Step Up Your Game With This Max Effort 15-minute Workout

Whether you’re crushing your 2019 fitness goals or started cheating on your New Years Resolution weeks ago, this quick workout will get you on track
February 5, 2019Words by Jian PablicoPhotos by Marlon Soriano

We’re back for the third installment of our 15-minute workout series with fitness expert and lululemon Mindful Performance Manager Jian Pablico. (Make sure to check out the first and second workouts if you missed them.)

These are no-nonsense workouts for when hours at the gym after a long workday just isn’t gonna fly. You can do them at home—no special equipment needed. Jian keeps it simple (warning: simple does not mean easy—Jian kicked our butts when we worked out with him) and designs his workouts to give you the most bang for your buck. Or, the most bang for your… fifteen minutes.

Give ‘em a try and let us know how you did.


Okay, this is the one—max effort all the way. Only you know what “max effort” looks and feels like for you, so go to that edge and reap the rewards. For this workout, you have options: If you have a staircase, use it. If not, find a hill or a long stretch to sprint. Workout like everyone is watching: Be mindful of your form and push yourself to your limit. Remember to run hard and rest hard. Be explosive with every step you take (and also be mindful as you get tired so you don’t miss a step—literally). See how far you can go, drop a marker, then step your game up and beat it.


• 5 stair sprints (20 seconds sprinting / 40 seconds rest)

• 30 mountain climbers plus

• 5 stair sprints (20 seconds sprinting / 40 seconds rest)

15-minute Workout: Part 1: Max Effort x 5

Part 1: Max Effort x 5

Start at the bottom of the stairs (or hill), and using a stopwatch, press go and run as far up on the stairs as you can for 20 seconds. At the 20-second point, stop running and drop a marker before slowly walking back down to the starting position. Make sure you get back down the stairs within 40 seconds because on the next minute, you’ll run up again and try to beat your first marker time. Repeat this for five minutes, adding more rest if needed.

15-minute workout: part 2: mountain climbers plus

Part 2: Mountain Climbers Plus

Do 30 repetitions of a push-up-mountain climber combo. Take it as slow as you need to maintain your best form. Once you have completed 30 reps, rest until the 5-minute time expires. This workout burst focuses on your upper body and core. For optimal performance, make sure your chest is touching the floor for the push-ups and always remember Chuck Norris’ words of wisdom: “don’t push yourself up—push the world down.”


1. Start in a high plank position with shoulders over wrists

2. With an engaged core, lower to the floor for a push-up (elbows graze ribs, chest to the floor)

3. Push back up to starting position, and lock out elbows at the top

4. From the high plank position, take your right foot off the ground, and using your core, bring the right knee up to gently touch the back of your right elbow

5. Keeping the core engaged, bring the right leg back to the ground for high plank position

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the left leg to complete one rep


15-minute workout: part 3: redo

Part 3: Redo

Complete Part 1 again, trying to maintain the same intensity as the first round.


>>Next: Jian Pablico’s 15-minute Workout


Trending Gear