Gym inspo: Short weights workouts you can do in less than 30 minutes

Hope you had a great weekend, my friends. Let’s talk about short weights workouts, and this one is a reader request!

The number-one thing I hear from a lot of you lovely people is that you want to do some weights in your workouts, but you aren’t always sure what to do. I totally understand (and I’m so glad you see the importance of doing resistance work every week)! We all need a little inspiration and insight into well-rounded workouts — not only to make sure we’re combining the right moves, but also to keep us trying new things.

Before we begin, I always recommend that you try to do a few sessions with a personal trainer, if at all possible, and/or you take some group fitness classes, so you can get familiar with fundamental exercises and get assistance with your technique and your form. Once you have the basis of how to properly engage your glutes, brace your core and perform simple exercise moves, you may be ready to head out to do your own thing.

What you’ll see below are screenshots of short weights workouts that I’ve completed at the gym in the last few months (I typically share these on my Instagram stories after I do them). When it comes to weights workouts, I do at least two per week, with a goal of three, and one of them is usually a full-hour Les Mills BODYPUMP class, which includes lots of repetitions with a barbell and plates hitting all the major muscle groups. Other than BODYPUMP, my weights workouts are never longer than 30 minutes — they usually feature supersets for both the upper and lower body, and they feature tried-and-true moves that work.

When you have a particular fitness goal, it’s awesome to follow a workout plan, in which each week you’ve laid out all the moves you will perform, and in which the exercises and weights get progressively more challenging to keep your body guessing (a certified personal trainer can put this together for you). However, you don’t have to work from a plan to be fit. In fact, if you’re just an average fit gal who wants to have some strength and muscle tone, then doing random, but safe, weights workouts a couple of times a week is totally sufficient and very beneficial for your body.

A few things to remember before moving:

  • Always brace your core. 
  • Check your form in the mirror, whether you are at the gym or at home, take a look at what your body is doing when you move. If something looks weird or feels weird, don’t do it.
  • Be careful not to let your shoulders shrug up toward your ears when you are doing upper-body work. Pull your shoulder blades back and down.
  • Be careful not to let your heels lift off the floor when you are doing any sort of squats. Push into your whole foot in the floor below you.
  • Warm up before your workouts, stretch after your workouts.
  • Take a rest day at least once a week.
  • Choose a weight that gets very hard by the last few repetitions of each set. If you finish the set and feel like you could’ve done more, then you need to use a heavier weight.

I’ve done each and every one of these workouts, sometimes more than once, and they can all be completed in less than 30 minutes and most of them target the upper and lower body. Now, these workouts will NOT turn you into a bodybuilder or prepare you for an athletic competition, but they will help you to build valuable muscle, break a sweat and get all the benefits of resistance exercise that you need. 

Short weights workouts you can do in less than 30 minutes

Gym inspo: Short weights workouts you can do in less than 30 minutes by A Lady Goes West

Choose whichever ones interest you and go for them (one at a time!) …

*If you hover over the images with your mouse, an option to pin these to Pinterest should come up for you. You can also right click on the image to save it to your phone. Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you try any!

Legs, chest, back and shoulder superset workout

You can’t beat walking lunges. I love to hate them. 

Lower body, back and shoulder single heavy set workout

Changing it up with this rest-between-each-set workout.

Full-body single-set workout by A Lady Goes West -- January 2019

Legs, legs and more legs superset workout

Sometimes you just want to focus on the legs and glutes. 

Leg workout by A Lady Goes West -- January 2019

Chest, legs, shoulders and core superset stability ball workout

I love using a stability ball, and I even have one at home.

Short weights workout by A Lady Goes West -- January 2019

Legs and back cable machine and kettlebell superset workout

Have you ever used the cable machine at the gym? It may seem scary, but it’s not so bad. 

Cable workout

Legs and shoulders cable machine superset workout

Cable machines make your core work harder, because you have to resist the cable as it heads toward your body and back toward the machine.

Cable machine workout by A Lady Goes West - December 2018

Full-body cable machine superset workout

I even got Dave using the cable machine with me.

Short workout by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

Heavier legs and back superset workout

It’s great to pick up heavier weights and do less repetitions every once in a while.

Short weights workout by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

Legs, chest and core functional superset workout

Even though I hate push-ups, I seem to put them into many workouts.

Full-body quick workout by A Lady Goes West - 2018

Cardio workouts

And just for fun, here are two cardio workouts you can do as a bonus …

20-minute treadmill cardio interval workout

Intervals are the way to go! Don’t hold on to the treadmill, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Treadmill workout by A Lady Goes West -- February 2019

22-minute treadmill cardio interval workout

The best thing about interval workouts is that because you’re changing the speeds and inclines so much, the workout goes by very quickly.

Treadmill interval workout by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

There you have it!

Now, here’s a big disclaimer: You should only attempt these workouts if you are in good health, do not have injuries and have been cleared by your doctor to work out. Proceed with caution and at your own risk. And have lots of fun!

If you want to see even more ideas for short weights workout, check out this one too: “Gym inspo: A selection of short resistance workouts that I’ve been doing.”

Have an awesome day, my friends!

Need some gym inspo? Try these short weights workouts all less than 30 minutes on A Lady Goes West today ... Share on X

Questions of the day

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    1. Hi Stefanie, it’s SUCH a versatile piece. Perhaps you can ask a trainer or member of the staff at your gym for a little tutorial on using the cable machine? It’s worth it! 🙂

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