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HealthTraining & Performance

The Ultimate Lunch Workout

What should I do to make the most of my lunch hour workout?

(Photo: ostill/Shutterstock)

“Intervals give you the most bang for your buck,” says Los Angeles-based trainer and fitness expert, Michael George. Studies have shown that high intensity interval training, or exercising at about 80 percent of your max heart rate for at least 10 minutes total, can improve your aerobic fitness. Also, George points out, “people get bored with doing a 20 to 30 minute cardio routine and 15 to 20 minutes of strength work. Intervals keep things interesting.”

Below, George outlines two killer interval workouts perfect for your lunch hour.

Workout #1: You have access to a gym and shower
5-minute warm-up on the treadmill or any cardio machine

Main workout:

—12-15 reps each: bicep curls, chest press, two times through
—3 minutes cardio at 80 percent of your max heart rate (guestimate your max heart rate by subtracting your age from 220)
—12-15 reps each: lat pull downs, seated rows, two times through
—3 minutes cardio at 80 percent of your max heart rate
—12-15 reps each: two of your favorite strength exercises, two times through (a few ideas: kettlebell swings, squats, lunges, wood chops, push ups)
—3 minutes cardio at 80 percent of your max heart rate

Continue this circuit until you reach 30 to 35 minutes. You should get in 4 to 5 rounds of cardio and strength training.

5-minute stretch/cool down

Workout #2: No gym or shower access
Grab a pair of 5-pound dumbbells and head outside for a walk or hike.

—As you walk, perform 25 reps of each of the following exercises: bicep curls, shoulder press, triceps extensions, and forward and lateral raises.
—Every five minutes, stop walking to do the following: 12-25 reps alternating lunges or 25 squats.

Repeat the circuit until you’ve been walking and strength training for 40 to 45 minutes.

Cool down and stretch for 5 minutes.

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Lead Photo: ostill/Shutterstock