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4 Short Workouts that WORK

I've heard it over and over again.

I'm too busy to exercise.

Perhaps you've even said it too? Well for us midlife gals thankfully that's no longer an excuse we ever need to use again.

Stay right here and read on as I'm sharing 4 SHORT time saving workouts that even the busiest amongst us can (and should!) do if you want to strengthen, have beautiful toned muscles, a tighter body and boost your fat burning, weight loss metabolism.

4 GREAT WAYS TO STRENGTH TRAIN (in under 30 minutes, and in as little as 10 minutes.

1) Drop sets

2) Supersets

3) Tri Sets

4) Circuits

But first let me explain that doing longer workouts more often IS NOT actually hormone balancing.

Quite possibly those long, drawn out workouts you've been doing or think you should do, are probably sabotainging you more than they are helping.

Hormones determine if you store or burn fat and a tired, drained, pushed too hard without adequate rest midlife body can't lose that fat.

Second, your metabolism, bonues and muscles will thank you for using heavier weights, which means fewer repetitions and less time.

How long does it take to do 5 reps vs. 20?

Below are 4 great workout solutions to bust that "no time to workout" excuse once and for all.

My friends I'm talking about prioritizing your STRENGTH TRAINING above all else. Yes, above yoga, pilates, barre, walking, spinning and running.

They all have a place but in perimenopause when we're looking at all the options less crucial to optimizing health and aging the answer is easy... STRENGTH.

So think stretching, intervals, strength. Get your own professionally designed program HERE .


Also sometimes known as monster sets as they are a monster! But, in a good way for our goals.


Pick 1-3 exercises.

Use the heaviest weight you can find to lift to fatigue in 15 repetitions.

Every set you’ll do will have 15 repetitions.

Complete a set of 15 then drop or reduce the weight, and immediately complete another set.

You’ll do it at least 4 times.

*Best exercises for this method? Multi-joint movements like a squat to overhead press, reverse lunge to lateral raise, push up to renegade row, bent over row, chest press.

This solution is great when you are really short on time (15 minutes or less).

Perform a "drop set" workout no more than once a week


Alternating exercises of opposing muscle groups or of body parts is extremely beneficial for energy expenditure.

Here are three examples:

  • A chest and back exercise

  • An upper body and a lower body exercise

  • A bicep and a triceps exercise

Set up 1-3 sets of 2 exercises each.

Perform each exercise in each set for up to 10 reps (use a heavy enough weight that you can achieve muscle fatigue within that rep range.

Minimize rest and repeat that set 2-3 times (OR until you have achieved that muscle fatigued, if it happens in one round, great!).

Move on to the next set of 2 exercises and repeat.


Set 1:

Push up (10 or less reps)

Renegade row (10 or less reps)

Set 2:

Squat (10 or less reps)

Bent over row (10 or less reps)

Set 3:

Bicep curl (10 or less reps)

Tricep extension (10 or less reps)


Choose three exercises and complete them in a circuit 2, 3 or 4 times.

I do a 3 x 3 with major muscle groups choosing a push, a pull, and a lower body exercise.

You can go by reps (ie: 10-12 of each) OR by time (ie: 30-60 seconds of each).

It’s a 10-minute max workout.

If I have a little more time, I will add a 4th exercise such as a core focused move.


Palms to elbows

Bent over row


Optional 4th: plank


The idea here too is not to boost overall metabolism for the duration of the workout. It is to boost metabolism long term by reaching muscular fatigue with overload to the muscle that changes your metabolism more permanently.

Choose 8-10 (or fewer) major muscle group exercises.

For example: squats, lunges, push ups, side planks, bent over rows, pulldowns, pull ups, mountain climbers, chest press, rear delt flyes, full body extensions etc.


Sequence them so that you do all 10 or less exercises and then have 2 minutes rest before using the same muscle groups again. Perform each using a combination of repetition range and weight that takes you to muscle fatigue. For an explainer on what muscle fatigue is, how you know it and how to get it please click HERE

Lift to muscle fatigue if you’re a woman in peri/menopause wanting:

  • Lean muscle for metabolism boosting

  • Muscle strength (being able to do activities of daily living well into senior years)

  • Bone density and injury/break prevention

Complete the full circuit 2, 3, or 4 times.


If you're a relative beginner to regular exercise and strength training do less and take more rest between exercises.


Reduce your rest and take little time between exercises moving more quickly and effeciently but focus on FORM and control still (not momentum). Unlike bootcamps where you often move quickly without regard to control and right movement, circuits give you the opportunity to improve and maximize efforts and results.

PS - if you are not doing and/or stop strength training for prolonged periods you WILL lose muscle tissue.


  • Reduce rest time between exercises (no, there’s not time to scroll the phone, babe)

  • Maintain the recovery of a muscle group before using it again

  • Reach muscular fatigue

The idea is REDUCE IDLE REST time APPRIOPRIATELY based on your current fitness level (beginner or intermediate/advanced), get the volume and the intensity you need, AND still ALLOW RECOVERY for muscle groups by being strategic in how you exercise and prioritize strength training.

As I mentioned in my Facebook post yesterday... it's not about the duration, it's about what you do with the time that matters.

Except that spending too much time exercising… will definitely backfire on you... and things like adrenal fatigue due to a prolonged amount of "from all sources" chronic stress and cortisol increase in midlife is all too common and a real concern.

Choose wisely and let's get those muscles pumping as they are meant to.

Want your own custom online fitness program, that you can do anywhere? 100% designed based on your goals, fitness level and access to equipment so you can take advantage of time saving workouts of your own. Check out my 1, 3 and 6 month options that are helping women in perimenopause like you tone up, strengthen and burn more fat HERE.

Julie xo

Source: Flipping50, NASM


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