Hold up. Before you chow down at your Memorial Day BBQ, make sure to break a sweat first. Why? Sure, you want to earn your meal (and yes, that’s part of it), but also to honor—in the best way us Spartans can—what we’re actually celebrating. To do that? Strap on our kicks, bust out some burpees and be GD grateful.
This year marks the 49th anniversary of the creation of Memorial Day. Originally know as Decoration Day, the U.S. Federal Government made it an official holiday in 1971 to remember service men and women who’ve sacrificed it all. Though many people think of this weekend as the kickoff to summer, or another chance to throw down, we’d like to take time to pause, reflect, and remember fallen military heroes, in spirit.
So we dedicate this Memorial-Day inspired workout to them. It combines easy-to-master movements you can literally do anywhere. Mindfully set your intention to sweat it out in honor of our fallen heroes, and give it every ounce of grit you’ve got. Because, remember, Memorial Day is about so much more than a rack of ribs and a cold one.
The Do-Anywhere Memorial Day Workout
1 Round Total, 49 reps of each + a 4.9-miler for the 49th
- 49 Burpees—Bring your chest to the ground, your feet must leave the ground, and your hands go overhead for each rep.
- 49 Squats—Sink your hips parallel to the ground and hit full extension with the hips at the top of the squat.
- 49 Push-ups—Work to break 90-degrees in the elbows and hit full extension with the arms at the top.
- 49 Sit-ups—Keep your lower abdominal engaged throughout. Sync it up with your breathing.
- Wrap it up with a 4.9 mile run
NEW TO BODYWEIGHT WORK? Add 60 seconds of rest between each set.
Memorial Day Workout: Pro Tips to Make it Count
“This is a great, full-body workout which hits your lower body (with squats and burpees), your upper body with (push-ups and burpees), and your core (with sit-ups),” says Sam Stauffer, Spartan Race Director of Fitness. This blend of cardio and bodyweight work targets most muscle groups in the body, and is an ultra-efficient way to maximize the return on your time spent.
Stauffer recommends to pace yourself on the burpees and keep your form clean. For the squats, he says it’s important to focus on lowering slowly as your thighs move parallel to the ground. “At the top of the squat, squeeze your glutes tightly!” Similarly, with the push-ups, focus on the slow lower and push your arms all the way straight. “Ensure that you hit full extension at the top of the push-up—quality over quantity!” And last but not least, pull yourself all the way up and forward as you crank out the sit-ups.