If you’re not a morning person and you’d rather find yourself chilling at home after a stressful day, the lunch break workout is right up your street. You could try circuit training but that usually means lighter weights and eliminates the work of your stabilizer muscles, making it less effective for muscle building, as well as less metabolically demanding.

One super-effective alternative is peripheral heart action (PHA) training, which keeps strength and circulation high for the entire workout by shunting blood up and down the body. Since the body part covered in each sequence gets enough rest between each circuit, strength will be conserved, allowing you to use the same weights you would use in a heavy strength-based workout with full recovery for your muscles.

Even though your heart will thump at over 150 beats per minute for the whole workout, your permission to lower weight is revoked, assuming you have the guts.


The brutal lunch break workout

Sequence one

Repeat 3 times


1. Standing barbell shoulder press

8-10 reps

A) Stand and rest a barbell across the front of your shoulders.

B) Straighten your arms to push the weight above your head.


2. Lying leg raises

10-15 reps

A) Lie on the floor with your legs straight.

B) Keep your knees straight, and raise your legs until they’re at 90 degrees to the ground. Take three seconds to lower to the floor.


3. Barbell bent row 

8-10 reps

A) Hold a barbell with an overhand shoulder-width grip. Bend forwards until your back is parallel to the floor. Arms beneath your shoulders.

B) Draw the weight up to your chest.


4. Barbell back squats

10-12 reps

A) Rest a barbell on the backs of your shoulders; hold it in place with your hands.

B) Bend your hips and knees simultaneously to lower to the ground. Rise to the start.



lunch break workout



Sequence two

Repeat 3 times


1. Parallel bar dips

8-10 reps

A) Grab the parallel bars of a dip station and lift yourself so your elbows are straight.

B) Lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel to the floor then press back up.

2. Lat pulldowns

8-10 reps

A) Grab a lat-pulldown bar with a shoulderwidth, overhand grip.

B) Pull the bar to the top of your chest then release to the start, then repeat.


3. Romanian deadlifts

8-10 reps

A) Place a barbell on the ground and grab it with a shoulder-width grip.

B) Use your thighs to raise the bar so your legs become straight. Take three seconds to lower.


4. Bent over reverse flyes

10-12 reps

A) Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forwards until your back is parallel to the floor.

B) Raise the dumbbells level with the shoulders, then return to the start.


For more content on the lunch break workout, nutrition tips and workouts, get TRAIN magazine direct into your inbox every month for free by signing up to our newsletter

What next…? Have you seen this Game of Thrones star’s intense workout?