Saved by the [Kettle]Bell

I'm one of those people that performs best in a structured workout setting...i.e. in a class. When in Charlotte, I pretty much strictly take the classes at MADabolic, the gym where I instruct - the classes are strength-biased and focus on every day athleticism, driven by intervals...pretty much hitting everything I enjoy about voluntarily sweating. Up until relatively recently, when I'm not taking teaching or taking classes at the gym (or taking the occasional yoga class...I've been like three times, bought a mat and now basically consider myself a pro - the fact that I can't touch my toes is neither here nor there), you could pretty much count on me being elsewhere (most likely on my sofa), convincing myself that I simply couldn't get a workout in on my own. No literally...if I couldn't make it to a MAD class, the thought of just doing something on my own was essentially inconceivable. Just wasn't happening. 

And then I started traveling more (work, leisure, whatever). While I am fortunate to have a work schedule that is flexible enough to permit me to get to a solid amount of classes from week to week, I travel more than I did in my old position and there is the occasional evening where I work too late to make it to class in time. So I basically was faced with getting the f*** over myself, ditching the excuses and just getting it done on my own. A few kettlebell, workout mat and bluetooth speaker purchases later, I equipped myself with my own little traveling gym. I bring it all with me when I drive anywhere so I can workout wherever, and wanted to share with you some of my new favorite workouts that will get you sweating in just a quick 20ish minutes. These can also be done in any hotel gym in the event that you're flying and can't bring equipment with you, or if you're just not a quack that travels with weights wherever you go. I've also provided a body weight option, so you can stick the "but I don't have any weights available" excuse where the sun don't shine.

Sometimes we all need a little tough love. I gave myself a swift dose of it and now I'm giving it to you - get off your lazy ass and get moving!


**For any of the weighted movements, dumbells or kettlebells will work.

5 Rounds for Time:

  • 20 jumping lunges
  • 15 slow and controlled leg lifts
  • 10 single leg dead lifts (per side)
  • 5 push ups to press 
    • Dumbbells: perform your push up gripping the DBs and lower your chest in between the weights. Press yourself back up to plank, jump your feet outside the weights (burpee style), stand up with the weights (maintain a flat back), curl or clean the DBs to your shoulders and perform a push press. Reset. Repeat.
    • Kettlebells: perform your push up gripping the horns of the KBs and lower your chest in between the weights. Press yourself back up to plank, jump your feet outside the weights (see the photo at the top of this post for correct positioning). Your feet should be wide, about shoulder-width. Keep your hips back and raised (like in deadlift position), set your back and swing the weights back (like you're hiking a football) and up to your shoulders. Perform a push press. Reset by swinging the weights back through your legs to set them down in front of you safely. Repeat.

20 Minutes - Get Through As Many Rounds As Possible:

  • 12 push ups
  • 10 goblet squats
  • 8 steps up (per side)
  • 6 bent over rows (per side)

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Reps:

  • Pistols (if you can't perform a pistol without assistance, modify by lower yourself to a box, seat, etc. and then stand yourself back up)
  • Burpees
  • Deadlift

Bodyweight Tabata Workout:

Choose 5-6 of the below movements, perform each for 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest, 8 times in a row. Rest for 1 minute before moving on to the next movement.

  • Plank
  • Burpees
  • Pushups
  • V-ups
  • Russian twists
  • Squat jumps (modify to air squats)
  • Lunge jumps
  • Mountain climbers
  • High knees
  • Tuck jumps
  • Glute bridges