Stew’s Favorites: Pull, Push, Legs, Abs, Full-Body Max Reps

A Marine performs shoulder presses.
Lance Cpl. Luis Cuevas, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464 intelligence analyst, performs shoulder presses in the powerlifting competition during the HMH-464 field meet aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., Sept. 12, 2014. (Cpl. James Smith/U.S. Marine Corps photo)

OK, this workout is no joke and not for beginners.

This is one of our favorite combo circuits where we focus on the following types of exercise groups: Upper-body push, upper-body pull, legs, abs and full-body movements. This one is a mix of a circuit and a max rep set of the pull, push, leg, full body and abs are done to your wishes.

Pull, push, legs, abs, full-body max rep sets exercise circuit:

Max rep sets of first three (Murph workout*) -- then “rest” with abs/full body each set:

  • Pull = pull-ups 100 reps
  • Push = push-ups 200 reps
  • Legs = air squats 300 reps
  • Abs of choice 50
  • Full-body exercise of choice: options include deadlift, hang clean, power clean, push press, kettlebell swings, etc. … Heavy or light moderate rep sets. 5-10 reps of these full-body exercises.


  • Keep doing sets of the circuit until you complete the 100, 200, 300 requirement.
  • But after every 200 reps completed of the top three (Murph), do a five-minute Tabata interval on the bike, rower or elliptical (20 seconds fast/10 seconds slow).
  • You are done with the cycle of push, pull, full, legs, abs when you complete the 100, 200, 300 reps and having completed 3 x 5-minute Tabata intervals.

Cardio workout to complete the day

  • Swim: 500-meter warmup
  • 5 x 200-meter swim
  • Swim with fins 500 meters

Or ruck four miles if you prefer.

*For those who do not know, the Murph Workout is named after Lt. Michael Murphy, U.S. Navy SEAL KIA and Medal of Honor recipient. The Murph is a popular CrossFit workout. This is our modified version.

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

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