Best Short Workout Routine

Today I would like to give you ideas for a short workout routine that I recently started.

It's a three day workout routine where each session is supposed to be quite short.

short workout routine sheetThe reason why I started a routine like this was because I was feeling a little bit over trained and I noticed that I wasn't enjoying my workouts like before.

When this happens (and I am sure everybody experienced that at some point) it's a clear sign: it's time to stop and relax, take your time, recharge the batteries.

I didn't want to stop training of course, but I figured that if I had a short workout routine that allowed me to train all muscle groups and be out of the gym in 30 minutes or so I would have regained the enthusiasm again.

The Keys of a Short Workout Routine

Have you ever had a list of N exercises to do on every session that took you more than an hour to complete?

And have to do that at least three times a week?

Well for me..been there done that. When I was younger and inexperienced...and I thought that the more I trained the bigger would have become.

After some months like that (it didn't take long), I got to a point where I hated to go to the gym. That's not good, is it?

Now that I learned my lesson, I know when to stop or slow down, I recognize the signs early.

It's time for a short workout routine, but it has to be a good one to:

  • Include mostly compound exercises
  • Train all muscle groups
  • Include very few exercises per session
  • Be out of the gym in half an hour
  • Be fun to do

Three Day Split Short Workout Routine

I split this routine into three days, to be able to cut it short each day.

Day 1 - Chest and Arms

On the first day of this routine we do the best exercises for chest, triceps and biceps.

We start with three sets of dumbbell bench press, in my opinion the best chest exercise. I chose dumbbells so that we train each side the same, and because it forces us to use all the auxiliary muscles to perform the exercise and keep the balance. This exercise trains triceps as well.

Then we move to the dips stand and we do some triceps and lower chest (since we have only 3 exercises we're better get the most from them). Tricep dips it is.

Finally, my favorite exercise for biceps: standing barbell curls.

Of course, stretching and warm up sets before each exercise.

Chest Dumbbell Bench Press


Chest & Triceps Tricep Dips


Biceps Barbell Curls


Day 2 - Legs

The second day is dedicated to leg workout. Also on this day, three exercises only.

Lunges and squat to kill quads, hamstrings and glutes, and calf raises.

I always recommend to read about the 20 rep squat workout.

Quads & Glutes Dumbbell Lunges


Full Leg Squat


Calves Dumbbell Calf Raises


Day 3 - Back and Shoulders

On day 3 we have left only back and shoulder (as major muscle groups).

There is one king back exercise to do on this day, and it is pull ups.

I won't tell you how many pull ups you should do, just go with as many as you can...stop when you can't lift anymore.

But, if you can't make it to at least 7 or 8, do the assisted pull ups or alternatively, the lat machine.

After that we're going to be pretty tired (it's a hard workout!), but we're going to do some bent over dumbbell rows.

The we move on to do shoulders with the most complete shoulder workout: shoulder press.

The it's up to you, I'd call the day, but if you still want to continue you can throw in a couple of sets of lateral raises and bent over lateral raises (aka reverse flys).

Back Pull Ups


Back Bent Over Dumbbell Rows


Shoulders Shoulder Press



I hope you enjoyed my short workout routine idea, I really recommend it for those periods when you feel tired, overwhelmed by your long routine or overtrained.

Try it whenever you feel like you don't enjoy going to the gym like before.

I'd say at least four weeks like this and you're back like new!


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