Workout of the Week – Minimal Equipment Needed
With many states and military base gyms still closed, people are looking for more creative ways to train. The good news is that it does not take any equipment to get in a good workout.
However, every piece of equipment or gear you can consolidate for your home gym or mobile gym in your vehicle is a force multiplier. Your ability to add creativity and additional exercises is much greater even with the smallest upgrade to your personal fitness equipment.
Here is a one-two punch that will help you create an upper body and a lower body split routine that you can do 1,2 or 3 times a week depending on your abilities.
The workouts offer several options. You can be a basic minimalist or add variety to any movement.
Day 1 Upper Body:
Push-ups Pyramid: Run 50 meters, 1 push-up, Run 50 meters, 2 push-ups…up to 10 push-ups
Use a field, parking lot, or driveway for this warm up. Or 20 jump ropes if no 50 meter run area.
Repeat 3 times
DB Bench or Military Press 10
DB rows or pull-ups 5-10
(use assisted if needed)
DB bicep curls or reverse pull-ups 5-10 (assisted?)
If there is no pull-up bar, build one, buy one or find a playground (if open) to do pull-ups on monkey bars.
If there are no dumbbells, try a sandbag or rubber bands to do these exercises.
Repeat 3 times
Walk/jog/bike 5 minutes
Abs of choice 1 minute
Depending on your abilities, mix in as many rounds as you have the time or ability to do of these exercises: walk, run, bike, push-ups and abs of choice (plank pose, crunches, leg tucks, farmer walks, etc – depending on your current fitness test or add a variety of testing exercises each set).
PT Reset – After doing this workout, the PT Reset is a way to balance out the upper and lower back with the chest and lower abs or hip exercises.
Repeat 2 times
Rev push-up – 20
Arm haulers – 20
Birds – 20
Swimmers – 30 secondss
Plank pose – 1 minute
Run or walk 1 mile or 10 minutes bike and stretch
Many people will split the workouts that reach all the muscle groups of the body into two days, but you can also do full body workouts with cardio/mobility on the days in between a full body repeat. The upper/lower body split enables you to work daily and burn calories without burning out the same muscle groups, allowing for you to recover previously worked muscle groups.
Day 2 – Lower Body Day
Squat/run 50 meter pyramid 1-10 THEN Stairs *up/down squat pyramid 1-10: These two squat pyramids will yield 110 squats so only pick one depending on your fitness level.
If you do not have a place to run 50 meters for each set or walk up/down stairs, do a jump rope for 20 jumps in between each set of the pyramid. Example: 1 squat, run, 2 squats, run, 3 squats, run…up to 10 squats – running or going up/down stairs each set.
This circuit will talk a little over 30 minutes if you do all 5 sets, but the goal is to move with some form of cardio for 5 minutes followed by a set of leg exercises. Think of this as a 25-minute walk/run or bike with stops to do a list of leg exercises every 5 minutes.
Repeat 5 times
Run/walk, bike 5 minutes
Pick 1 exercise option each set: (cals or DBs)
– Air squats 10
– Lunges 5/leg
– Wall sits 30 seconds
– Step-ups 10/leg
– Farmer walk up/down flight of stairs 2x or 50 meters flat
Cooldown Cardio: Run or walk 1 mile or 10 minutes on bike Stretch the legs thoroughly.
Options to Fit This Split Routine into Your Week
Depending on your abilities and goals, you can break up the training week the following ways:
– Do 1 upper/lower body day per week, but run/walk or bike remaining days of the week on a logical progression. If new to running, see beginner running plan and try building up your miles every other day with a bike ride in between.
– Do 2 upper/lower body days per week, and run, walk or bike on the other days of the week, or mix in cardio warmups or cooldowns on the day you do the resistance training.
– Do 3 upper/lower body days per week, and take a cardio or mobility day every three days as a mid-week recovery option
Give it a try. This plan just takes time and some effort with very few equipment needs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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