The 23-Minute Lunchtime Workout

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The 23-Minute Lunchtime Workout

self logoGot 23 minutes and a gym membership? Trainer Sean Begley, fitness director for Plus One Fitness and one of the biggest firms on Wall Street, designed this workout for überbusy execs. You do three 7-minute circuits and 7 reps of each move in a circuit, completing as many rounds as you can. (Odd numbers engage your mind more than even ones, so you focus less on fatigue.) It’s so quick, the big boss will never know you’re gone.

Lunchtime Workout minutes 1 to 7

MINUTES 1 to 7

Pick a weight heavy enough to challenge you for 7 reps. Cycle through the moves for 7 minutes, and then take a 1-minute break.

Move 1—Power Squat Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes turned out, a dumbbell in each hand at shoulders. Squat until thighs are parallel to floor (as shown). Stand as you extend arms to press weights overhead. Return to start; repeat. Do 7 reps. (Works shoulders, butt, and thighs.)

Move 2—Leg Press Sit on the machine with feet shoulder-width apart in center of platform. Grip handles; turn them to unlock platform. Bend knees to 90 degrees (as shown), and then press back to start. Repeat. Do 7 reps. (Works butt, thighs, and hamstrings.)

Move 3—Plank Jump Start in a plank, wrists under shoulders, back flat, abs engaged. Jump feet toward hands (as shown), then jump feet back to start; repeat. Do 7 reps. (Works shoulders, abs, butt, and thighs.)

Lunchtime workout minutes 8 to 15

MINUTES 8 to 15

After your 1-minute breather, immediately start your second circuit. Cycle through the moves for 7 minutes, and then take a 1-minute break.

Move 1—Air Lunge Start in a deep forward lunge on right leg, holding a weight in each hand with arms at sides. Press off right heel to jump up (as shown) and switch legs in midair to land with left leg forward for 1 rep; repeat. Do 7 reps. (Works butt, thighs, and hamstrings.)

Move 2—Seated Cable Row Sit on machine, feet on footrests, and grab handles, abs engaged and arms extended. Pull handles toward body, squeezing shoulder blades together (as shown). Extend arms back to start. Repeat. Do 7 reps. (Works shoulders, biceps, upper and middle back, and abs.)

Move 3—
V-Up Lie faceup, legs extended, feet 3 inches off floor, arms at sides, palms up. Bend knees and crunch up until abs engage (as shown). Hold for 1 beat, then return to start; repeat. Do 7 reps. (Works lower back, abs, and hips.)

Lunchtime workout minutes 16 to 23

MINUTES 16 to 23

Almost done! Move fast to do as many rounds as possible. And finish strong.

Move 1—Curtsy & Curl Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at sides with a weight in each hand, palms in. Lunge right leg back and to left as you curl weights to shoulders, keeping palms in (as shown). Return to start; repeat on opposite side for 1 rep. Do 7 reps. (Works biceps, butt, thighs, and hamstrings.)

Move 2—Triceps Dip Step onto footholds. Grasp handles and, with arms straight, place knees on platform. Slowly lower body, leaning slightly forward to take pressure off shoulders, bending elbows until upper arms are parallel to floor (as shown). Press up to return to start; repeat. Do 7 reps. Tip: Use 80 percent of your weight to start. For example, 110 pounds for a 135-pound woman. (Works triceps, shoulders, upper back, and abs.)

Move 3—
Ab-Blaster Push-Up Start in a push-up, wrists under shoulders, abs engaged and feet together. Do a push-up, then pull left knee toward left elbow (as shown). Return to start; repeat on opposite side for 1 rep. Do 7 reps. (Works shoulders, chest, abs, obliques, and hips.)


Who’s trying this today? Share your experience in the comments!


SELF is the magazine that makes living healthy easy and fun. SELF’s motto: Being fit, strong and active means feeling great, being happy and looking your most beautiful. With trademark authority, SELF speaks to women about three key areas of her being: her body, her looks and her life. SELF makes it fun and fulfilling to be your happiest, healthiest, best self. Reaching a total audience of 12 million each month, SELF is the founder of the Pink Ribbon for breast cancer awareness and an ASME National Magazine Award winner for excellence in journalistic achievement in print and digital. SELF is published by Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Bon Appétit, GQ, Glamour, The New Yorker, Wired and other celebrated media brands. Visit and follow @SELFmagazine on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foodily and Google+.

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Photos: Nicola Majocchi

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