The day can always be more productive if you can take care of two things at once. When it comes to working out, challenging your muscles and burning calories in one shot can make the training even better. You don’t have to train as long, either.

Trainer Erik Bartell offers two opportunities a week for you to get the workout done early. You can join him every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 7 a.m. EST on the Muscle & Fitness Instagram page. While you should push yourself to keep up with Bartell, he makes it clear that your goal is always to give it your best.

“Give yourself grace. You’re not always going to come to the workout in the best shape of your life,” he says. “You can do the things that help…You can do the things to help you prepare to come in the best shape, but even if you do everything right, it doesn’t always fall like that and hey, life happens. Give yourself grace.”

Once you complete the warmup below, you’ll alternate aerobic-type movements with upper-body resistance-training exercises. These weighted exercises will focus on the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

The workout concludes with his signature “core complex” — a segment of moves that last for a minute each with a 10-second “rest” transition to the next movement. Even if you need a few extra seconds to prepare, or if you need to stop early, that’s OK. The goal is max effort, remember.

The Warmup

  • Alternating High Kicks – About 1 minute
  • Jog in Place – About 1 minute
  • Arm Swings to Self-Hugs – About 10 reps
  • Arm Circles – About 10 reps backward, 10 reps forward.
  • Reverse Lunge – 1 minute
  • Bird Dog Stretch – About 5 reps (each side)

Take one extra minute to warm up a part of the body that needs extra attention.

Bartell’s High-Intensity Upper-Body and Core Blast Program

The Workout
Exercise Duration Rest
Hopping Heel Taps 60 sec. 10 sec.
Dumbbell Floor Press (3-second negatives) 60 sec. 10 sec.
Mountain Climbers 60 sec. 10 sec.
Bentover Dumbbell Row (3-second negatives) 60 sec. 10 sec.
Fast Knees (Running in Place) 60 sec. 10 sec.
Weighted Reverse Lunge 60 sec. 10 sec.
Pushup 60 sec. 10 sec.
Alternating Dumbbell Floor Press (21 total reps) 60 sec. 10 sec.
Shoulder Tap (in Plank Position) 60 sec. 10 sec.
Alternating Dumbbell Row 60 sec. 10 sec.
Curtsy Lunge 60 sec. 10 sec.
Jump Rope (Rope optional) 60 sec. 10 sec.
Fast Knees into Sprawl 60 sec. 10 sec.
Dumbbell Woodchopper (Switch sides) 60 sec. 10 sec.
Alternating Reverse and Forward Lunge 60 sec. 10 sec.
Seated Single-Dumbbell Shoulder Press 60 sec. 10 sec.
Pushup 60 sec. 10 sec.
Dumbbell Flye 60 sec. 10 sec.
Lying Leg Hold 60 sec. 10 sec.
Dumbbell Thrusters (Single or Both Dumbbells) 60 sec. 10 sec.
Russian Twist 60 sec. 10 sec.
Pushup into Single-arm Row 60 sec. 10 sec.

Core Complex

Erik Bartell Core Complex Workout
Exercise Duration Rest
Reverse Crunch 60 sec. 10 sec.
Reaching Situp 60 sec. 10 sec.
Dumbbell Side Bend 60 sec. 10 sec.
Bicycles 60 sec. 10 sec.


Make sure your heart rate comes back down below 100 before you go on with your day. While doing these exercises, slowly focus on your breathing, working back to a normal nasal breathing pattern.

  • Deep Breaths – 1 minute
  • Reverse Lunges – As many as needed
  • Side Squats – As many as needed
  • Neck Rolls – As many as needed
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