Good news: Getting in shape doesn't have to be complicated.
According to science, short periods of intense exercise can be just as effective — sometimes more so — than longer workouts that you do with moderate effort.
High-intensity circuit training that you do using only your bodyweight challenges your cardiovascular fitness and gives you a killer, full-body workout if you do it right.
That's why BuzzFeed Life asked NYC-based personal trainer Albert Matheny, C.S.C.S., founder of Soho Strength Lab, to design nine high-intensity bodyweight-only workouts that you can do anywhere. These workouts are made for the exerciser who wants to get fitter and healthier, and feel great. Each one focuses on one of three goals: cardiovascular fitness, power and strength, and endurance.
6 quick things you should know before you get started:
1. These workouts are legit: They all follow the scientifically established protocols for the most effective bodyweight HICT. And they can also all be done in 20 minutes or less.
2. Each of these workouts will challenge your whole body, although some are designed to focus in particular on either the lower or upper body or the core.
3. You should do each move perfectly every time. These short workouts are meant to be intense, but that doesn't mean going as hard as you possibly can each time you work out. "The idea is to be working hard but to always be able to do another rep or two," Matheny says.
4. Be sure to warm up first. Matheny recommends performing a few reps of the movements in the workout, making sure to slowly perform the full range of motion to prepare your body. You should also do some high knees or jumping jacks to get your heart rate up.
5. And don't forget to cool down. Matheny says "some small amount of stretching throughout the day" is preferable to a formal post-workout routine.
6. If you have health issues, like high blood pressure or injuries, you should talk to a doctor first about what moves you should avoid or modify.
For detailed visuals and instructions on how to perform the movements, check out our complete guide to these exercises here.