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The 20-Minute Weight Loss Workout

If you work hard, you don't need more than 20 minutes to get your heart rate pounding, torch fat, and build muscle.

20 minutes may be the ideal amount of time for a workout. You may think you’d be better off with an hour—or at least 45 minutes, but Joe Drake, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, CPT & Co-Owner of Gravity + Oxygen Fitness in Boca Raton, FL, says that being tight on time can actually make you more efficient in the gym.

“A 20-minute workout is perfect because with no time for water breaks, chit chat, or checking your phone you have to stay focused and efficient,” he says. That said, if you’re only exercising for 20 minutes, you need to bring the intensity and include both cardio and strength components. “To have an impact on weight loss in just 20 minutes, you have got to do more than just burn calories, you’ve got to impact muscle,” confirms Drake. 

The workout on the next page, created by Drake, does just that. It’s a spin-off inspired by Escalating Density Training (EDT) made popular by strength coaches Charles Staley and Robert Dos Remedios. “EDT style training is effective because it involves a lot of muscle mass in a very short period of time with little to no rest involved—This translates into a ton of volume done in a very concentrated timeframe, resulting in a boost in fat metabolism and lean muscle gain,” explains Drake.

But, this particular workout takes it up a notch with the additional challenge of 20 seconds sprints to increase the metabolic demand and maintain incomplete muscle recovery between sets of exercises. “This killer 20-minute full body set-up allows for endless variety when strapped for time and still looking to get a great workout,” says Drake.

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