September 15, 2014
It's probably no secret by now that this weekend I am racing at the Spartan World Championships in Vermont.
And if you read this blog regularly, you know that I've just finished an intense crucible in California called SEALFit Kokoro, I'm still racing triathlons, playing in tennis league and now gearing up for hunting and snowboarding season.
So as you can imagine, my workouts are varied, entertaining, and somewhat unorthodox – but perfectly programmed to give you the ultimate mix of strength, speed, power, endurance, durability, coordination, fat loss and flexibility. In today's article, I'm going to share with you what I consider to be my top 10 full body fitness workouts of the past year. Hopefully these workouts get your wheels turning, and perhaps you can even choose one or two to try this week.
By the way, I post every workout that I do 365 days a year, and photograph my main meals for the members of my Inner Circle, which is just 10 bucks a month. And be sure to check out the end of this article, where you're going to learn how to get a free signed copy of my book Beyond Training!
Incidentally, you may notice that I don't run much. I don't like to run much and even in my peak Ironman racing weeks would run a maximum of 25 miles a week. Nowadays I run about 8-10 miles a week max. So if you're looking for a high volume run program…go elsewhere. ;)
1. Battle Rounds – perfect when you have one set of dumbbells and you want a lung-sucking workout that includes some significant load lifting.
Preferably wearing Elevation Training Mask, do 3-5 rounds for time of:
-50 leg levers
-40 mountain climbers
-20 kettlebell or dumbbell swings
-10 dumbbell manmakers (40lb men/25lb women)
2. Bike & Burn – works very well if you have an stationary bike or bike setup on a bike trainer in a backyard or park.
-100m heavy sandbag or rock carry
-5 minute bike at tempo pace
-15-25 pull-ups or 3x rope climbs
-5 minute bike at tempo pace
-Uphill drag with chain attached to cinder block (or just pull anything you can find up a hill or for a distance)
-5 minute bike at tempo pace
-15-25x tire flips
-5 minute bike at tempo pace
-Repeat for one additional round if time permits
3. Sandy Stairs – all you need for this is something heavy to carry and a flight of stairs. You get to work your core during your “rest periods”.
-Find a flight of stairs, preferably 3-5 flights
-At bottom of stairs, do 5-10 sandbag, rock or dumbbell clean and jerks (here's how to make your own sandbag)
-Carry sandbag to top of stairs. Carry sandbag back down stairs.
-Set sandbag down and hold plank position for 60 seconds.
-Repeat for as many rounds as possible in available time.
4. Body By Science – straight from Doug Mcguff's book and much harder than it looks if you choose a challenging resistance and go as slow as you can go. The Tabata finisher is my evil add-on.
-5-10 minute bike warmup, then 10 seconds down, 10 seconds up per rep for just ONE round of the following:
-8 reps machine chest press
-8 reps machine row
-8 reps machine shoulder press
-8 reps machine-assisted pull-up
-8 reps barbell squat
-Finisher: 1x bike or elliptical tabata set of 4 minutes of 20 second hard, 10 seconds easy
5. Park Family Workout – a good way to help make your kids superhuman.
Bike or run with kids to park (or solo if kids aren't your thing), then do 3 rounds of:
-60 second handstand pushups against tree or wall (kids can easily practice this)
-Sprint to fence, then balance on fence for a 10-20 foot walk (kids can balance on curb, sidewalk cracks, etc. if fence is too high)
-Sprint to bar, beam, tree branch, etc., do 5 pullups (kids can simply hang for as long as possible)
-Sprint to bench, 10 spiderman pushups (kids can do regular or knee push-ups)
-Put kids on back, sprint 100 yards with kid on back, then drop down and bear crawl 25 yards, then stand up and finish by sprinting 75 yards (still with kid on back)
-Finish circuit with 10 box or park bench jumps (kids can do step-ups if necessary)
6. Curtis Operator WOD straight from “8 Weeks To Sealfit” – this thing is long and takes some pretty significant patience but is a big “fitness breakthrough” style workout.
-100 reps of power clean then, with the barbell or two dumbbells racked on your shoulders, front lunge left leg, then front lunge right leg, then push press at 115 lbs. That's one rep baby.
7. 5×5 With Sprint Finisher – very good combination of strength, speed and muscular endurance.
5 sets of 5 reps of:
Finisher: 10×30 second sprint at 8-10mph on 8-10% incline
8. Hotel Room Workout – I travel a ton and do body weight workouts like this quite a bit. I've also done similar workouts (without the cold shower of course) in airport terminals, parks, etc.
At conference, sneak up to room before breakfast, after lunch and before dinner for:
-10 lunge jumps per side
-20 box jumps onto bed
-25 chair dips
-30 jumping jacks
-2 minute cold shower
9. Hotel / Stairs Workout – very good option for when the hotel gym is crappy.
-Run one flight of stairs one step at a time. Stop on landing for 20 second isometric squat.
-Run next flight of stairs two steps at a time. Stop on landing for 20 push-ups.
-Run next flight of stairs by box jumping as many steps at a time. Stop on landing for 20 mountain climbers.
-Repeat for as many flights as possible.
10. “Recovery” Workout – a rest day still means you can put work into your body.
-Pool – 20×25 meter repeats with no breathing, underwater or freestyle
-Sauna – 30 minutes of box breathing, 4-8 count in, 4-8 count out
-Cold shower – 5 minutes
-Finish with full body foam rolling session
What do you think? What are your toughest workouts? Your key workouts? Your favorite workouts? Share in the comments section below. I'm going to choose my favorite, or most insane, and send you a signed copy of my book “Beyond Training“. Let the sufferfest begin!
18 thoughts on “The Top 10 Full Body Fitness Workouts Of The Year.”
I am currently living in india…lots of love from INDIA and please tell me about how do someone sleep like a baby and wake like powerful person I guess….
Hi Ben sir,
My name is yash vardhan and I am currently struggling with what excercises to do as I am a complete beginner to the world of fitness but I really like your thoughts of fitness to not only limit it to fitness but overall concepts of longevity, beauty, health,strength and many more..
Could you please guide me throughout the journey of transforming my physical entity . I stand 5 feet 6 or 6 and a half inches, weighing about 85 kg…
Your help would be highly appreciated. I do got a gym in home but with no barbell and the weights of the dumbbells are fixed to 1kg, 7.5 kg and another I can’t remember now. Could you please really guide me throughout the journey please. I am focusing more on creating proper functioning of organs, joints and being more alive, energetic and strong and flexible. Hope with my best wishes that you and your loved ones are safe and sound.
This is a little off topic but do you remember post you did that covered some individuals could have good muscle strength, but not muscle size? I can’t seem to find it.
Hrm… I don't recall that one in particualr. Was it this? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-greenfield/make…
I’m reading your book right now and I’m on the recovery section. I really like these workouts for full body. I just started training the correct way and noticed I’m much more functional than I was before. But are there HIIT full body workouts?
For sure! Take a look at this page https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2011/08/the-c… Nearly any workout can be done in a HIIT style. Just ask any Crossfitter ;)
My core work out.
3 sets. Aim to complete in under 20 minutes total time. No rest in between. Go directly into the next set.
X 50 bent leg crunches
X 15 leg raises with kettle bell extended past head horizontally
X 30 Russian twist with kettle bell
2 minute plank
25 push ups
I have read about the spartan run before. It was on a blog post about some of the world most extreme workout challenges. Would love to train for it some day soon.
Then you should check out <a href="http://www.obstacledominator.com” target=”_blank”>www.obstacledominator.com for sure!
Thanks for these workouts, glad to hear others also don’t like to run very much…
Every Friday a couple buddies and I get together for what we call the Century WOD;
Warmup with lightish snatches and cleans.
work to a variation of a heavy squat, maybe this week we do a front squat next week an overhead.
Then after a heavy squat do:
100 squats at about 60% of the heavy squat, same variation.
100 push-ups each week changing the variation of that as well.
100 sit ups changing the sit-up variation each week as well. Say full sit up, toes to bar, med balls etc.
The key is that we can break up the reps into as many sets as we want BUT if you start with 10 of the 50% squat then each addition movement and set has to also be 10.
10 OH squats, 10 superman push-ups, 10 full sit-ups
Makes it 10 rounds.
20 front squats, 20 diamond grip push-ups, 20 toes to bar.
Makes it 5 rounds
Something to look forward to on Fridays! Enjoy!
I like to make the run to the park and back more fun. The kids on the bikes are either cops or robbers and either bring chased by them or I have to catch and arrest them. Fun Fartlek with kids as they dictate how fast and far they go!! Get a few strange looks from the dog walkers on the trail!!
This one kills me. You can add weight if you can complete this workout in 15 minutes:
25 thrusters with DB
25 Ninja burpees
20 Ninja burpees
Then 15, 10, 5 then finished! Complete within 15 minutes if you can!!
Great ideas for workouts, Ben! Thanks for this!
This super intense workout takes a solid half-full day depending how you structure it and proximity to diff sites, but well worth it Ben.
Paddle board, surf, or kayak at sunrise for joint mobility and warmup (to cover all bodies of water depending where you live)
Rack your board, grab your basketball and jog, skate, or drive to the courts for a shoot around and 20 minutes of driving the lane for high intensity overall athletic work.
Jog back to your car, swimsuit back up for an open water swim in the ocean/lake/river. If ocean, swim a mile down the coast or to a landmark of your choosing. Upon swimming in, get some body surfing in for 15min if a decent swell is for the taking. Then smash the beach jog back to your car.
Finally the finisher. Bom it home shower up and gear up for paintball (capture the flag is my favorite btw for strategic critical thinking work etc). A few games will put you over the top and have you riding high for a few days fursher!
I borrowed this one from one of the Spartan WOD creators. Makes me sore every time and because it’s higher rep I feel like superwoman when it’s done. It can also be modified for wherever I’m at!
100x Jacks, 100x Burpees, 100x Pull-ups, 100x Box Jumps, 100x Squat Throws, 100x Brazilian Ab Twists, 100x Squats, 100x Side Kicks, 100x Jumping Lunges, 100x Sandbag Curls, 100x Sandbag Tristan Extensions, 100x Tuck Jumps, 3 Rope Climbs, 300 Crunches.
I love throwing this in every month to see where im at. Simple but very efective!
10 rounds of:
100m sprint or run ,10 pullups/ or laying pullups, 100m sprint or run back, 10 burpees, rest for 30 sec and repeat.
Last round after burpees, sprint back 100m to pullup point to finish!
Time yourself and try to better it next time.
One of my favourite workouts is even better as a partner challenge. The goal ‘who can lift the most weight in 20 min’. Pick a weight to power clean, however each time you clean the weight, you must perform 5 pushups + 5 pull ups. Total weight lifted = number of power clean reps x weight.