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Thanksgiving Day Workout: Before or After Turkey Day

U.S. service members and their families complete the pull-up portion of a Memorial Day Murph and Pararescue Workout event (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Areca T. Bell).

Every year since the turn of the century, our local training group has gathered together on Thanksgiving Day morning not to do a Turkey Trot 5k run, but to do a workout worthy of several helpings of turkey and all the fixings. Typically, where we live, there are no gyms that are open, so we are relegated to outdoor training areas like playgrounds, parks, high school tracks, or running trails. Here are some of the samples over the years. Try one for Thanksgiving Day or the day after if you're feeling guilty about over-indulging:

Nothing wrong with the Turkey Trot – When in doubt, go for a long run, walk, or ruck to burn some calories and be better prepared to replace those calories later in the day without as much guilt.

Game Time – If you have a big crowd and can make teams, there is nothing like the Turkey Bowl! Playing football, rugby, basketball, or other team sport with your family and friends is always a classic way to prepare for the feast of the day!

Pt Pyramid with Run Intervals – If you have a playground with monkey bars or better yet, a pullup bar on a running path or high school track area, do the following:  The PT Pyramid

Set 1:  1 pullups, 2 pushups, 3 abs of choice – Run ¼ mile

Set 2:  2 pullups, 4 pushups, 6 abs of choice – run ¼ mile…

Every set of the pyramid – add in a ¼ mile run until you fail at either the calisthenics or running.  Then repeat in reverse order without the runs.  See if you can get up to 10 (that is 2.5 miles) without stopping.  If you have the ability to push harder – keep going up the pyramid and keep running or return in reverse order and total your running distance up to 5 miles with 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 abs of choice.

The Murph with a Pyramid and Runs – Similar to the above workout, but instead of abs of choice, replace with squats.  You can also opt to run 1 mile every 5th set and work your way up / down the 1-10-1 pyramid and total 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats and 4-5 miles total running.

Bring Some Toys – If you really want to beef up this fullbody workout, bring kettlebells, sandbags, and a TRX to the pullup bars.  Mix in the following type circuit:

Repeat 4 times

Run 1 mile*

Pullups max

TRX atomic pushups – max (try to double your pullup reps as a goal)

TRX rollouts 10

Sandbag Push Press 20-25

Sandbag Squats 20-25

Walking Lunges 10/leg

KB swings 20-25 or 1 minute timed

*if you want to make a mile or two more challenging – run 1-2 with the 30-40lbs sandbag on your shoulder

Regardless of what you do or do not do prior to Thanksgiving Day dinner, please enjoy the day doing what makes you happy with those you enjoy sharing time with. 

Happy Holidays!