A Healthy Mix of Weights, PT, and Cardio

Pushup workout

It's easy to create imbalances if you do the same old workout each week – missing out on muscle groups that oppose muscles you focus on.  Often the upper back is ignored in daily workouts, so you have to make sure if you are doing a lot of pushups, bench presses and other forward pushing exercises that you do some opposing muscle group flexing as well.  See below for a circuit to better explain.

Weight PT  Cardio Mix

Repeat as many times as you can in 45-60 min

Burpee Pyramid / Run

  • 1 burpee run 25m, 2 burpee run 25m - up to 10.
  • Dips max
  • Pullup max
  • Pulldowns 10-15
  • Db or TRX Rows 10/arm
  • Bench press 5-10
  • Pushups max
  • Rev pushups 20
  • Birds 20
  • Arm haulers 20

Lightweight shoulder

  • Run 3 miles
  • Swim:  500m warmup

Repeat 10 times

  • 100m CSS
  • 50m free style at 8-10 strokes per breath

Mix in abs each set and plank pose for 1-2 minutes every other set.

Or Ruck 45 minutes if you need to focus on that skill.

In the workout circuit above, we start out each circuit with a basketball court burpee pyramid.  This gets the blood pumping through the body and starts working the shoulders and chest quickly.  Following with Dips, we continue the pushing exercise, then spend the next three exercises balancing with pulling exercises (pullups, pulldowns, rows).  After, we jump back on the bench press with moderately heavy weight, then immediately after drop and try pushups.  This is usually a futile attempt and you may get 10-20 reps if you did the bench hard enough. 

After pushups, stay on the floor and work the upperback, rear deltoids, and rhomboids, to help balance out the pushing again and work on your posture muscles.  The final exercise of the set is the lightweight shoulder workout.  This is a very challenging 5lb dumbbell workout straight out of physical therapy torture.  Works really well to focus on the smaller muscles of the shoulder and rotator cuff.

After a few sets of that circuit, you will feel like you worked your upper torso.  After the run, you will feel better and the swim will top off a great upper body workout.  Enjoy.

Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles on Military.com Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

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