You might only have 40 minutes to train and you may not even have access to a gym, but that doesn't mean you can skip your workout. It is surprisingly easy for a guy to get an effective fitness-boosting, calorie-burning, muscle-building workout at home in just 40 minutes. All you need is a set of training clothes, a few pieces of basic equipment and the motivation to get yourself off the couch and into the zone.
First 10 -- Getting Warm
You probably don't have the luxury of a treadmill or a stationary bike at home, so you'll need to be creative with your warm-up. First do five to 10 minutes of light cardio. Then do strength coach Joe DeFranco's recommended brief warm-up known as the "Simple Six." Start by using a foam roller -- a dense foam cylinder -- on your upper back and around your shoulders to loosen them up. After this, stretch out your shoulders, pecs and lats and perform shoulder dislocations by holding a resistance band with your arms straight and bringing the band over your head, taking it as far as you can comfortably get it. You may also wish to perform a few bodyweight squats and lunges to warm up your legs.
Next 10 to 20 -- Lower Body
The legs are the largest muscles in your body and an area many guys neglect, so train them first. Hit them with a set of split squats, where you stand with your back foot resting on the couch or a chair, then squat down, keeping your weight on your front foot and torso upright. As you don't have a leg curl machine at home, perform gym ball leg curls to work your hamstrings instead. Lie on your back with your heels on a gym ball, push your hips up toward the ceiling, then bring your feet in toward your butt. After this, go straight into regular bodyweight squats. Perform 15 reps on each and repeat for as many times as you can in 10 minutes.
20 to 30 -- Upper Body
You can't beat pushups for building chest, shoulder and triceps strength at home. Those who are more advanced may find normal pushups too easy, so trainer Brian Nguyen suggests two extra pushup variations -- plyometric pushups, where your hands leave the floor explosively at the top of every rep, and isometric pushups, where you just hold your position at the mid-point. For your back and biceps, a chin-up bar is a worthy home gym investment. Trainer and bodyweight specialist Al Kavadlo advises switching between overhand and underhand chin-ups, changing your grip width, doing them behind and in front of your neck or trying one-arm and clap pull-ups as you get stronger. Perform a pushup variation for eight to 12 reps, a chin-up variation for six to eight reps, then a set of 15 biceps curls with a resistance band and repeat for 10 minutes.
30 to 40 -- Core and Finish
To work your core, set a timer for five minutes and hold a plank position with your forearms and feet on the floor, core muscles held tight and torso and lower back flat. Have a second stop watch at hand to time how long you can plank for. Rest whenever you need to, but aim to spend as much of the five minutes in the plank position as you can. As you get fitter and stronger, you should find yourself being able to plank more and rest less. Spend the final five minutes stretching all your major muscle groups -- quads, calves, hamstrings, glutes, pecs, lats and shoulders.