Short On Time? You Only Need 1 Exercise To Get The Best Workout, Build Muscle, And Melt Fat

All bros are familiar with a situation in which they’re crunched on time, but they still want to get a pump in. Maybe it’s before a Friday night bar crawl, and you had only got 20 minutes. Or maybe your girlfriend is nagging you about going to get a pedicure, and you need to do something manly first.

I feel your pain bro. There’s nothing I hate worse than having to rush a lifting session. I don’t like walking into the gym and feeling like I better move my ass and be out 20 minutes later.

I’m not saying I enjoy spending 2 hours in a gym, either. I’m just saying I hate feeling rushed. Especially when it comes to working out.

But for those times I am rushed, I have one fall back move that I go to. This is the best workout you can do in a gym, hands down. It’s perfect for when you’re in a time crunch, because it hits every single muscle fiber in your body, jacks your heart rate through the roof, and only involves one piece of equipment.

So what is the best move imaginable? The clean and press.

The clean and press is like if the deadlift, upright row, and overhead press all got together and had a super hot, nasty, lube filled orgy and then 9 months later a love child popped out.

This one exercise is a perfect muscle building move for the shoulders, traps, legs, ass, and arms. Because it involves so many different muscles, it’s also perfect to help you burn fat. That’s what happens when three badass exercises get together for an orgy.

How do you do it?

This move can get pretty technical, so if you’re not used to it I highly suggest you spend a few weeks practicing before really loading up a ton of weight and placing yourself under some sort of time restriction.

The clean:

We’re rolling with a hang clean here, which means the bar starts off the ground. You’ll deadlift it up, and then bring it back down to just below your knees. From there stand up and shove your hips forward as explosively as possible. Think about attempting to impregnate the woman of your dreams from 50 feet away. That sort of violent hip thrust.

At this same time, you’ll be pulling the bar up with your arms like you’re doing an upright row. Because your hips are ballin and super strong, you’ll be able to use a hell of a lot more weight than you normally upright row.

Once the weight reaches about chest height and you can’t pull any higher, drop under the weight and “catch” it on your shoulders. Your elbows should be pointing straight ahead, and you should be standing straight up.

The press:

From here the rest is cake. The press is one of the simplest movements known to all of man. Explosively press the weight overhead as hard as you can. If the weight is heavy, don’t hesitate to make it a bit of a push press and get some leg involvement. We’re trying to save on time, and make this bad boy as metabolic as possible, so the more muscle involvement the better.

How to get a badass clean and press workout in 20 minutes:

The clean and press only requires a barbell, and whatever weights you need. It’s a technical move, so remember if you’re not comfortable with it, then just run sprint intervals and satisfy that urge to throw weight around at a different time.

My favorite way to use the clean and press when I’m crunched for time is a density type workout. We’ve written about how awesome density work can be in the past, and if you’ve never implemented it, you’re missing out.

I’ll set 10 minutes on the clock, and get as many reps as possible in. I rest when I need to rest, and for however long I feel appropriate. If I notice form really breaking down and getting ugly, I rest for a bit longer.

Then I’ll set a new 10-minute timer. Only this time I add about 10-20% more weight, and try to beat the number of reps I had in the previous 10-minute time slot. This is a brutal mind fuck. It sounds insane, but I almost always wind up beating that number.

I love implementing the clean and press into a density format because after 20 minutes my heart rate is through the roof, I’m physically exhausted, I’ve set myself up to burn a ton of fat thanks to EPOC, and I’ve only used up 20 minutes of time.

Go out and clean and press before the bars this weekend bros, your waistline will thank you.

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.