This 20 Minute Workout Will Get You In the Shape Of Your Life

a man performing the exercise Farmers' walk as part of a 20 minute workout.

This all-purpose, whole-body 20 Minute Workout will help you burn fat, stay trim and keep in shape. An amalgamation of multiple components of fitness, this workout will test you on multiple dimensions: cardio, strength and muscular endurance.

Some puritanical trainers argue against mixing multiple components of fitness, maintaining that you can’t maximise your performance when transitioning from a cardio exercise to a strength exercise. Perhaps there’s a sprinkle of truth in this but it ultimately depends on your fitness aims.

If you’re looking to develop whole-body functional physicality then one of the best ways to do that is by blending elements of cardio, strength and muscular endurance into one CrossFit-style training session.

This approach not only saves loads of time, for the simple fact that your not compartmentalising the body and training each part separately (legs on a Monday, back and bies on Wednesday … pointless), but it’s also more reflective of how we use our bodies in daily life: rare is the day when you’re required to execute a perfect bicep curl, triceps extension or bench press.

By bundling multiple components of fitness and functional exercises into a single workout it forces us to apply our physical in dynamic ways which is more representative of reality.

This 20 Minute Workout has been designed to target your muscular endurance and cardiovascular system. In addition, a couple of cheeky strength movements have been thrown into the mix to shake things up a bit. Remember: when performing strength exercises it’s especially important to double down on your technique and tighten that form.

How it works

Yes, this session requires kit and bit of time spent setting it up, but I promise the payoff is well worth it. Once you’re organised and ready to go, set a 2-minute countdown timer and attempt to complete as many repetitions/metres as you can on each of the proceeding 10 exercises.

The moment the 2-minute timer elapses make a note your achievement and immediately advance to the following exercise. Resist the temptation to take a rest. Follow on in this fashion until you have a score for all 10 of the exercises. (Next to each exercise I have put my scores down to give you something to aim for.)


  1. Kettlebell

  2. Ergo rower

  3. Dumbbells (two sets: one for the Farmers’ walk and one for the vertical lift)

  4. Medicine ball

  5. Olympic bar and plates

  6. 1-metre high plyometrics box

  7. Running machine

  8. Skipping rope

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