The Thirty-Second “30-30” Weight Loss Workout

Am I recommending a 30-second workout? Oh don’t get your hopes up! I’ll never give in to gimmicks! I’m focusing on more calorie burning lately in an effort to drop the weight I gained while writing my book. My diet remains pretty much the same as it has been; I’m working out a bit more. I’m losing about a half pound to a pound a week so far. Cardio certainly is best for my current goals but I hate hate HATE anything like just zoning out on a treadmill. I love to walk outside for miles and miles but it’s winter in Chicago and today the temperature was in the teens.

To keep my heartrate elevated for a good half hour at a time, I’ve devised the “30-30” Workout. If you are just starting out or if you HATE cardio like I do, you may like this strategy. The key is using a GymBoss interval timer to do a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout session. The GymBoss is an essential workout tool; get one and you’ll find endless uses for it! The GymBoss can be set to time two alternate intervals to beep or vibrate. I configure my GymBoss to do 30 second intervals for a 30 minute workout. I set up four separate exercises; your choice could be whatever works for you. I am cycling on the MagneTrainer Exercise Cycle, walking or running on the manual treadmill, various exercises with the water-filled Kamagon Ball, and swinging the 25lb kettlebell.

With each 30 second beep, I randomly switch between the four exercises. I keep moving quickly and do some of the exercises for 60 seconds. It’s amazing how quickly the time flies by with the quick changes! I am doing a 30 minute session in the morning and often add a second session in the late afternoon.

This basic concept is completely customizable to your own abilities and preferences. I was inspired by Holly Rose of and her Thirty Seconds to Victory workout. When she was still over 400lbs, she could only do 30 seconds of exercise at first. Today, she does regular Crossfit workouts. When I was first starting out myself, I could do about a minute on a recumbent cycle and that was it! If 30 seconds at a time is all you can handle, that is fine! Your ultimate goal is to work up to 30 minutes but the focus is to get the habit started. It doesn’t matter how long it might take you to add more intervals, 30 seconds at a time.

There was a time I couldn’t have run or used the Stepper or cycle for two minutes. Using HIIT, the work can be broken into any combination of intervals. HIIT works by managing your fatigue. You do not come fully back to a resting state before you start again. Do 30 seconds of work, then take 30 seconds of rest and repeat as many times as you can. Take a minute of rest if you need to with as many 30 second intervals of work as you’re able. With HIIT, you may amaze yourself at the total work time you can accomplish!

I think HIIT with the GymBoss offers valuable mental advantages. It’s certainly easier to think in terms of doing 30 seconds of work than several minutes. And when you don’t have to look at a clock, the time seems to fly!

So what exercises can you do for 30 seconds? A high stepper and swings with a kettlebell or heavy ball? A book I use myself is You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises. Pick what exercises appeal to you and switch them up as you choose!

Doug Robb at has created a WHOLE YEAR of great exercises, complete with videos! Browse Doug’s year of “Best Body Workouts” and you will find GOBS of great stuff to do!

Find the GymBoss and links to other equipment in the sidebar of this blog page.