Short on Time? Try High-Rep Single Sets

This 5-exercise workout will torch your body in just 20 minutes.

Need a quick strength workout, but don't have an hour to spare? This is a problem many face at one point or another. You want to lift, but can't fit in a complete workout with multiple sets per exercise and rest between them.

So you have to make a decision. Do you try to squeeze in something in the limited time you have, or do you do nothing at all? In the spirit of always trying to become a better athlete, we recommend the former. Short workouts can be incredibly productive if done correctly.

Bret Contreras, an exercise physiologist, strength coach and master of glute development, has a solution. In a recent Instagram post, he details a five-exercise workout that includes only one set per exercise performed for a high number of reps. Best of all, it takes only 20 minutes to complete.

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Here's the workout, which Contreras demonstrates in the video below at high speed.

  • Goblet Squat - 100 pounds x 20
  • Dumbbell Military Press - 50 pounds x 20
  • Deficit Stiff-Leg Deadlift - 225 pounds x 20
  • Seated Row - 120 pounds x 20
  • Frog Pump - 100 pounds x 35

Contreras recommends performing each rep explosively and resting 2 to 3 minutes between exercises. This is a sub-max workout, so you'll be using significantly lighter weight than your max—you'll be performing between 20 and 35 reps per move, after all.

To provide perspective, you can regularly see Contreras deadlifting 600 pounds on his Instagram.

Although it calls for only one set per exercise, this workout is not for the faint of heart. It will absolutely torch your body, and you'll feel extremely fatigued (and possibly nauseous) when you're done.

Contreras's workout is a great option in its own right. But you can also create your own workout with the exercises you like based on this formula:

  • Squat variation - 1x20
  • Upper-body press - 1x20
  • Deadlift variation - 1x20
  • Upper-body row - 1x20
  • Glute-focused variation - 1x35

RELATED: Upper-Body Giant Sets for Faster Gains


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: SQUAT | DEADLIFT | EXERCISES | WORKOUTS | MILITARY | COACH | STRENGTH COACH | PRESS | SHORTS | DUMBBELLS | LIFTS | FASTER | HEART | STRENGTH WORKOUTS | HIGH SPEED