The Busy Man’s Full Body Workout

Trying to get it all done

I recently read an online article titled the Busy Man’s Workout. It consisted of a few dumbbell movements combined with bodyweight exercises in a 30 minute circuit. The workout listed no reps or sets, just a guideline to do 30 seconds of one exercise, rest 15 seconds and repeat on the next. Then repeat the whole circuit as many times as possible in 30 minutes.

Although the workout was solid and I like the idea of going for broke instead of counting reps and resting until you have comfortably caught your breath again, the exercises, with one exception, seemed like the same ‘ol same ‘ol. You know: Push press, front squat, dumbbell deadlift and so on. These are great exercises, but I had a better idea for a 30 minutes circuit. One that uses, say, less traditional implements, with one exception.

So here it is, call it the “full body garage workout” if you want. Try this 3 times in one week, resting one day in between. Just like the “Busy Man’s Workout,” do the exercises non-stop for 30 seconds, then rest 15 seconds before switching to the next exercise. You want to work up to 60 seconds by the way, but start off with what you can handle. Resting longer than 15 seconds defeats the purpose of this workout. That is, build functional muscle throughout the core, legs, shoulders, back and arms, while at the same time burning fat and conditioning your heart.

Train with Chains


Heavy chains are great for this but battling ropes work as well or better. I just like the clink of heavy metal when I use chains. Make sure the chain weight is not too light that it goes flying everywhere, but not so heavy that you can’t work them for 30-60 seconds at a time.

Grab one end of the chains in either hand. Cast the loop out in front of you (you can wrap them around a post if you prefer.) Now, with your legs slightly bent, alternately swing your arms out in front of you using a slight hip rotation to power the movement. The whole body should be engaged to take the load off of the shoulders. (But you will still feel this in your shoulders.)

If this exercise gets tired, try doing both arms at the same time. Imagine you are doing a snatch with the chains and whip them with both arms and body extended.

Heavy Bag Lifting

*If you do not have a heavy bag, or don’t feel like taking one down, use sandbags instead.

Lay the heavy bag down verticall pointed in front of you. Straddle one end and assume a deep squat position. Get a grip on the bag, use the whole body to bring it up and onto one shoulder. To do this, extend through the ankles, knees and hips as though you were doing a snatch, then drop under it and squat up. Hold this position for 10 seconds, bring it down and lift it onto the opposite shoulder. Keep going for 30-60 seconds.

Dumbbell or Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up

This is a great exercise for engaging the whole body. It’s not bad for improving focus, either.

Using a dumbbell or kettlebell, lay on the ground with the same leg as the weight-side bent. Hold the weight against the floor as though you were going to bench press it. Now drive it up straight while twisting to the opposite elbow at the same time.

Push up with the free hand, driving the weight straight up. Keep your eyes on the weight throughout the movement.

Get over the bent leg while sliding the free leg behind you. Now push up as in a lunge. Reverse the process to lay back down, and you have done one rep. Wash, rinse, repeat.

*This exercise can be done with a sandbag if dumbbells or kettlebells are not available.


Pullups work more than your lats, although they are great for developing those. They affect your biceps, forearms, trapezius and even the pectorals to some extent. You may even engage the posterior deltoids. Do as many as you can in good form in 30 seconds. If you are stuck on a rep, just hang with your shoulders pulled down and in.

So that’s it. A simpe “Full Body Garage Workout for Busy People” using basic implements. Remember to keep the pace up to get the most out of this workout and warm up before you start. Have fun!

The Thor Workout Reloaded-A Twist on Straight Muscle Building

Like most people, I was impressed with the results Duffy Gaver helped Chris Hemsworth achieve for the Thor movie. I’m sure camera angles helped him look bigger and brawnier than he would in real life, but you’ve got to hand it to him, he accomplished a lot in a short time. So how did he achieve it and what did Duffy Gaver have Hemsworth do?

Three elements were present in his thor workout program. 1.) A cycle of heavy, basic compound weightlifting movements-bench press, squat, etc. 2.) Clean eating with plenty of vegetables, fruits and protein, 3) A second cycle to maintain the muscle he had built while cutting up (burning fat.)

You might think time was on Chris Hemsworth’s side during the filming of this movie, but it wasn’t. He fit the workouts in while filming another movie. Dang, there goes excuses for the rest of us!

I read the thor workout routine posted in Men’s Health UK and thought it was a good one. However, it seemed like there was one element missing: swinging heavy things.

After all, Thor swings that heavy hammer around all day long! There was an element of ballistic training in the thor workout routine, and that was with kettlebells. I thought the addition of clubbell, or indian clubs training if you prefer, would be a logical decision. So I created the thor workout-reloaded!

It includes heavy lifting of odd objects like sandbags, but you could stick with deadlifts and squats. Most important, it encourages lots of heavy swinging and core strength work! Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay for it, just click on this link and read for yourself:

The Thor Workout Reloaded


Read about making homemade indian clubs and maces here:

More Homemade Clubbells for at Home Workout Routines

Building Strength and Grip with a Homemade Macebell

Home Workout Routines with a Homemade Clubbell

Shop inexpensive kettlebells here:

Kettle Bells

Your Cheap Garage Gym is all the Home Workout you Need

What does a random pile of homemade indian clubs, kettle bells, some flat resistance bands and an ab wheel do for you? It is one hell of a home gym workout, that’s what. I found my own pile next to my dresser today. Actually it has been there everyday for weeks; the remnants of a workout week where these exercise tools were the main ingredients.

Let me be clear; my home gym space is technically in the garage, but it can also be wherever the mood suits me, or wherever I need to be to get things done and stay motivated. As I was walking past this pile for perhaps the 12th time in a week, it occurred to me that the exercise equipment there was all anyone needed to get strong, fit and healthy. Here is what was sitting in my gym tool mess:

-One homemade indian club made from a plastic bat and filled with sand. It was wrapped with wrist weights to make it heavier (total about 12 lbs.)

-Two 10# kettlebells; cheapies from Walmart that I’ve owned for almost 4 years.

-Two 20# kettle bells, same as above.

-1 45# GoFit Kettlebell

-A $10 pack of ‘stretch bands’ marketed for Pilates and Yoga stretching, but great for a thousand things besides.

-One ab wheel, a super cheap version from Valeo.

On the surface it all looked like a colorful hodgepodge of stuff I should have put away. Then I started counting off the exercises I could do with this small collection and thought, “this is all a person needs for a home gym, or a variation of this; and it takes up a space about 2 feet square.”

Here is a (short) list of exercises you can do with just this equipment:

-indian club mills
-indian club swipes
-indian club Jori swing
_indian club torch press
-anything you can do with a club!

-kettle bell swings, snatches, turkish get-up, floor press, overhead press, bent press, goblet squat, shall I go on?

-Resistance band rows, presses, flyes, curls, high pulls or deadlifts (these last two are effective and tough exercises; from a box with three pretty resistance bands, go figure.)

-Ab wheel rollouts from the knees or from standing. Bear crawls, plank pulls (feet on handles, arms fully extended, pull all the way in with elbows, repeat.)

The list is extensive, and if you have these tools, here is a great whole body functional workout you can try with them. Do the exercises as a circuit, and repeat as many times as you can. 3-5 rounds is a good number to shoot for.

-Jori Swing to Torch Press
-Club mills
-Kettlebells swings
-Kettlebell snatch
-Alternating “bottoms up” standing shoulder press.
-ab wheel rollouts (from knees or standing to full extension.)

This little collection is so versatile I have decided to leave it next to my dresser for a while. The workout routine combinations are endless, and if I throw in some pushups and pullups, I won’t have to step back into the garage for a few weeks.

Next time you see what looks like a collection of insignificant gym equipment or homemade gym tools, take a second look. it just might be the perfect exercise equipment for your next few workouts!


Find great home gymnastic rings equipment and workouts here:

Use these excellent workout routines with little or no equipment:

Home Gym Workout Routines with No Equipment

Leg Muscle Training that Works Without Weights