Video demonstrations of all the exercises we do
on 12 Minute Athlete.

Have a question about the workouts, apps, website, or something else entirely?

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about 12 Minute Athlete:


I’m getting overwhelmed when I look at all the workouts and exercises on the site. What’s the best way to get started?

Not to worry, getting started really is the hardest part. Here’s where you can find tons of great resources and suggested workouts to help you get started.

And this will help you feel less intimidated when you’re first starting out.

What type of warm up exercises should I do before the workouts?

You really only need to spend a few minutes warming up before a workout—here’s how to do a proper warmup.

Are cool downs really necessary?

There’s really no need for a specific cool down, but it’s also not a good idea to sit down and stop moving altogether right after a tough workout. Read this to learn everything you should know about cool downs.

How many times a week do you recommend doing the workouts?

The workouts can be done anywhere form 2-6 days a week (always take at least one rest day!). Here’s how to figure out how often you should work out based on your goals.

If I don’t have access to equipment, can I still do any of the workouts?

Yes! Definitely. You can do these workouts even if you have absolutely no equipment and very little space (no excuses!). Here’s all about how to substitute body weight exercises for equipment-based ones.

You can also go to the workout archives and click on equipment-free for completely equipment-free workouts.

I am a bit confused with the timing of the workouts. Can you explain how to do them?

Yep! For example, if the workout says 18 x :10 x :30, you’ll set your interval timer for 18 rounds of :10 and :30 intervals. You’ll then rest on the :10 intervals and work hard on the :30 ones. Here’s more about how to do all of the workouts.

Can we mix the program up with other forms of exercise? I.e. swimming, biking, running, etc.?

Yep—the workouts are a perfect way to improve your strength and conditioning or maintain your level of fitness along with whatever other sports you enjoy.

Just make sure you’re still giving your body enough rest in between your workouts and not over training. If you’re not sure how often to work out based on your current goals, this may help.

How long before I start seeing improvements?

It should take only about two to four weeks to start feeling stronger and more fit, and about a month (maybe less) before you start seeing a difference—as long as you’re consistent and work really hard.

Exercise and motivation

Any tips for staying motivated?

If you need some motivation, read this.

How can I get better at double unders?

Double unders are tough, but if you practice enough you will get there. Here’s all about how to get better at them.

I can’t even come remotely close to doing a pistol, should I skip these completely?

Although you can always substitute pistols for more beginner-friendly exercises like air squats, I’d highly recommend trying to work up to them by doing the most difficult pistol modification you can manage. This article will help you figure out how to modify them.

I tend to bulk up easily from exercise in my legs, do you have any suggestions?

I’ve been there—trust me. This post may give you some hope.

I’m getting cramps in my legs when doing the workouts. What can I do about them?

Cramps are often due to not being properly hydrated, so make sure you’re drinking enough water during the day and especially before working out. You may also want to supplement with electrolytes if you feel like water isn’t enough.

If you think you may have shin splints, this can help make a big difference.

What exercises do you recommend to get rid of belly fat?

Unfortunately it’s not possible to spot treat certain areas—the best way to get rid of belly fat is to lower your overall body fat percentage by doing HIIT workouts consistently and eating healthy as often as possible.

How do you feel about working out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach?

I prefer to eat a small breakfast and then work out an hour or two after I wake up, but I understand this isn’t possible for everyone. If you’re going to work out first thing in the morning, make sure you get enough food the night before (including carbohydrates, which will give you energy) to ensure you have enough energy to get through your morning workout.

You can also try eating something really small such as a pre-workout drink and/or part of a banana for a small burst of energy right when you wake up.

What do you recommend eating after working out?

You’ll want a mix of protein and carbohydrates fairly soon after your workout (ideally within the hour) to help your muscles recover quickly. A protein shake is certainly the easiest and most convenient meal choice, although if you prefer whole foods that’s fine too.

How many calories do 12 Minute Athlete workouts burn?

I’m always a little hesitant to answer this question because calories burned will vary based on your sex, weight, age, and workout intensity level. That being said, you can expect to burn anywhere from 12 to 22 calories per minute doing these workouts.

Read more about calories burned during 12 Minute Athlete workouts here (and why you may not actually want to count them).

What should I do if I hit a plateau?

Plateaus are super frustrating, but they’re also inevitable – we all plateau at some point in our training. Here are some tips on how to deal with plateaus.

Other website and app stuff

I got the HIIT on the Go PDF, but I can’t read it and the letters are all messed up. How can I fix this?

Go ahead and update your PDF reader software—it’ll work then 🙂

Do you have any plans to add tabata workouts to the app along with the other workouts?

Yes! We have tons of plans for added workouts and new features for both the iPhone and Android apps, and tabata workouts are definitely in the works.

Is there any cost to join?

No, the website and emails are 100% free, although we do offer premium programs such as our 90-day Fitter Faster Stronger programPull Up Mastery, and the official 12 Minute Athlete app.

Do you do you do personal training or have any in person classes that I could attend?

If you’re interested in online or in person coaching, please let our team know.