Sometimes it’s hard getting back on track after a vacation or a fun weekend off, and you may feel like you need a spark to jump start your metabolism and get your muscles filled with blood.
Maybe something a little different than your typical weight workout and long monotonous cardio session is what you need, so luckily for you I have the perfect 1 hour workout to get your body fired up and rid of any excess water weight you’re toting around.
Grab your water jug, a timer, and a heavy duty sweat towel and get ready for the 5 Minute Melt Down.
The 5 Minute Meltdown
The 5 Minute Meltdown is a workout I put together precisely for those days when you need an intense changeup to get you back in the groove and on the road to your long term goals.
This one hour routine is composed of alternating 5 minute blocks of conditioning and strength training. The 5 minute strength blocks utilize heavy weight lifting, high rep supersets, timed drop sets, and also bodyweight exercises.
The conditioning blocks utilize different machines or activities each time and are constant state resistance. They serve as an active recovery in between the strength blocks and also keep your heart rate up, allowing your sweat faucets to stay open and pouring.
In order to move through the workout efficiently, set up all of your stations and weights ahead of time.
There's not a lot of rest for the entire 60 minutes…but that’s what you’re looking for today. An hour long pump and sweat session.
|1. Run @ 2 Mile Pace||1||5 min|
|2a. Pull ups||As Many Sets as Possible in 5 Minutes||10|
|2b. Dips||As Many Sets as Possible in 5 Minutes||10|
|3. Bike @185 Watts||1||5 min|
|4a. Bench Press||5*||5|
|4b. T-Bar Row||5*||5|
|5. Rower||1||5 min (50 sec easy/10 sec sprint)|
|6a. Dumbbell Shoulder Press||1||1 min**|
|6b. Shoulder Flys||1||1 min**|
|6c. Bent Over Flys||1||1 min**|
|6d. Dumbbell Punches||1||1 min (3lb weights)|
|6e. Dumbbell Shrugs||1||1 min**|
|7. Jump Rope||1||5 min|
|8a. Barbell Curls||5*||20, 15, 10, 5, 20|
|8b. Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Ext||5*||20, 15, 10, 5, 20|
|9. Stairmaster||1||5 min|
|10. Walking Lunges||1||5 min|
|11. Incline Walk||1||5 min|
*Complete one set of each every minute for 5 minutes
**Start with a weight of Max Reps 12, perform drop sets until the minute is complete.
Start the clock For These Intense Intervals
Once you have sufficiently warmed up and stretched, start your first 5 minute block with a run either outside or on the treadmill. I recommend running at a pace you would normally use for a 2 mile run. For example, if your max speed for a 5 minute run is 11mph, your 2 mile pace may be closer to 8.5-9mph, which would be the speed you would want to use here.
As soon as you finish the run immediately transition to the pull up and dip bars. Do as many sets of 10 of each in 5 minutes. A good goal to shoot for is 1 set of each per minute, advanced athletes should aim for 2 sets each per minute.
After the 5 minute bodyweight block, jump on a stationary or recumbent bike and crank out 5 minutes at 185 Watts. If your bike doesn’t have a setting for Watts, set it at a resistance that is a struggle to keep the RPMs above 80. After the bike, head to the nearest bench and crank out heavy sets of 5, supersetted with 5 heavy T-bar rows.
The goal is one set of each per minute, so if your gym's T-bar is located far away from the bench, you can always substitute with dumbbell rows or any other back machine. Start with a weight on the bench that is difficult for 5 reps and if it's necessary lower the weight in the later sets.
The other option is to keep the heavy starting weight and do partial sets – let’s say you get 3 reps, then rack the weight briefly for 10-15 seconds before finishing the final 2 reps.
At this point your upper body should have a ridiculous pump, so why not incorporate a conditioning modality that also utilizes the upper body? Head over to a Concept2 Rower and crank out 5 minutes, with each minute comprised of 50 seconds of light/medium pace and a 10 second sprint at the end.
An Airdyne or Upper Body Ergometer (UBE) are other options, or if you are really feeling ambitious you could hit a heavy bag for 5 minutes.
After the Rower (or one of its alternatives) station is complete, it’s time to give your shoulders an incredible burn. This block is comprised of 5 different shoulder exercises performed for 1 minute each. Don’t pick a weight that is so light that you could possibly rep it out for the full 60 seconds, start with a weight of max reps 12 and do drop sets until 1 minute is reached.
For example, the first exercise is dumbbell shoulder press, so I would start with 50lb DBs for 12 reps. After the 12th rep I would immediately grab a set of 35 or 40lb dumbbells and reps out another 9 or 10 (until failure), and finally grab a set of 20s and keep repping out presses until the minute is up.
For the dumbbell punches use a set of 2 or 3lb weights and keep your hands high and moving the entire time. I recommend starting with a set of dumbbells equivalent to your bodyweight (if you weigh 180lbs, use 90lb DBs) for the minute set of shrugs. Perform the shrugs slow and controlled. Instead of dropping the weight once you can’t do any more, hold onto them in a Weight Hold fashion until the time expires.
Your shoulders are fried, right? Well it’s time to dig deep into your mental fortitude because now you need to jump rope for 5 minutes straight. Since your delts and traps are so fatigued, concentration is key or else you might end up stepping on the rope every other jump.
As soon as you finish the block of jump rope, grab a curl bar and a heavy single dumbbell for a grueling high rep arm superset. Start with 20 curls and 20 overhead DB extensions, using a weight for both that is very difficult to achieve the prescribed number of reps. If you can do 21 or 22, it’s too light.
Go right into another set of 15 reps each, then 10 each, then 5 each, before ending with another set of 20 each. The goal is to hit 1 set of each per minute, and since you use the same weight for the entire workout, that last set of 20 each may need to be broken down into several mini-sets.
After that nasty arm superset, head straight to a stairmaster (an actual set of steps is even better) and keep a good pace for 5 minutes to really light up your quads. The next 5 minute block is continuous walking lunges.
Do not stutter step in between, make sure to step straight through and keep moving for the entire 5 minutes. You can up the ante on this block by wearing a weighted vest, or holding a medicine ball either at chest height or overhead.
Once you have completed 5 minutes of walking lunges, head back to a treadmill for a 5 minute hill walk. Set the incline at 15% and your speed somewhere between 3 and 4mph.
Another option is to load a sled with a light/medium weight and do 5 minutes dragging, pulling, and pushing, alternating styles every 100ft or so. The key on the sled work would be to keep a medium walking pace rather than running or sprinting.
After the hill or sled walk, it’s time to finish this power hour with a final 5 minute block for core. What better way to end after all this movement and variety than 5 minutes perfectly still in a static plank position? You can alternate between front plank position and side planks, or for advanced athletes try to maintain perfect front plank position for the entire 5 minutes.
Whichever strategy you choose, one thing is certain, this 5 minutes will be excruciating and you will leave the floor drenched in sweat.
Well there you have it – a great full body workout that you can finish in 1 hour, complete with a half hour of cardio. Keep this routine in your back pocket for when you need something to get you back on track after a vacation, a long weekend, or just a break from the monotony of your normal routine.
Stay tuned to Muscle & Strength for more of my unique workouts and make sure to follow me on Instagram @coachmyers_gutcheck for daily motivation and workout tips.