This week has been "one of those weeks". Except for a few random pockets of 10 minutes here and there, it has been wall to wall activity.Work, family, house, paperwork, and a new puppy have kept me consistently busy from the time I wake up at 5:15am until 9 or 10 at night. I conk out in bed at about 11 pm. A lot of quality training time is just NOT going to happen during patches like these. The best I can do during a super busy week is to add very short sessions here and there to blow off some steam, feel better, and stave off detraining.
Minimalist training is something I've done a lot of over the years, but watching Dan John's Intervention DVD gave me some fresh ideas for a solid week (or two) of shortened training. Including the basic movement patterns of push, pull, hinge, squat, loaded carries, and Turkish Get-Ups, this week I did the following:
Workout #1 = The Eagle (for 5:00)
Workout #2 = Push-Ups (for 5:00)
Workout #3 = Turkish Get-Ups (for 5:00)
Workout #4 = Chin-Ups/Pull-Ups (for 5:00)
Should I go longer? As I wrote in my last birthday post and A Quick and (Relatively) Painless Way to Add Training Volume, 5:00 is enough for a lot of things. No, it's NOT a fast-as-you-can-metcon. Just work steadily, and take breaks before form starts to break down appreciably. Of these exercises, "The Eagle" and Turkish-Get-Ups are the only two that I would probably feel a need to go longer on, but you could always just add weight - "The Eagle" for five minutes with a pair of 32kg bells will make time slow in a hurry.
Workout #5 = Axle Romanian Deadlifts (for 5:00)
How heavy? As heavy as you want but, if you're getting less than 10-15 reps, you might consider lightening the load or modifying the movement. Dan John recommends 8 sets of 8 for The Eagle - I can get five or six sets of five squats + 20 meters in five minutes w. a pair of 24kg kettlebells. Again, this is working at a steady pace, NOT frenzied.
Can I substitute exercises? Of course. You might decide to do goblet squats + one-arm farmer walks, military press, partial TGUs, bent-over laterals, and kettlebell swings, for example. In my opinion, you should try to include all six of the basic movement patterns, but it may or may not be crucial to your training short-term.