Try This Full-Body Workout for a High-Calorie Burn

After a cardio-only workout, you may feel like you want to combine the split routine of an upper body day and a lower body day and create a full body day. You can do that workout as the challenge it is or use it as a timesaver if you know the following day will be too busy to get in a full training session.

Here is a way to combine upper and lower body exercises into a series of circuits and cardio options to get all the benefit of a high-calorie-burning day:

Warm-up with calisthenics and cardio

This is an easy outdoor warm-up if you have an outdoor pull-up bar and short place to run. The 100-meter run is more of a jog mixed with a variety of dynamic stretches as you start to warm up mainly between sets 6-10. In this warm-up, you are doing sets of 5-10 reps of the main three calisthenics exercises of squats, pull-ups and push-ups. Add weight if you prefer by wearing a weight vest if these repetitions are too easy for you. But remember, this is still a warmup, so do not go too heavy.

Repeat 10 times

Run: 100 meters or do 2 x 50-meter shuttle runs

Push-ups: 10


Pull-ups: 5-10

Run 1.5 miles: This is a timed run. After a basic warmup, test yourself and see what your timed run pace is. If you have a 2- or 3-mile timed run for your branch of service, focus on your goal pace for the 1.5-mile interval of your own tested distance. There will be more running opportunities below.

Once all warmed up, do a lift of the following classics: bench, pull-ups and deadlift. You can replace the bench and deadlifts with TRX push-ups and tire flips respectively if you want to stay outside near the outdoor pull-up bar.

Repeat 3 times

Bench press: 10 (or TRX push-ups: 20)

Pull-ups: max

Deadlift or tire flips: 5-10

Now, back to more running. This is a basic circuit of running at a goal pace for 800 meters (not a sprint), arm exercises, legs, grip and core movements that challenge the entire body with common movements. You will see many of these in a tactical profession.

Repeat 5 times

Run 800 meters at goal pace

Bicep or Military Curl: 10 (bicep curl straight into overhead press with dumbbells)

Lunges: 10 per leg

Farmers Walk: 100 meters (carry weight in one hand and change hands when grip weakens)

Hanging Knee-ups: 10

The final piece of cardio “cooldown” is up to you. If you need to work on your swimming, get in the pool. If pools are closed or you need to focus more on your land load-bearing ability, put on a backpack or weight vest of 40-50 pounds (or 25% of your body weight) and start moving out.

45 Min Cardio Option:

Ruck for 3 miles or Swim 500 meters warmup CSS no fins, then 1500 meters with fins for time

I have found workouts like this are great for those days in the week when you do not have the time to train the following day and you did not do much the day before. Obviously, this is a more advanced training program and you should build up to doing workouts like this especially when it comes to running or rucking, higher repetition calisthenics and lifting heavier weights.

This workout will take about 2 hours to complete using minimal resting time and burn about 1000 calories, so fuel up prior to starting this one.

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 stew@stewsmith.com.

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