Build strength, stamina, stability, and power with our Spartan-approved quick-hit Workout of the Day, NEW each week. Our SGX coaches share their favorite go-to exercises and workout gear to blast your bod and improve performance — without fail. Click here to view our complete workout database.
“While using barbells, kettlebells, and sandbags is great, to build muscle and burn fat, bodyweight training is essential,” says SGX coach Todd M. Cambio, C.S.C.S. “Reason being, you carry it around with you all the time. You can do this stuff anywhere and at any time.”
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Plus, as you’ll find with this minimalist workout from Cambio, it’s totally possible to hit the high-intensity zones. The key is intense rep schemes that focus on large, compound movements to work the most muscles at once. This allows you to tap into excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, otherwise known as the “afterburn effect.” The result: To repair your muscles and bring all of your body’s systems back to baseline, you burn extra calories and fat for up to 48 hours after your workout.
As Spartans become stronger and leaner, obstacles only get easier. “Most everything gets easier when you are stronger,” he says. “But also, with less overall body mass (from fat loss), it will require less muscular force to overcome obstacles such as the multi-rig or walls. Your running will get much better too because you are moving less overall mass with more strength.”
To build muscle and burn fat at the same time—and with zero equipment involved, perform 10 reps of each exercise, then move onto the next with as little rest as possible. At the end of each round, rest until your heart rate has recovered enough to speak full sentences. Do as many quality rounds as you can in 20 minutes.
The Bodyweight Workout to Burn Fat & Build Muscle NOW
Get into a staggered stance and lower into a lunge. Explode up and, when you reach maximum height, switch your legs in the air. Land softly under control and repeat back for one rep.
Lower into a push-up and then push the ground away as hard as you can to get full extension of your arms. (You may get airborne!) Maintain a tight core the whole time. That’s one rep.
Squat down as deep as you comfortably can and letting your knees flare to the sides. Then, drive as hard as you can through your heels to push the floor away. (Again, it’s possible you’ll leave the floor.) When your body reaches full extension, pull yourself back in the hole. That’s one rep.
Get on your hands and heels the floor, faceup, and raise your hips. Walk forward, using your heels to pull yourself. Then, on the way backward, use your arms to guide you. Walk 10 yards forward and then backward for one rep.
Lower into a quarter squat, then drive through your heels to spring up into the air as high as you can. Land as softly as possible. That’s one rep.
Get in a plank position on your forearms. Leading with one arm, raise up to the push-up position. Then lower yourself back down one forearm at a time back. That’s one rep.
Lateral Skater Hops
Standing with your feet hip-width apart and explode off one leg to jump as far as you can to the side. Land on the other leg. Repeat back to start for one rep.
Rotating Mountain Climbers
Get in a push-up position. As fast and with as much rotation as you can, drive one knee to the opposite elbow, then repeat on the opposite side for one rep. Maintain as straight a line from your ears to ankles.