Nov 05

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?



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  1. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta

    Love it! It looks like challenging fun :-).

  2. lucie@swissfitchick

    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 :-)

    1. Laura

      The loud beats are a must! If a good power song comes on I’m on fire. Until I wear myself out. Lol!

  3. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    This is perfect because I am NOT a fan of cardio, unless its steady state on the stairclimber with a book in tow ;)

  4. Tess Moore

    BOTH!!! but I always prefer quick!!!!

  5. Morganne @ NutButterRunner

    This was AWESOME! I was just looking for something quick to do before I jumped in the shower so I popped online and this was waiting for me. Great workout!

    1. Laura

      That’s great! It’s exactly what I do too – get it out of the way first thing.

  6. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    Great workout! I love wacky jacks!

  7. Linz @ Itz Linz

    quickie haha. you’re so right – working out doesn’t have to take forever! great workout!

  8. Coco (@Got2Run4Me)

    Love workouts like these. I use my fitness trampoline for the plyometric moves to spare my knees.

    1. Laura

      So cool! A trampoline would be a blast!

  9. Brittany @ Delights and Delectables

    Love short yet intense workouts! I love weights more than cardio now…. such a change!

  10. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    I definitely prefer my cardio to be on the quick side, so this is pretty perfect! Lately I’ve been doing a lot of circuit and interval workouts that include both cardio and strength – best of both worlds!

    1. Laura

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

  11. Jody - Fit at 55

    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!!!. :)

    1. Laura

      You are so right. I like to say that everyone is a snow flake. You have to experiment and learn your body.

  12. Lee

    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.

  13. Maureen

    As much as I love/hate them, burpees are my favorite quick workout. By the 10th one I am dripping with sweat and praying for mercy!

    1. Laura

      Agreed – I love/hate them. Especially the one legged ones.

  14. Parita @ myinnershakti

    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.

  15. purelytwins

    15 mins, now that is our kind of workout ;)

    1. Laura

      I actually thought of you guys while doing these. If I must do cardio it must be short and sweet!

  16. Marcia

    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!

    1. Laura

      That’s a great point. Workouts like these are great to have in you back pocket for road trips.

  17. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    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.

    1. Laura

      Haha. Funny you should say that… I sent this one to my client. ;)

  18. Bonnie

    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!

    1. Laura

      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!

  19. RFC

    Burpees! I could burpee for days. I love to hate them / hate to love them :)

    1. Laura

      Right?! It’s a tough move but hard to hate something so efficient.

  20. Allana

    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 :)

    1. Laura

      The perfect description!

  21. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I wish I believed in QUICK cardio work outs. Alas, I am a freak and I am not convinced, thus I do cardio for endless amount of hours! I am a crazy BIZ-NOTCH.

    1. Laura

      You are a freak, but it’s part of your charm.

  22. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

    Looks like a good workout to me! I’ll have to give it a shot for when I’m cleared for exercise. Only a couple more weeks!

    1. Laura

      Awesome! I know you must be excited for that!

  23. Nicole @ FruitnFitness

    This looks like a great workout for those days your short on time!

  24. Tina @ Best Body Fitness

    Awesome workout! And so true you don’t need a ton of time. A lot of my workouts for the holiday plan are short and effective like this one. LOVE that you pulled out the wacky jacks! Haha!

    1. Laura

      Gotta love Tony Horton! ;)

  25. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    15 minutes!! I’m so jealous of you right now – guess that’s one of the benefits of already being so lean (like you are). Man. :)

    1. Laura

      Yeah… Your discipline with the cardio impresses me the most!

  26. Sarah (Shh...Fit Happens)

    I love quick workouts, actually just posted about this today too! :) I like a good mix of cardio and strength….as long as I am not bored and challenged, i am a happy camper!

    1. Laura

      So true – variety is what keeps me going both in terms of workouts and diet.

  27. Hanna

    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 :)

    1. Laura

      That’s impressive! It would be a good jump start to the day though!

  28. RavieNomNoms

    YEEUP! I get up every morning and get it done. It works out the best for me. I like the High Intensity Cardio sessions. You feel awesome after!

  29. Kim

    Looks awesome – I love workouts like this – so easy to go all out when you know it is only for 15 minutes!

  30. Cassie @ RedLetterDaye

    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.

    1. Laura

      I am with you! I only do it religiously right before a competition as a finisher.

  31. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

    Thanks for sharing! This would be perfect for me to do when I am on the go/traveling!

  32. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    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

    1. Laura

      I just told my trainer you’re coming for a leg day soon! He had an evil laugh…

  33. She Rocks Fitness

    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!

    1. Laura

      I just told my trainer you’re coming for a leg day soon! He had an evil laugh…hahaha. I’m a meathead too.

  34. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    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.

    1. Laura

      Tee hee. Ditto.

  35. Choc Chip Uru

    What a great way to quickly burn calories :D
    And you can do it anywhere anytime!


  36. Megan (The Lyons' Share)

    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 :(.

    1. Laura

      I feel your hotel workout pain. I have a bunch pinned for those occasions!

  37. Ashley

    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.

  38. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    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!

    1. Laura

      Haha. I spend the entire last half of any workout thinking of my recovery meal.

  39. Allie

    Ooooh this looks nice and tough! You’re right, you can do anything for 15 minutes!

    I can’t wait for your competition :)

    1. Laura

      Thanks Allie! If you can run like you do I know this 15 min would be a breeze.

  40. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    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.

    1. Laura

      Picturing you doing wacky jacks in the middle of the gym makes me smile. :)

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