I have been wanting to try one of Lee & Jay’s 20 by 12 workouts for awhile now.  I bypassed last month’s because of a busy schedule and not really wanting to do the high impact box jumps due to my shady knees.

This month’s challenge goes like this:

4 rounds of:

12 chin ups
12 push ups
12 jumping power squats
12 body weight dips
12 knee raises on dip bars

Going into the challenge I was a bit hesitant to do the jumping power squats, again because of their potential knee implications, but other than that everything else seemed totally doable.  Having the reps for each set at 12 didn’t sound very daunting.

I had watched a number of 20 by 12 attempts.  Some of the elite level guys managed to do the entire circuit in less than 10 minutes, the not so elite have taken over 20 minutes.  I figured I would wind up solidly in the middle.

Well after one rotation through the 5 exercises I knew this was going to be tougher than I anticipated.  By the fourth set I was gasping for air and just looking desperately for the finish line.

The only exercise that I could not do all four sets unbroken were the chin ups.  I had to break my last two rounds into a couple mini-sets.  I was pleased that the jumping power squats went relatively well although they are indeed tough.  In the later rounds I felt quite light headed after completing them.

Watching the attempt back I saw several spots where I could have saved decent time by just being smarter about taking breaks.  I probably wasted close to a minute resting where I shouldn’t have.  For instance, although I was panting like a dog after doing dips, I should have jumped right into the knee raises since it utilizes a different body part that wasn’t as fatigued.

It took me between 18:15 and 18:30 to complete everything.  It wasn’t a great number, I was hoping to get closer to 15 minutes.  I am pretty confident if I try again I will be able to shave a couple minutes off based on my experience the first time around.

Although I wasn’t thrilled with my time I was happy with my form during the exercises, it was spot on pretty much the entire time.


At lunch time I did an accurately timed 5150 practice run.  I discovered my timing must have been inaccurate on Tuesday as I only got 38 pull ups and 80 push ups this time around.  Oh well.