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Military Muscle: The ultimate warrior workout

Random exercise selection makes for an intense full-body challenge

Mar. 5, 2012 - 12:04PM   |   Last Updated: Mar. 5, 2012 - 12:04PM  |  
When we heard about former Army sergeant and Bronze Star recipient Daniel Rodriguez's YouTube campaign to get recruited by a college football team, we thought, "Let's make him do one of Bob Thomas' hard-core workouts." Check out his story — and our video of him knocking out this workout — at militarytimes.com/blogs/PT365.
When we heard about former Army sergeant and Bronze Star recipient Daniel Rodriguez's YouTube campaign to get recruited by a college football team, we thought, "Let's make him do one of Bob Thomas' hard-core workouts." Check out his story — and our video of him knocking out this workout — at militarytimes.com/blogs/PT365. (Mike Morones / Staff)
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About the author

Bob Thomas is director of the Navy Wellness Center in Pensacola, Fla. Click here to email him.

In the ancient Nordic hall Valhalla, presided over by Odin, Viking heroes who died in combat trained for the day when they would march out for the world's last great battle.

Novices beware: This is a warrior's workout.

To build it, I've borrowed CrossFit founder Greg Glassman's training technique of random selection. Number each exercise (we've done that part); put the numbers in a bowl; pick numbers randomly; and complete the associated exercises in the order picked. Women should go for the 45-pound bar, but not use anything lighter than the 36-pound bar. Every thing is 15 reps except where noted.

Valhalla

1. Burpee to pullup: Execute a 4-count burpee. When you come up (count 4), jump up to the pullup bar and complete a pullup. Drop from the bar (count 1), and continue the sequence. Reps: 10

2. Lunge to squat to push press: Holding a 45-pound Olympic bar or two 20-pound dumbbells on your shoulders, do the following sequence: Four lunges (knees touch the ground), a deep squat (legs to 90 degrees), and a shoulder press as you come up (full range of motion). Sets: 5

3. 25-meter run course: Set up cones 25 meters apart. Run at 85 percent effort for 1 minute; rest 1 minute. Sets: 3

4. 1.5 pushups: What? Simple: Start in the full pushup position; lower all the way; push up to the halfway point; go back down to the bottom; return to the full up position. Reps: 15

5. Kettlebell or dumbbell swings: Use a 16-kilo kettlebell or 30/35-pound dumbbell. Take an athletic position — slight flex forward at the hip, neutral back — and swing the weight from between your legs to just above eye level. Thrust with your hips as you start the swing. Time: 45 seconds

6. 25-meter run course: Start your clock and complete six rounds (12 lengths) at 85 percent effort. Sets: Rest until the clock reads 2:30; repeat the run sequence; repeat again at the 5-minute mark.

7. Handstand pushup: Do a handstand against a wall. Bend your arms and lower yourself to the floor, touching your forehead. Push back to full extension. Starter level: V-up with your feet on the ground and press from there. Progress by piking up with your feet on a bench. Reps: 10

8. Burpee to long jump: Execute a 4-count burpee. When you come up (count 4), jump in a forward direction as far as you can. Reps: 15

9. 5-meter run course: Set up cones 5 meters apart. Start the clock and complete six round trips as hard as you can. Rest until the clock starts the next minute, then repeat the run. Sets: 3

10. Half-moons from the knees: Kneeling with a 45-pound plate on your right or left side, grab the plate, start lifting it toward your head and press it up to overhead. Bring the plate down on the opposite side and repeat the process. Reps: 15

11. Double agility ladder: Hook two agility ladders together lengthwise. Start hopping on two feet and progress quickly to one foot once you have the drill down. Stand outside the first square; hop into the second square; hop backward to the first square; then forward to the third square; then backward to the second square, etc., to the end and return on the opposite foot. Reps: 15.

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