slave). I plan to reintroduce it as needed, if at all, but probably only HIIT in small doses after I finish reverse dieting. So far so good. Your workout is perfect for me because it can be done at home.

  11. says

    Ouch! I hope you’re hamstring feels better soon. That is so frustrating and painful! I love cardio and weights equally. :) Although, the DOMS I have in my legs right now seriously interfered with my running this morning!

    I’m thinking about you. I hope you feel better soon! xoxo

  12. says

    Not really my favorite but BURPEES get it done in a heart beat! 😉 I LOVE cardio, but I know the importance of strength training, so I grin and bear it. But honestly nothing beats being sore after a hard core strength training session. Gosh I sound like a meathead. LOL!

  13. says

    I’m pretty sure it’s clear what my favorite quickie exercise is…burns a ton of calories too.

    Although I did a thirty minute spin class today, which is a quickie when it comes to spinning, and I really liked it. Then again, I’m a cardio junkie who hasn’t done cardio (aside from that kind) in weeks so I would have liked anything.

  14. says

    You know I prefer cardio!!!! I’ll take it any day over weights but I know lifting is so good for me. Love this quickie workout and will definitely use it – I’m all over no-equipment workouts like this that I can sneak in in a hotel room! Thanks, and so sorry about the hamstring :(.

  15. says

    Can’t wait to do this! When I can’t get outside to do sprints, I love short, quick workouts that get the heart rate up while incorporating body weight strength moves.

  16. says

    The main reason I like circuit training so much is because it’s quick and to the point! I’ll admit that some days I just feel like camping out at the gym, but for the most part, I wanna get in and get to the food…er, I mean OUT! 😉

    I used to be a cardio junkie, but now I’m definitely more about the weights!

  17. says

    LOVE this! I have actually been trying to make up some of my own workouts using old Best Body Boot Camp moves, but I love to add bursts of cardio in between strength. It’s like a boot camp class of one in the middle of the weight room.

    I am totally adding Wacky Jacks from now on.


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