November 30-Day Workout

Somehow, some way, we’ve made it to the holiday season. And now, as usual, your training schedule is about to get complicated.

This year, there are a bajillion reasons why. The coronavirus pandemic lingers, so your gym options may be limited. That’s especially true as the weather starts to cool down, and outdoor gym facilities and organized outdoor workouts grow more sparse. And then of course there are the holidays, meaning scrambles to get gifts and find ways to spend time with family.

It all means you don’t have time for a marathon workout, or a workout that calls for 17 different pieces of exercise equipment. You need a quick, efficient session that addresses multiple workout goals. And that means you need an interval training session.

Interval training has you working hard for brief “work” periods, then resting for set amounts of time before going right back to work. And it’s a strong option that can push your body to multiple goals. By working with set rest periods, you’ll redline your heart rate and challenge your cardiovascular system. And by doing that with weight training movements, you’ll still stimulate key muscle fibers. Is it the best way to build bodybuilder-level muscle? No, but it’s one of the best ways to hit those vast array of training goals. 

Perhaps best of all, during a time of the year where your mind is going to be in overdrive, you can turn your mind off, listening to the clock and simply battling to keep moving for the intervals that are programmed. And when you’re ready for more impact workouts after the holiday season? Your body will be well-prepared thanks to this session.

DIRECTIONS: Do this workout at least 4 days a week, but feel free to do it more often too. Warm up for the session with 1 minute each of planks, reverse lunges, and Spider-man lunge stretches. Once you’re into the session, you’ll work circuit-style. Do each move for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds, then move onto the next move. Do 3 to 6 rounds of this circuit, depending how much time you have. Yes, that means you can be done with the entire session in 12 minutes! Do the full 6 rounds, and you’re getting a 24-minute sweat sesh!

EXERCISE 1: Paused Feet-Elevated Pushup

Blast your upper chest to get things started. Place your feet on a bench, chair, or Ottoman, and your hands on the ground, slightly wider than shoulder-width, core tight. Keeping your elbows close to your body, bend at the elbows and lower your torso until your chest is an inch from the ground. Pause, then press back up. Do reps until time expires.

EXERCISE 2: Squat to Stay-Low Alternating Reverse Lunge

Start standing, core tight, feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your core tight, bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Keeping your thighs parallel to the ground, shift one foot backwards into a reverse lunge. Return to squat position. Shift the other foot backwards, and return to a squat. Stand back up. That’s 1 rep; keep doing reps until time is up.

EXERCISE 3: Lying Superman

Lie on your belly, arms and legs outstretched. Keeping your core tight, lift your thighs an inch from the ground, and lift your arms, squeezing your back muscles. Hold for 2 seconds, then lower. Repeat reps until time is up.

EXERCISE 4: Hollow Rock

Lie on your back, arms and legs outstretched. Press your lower back into the ground. Keeping your lower back pressed into the ground, and your core tight, lift your shoulder blades an inch from the ground. Lift your thighs an inch from the ground, keeping your legs straight. Gather a little momentum with your legs, then rock back and forth, keeping your core tight. Do reps until time is up.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

Fitness Director for Men’s Health Magazine and CSCS trainer -

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men's Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He's logged training time with NFL and track athletes, and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men's Health in 2017, he served as a sports and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.