Cardio Exercises at Home: An Intense 15 Minute Workout

“Body weight circuits are kickin’ my butt!” –Rusty Moore

Do you ever have days when you only have 15 minutes to work out?

I know I do.  When this happens, most people will usually elect to skip their workout because they don’t think they have enough time to do anything worthwhile.  I used to be guilty of this myself.  Now, I know better.  About a year ago, I came across Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training Crazy 8 workout on Fitness Black Book.  The first time I tried it, I was completely gassed after only two circuits.  This is when I knew that this workout was the real deal.  You can even do these unique bodyweight cardio exercises at home.

I wonder how many Spiderman pushups Spiderman can do…

What is the Crazy 8?

1. 60 Jumping Jacks
2. 15-20 Spiderman Pushups
3. 20 Walking Lunges
4. 20 Spiderman Climbs
5. Wall Squat (45-60 seconds)
6. Planks (60 seconds)
7. 5 Burpees
8. 50 High Knees

See the video below for exercise demonstrations.

This is why the Crazy 8 workout is so great.

It’s quick. You can get through one circuit in about six or seven minutes.  It’s intense. During those six or seven minutes, you literally don’t have time to catch your breath.  You go from one exercise to the next without rest until you complete the entire circuit.  You can do it anywhere. You only need a few feet of space and no equipment since it’s made up of 100% body weight exercises.  Still, I would recommend doing it in the privacy of your home because if you don’t, you will look pretty ridiculous.  It combines aspects of strength training and cardio. Kill two birds with one stone… enough said.

I found only one drawback, but this may not even be an issue for you.

The leg exercises actually make my legs a little sore the following day.  Since I play a lot of soccer, I like to go into my practices and games with my legs fresh and not sore at all.  This is why I quit doing leg exercises during my strength training workouts.  I would much rather save my legs for high intensity interval training cardio like soccer.  Incorporating HIIT into your routine will really help you burn off stubborn body fat.  It is especially useful if you are close to your ideal weight and only need to drop a few more pounds.

So long story short, I love the Crazy 8 workout, but didn’t want it to interfere with my HIIT workouts and soccer.  So the leg exercises had to go.  Here is where my modified version comes into play.  I scrap the leg exercises which shortens each circuit from six or seven minutes to four or five minutes. Don’t worry, it’s not like your legs are getting neglected.  If you are doing some form of high intensity interval training, you should develop a nice amount of definition in your legs without gaining too much mass, which is ideal.

Modified Crazy 8 Workout:

1. 60 Jumping Jacks
2. 15-20 Spiderman Pushups
3. 20 Walking Lunges
4. 20 Spiderman Climbs
5. Wall Squat (45-60 seconds)
6. Planks (60 seconds)
7. 5 Burpees
8. 50 High Knees

Even with six out of eight exercises, this workout is still crazy enough to live up to its name.  I do three circuits, each lasting about four to five minutes, with about one minute of rest in between circuits.  Voila!  You’ve got a 15 minute workout that will leave you on the floor.  This workout is great by itself, but if you have some extra time, then follow it up with a 15-20 minute walk to zap those fatty acids that have been released into your bloodstream from the intense exercise.  I almost always do this as an added fat burning bonus.

Remember, fitness is about improvising.

I would strongly recommend you include some form of body weight training in your routine.  For my strength training, I do mostly weightlifting, but I’ve made sure to include this simple 15 minute workout into my weekly routine.  Pushups and pull-ups, in particular, are great compound exercises that engage many muscle groups including the core.  Feel free to create your own version of the Crazy 8.  If you are trying to build up your chest for example, consider doubling up on the pushups.  If you don’t get sore from doing the leg exercises, or even if you do but enjoy them, then by all means keep them in there.  I just wanted to share what works best for me given my circumstances.  Feel free to comment on some of your craziest workouts or cardio exercises at home.


About admin

I'm an introvert, number nerd, food junkie, personal finance enthusiast, and fitness blogger. I specialize in fat loss and stress-free fitness for busy people.


  1. Glad you are writing about this one.
    I came across it also on Fitness Black Book a few months ago and have used it ever since.
    I have copied it on to my phone so I can always refer to it.
    When ever I can’t get to a gym or when I don’t want to do a cardio day like running, I do it or versions of it.
    It a great basis to add favourites into it … some times I add in pull ups and shoulder presses (standing on a chair for balance).
    Raymond – ZenMyFitness´s last blog post ..More Crazy Celebrity Diets That Do Work

  2. @ Raymond,

    This is a great workout for people who can’t get to a gym. I really like it because it tires me out more than a traditional gym workout and takes about a third of the time.

  3. I’ve done this workout before and agree that it is amazing how much you can get done with no equipment at all! Of course, I am a huge fan of lower body exercises and feel that most guys de-emphasize them too much, so I like to stick with the original when I do it.
    Darrin´s last blog post ..Squat Workouts- Your “Secret Weapon” for Building an Attractive Body

  4. +1 on the awesome routine. I do it all the time when there’s no gym available (and even a few times when there is!). It’s truly awesome. That modification of yours is pretty intense for only 15 minutes!

    FitXcel´s last blog post ..3 Add Intensity to Your Workout

  5. @ Darrin,

    Yeah I figured from your latest entry that you’d probably like to keep the wall squats in there… it’s amazing how effective these are just doing 3 sets of 60 seconds makes me really feel it in the legs.

    @ Drew,

    Yeah, this has become my go-to body weight workout when I am crunched for time. It’s definitely an intense 15 minutes. Usually after the first two circuits I’m wiped out and really have to push hard to get through the third.

  6. Great stuff! Excellent idea to cut the leg exercises and save that for a separate day. Also like the advice of doing a good paced walk after, good to burn those fatty acids and serve as a brief cooldown.

  7. @ Dave,

    Yeah I almost always add on a 15 minute walk afterwards. Total workout time is still only 30 minutes which isn’t bad at all!

  8. Great workout – it’s amazing what you can do in just 15 minutes.

    Daren´s last blog post ..Fat Burning Secrets

  9. @ Darren,

    Kudos to Craig Ballantyne for creating this monster! I’ve found 15 minutes is really all you need for a solid workout.

  10. I’m going to try some of Craig’s program’s in the New Year. Right now my fast (15-30) minute workouts are speed intervals (HIIT) so I can run a fast 5-K.
    Daren´s last blog post ..Training for a 5k Run

  11. @ Darren,

    15-30 minutes is a good duration for HIIT workouts. Mine typically last about 15-20. I’m training for a 15-K right now so I’m really trying to get back into being comfortable with longer distances.

  12. JKORR42084 says:

    As a Navy Veteran and Rugger ( Rugby Player) I thought I had seen some intense workouts but this one had me completely blown up after the first set and gasping for air dripping in sweat even though it was 40 degrees outside after the second I will definitely be adding this to my weekly routine probably on a cardio day after my midweek recovery day

  13. @ JKORR,

    One set of this also gets me super winded. I try to do it at least once a week as well. I’m glad even you found this challenging as a rugby player! Just goes to show that it’s no joke! Thanks for the comment!

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