Workout of the Week: Tough Upper Body Workout With a Good Balance

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brandon Stout, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron fire and emergency services driver operator, performs pull-ups at the fire station on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 8, 2013. Stout devotes two hours a day to a strict weight lifting regiment and diet which has helped him achieve the top ranking in the 165 pound junior and open divisions for power lifting tournaments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada/Released)

Are you looking for a good upper body workout that mixes muscle stamina for PT, strength with weight training, a little mental toughness gut check, and wrapped up with opposing muscle group balance?   Here is a way we mix all the above into the warmup, workout, and cooldown. Check out this one:

Warmup with pushup pyramid: run 25m 1 pushup, run 25m 2 pushups - up to 10. We typically do this on a basketball court, field, or tennis court and mix in easy jogs, dynamic stretches, and slow warmup pushups.  Mix in some stretches for the upper body too – especially the shoulders and chest and core because the Death By Pushup 15 minute challenge is a somewhat painful isometric flex and additional 150 pushups.

Death By Pushups 15 minutes:  Do 10 pushups every min on the minute for 15 minutes. That alone is not that tough, but staying in the pushup position or plank pose adds to the challenge. Do not get out of pushup position or plank pose for the entire 15 minutes.  You can move around, but keep the knees off the ground and you must have three points of contact on the ground at all time.  Shake out your arms one at a time during the time in between pushup time at the top of each minute.

Here is the weight room.  If you notice the majority of the workout is a pulling exercise.  This will help balance out all of the pushing in the above sections of the workout / warmup.  

Repeat 3-4 times Pullups max Pulldowns 10 DB rows 10/arm Bench Press 10 Bicep/military press 10 Run 1/2 mile fast

It is up to you how you do the two miles of running.  Feel free to do the ½ mile intervals fast during the circuit or save the 1/2 mile runs for the end of the workout and combine them all into a 1.5 to 2 mile run.

PT Reset – This is a classic calisthenics workout that balances out a high volume of pushup day.  Do these without weight and add a second set if you prefer at the end of the workout or during the swim portion: PT Reset: Reverse Pushups 10-20  Birds 10-20  Arm haulers 10-20  Swimmers 1 min Swim Optional:  Swimming makes a great cooldown especially if you are running and PTing outside in the heat and humidity.  You will find that half of your fatigue in a workout is body heat.  Jumping in the pool can cool you down quickly and you will find that second wind quickly. However, if you are sweating profusely, make sure you hydrate well and get some electrolytes as swimming last can also spur muscle cramps in the legs.

Swim 500m warmup Repeat 5 times Swim 150m fast - pushups 20 - abs of choice 50 - pullouts 10 – The pullout is a muscle up on the pool’s edge. Basically, do a pullup on the pool’s edge in the deep end and bring your body out of the water so your waist is touching the pool’s edge.


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