You will always work harder when you have a workout partner pushing you. If a buddy isn’t joining you, sometimes you have to rely on the stopwatch to push.
For these classic workouts combinations, you’ll need a buddy to make them work best. One person does a more challenging exercise while the other does a distance or steady effort exercise. The buddy who’s doing the distance or steady effort exercise cannot finish until the other person completes their repetitions. Then the partners swap.
Here are some classic buddy workout combinations that you can do multiple times in a single workout or create a circuit by doing several of the following just once:
Swim and PT Combo
This pool and PT classic will let you build up significant repetitions and prepare you for some of the military’s rescue swimmer, dive and spec ops schools. It typically takes most people 3 minutes to complete a 200 meter swim, so pace yourself as you do the PT on the pool deck.
Repeat 5-10 times
Swim 200 meters
While you swim 200 meters as fast as you can, your buddy does the following until you are done:
- Push-ups: 20; Flutterkicks: 20; Leg levers: 20; Push-ups: 20; Abs of choice: 20; and then Plank pose until swim set is complete
Then, partners swap places.
Run and PT Combo
This is great on a track, treadmill, steep hill or distance running area. A 400-meter run is a quick set, usually in the 1:30-2 minute range when also working leg each set.
Repeat 5-10 times
Run 400 meters at fast pace
While you run fast, your buddy does the following until you are done:
- Squats: 20; lunges: 10 per leg; run bleachers or step-ups onto a bench until partner returns.
Easy Day Buddy Workout
5 minutes on a bike, elliptical or rower followed by 5 minutes stretching or foam rolling. Because sometimes you need a recovery day.
Repeat 5 times
While you do recovery exercises, your buddy does the following until you are done:
5 minutes on non-impact cardio option
Buddy Exercise Combination Challenges
400 meter bear crawl and 400 meter farmer walk
One buddy starts to bear crawl while the other carries two weights in their hands (40-60 lbs. each). The partners crawl and walk side-by-side until the grip starts to fade on the farmer-walking buddy. Then you switch exercises until the grip weakens on the other partner. Keep this back and forth movement exchange up until 400 meters of bear crawl and 400 meters of farmer walk (800 meters total) has been accumulated by the pair.
The following squat pyramid is broken up with three different exercises for the buddies to share while totaling 210 squats.
Squat pyramid 1-10 and Plank Combo: Run 50 meters, do one squat, run 50 meters, do 2 squats. Continue up to 10. While you’re doing these exercises, the partner does plank pose. Switch exercise events.
Squat pyramid 11-15 and Wall Sit Combo: Run 50 meters, do 11 squats. Repeat up to 15 squats while the partner does the wall sit exercise. Switch exercise events.
Squat Pyramid 16-20 and Farmer Walk Combo: Run 50 meters, do 16 squats. Repeat up to 20 squats while the partner farmer walks up and down a flight of stairs carrying a 30-50 lb. weight in one hand.
100-meter Distance and 100 Repetitions Buddy Combinations
The following is a list of 100-meter distance exercises that one buddy does while the other buddy accumulates repetitions of a single exercise for 100 repetitions. The distance buddy cannot finish the event until the buddy completes the 100 reps. then the partners switch exercises.
100-meter bear crawl and 100 squats (40 lbs.)
100-meter lunges (carry 40 lbs.) and 100 push press (40 lbs.)
100-meter burpee broad jumps and 100 KB swings (40 lbs.)
100-meter sled push and tow and 100 push-ups non stop. If needed, rest in plank pose until 100 reps are completed.
100-meter sprint and jog backs | 100 flutterkicks (4 ct.)
These exercise combinations require more creativity than equipment. Find a like-minded group of people and have some fun with these options.
Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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