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The 15-Minute Full-Body Massacre Workout

This workout is short, but it's not for the faint of heart. These timed circuits will test your strength and endurance for every part.

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full body massacre image
full body massacre image

Timed circuits are great way to burn fat yet still build muscle. They’re great to tack on to the end of your normally scheduled workout — but if you are short on time, these workouts are a great way to keep the metabolism up or just for a change of pace.

One of the most grueling timed circuits consists simply of barbell squats and the barbell bench presses, but similar schemes can be applied to other body parts that are a) being trained that day or b) in need of a serious makeover.

For the back squat/bench press combo, select weights for each exercise that you can handle for approximately 10-12 reps. Using a 2010 tempo – two seconds down, no pause, one second up, no pause – perform six reps of each as quickly as possible (again, understanding tempo) with the goal of performing as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes of time. Move from one exercise to the next without rest until you hit 15 minutes.


You’ll want to do 1-2 warm-up sets for each move before you start the 15-minute timer. If this is at the end of another workout, no general warm-up is needed. If you are doing it as a standalone session, spend a few minutes on a good dynamic, full-body warm-up to prep joints and your central nervous system for the work ahead. Follow your dynamic warm-up with the 1-2 specific warm-up sets.

For you big-box gym rats, you may have to adapt if the gym is busy. Keep your mind open if you do not have the availability of the equipment. Good squat substitutes, if you must, include the Smith squat, leg press, hack squat and Goblet squat. For chest, find a Hammer strength machine, Smith machine, bench press machine, dumbbells or do weighted pushups with a vest.


This type of work is great because it gets your heart rate up, gets you burning fat and keeps that metabolism burning. The alternating style between body parts affords you a lot more reps and sets in and the allotted time and there’s no question that you can grow muscle performing workouts like this as well. For you former athletes or naturally competitive people, perform the same workout a week apart and try to up your weights the second time through matching your rounds score or leave the weight the same and try to get more rounds.

Phil Gephart, MS, CSCS, is a certified personal trainer and owner of Newport Fit4Life in Newport Beach, Calif. A former professional basketball player, his CHEK & PICP certifications are recognized as the top in the world in the holistic, corrective exercise approach as well as preparing athletes for competition. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.


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The Workout

Perform six reps of each as quickly as possible for as many rounds as you can. Alternate exercises without rest until you hit 15 minutes.

Exercise 1 of 2

Back Squat

Barbell, Squat Rack
Tempo: two seconds down, no pause, one second up, no pause.
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