A DIY 30-minute whole body workout

Despite what we personal trainers would like you to think 😉 , workout design isn’t rocket science.

30-minute whole body workout

Sure, you need to know about muscles and joints and planes of motion. A bit of information about reps and sets and loads doesn’t hurt either. Throw in a cursory understanding of the types of movements our bodies were designed for and the patience to demand good form of yourself and creating a 30-minute whole-body workout is within almost anybody’s reach.

Note that I’m NOT talking about a PROGRAM designed to meet specific and individualized goals (that’s when having access to a personal trainer’s education, knowledge and experience comes in handy), but rather, a fill-in-the-gaps workout when you don’t have time to get to the gym, don’t know what to do once you get there or just need a change to your regular routine.

A DIY 30-minute whole body workout

Most of the programs I design are based on a finite number of basic movements; squats, lunges, hinges, pushes, pulls, rotations and static holds.

Each of these basic movements has a nearly endless number of variations; variations which differ in complexity, difficulty and the equipment required to perform them.

By simply choosing one of the exercise options from each of the basic movement categories listed below, you’ll have created your own 30-minute whole body workout. Make sure the choices you make challenge you and reflect your current fitness level. If something hurts, don’t do it.


  1. Spend 5-10 minutes warming up. (See this post for my favourite warmup exercises)
  2. Choose one exercise from each of the categories listed below.
  3. Perform 10-15 good form repetitions of each of your chosen exercises, one after the other, in the order listed.
  4. Make sure you choose a weight or variation that makes it difficult for you to complete the last few repetitions.
  5. Rest when necessary; both between exercises and at the end of the circuit.
  6. Repeat the entire circuit once.
  7. Spend 5-10 minutes stretching. (See this post for a video-guided stretch)

Note: Exercise options are listed in order of increasing difficulty, with the least challenging option first and the more challenging options last.

whole body workout

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Disclaimer: Although I am a registered Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.



  1. I normally do 30 minutes morning walk and then some body stretches for 10 minutes. I think that’s enough for morning exercise and it keep me active throughout the day.

  2. Always great info here!!! 🙂 I am late as usual & will be like this more & more as I hope to get more demos to do…. 🙂
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted…Do You Even Know Me or I You?My Profile

    • Thanks so much Jody! I really appreciate your taking the time to read and comment. I know how hard it is some days 🙂

  3. Great post, I love the variation!

  4. Ok this may be one of the best online workouts I’ve seen – the fact that you’ve broken down the exercises into categories and given a range of options… I wish more fitness folk would do that! This is a keeper 😉
    Cat recently posted…April 2015 in ReviewMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Cat! This is how I program for my online training group as well. Lots of different options for lots of different fitness abilities!


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