This Big Bodyweight Challenge Builds Muscle With No Weights, But Has a Sinister Catch

David Morton
·3-min read
Photo credit: skynesher - Getty Images
Photo credit: skynesher - Getty Images

From Men's Health

Let’s face it, we’re still reeling from the announcement of Lockdown 3.0 and the umpteenth time gyms have had to close their doors. What's more, it's very, very cold and some of us aren’t quite up for heading outside to get our workout fix.

Men's Health Fitness Editor Andrew Tracey, the man on the front of our bumper Jan-Feb issue, is here to warm both your cockles and your metabolism. This bodyweight-only blast that can be completed from the 'comfort' of your living room, delivering a mood boosting dose of sweaty goodness from the great indoors.

All you need is a stopwatch and a patch of floor large enough to burpee in. Do not be deceived though, this is genuine engine-building work that will, by definition, push you to your limit.

You’re going to start a clock and work in an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) format, getting through as many rounds as you can of this low rep, total body circuit, resting only as necessary to remain good form and a controlled tempo.

There is, however, a catch. At the beginning of each new minute that elapses on your running clock, you’re going to drop down and perform a burpee, before continuing with your circuit. But, there’s more.

Each new minute you’ll add an additional burpee to that rep count. So on minute one you’ll perform a single burpee before cracking on with your push-ups and the rest of the circuit, at minute two you’ll perform two burpees, minute three is three burpees. You get the picture.

The workout ends when you can no longer fit the prescribed number of burpees into the minute. Or you give up.

Not enough of a challenge? Tune in to Men's Health Weekenders, our inaugural virtual fitness festival that is bringing workouts, cook-a-longs, interviews with the best coaches, athletes and personalities into your home during each weekend of January. Join AT and Tom Kemp for their Challenge MH session on Saturday 9th at 2pm and register to receive reminders of all the content available.

As Many Rounds as Possible of:

1) Hand-release Push-up x 3

Assume a long arm plank position, with your core tight and your hands below your shoulders (A), bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor, lift your hands from the ground, resting completely on the deck (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you push your hands back into the ground and rise up explosively.

2) Split Squat Jump x 6

Step one foot backward and sink into a deep lunge, with your rear knee lightly touching the floor (A). Explode upward, switching legs mid-air (B) to land in a lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat the movement, alternating legs each rep.

3) Prisoner squat x 9

Stand with your torso upright and your hands on your head (A), drop your hips back to sink into a deep squat (B). Hold for a second, before pressing through your heels to stand up, repeat.

4) Burpee x 1 every minute (add an additional rep each minute)

Squat down and place both hands on the floor between your feet. Jump your feet back into the top of a press-up and lower your chest to the ground (A). Straighten your arms and hop your feet forwards, before jumping into the air with hands on head (B)

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