Home Workout for Busy People – Push/Pull split for the shortest workout possible

Goals delivered: Weight loss, gain muscle or tone (based on what you are after) and superior cardio.

Bodyweight Home Workout for Busy People to help Weight Loss & Gain Muscle

We know that the attraction of bodyweight training is to be able to perform a workout with nothing but your own body. However, we believe a vital part of any bodyweight routine requires one small supplement and that is to have a good quality chin up or pull up bar.

This is to facilitate the crucial movement patterns of horizontal pulling and vertical pulling. If these movement patterns are neglected then we are doing nothing to counter the harmful forward leaning nature of much of modern life e.g. mobile phone use, working on a computer and even driving. The amount of time we spend doing these with nothing to counter them, exacerbates neck, shoulder and back problems.

Some bodyweight training resources do not address the pulling movements and this, in our opinion, is a serious flaw. Other training guides advocate hanging from doorframes  (for the vertical pull) and tables (for the horizontal pull) and while we think this may work in certain situations, it is not a long term solution. A chin up or pull up bar in a home training setting attaches to a door frame and is very unobtrusive. 

The best type of chinning bar is one that allows other powerful exercises such as dips and inverted rows, if used in conjunction with a chair to suspend your feet. This efficiency is essential in implementing a superior home workout for busy people. For that reason we recommend a bar like this one

Obviously if you are traveling you cannot bring your bar with you and in that case you will have to temporarily remove the relevant exercises or you will have to compromise as stated above and use something such as door chin-ups.

Now to the workout.

For this workout you’ll need nothing other than a bar as mentioned above.

Time needed: 20 minutes.

Recommended frequency: 2 to 6 times weekly.

General Exercise and Pacing Guidelines.

Do a simple warmup to get ready for exercise and follow the workout with a simple cool down.

After the warmup perform the circuits below using the EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) protocol. Essentially you will set a timer and at the top of every minute you will begin the next exercise. You perform the target number of reps and then rest until the top of the next minute. You can either use the second hand on your watch or there are a number of apps available for smartphones which allow you to easily build a timed routine, one smartphone app we have found to be good is called Seconds.

This workout is ideal for people who only have time for a very brief workout but can find the time for that workout most days. It perfectly suits this kind of schedule by splitting the body into two days, the first is ‘Pull’ and the second is ‘Push’. It optimizes your time even further by utilizing a circuit structure.

Simply alternate ‘Pull’ and ‘Push’ days on any day you find you have 20 minutes to spare. Don’t worry if you only have an odd number of days e.g. 3 or 5 to train in any particular calendar week, just start make sure the first workout of the next week is the alternate to the last of the previous week. 

Explanations of the exercises can be found here.

Perform each circuit 3 times.

               Pull Day Circuit Push Day Circuit
               Single Leg Bridge, left leg, 10 reps Reverse Lunge, left leg  – 10 to 20 reps
               Single Leg Bridge, right leg, 10 reps Reverse Lunge, right leg  – 10 to 20 reps
               Pull Up – See progressions in guide Push Up – 8 to 25 reps
               Inverted Rows – 8 to 12 reps Pike Push Ups – 8 to 15 reps

This is an ideal home workout for busy people, you may be wondering how much weight you should start with and when you should increase this. This is all explained in General Exercise and Pacing Guidelines.