Workout of the Week (Intermediate and Advanced Options)

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Spc. Juan Gonzalez, a scout with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), prepares to perform T-pushups at the Atkins Functional Fitness 24-hour gym where Gonzalez trained hard enough to become the 1st enlisted Soldier to max out the new Army Combat Fitness Test with a score of 600. (James Avery/U.S. Army)
Spc. Juan Gonzalez, a scout with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), prepares to perform T-pushups at the Atkins Functional Fitness 24-hour gym where Gonzalez trained hard enough to become the 1st enlisted Soldier to max out the new Army Combat Fitness Test with a score of 600. (James Avery/U.S. Army)

Finding creative ways to work out is a challenge during the coronavirus crisis, especially if you do not have a home gym. Whether you are just too busy to go to the gym, on a ship or submarine deployment or just in a quarantined environment, there are many ways to create challenging and effective workouts to get you moving with minimal equipment and confined spaces.

The workout idea below is focused on muscle stamina and faster-paced cardio conditioning. Both are elements of fitness that tactical athletes need to practice regularly throughout the year.

This is a calisthenics workout with minimal equipment needed that pushed our local training group this week. You can pair up with a partner or go solo with the paired circuits below and accumulate total repetitions in the 50 to 100 range, depending on your fitness level.

Consider supplementing harder exercises (pull-ups) with easier options if 50-100 reps are not possible. Replace with pull-downs, rows, or bicep curls, or assisted versions of pull-ups.

Warmup with Push-up / Run Super Set: Run 100 meters + 10 push-ups – repeat 10 times.

This is a warmup that totals 100 push-ups and 1000 meters of running at warm up pace (not a sprint). Mix in some warm up dynamic stretches during the 100 meter sections as well.

Paired Circuits: Do pairs of exercises in as few sets as possible until 100 reps are completed. The way I personally like to do these circuits is to move from one exercise to the next with minimal rest in between exercises and push to near maximum effort in how many reps you can do.

Keep track of the repetitions as you bounce from one event to the next until you reach your go number of reps.

For instance, pick 50-100 repetitions to accomplish in each circuit and strive to achieve those in as few sets as possible. If you can do each circuit in 4-6 sets, that is pretty good.

Pick a weight so it is light enough to be able to do 20-25 reps for your first set. Those numbers will slowly decrease, but the goal here is to test your muscle stamina for multiple sets.

100 Reps of Each:

  • Pull-ups - mix in assisted versions if needed if 100 pull-ups is impossible
  • Bench Press or DB Push Press (overhead press using legs for assist to get up)

100 Reps of each:

  • DB Military / bicep curls - This is two exercises blended into one movement. Do a bicep curl and flow into a military press (overhead press)
  • Dips (or bench dips)

100 Reps of each:

  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups and abs of choice – Mix a variety of exercises in for this one if you prefer (knee-ups, leg tucks, flutterkicks, etc)

10 min plank pose:

  • Every minute do 10 burpees - This is very hard and leaves you really only doing a 5 minute plank in total as half the time is getting those burpees done in under 30 seconds (if possible).

100 Reps of each:

  • Flutter kicks
  • Leg Levers
  • Scissors

Run (or replace with bike 3 min fast pace)

Run Intervals

  • 400 meters x 8 at goal pace

- Rest with 1 minute walk plus:

  • Push-ups 10-20
  • Abs of choice 30

If you have access to a pool or place to swim and prefer a swim workout over running or biking, replace the 400-meter run with a 100-meter swim with a stroke of your choice (freestyle, side stroke, etc).

Challenge yourself with less weight and more repetitions with this workout. It’s easy to do at home or in confined spaces with the right pieces of equipment.

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 starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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