Time Crunch Full Upper Body Workout

We all have those occasions when life gets in the way and you just don’t have time to get your normal 60+ minute workouts in.

When faced with these kinds of scenarios, individuals quite often bail on their entire workout, when in reality it’s entirely possible to have a great workout and make gains in 45 minutes or less!

To help you make gains when you’re in a time crunch, we’ve put together this quick 30-minute full upper body workout workout.

It’ll have you sweating buckets, gasping for air, and experiencing an upper body pump like never before.

We’ve designed this around compound movements which provide a tremendous bang for your exercise buck, allowing you to inflict substantial amounts of stress on your muscles in a short time.

Basically, this full upper body workout is the perfect way to smash the chest, back, shoulders, and arms as well as get a savage pump when you’re pressed for time.


Boost Performance & Focus

Mega Pre Black is a high-quality, high-stim pre workout formulated to support increased energy, focus, and athletic performance.

Before we get to the workout, here are five keys to constructing effective upper body workouts when you’re in a time crunch.

5 Keys to Effective Full Upper Body Workouts When Short on Time

Short Rest Periods

Not everyone has the time (or desire) to be in the gym for 2 hours every day of the week.

Furthermore, performing marathon workouts like the kind you find in the muscle mags will just leave you drained, not to mention compelling you to perform excessive amounts of volume that aren’t really needed by natural lifters.. 

We’ve included short rest periods for two big reasons:

  1. It saves time, enabling you to get in and out of the gym sooner, and
  2. Short rest periods help deliver massive muscle pumps!

This workout is intended to give you a serious pump and then get you on your way.

At most, you’ll be resting 60 seconds between sets, but most of the time, you’ll be going immediately from one exercise to another to save time and keep the pump rolling!


Supersets involve performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest in between.

The biggest benefit of supersetting antagonist muscle groups (i.e. biceps and triceps, chest and back, quads and hamstrings) is that it allows you to get in a lot of training volume in a shorter amount of time.

Instead of performing a set of bench press resting two to three minutes then performing another set, you perform a set of bench press, rest 60 seconds, perform a set of rows or pulls, rest 60 seconds, and then go back to bench.

This makes your workouts more time efficient.

Yet another benefit of superset training is that pairing opposing muscle groups helps engorge the muscles with blood, creating a superior muscle pump to just performing straight sets. 

Circuit Training

Another time-saving measure that also helps flood your muscles with blood and generate a sick pump is circuit training. 

Similar to supersets, circuit training involves moving from one exercise to the next with minimal rest between sets. Circuits typically include a minimum of 4 exercises. There’s really no “maximum”, but generally speaking circuits usually cap out around 8 or 10.

In this workout, we’ll group four upper body exercises together that target all those important muscles of the upper body so that you can keep the workout short, while maintaining a high level of intensity.

Hit the Muscles that Matter

When pressed for time, you don’t have time to screw around with fluff exercises that sculpt and tone outer quad sweep, inner forearm, or lower calf. You need to perform compound exercises that hammer the “money muscles” on your upper body and provide a tremendous return on investment for each rep you perform.

Far too many workouts only focus on the biceps and triceps, neglecting the important muscles of the chest, shoulders, and back which are the ones you should be focused on.

This workout doesn’t.

We’re going to hit all of those important muscles to give you an upper body pump like you’ve never had before in less time than you typically spend at the gym for an upper body day.

Higher Reps

High reps are best known for their role in helping lifters achieve a sick pump, and there’s a lot of merit to it.

But, higher rep training is also beneficial when you’re limited on how much time you can spend in the gym.

Higher rep sets focus on creating a lot of metabolic stress in the muscles, which is one of the primary mechanisms that supports muscle hypertrophy.

Higher rep training also is less taxing on the CNS and joints since you’re using lighter weights compared to your 1-RM.

As such, the amount of rest you’ll need between sets will be considerably less than what is needed to recover from heavier weight, lower rep sets.

Full Upper Body Workout

Perform the exercises in the order listed below and keep a close eye on the rest times.

Upper Body Circuit

  • Chin Ups - 10 reps
  • Dips - 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Curl - 12 reps
  • Close Grip Push up - 12 reps


  • Rest 1 minute between circuits
  • Repeat 3 times for a total of 4 rounds

Arms Superset

  • Rope Pushdown - 12 reps
  • Rope Hammer Curl - 12 reps


  • Rest 45 seconds between supersets
  • Repeat 3 times for a total of 4 rounds

Upper Body Finisher

  • Perform 100 pushups as quickly as you can

    You can take as many breaks as needed, use the rest-pause technique to complete all 100 hundred.

Get a Great Pump with Mega Pre!

Want to have a great workout and a killer pump without the jitters of conventional high-stim pre workouts?

Then you want Primeval Labs Mega Pre.

Mega Pre is an ultra-premium stim-free pump pre workout packed with nitric oxide support agents, vasodilators, and cell volumizers. 

Mega Pre was designed to help engorge muscles with blood, supersaturate cells with water, and generate the nastiest, longest-lasting pumps ever!

Not only is Mega Pre the ultimate pump pre workout for daytime or nighttime training, but it also tastes phenomenal, with refreshing flavors including Mango Pineapple, Rainbow Sherbet, and Orangutan Juice.