The O.N.E. Workout – A 10 Minute ‘Nano Workout’

By on March 4, 2016


One heart, one soul, all we need is fried chicken.

I’ve had a crazy busy couple of months thanks to tax week, gearing up to buy a house and a packed social calendar. And it’s not looking like it’s going to be getting any quieter either. I have four stags coming up (two of which are abroad, one of which I’m organizing), five weddings, two holidays and a lot of exciting stuff happening at work. It’s great but it’s killing me.

And it’s also not good for my workouts. I’ve had to miss way more workouts than I would like and this has gotten me down.

Thus I decided to fall back on an article I wrote for something else a long while back. In it, I invented ‘The O.N.E. Workout’. This is a ‘nano workout’ that takes ten minutes and that I have been able to conveniently fit into my daily routine, sometimes multiple times.

And I thought I’d share it as it’s been super helpful for me lately and done all kinds of good for my energy levels, drive and fitness.

The Workout

O.N.E. stands for ‘Only Necessary Exercise’. The idea is that if this is the only thing you can manage to do in the day, then it will be better than nothing.

Simply, the workout is:

  • 1 bodyweight compound ‘push’ exercise (press ups, handstand push ups, ring dips, clapping push ups)
  • 1 bodyweight compound ‘pull’ exercise (pull ups, chin ups, inverted push ups)
  • 1 bodyweight legs workout (jumping squats, 1 legged squats, jack in the box)

I simply take these and do 3 sets of each, for a high number of reps (100 fast push ups, 15 pull ups, 20 jumping squats). The whole thing should take about 10 minutes. If you prefer, you can perform it more like a circuit and do 30 seconds of each +30 second rest, 5 times round.

Point is: this routine means that every muscle group gets at least a little attention and you’re also doing a lot of reps so you’ll be getting some resistance cardio in there too. As the name suggests, this should essentially cover all the basics – all the ‘necessary’ exercise.

one workout

Just doing the basic exercises is going to be fine for most people but if you want to, you can throw in incline press ups, tricep dips and other variations from time to time to give the secondary movers a little more love.

This is enough to get a fairly high amount of time under tension (you’ll feel the lactic acid build up in the pecs) and at the same time, it gets the blood pumping and burns between 100-200 calories (AKA a KitKat). The press ups in particular are also very good for the abs – when I do lots of press ups my stomach looks great thanks to the transverse abdominis. In other words, because you have to hold your body flat and straight during fast press ups, this is a great way to make your stomach look flatter the entire time.

It also helps to ‘grease the groove’ and keep you light, explosive and powerful. Practicing pull ups every single day makes them much easier for example and this makes me feel lighter and faster for the rest of the day. It also means I’m starting the day with more energy and in a good mood.

The aim is that I do this and then I also go to the gym on top of that. When I manage to do both, it’s brilliant and I’ve then done even more than I normally would.

But at the same, if life gets in the way and I miss that day’s workout; then at least I’ve done something worthwhile and gotten some exercise.

Fitting it In

I love working out but I recognize it’s really just something of a ‘band aid’. We’re supposed to be active all the time and exercising all the time. Instead, we spend 23 hours of the day lying there and not doing anything much – then exert ourselves intense for 40 minutes.

If we really want to be fit and healthy we should be constantly exercising. Failing that though, injecting some 10 minute ‘nano workouts’ like O.N.E. is better than nothing.

I personally love to fit my nano workout in in the morning and I do it in my boxers before my shower.

Why? Because this way, it really is just ten minutes. Normally, a workout means going to the gym, having a shower, changing your clothes and creating more washing for yourself. Going to the gym for a 20 minute workout really means taking 30-40 minutes out of your day.

But if you do a 10 minute nano workout before the shower, then you would have had to shower anyway. And the O.N.E. workout only requires bodyweight so there’s no equipment necessary. And you can train in your boxers. And it’s first thing in the morning, before the day has had a chance to grind down your will-power.

(If it’s before breakfast then it also counts as ‘fasted cardio’, depending on if you’re into that.)

Also, I use this album to get my energy levels up.

You can also do it on your lunch break and if you train outdoors somewhere a bit chilly, you should find it’s quick enough that you don’t really work-up a sweat.

Why not do the O.N.E. workout twice in a day even? Although then maybe it would be the T.W.O. workout?

This is exactly what I needed at the moment and I’m loving it. You should give it a go too!

About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.


  1. Habit ReCode says:

    I read in your email newsletter that you are trying to lift weights before bed. I would love to hear about this. How is it going, what excercises do you do and do you finish off with protein intake?

    • thebioneer says:

      Awesome, so glad people are reading the emails 😀 Sorry for the errors in that last one… But yeah, I’ll definitely be doing a full write up on it. Literally just starting at the moment but the aim is to stimulate maximum growth without raising the heartrate too much (which is not conducive to sleep). And yes, definitepy the protein. Thinking right now that caseine might be best! I actually saw Rich Piana do a video on it, but my approach will be a bit different than his! Will keep you posted 🙂

  2. Sean Bedingfield says:

    This is my go to when missing my workout, particularly one legged squats. This post inspired me to raise the intensity with more reps! Thanks!

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