Hi. My name is Justin and I haven’t worked out in the traditional sense in over 3 months. No workout plan. No recording reps and sets. No doing anything for time, max reps, max weight, and no pushing myself as hard as I can. No Crossfit wod’s. No pumping my guns and making “zee gainz”.

Nope, none of that.

My workouts over the last 3 months have been dedicated to moving my body in ways that feel good. And meet my requirements for a “good enough” workout (there’s another article coming about this.)

Frankly, I’m just burned out, bored, and find all of that stuff unnecessary for my goals, where my body is, and where I want to take it.

I’ve been spending more time stretching, working on mobility, rock climbing and practicing my gymnastics.

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When I am in the gym I’ve been doing some bodyweight stuff with a little bit of kettlebell and dumbbell work. This has been rejuvenating for me. You see, for a while there I started to hate exercise. Now I’m falling back in love with it.

Today I want to share the 5-minute workout with you. It’s the method of training I use when I don’t feel like working out.

I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below.


Well… it’s pretty much just like the title reads. It’s a 5 minute full body workout that combines resistance training or bodyweight exercises with cardiovascular movements.

You don’t need a ton of equipment, space, or skill to do one. In fact, I’m going to stop writing right now and get a quicky in.

Get your mind out of the gutter.


Step 1: Grab a stopwatch, your smart phone, or some sort of timing device. Hell it can be a sundial if that works for you. I just use my iPhone.

Step 2: Grab something to write with and write on. A pen and piece of paper will work. I use a whiteboard. Even your hand will do the trick. If you’ve got the memory for it you don’t need to write anything down, just decide on which 5-minute method you’ll be using for the day (more on this later.)


Use this chart to help you get familiar with what those movements are.

An example would be:

Or choose:

  • 1 lower body exercise (5 to 10 reps)
  • 1 upper body exercise (push or pull) (5 to 10 reps)
  • 1 cardiovascular exercise (5 to 10 reps or a very short distance)

An example would be:

Or choose:

  • 1 full body exercise (5 to 10 reps)
  • 1 upper body push, upper body pull, or lower body exercise (not all… just one) (5 to 10 reps)
  • 1 cardiovascular exercise (5 to 10 reps or a very short distance)

An example would be:

Step 3: Start your timer and begin working out until 5-minutes is up. Move from one exercise to the next as quickly as you’d like without sacrificing good form.

How hard you workout is entirely up to you. If you’re feeling frisky and want a challenge you can push yourself and try for as many rounds and reps as possible in 5-minutes.

If you’re a little tired, not really motivated to workout, or prefer not to beat yourself into the ground – try just moving at an 80% effort and really feeling each exercise.

The goal is not to destroy yourself but to keep your body moving in a way that feels good, is fun, and lasts a total of 5-minutes.

Step 4: When the 5-minutes is up decide what you want to do next. Do you want to call it a day and stop? Do you want to rest and try another 5-minute workout? This is totally up to you and how you’re feeling.

If you decide to call it a day… well, that’s pretty explanatory. Just stop and go do whatever you’d like. Preferably something healthy, productive, or fun…. Ah fuck it! Go watch Mad Men or Game Of Thrones.

If you decide you want to get another 5-minute workout in, rest 1 to 5 minutes and either repeat the same workout or create a new one.

Step 5: Rinse and repeat anytime you’re not “in the mood” to workout or are struggling to stay consistent.


This is a 5-minute workout I did the other day. It’s not fancy, it’s not very sexy; but it was effective, fun, and I loved how I felt after it.

I was feeling good that day and after the workout I decided to rest 3 minutes (I stretched a bit) and then did another one.

I called it a day after that 🙂

Feel free to give these a try but I really encourage you to create your own 5-minute workouts. Just be sure to use the formulas I provided so that you’re always choosing complementary exercises. This way you can avoid working one muscle group the entire 5-minutes.


The first and most simple way to make the 5-minute workout easier or harder for yourself is by increasing or decreasing your effort. I usually decide to do a 5-minute workout when I’m not feeling super motivated to train. Maybe I’m tired, my body is beat up, or I’m just not feeling it that day. Usually I’m moving through these workouts at about 75 to 80% effort.

This is a good starting place. Anticipate doing these workouts at this effort but if you’re feeling good and really want to push yourself – crank it up a notch. Maybe even go Crossfit on it and try to complete as many rounds and reps as you can in 5-minutes.

If you’re not feeling up to a 75 to 80% effort then fuck it. Move your body at a pace you’re comfortable with and feels good.

You can also add a little weight. Start by using only bodyweight exercises but if you’re looking for more of a challenge start adding dumbbells and kettlebells. For example, instead of doing a bodyweight squat you could use a kettlebell and do a goblet squat.

You can try more challenging exercises. The 5-minute workout is designed as a full body routine that focuses on the basics: Squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, rows, and hip hinging exercises like the kettlebell swing or deadlift (with a KB or DB). If you have the skill or when you develop it you can start adding in exercises like thrusters, snatch, and man-makers. (visit the limitless exercise library for examples)


Ok, so this is where it gets a little fun. If you’re feeling good, your body is feeling good, and it’s all good 🙂 try combining a few different 5-minute workouts.

Instead of using the basic formula of one lower body exercise, one upper body pulling exercise, and one upper body pressing exercise, I’ve put together an example of how you could do multiple 5-minute workouts.

If any of this is confusing just contact me here and I can clear up any confusion.

Workout 1:

  • 5 – Burpees 
  • 10 – Russian kettlebell swings 
  • 20 – Bodyweight walking lunges 

Rest 1 to 5 minutes

Workout 2:

Rest 1 to 5 minutes

Workout 3:

  • 10 – Dumbbell thrusters 
  • 50 meter – Shuttle run (50 meters there and 50 meters back) 


Unless you’re Batman. Then I completely understand. Gotham needs you. Skip your workout.

But on the realz…

A few Fridays ago it was raining pretty gnarly here in Southern California. I had a workout scheduled for myself at 4:30pm before meeting with a client. Everything was looking good to go and then all of a sudden a window shattered in my house.

Needless to say, I spend the next few hours cleaning up broken glass and calling around for someone to replace it as soon as possible. My scheduled workout was not going to happen. But I was able to get in a 5-minute workout before my appointment… #winning

These 5-minute workouts are best for when something comes up in your schedule that will make it hard for you to get in your regularly scheduled workout. Instead of saying, “ah fuck it.” I’ll just do extra tomorrow or nothing at all, and then getting frustrated at yourself for it – pull one of these 5-minute workouts out of your bag of tricks.


Let me be real with you for a second. The 5 minute workout is not a “fat loss” workout or “muscle building” workout. It’s not designed to help you squat more or fix any mobility issues you may have.

The main purpose and benefit to the 5 minute workout is to get you to do something when you don’t really feel like doing something. Whether you’re body is exhausted and beat up. You’re not really “feeling” the workout today. You’ve started to “hate” working out. You want a change of pace from the monotony that is your current “plan.” Or if you’re struggling to exercise consistently.

Shit… that’s a lot of quotation marks isn’t it?

If you’re looking to get ripped, Super Saiyan strong, or to become some sort of athletic beast then the 5-minute workout as a long-term solution probably isn’t the answer.

A 5-minute workout can be created for any level of fitness… From the beginner to the more advanced trainee. Simple modifications to your exercise selection, repetitions, and how much effort you give during the 5-minutes will determine how difficult or easy your 5-minutes will be.


Reason #1: It simplifies the process and removes barriers/excuses often used for not training. The 5-minute workout doesn’t require a gym, you can use minimal equipment (if any at all), doesn’t take a lifetime to complete, and simplifies the process – No warm-up needed, no logging workouts, and no creepy dudes staring at your lady parts or for you dudes no ladies staring at your dude parts…

It also doesn’t require a ton of motivation. You literally can watch an episode of Narcos, Start a Movie, or do a 5-minute workout while waiting for your dinner to finish cooking.

Reason #2: It’s not confusing. How many reps, sets, and how long am I supposed to rest? How much weight should I use? The 5-minute workout is awesome because it doesn’t really require you to answer any of those questions.

The 5-minute workout is all about movement. Moving your body in fun and challenging ways that make you feel good after you’re done. If you want to do 1 squat, 1 push-up, and 1 pull-up for 5 minutes… go for it.

If you want to use a 35 pound kettlebell instead of a 50 pound kettlebell this week then go for it.

The goal is simply to move your body consistently for 5 minutes. And when you’re 5-minutes is up to say, “that felt good.” Like real real good.

Reason #3: It’s actually FUN. I know I know. Who knew that working out could actually be fun. Not every workout needs to destroy you and push you to your limits. There’s a time and place for that and will depend on your current goals.

I’m a firm believer that if you want to establish a lifelong habit you need to find ways to make that thing fun for you to do. Give one of these a try to I guarantee you’ll enjoy it. If you don’t I’ll send you my home address and you can come fight me.

Reason #4: If you ask someone to try one of these with you the odds are that they’ll say ok rather than no. It’s true. Go ask someone right now.


Q: Do I have to choose 3 exercises for my 5-minute workout? Can I choose 2? 4? 29?

No. You do not have to choose 3 exercises for your 5-minute workout. I chose 3 because it allows me to combine a lower body, upper body pressing, and upper body pulling exercises into one workout. It works my entire body so nothing is left untouched.

You’re more than welcome to choose a minimum of 2 exercises or a maximum of 4. I say a minimum of 2 because just doing one exercise for 5 minutes would be boring and annoying as hell. I say maximum of 4 because any more than this and it will get difficult to hit each exercise more than once or twice during your 5-minutes (unless the repetitions are really low).

Q: What are some other ways I can add variety to the 5-minute workouts?

You don’t always have to do a full body workout during your 5-minutes. If you want to just focus on upper body you can include an upper body pulling and upper body pressing exercise and that’s it.

If you want to focus more on lower body and cardiovascular movements you can choose a lower body exercise and combine it with a short sprint, box jumps, or jump rope.

The only thing I recommend is to avoid including more than one exercise that works the same muscle group. For example you wouldn’t want to do a 5 minute workout that includes an upper body pressing movement, cardiovascular movement, and another upper body pressing movement.

Q: Can I do a 5-minute workout everyday?

It depends on you and your current fitness level. My best advice is to try one and see how you feel the next day. But for the most part doing one 5-minute workout everyday should be ok. I like my Sundays off so you won’t catch me doing one that day.

Q: What if I don’t have 5-minutes to workout?

That’s bullshit.

Well there you have it. The 5-minute workout I’ve been using 2 to 3 times per week to stay consistent.

Any questions? You know where to find me.

Live Limitless,



Photo credit: TimerSteps