Lunch Break Fitness is intended to be a resource for those who don’t want to let up on their fitness journey just because life gets in the way.
We are committed to covering topics concerning building and maintaining strength, muscle mass, and cardiorespiratory fitness with limited equipment, limited time, and other constraints.
I don’t know about you, but each year I get busier. Each year, I’ve got a new commitment or a new obligation competing for my attention. Don’t get me wrong, life is good.
I’ve got an amazing wife, two beautiful girls, and a successful business. We are happy and healthy:
Here’s the issue:
I’ve been active for most of my life. As an overactive kid, my parents started me in martial arts when I was seven years old. I played sports, got lost in the woods, hiked mountains, and generally enjoyed life. My family did a very good job of instilling a lifelong love of physical activity in me.
As I grew older, I found other outlets for this drive to be active. I’ve competed in powerlifting, Spartan Races, and even powerlifting! I’ve lifted weights, swung kettlebells, done some trail running, and done countless pull-ups. Over the years I don’t think there’s a physical modality I haven’t tried.
But then life happened. I got married, started a business, had kids …
At some point, I had to get real with myself – my days of two-hour workouts were coming to a close. I was faced with two options – adapt, or quit.
Adapt or Quit
As an avid consumer of exercise-related content online, I began a search. I stumbled across loads of 10-20 minute “workouts” from “gurus” on big-name websites. The trouble? I knew enough about exercise to smell what I was stepping in.
The trouble? There are very, very good evidence-based resources online about how to build fitness, strength, and muscle, or lose weight. There’s also great information out there about diet and nutrition. However, when I started looking for ways to continue my fitness journey on 10-20 minutes per day, I came across workouts like:
Do 3×10 pushups, 3×10 squats, 3×10 situps, for 3 rounds, twice per week.
In short, the quality of that information is dreadfully low. Anyone who knows how to exercise will (hopefully) laugh off workouts like these.
In short, when it came to proper fitness and strength training, the information was lacking. The closest thing to what I was looking for may have been the “Jack Shit” version of Jim Wendler’s famous 5/3/1 program. But in the article, Wendler even cautions not to stick with that program for more than 12 weeks at a time, lest we start losing progress.
And that’s just it – that version of the program is designed for someone who’s going through a busy phase of life. That wasn’t me. I wasn’t going through a phase.
What did I do? I ended up piecing together bits of my own knowledge with suggestions from articles and videos into micro-programs that I could squeeze in here and there.
The question brewed in my mind – is it possible to build fitness, real fitness, on 10-20 minute workouts squeezed in between other obligations?
I mean, there’s no way that I’m the only one with this question, right?
10-20 Minute Workouts
A few years ago, I began a personal crusade to figure out if I could formulate workout plans to achieve my goals that fit into my schedule. And what did I find out? Is it possible to work out for 10, 15, or 20 minutes at a time and still see progress?
Yes, it is possible to see progress in strength, endurance, and general fitness on 10-20 minute workouts, provided that the trainee meets a few evidence-based guidelines for weekly volume, frequency, effort per set, and total time spent. The simplest way to accomplish this is to learn about what it will take to accomplish our goals, and then reverse engineer a training plan that fits into our individual schedules.
This is exactly what I did.
I tried complexes, supersets, circuit training … everything I could come up with. I even tried hybrid strength-cardio training sessions. I saw how little I could get away with, and documented my journey through training logs and chicken-scratched notes on my programs.
I never intended for any of it to be read by anyone else. I did it for me.
Why Lunch Break Fitness Exists
I began this site as a dumping point for ideas, programs, and methods since I’ve been piecing together information on a topic that nobody seems to be talking about.
This site exists to be a reference for anyone looking to get results out of short workouts. I’ve been on a quest to determine how much I could “cut out” and still get the results I was after. Note that when I say “results”, I don’t mean “settling for good enough.” I mean actual results:
- Can you build muscle on 10-20 minute workouts a few times per week?
- What about strength?
- What about endurance?
- Fat loss?
- Could I meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans on short workouts wedged in between other obligations?
The answer to these questions, so far, has been yes, with a caveat. As long as I’ve followed evidence-based guidelines for exercise while using simple time-saving hacks to complete workouts in record time, I’ve been able to get real results while working out:
- at night after my girls go to bed,
- in the morning for 10-15 minutes before they awake,
- wedged between work hours and evening obligations, and yes …
- … on lunch breaks.
What follows is what I’ve learned over the last few years. My knowledge grows every day, and I love working with local strength and conditioning experts to expand my knowledge base.
I hope this site proves to be a useful resource for you. I hope you’re able to take what I’ve learned and apply it to your own unique situation so that you don’t become one of the legions of Americans who “used to be in shape.”
From the authors at Lunch Break Fitness, we hope you enjoy this content. Be sure to let us know if there are topics you’d like us to cover: we love hearing from our readers. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go put two beautiful, fun, insane little kiddos to bed.