In my last blog, I promised to share three HIT workouts that prove working out is the most productive thing you can do with 10 minutes of your time. If you want to fire up your metabolism, get stronger, increase your energy and improve your ability to think clearly and handle stress, check out these three workout formats, plus do-anywhere exercises.

Escalating Density Training (EDT)
I learned about EDT from its developer, Charles Staley, MS, while writing an article for Experience Life magazine a few years ago. You basically pair two dissimilar exercises and perform back-to-back sets for a designated period of time, with little to no rest.

For this 10-minute bodyweight version, choose two exercises that use different muscle groups and that you can perform for no more than 12 repetitions (in good form). Scale bodyweight exercises appropriately—if you can do 20 quality pushups, do plyo pushups; if you can only do 3 pull-ups, do them with a band for assistance.

Start by performing one set of 10 of each exercise. Continue performing back-to-back sets of 10 until your form starts to falter. Then drop to sets of 9, 8, 7, etc. as necessary.

Exercise Pairing Ideas:
Push-ups and box jumps (can use a sturdy bench, curb, etc.)
Chin-ups and burpees
Shoulder pushups and squat jumps
Dips (or bench dips) and pull-ups

For more on EDT, visit

Most people are familiar with the Tabata protocol. You choose an exercise and perform repetitions for 20 seconds, alternating with 10 seconds of rest, for a total of 4 minutes. You can also do Tabatas with multiple exercises, as long as you keep the :20 to :10 for 4 minutes format. Full-body movements work best.

Possible Tabata exercises:
Mountain climbers
Lunge jumps
Squat jumps
Sit-through extensions
Plank walks (plank on forearms, pushing up to hands and back down)

Bodyweight Complex
This is another great workout format I discovered while writing for Experience Life, when last year I interviewed Istvan “Steve” Javorek (the guy who pretty much came up with complex training) for a dumbbell complex workout.

A complex is like a circuit on speed. You perform a series of exercises that flow seamlessly into one another, allowing no time to rest or even transition from one move to the next.

Here is a simple bodyweight complex that I recently gave my Metabolic Madness class:
:30 Squats with arms overhead
:30 Squat-to-plank jumps
:30 Pushup jacks (or pushups)
:30 Downward dog with lateral leg swings
:30 Narrow, deep squats (feet together, butt to ankles)
Rest 30 seconds between rounds. Repeat 3x.

For more on complexes, plus a dumbbell complex, visit