Monday Motivation: The ‘Fast 5’ Workout Is Perfect For When You’re Short On Time

fast workouts

I woke up this morning terribly hungover. You know the kind I’m talking about. Pounding headache that feels like someone is driving a nail right into your temple. Light sensitivity that makes you feel like you just got your pupils dilated 10x more than normal, and the horrible existential dread that comes with being a Cowboys fan after the Philadelphia Eagles finally won a Super Bowl.

Suffice to say that on days like this, I’m really not devoting much time to a workout.

Yeah, I guess you could say that there’s a good bit of rage or frustration to take out in the gym, but at the same time, I just can’t bear the thought of going in and, as The Rock would say, clangin and bangin for an hour and a half. My heart just isn’t in it right now. Mainly because I don’t feel like vomiting in a public gym.

Which is why on days like this I like to fall back to one of my favorite types of training. A way for me to cut down on time significantly, still pack in a ton of quality work, and leave the gym feeling better than when I entered.

I like to call it the Fast 5. It comes complete with training instructions and instructions on how to break Dom Torretto out of a prison transport and book it to Rio.

Anyways, onto the actual program.

On days like this I keep it as simple as possible. No frills, no special training tricks. Just good ole fashioned giant sets of compound movements with minimal rest. Repeated a few times over. In and out the door in about 30 minutes with a sick pump to show for it. Wham bam, thank you ma’am.

Here’s what it looks like:

  1. Deadlift x10 reps
  2. Dumbbell bench press x12 reps
  3. Back squat x15 reps
  4. Inverted row x15 reps
  5. Kettlebell swing x15 reps

Rest 15-20 seconds between exercises. Once you’ve gone 1-5, that’s 1 round. Rest 60 seconds and go again. Repeat for 5 total rounds.

Like I said, it’s fast. You’re doing 5 compound exercises that get big muscle groups working together, minimal rest to keep your heart rate up, and repeating it all 5 times to ensure that you get a good bit of quality training volume in. Essentially working to get the highest training return on investment that you possibly can.

Who is the Fast 5 good for?

Just about anyone who is crunched for time and looking to still workout. Or anyone that might be looking to drop some fat, since the shortened rest periods and compound movements can jack your heart rate up through the roof.

And maybe, just maybe, someone who is looking to build a little bit of muscle if they lengthen some of the rest periods a little bit and really go crazy on the weights they’re using.

How does it work?

Essentially the program works because you’re using movements that are proven to work, and you’re pairing them together to get a quality full body workout in without beating yourself to death with volume on any one muscle group.

On top of that, this kind of workout should typically be done only about 4x a week, which means that you should have enough time to recover to ensure you’re getting quality training work in each and every time you’re touching the bar.

The condensed rest periods paired with heavy compound lifts ensure that you’re getting and keeping your heart rate up, which is a surefire way to ramp up the calorie burning and keep it up. And at the same time you’re signaling the growth of lean muscle tissue with bang for your buck compound movements. Which is just about all anyone could want from a training session that’s short on time but long on benefits.

But a word to the wise: don’t blow your load on the first set. Take some time to warm up to it and get comfortable with the loading scheme. What you may normally deadlift for 10 reps isn’t exactly going to be what you can do for 10 in a program like this, so be ready to eat a decent sized slice of humble pie before jumping right into it.

Give it a try today bro’s and let me know what you think of the Fast 5.

Tanner is a fitness professional and writer based in the metro Atlanta area. His training focus is helping normal people drop absurd amounts of fat, become strong like bull, and get in the best shape of their life.