Build Muscle and Lose Fat in Just 20 Minutes a Week

I know, you’ve heard it before: “You can build muscle and lose fat, and it all it takes is 20 minutes a week!” I’m sure there’s an infomercial on right now making the same claim, but the program I’m about to reveal really does deliver. Honest!

Here it is, but don’t blink because it will go by pretty quick…

1. Back Squat
2. Chin-Up
3. Bent-Knee Deadlift
4. Parallel-Bar Dip

Loading parameters: 1 set, 20 reps, 2-0-1-0 tempo, 5-minute rest interval

Now on paper this little routine does not look too daunting, especially when you’re doing only 1 set of each exercise with 5 minutes of rest in between, but this is where it gets interesting: each set is conducted with a 10RM load. In plain English, that means that you’ll perform 20 reps with a load that you’ll normally max out with at 10 reps!

How’s that possible?

It’s called rest-pause training. You take a set to failure, which in this case is 10 reps, and then rest for 5-10 seconds. Then squeeze out another rep or two and rest again. Keep going in this manner until you reach 20 reps. At that point you’ll probably collapse! By the time you regain consciousness, 5 minutes should have elapsed and it’s time for the next exercise.

You get it now?

The “20 reps with a 10RM load” method is not new by any means. Randall Strossen’s classic book, Super Squats, was based on this age-old concept. What’s new, however, is applying this method to other exercises besides the squat and arranging them in the specific manner presented in this program.

Now although this concept has been around for ages and it works, it does require some serious mental and physical fortitude. When both your body and mind say “STOP!,” you’ve got to keep going. The human body prefers homeostasis – it likes to retain the status quo – you need to force it outside of its “comfort zone” in order to adapt. What’s comforting, though, is that you’ll have a full week to recover before your next workout!

Make sure to warm-up thoroughly beforehand, and increase the load by 5-10 pounds each workout: 5 pounds on the chin/dip belt and 10 pounds on the barbell.

Back in the ‘80s, the 20 Minute Workout television program was very popular – the women loved it because they thought they were getting a great “aerobic” workout, and the guys loved it because of the hot chicks! (Actually, I trained one of the producers of the show, and he says that it’s still popular today in many prisons.)

This 20-minute “strength” workout will not be quite as popular. Trust me, you’ll dread it. But if you train hard and eat right, you’ll finally get to spend more time outside of the gym than inside it, and the best part is: you’ll get results!

About The Author

John Paul Catanzaro is a CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist with a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. He owns and operates a private facility in Richmond Hill, Ontario providing training and nutritional consulting services. John Paul has authored two books, The Elite Trainer (2011) and Mass Explosion (2013), and has released two DVDs, Stretching for Strengthening (2003) and Warm-Up to Strength Training (2005), which have sold copies worldwide, been featured in several magazines, and have been endorsed by many leading experts. In 2013, John Paul released two new webinars, Strength Training Parameters and Program Design and Body Composition Strategies, providing the latest cutting-edge information to fitness professionals. For additional information, visit his website at or call 905-780-9908.