You’ve heard of the 12 Days of Christmas. Well this is the 12 Days of Fitness. Each day we’re revealing another Spartan-approved workout for the holiday season and new year. Click here to see all of the workouts.
You’re committed. You’re determined. You’re ready for a change. Bodyweight training is one of the most beneficial types of training for Spartans. Starting today, we will show you how your body is the only equipment you need to be a strong, stable Spartan.
From the time we learned to lift our head, we’ve been working our muscles with bodyweight training. It’s the foundation of our strength-building capabilities. We are beginning this 28-day workout cycle with working the front half of our body, our pushing muscles.
These pushing muscles will include our chest, shoulders, triceps, and legs. Throughout this first cycle of bodyweight training, we’ll also be actively engaging all of our core muscles to further increase strength, stability, and balance.
Remember, it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Commit to the first three weeks to start an active, healthy lifestyle, then that fourth week is a breeze. Let’s do this, Spartan.
The Bodyweight Training Workout
To begin this bodyweight training workout, we’ll need to start with a 5-10 minute dynamic warm up to prepare for the actual workout itself.
This dynamic warm up serves two main purposes: to “wake up” the nervous system, which is essentially the connection between our muscles and the brain, and to deliver blood to the soon-to-be working muscle groups.
A dynamic warm up like this is critical for preventing injury. We’ll start with our lower body first, then move onto our upper body.
Bodyweight Training: Dynamic Warm Up
Jog – 1 minute in place
High Knees – 30 seconds
Butt Kicks – 30 seconds
High Kicks – 30 seconds
Lateral Shuffles – 30 seconds (each side)
Lateral Lunges – 10 repetitions (5 each side)
Body Weight Squats – 10 repetitions
Alternating Forward Lunges – 10 repetitions (5 each side)
Push Ups – 10 repetitions
Single Leg Reaches – 10 repetitions (5 each side)
Glute Bridges – 10 repetitions
Our first bodyweight training circuit includes bear crawls, squats, and wide push ups. You’ll perform three rounds of all three of these exercises in a row without any rest in between.
Bear Crawl – 3×10 (7-8 RPE)
Bear crawls are a total body exercise that will strengthen nearly every muscle in your body, but with a specific focus on stabilizing your hips and shoulders.
Body Weight Squats – 3×10 (7-8 RPE)
Squats are one of the most basic functional movements, but the focus will be on strengthening your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Wide Push Ups – 3×10 (7-8 RPE)
Push ups are another one of the bodyweight training basics for the upper body, but going with a wide hand position will place slightly more emphasis on the chest and shoulders and less on your triceps.
What does RPE mean? RPE is an abbreviation for rate of perceived exertion. During exercise, RPE is used to prescribe or measure how hard to work. For example: an RPE of 1 is work that would be described as “just noticeable”, whereas an RPE of 10 would be described as “failure”. An RPE of 5 would be “challenging” and a 7 or 8 (which is what you’ll be working at for this plan) is best described as “hard or moderately hard”.
Our second bodyweight training circuit includes split squats, tricep dips, and calf raises. Just like in circuit 1, you’ll perform three rounds of all three of these exercises in a row without any rest in between.
Split Squats – 3×10 (7-8 RPE)
Split squats are a lower body exercise that eliminates any muscular imbalances of the quads, hamstrings, and glutes because of the “split” stance.
Tricep Dips – 3×10 (7-8 RPE)
Tricep dips are somewhat of an isolation exercise that specifically targets the triceps muscles. This particular exercise will prove very helpful during race day for climbing up and over obstacles.
Calf Raises – 3×10 (7-8 RPE)
Calf raises are another isolation exercise for the lower body. This particular exercise will greatly improve ankle stability — something very useful on race day.
Our third bodyweight training circuit includes single-leg sit to stands, dolphin push ups, and step ups. Follow the same format as circuit’s 1 and 2, perform three rounds of all three of these exercises in a row without any rest in between.
Single-Leg Sit to Stand – 3×10 (7-8 RPE)
The single-leg sit to stand is an exercise that challenges your balance and stability. Working one leg at time will eliminate any muscular imbalances that exist on their side.
Dolphin Push Ups 3×10 (7-8 RPE)
Dolphin push ups are a slightly advanced version of the push up that works nearly every muscle in your upper body and core. The unique range of motion of the exercise will help provide some extra stability of the shoulder joint.
Step Ups 3×10 (7-8 RPE)
Step ups are a lower body exercise that will improve any muscular imbalances, similarly to the split squats and single-leg sit and stands.
To finish our workout, we’ll strength our core muscles further with one final circuit. Complete both of these exercises back to back with no rest in between for three rounds.
Plank to Arm Lift (alternating sides) – 3×10 (7-8 PRE)
The plank to arm lift is an advanced version of the plank that eliminate any imbalances in any muscles through the core.
Dead Bug – 3×10 (7-8 RPE)
The dead bug is core training basic, but with the added benefit of alleviating any pressure in the low back that other core exercises sometimes cause.
Great work powering through Day 1 of the Spartan bodyweight training plan!
Foam roll any muscles you feel excessive soreness or tightness, and stretch or try these yoga-inspired moves for epic recovery.