Get Fit With This Brutal Military-Inspired Workout

Get fit the military way with this back-to-basics workout from STACK Expert Tammy Kovaluk.

Obstacle courses have been a part of military training for decades. They are not just a series of isolated exercises. They're a way to test a soldier's strength in situations he or she might experience on the battlefield. And they're truly a measure of human performance.

The popularity of these races has exploded. They give people opportunities to test themselves physically and mentally. Plus, completing an obstacle course race gives you serious bragging rights.

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Many obstacle course races are inspired by how the military trains its soldiers; however, you don't need to be in the military or even be training for an obstacle course race to take advantage of this style of training. As an industry, we have gone back to basic exercises, and there's nothing more basic than crawling, carrying, jumping, climbing, balancing, dragging and performing other tasks while running. Plus, obstacle course workouts improve your overall strength and endurance at the same time.

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The Workout

Perform the exercises in the list below consecutively, resting only as needed. After you finish the circuit, rest for 2-3 minutes and repeat. You can do this once as a finisher or up to three times for a complete workout. It's a good idea to time yourself so you can see how fast you can make it through, then continue to challenge yourself.

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  • Burpee Pull-Ups x 5
  • 200-meter run
  • Sandbag or Med Ball Step-Ups x 10
  • 200-meter run with sandbag
  • Hand Release Pull-Ups x 20
  • Burpees x 20
  • 400-meter run
  • Bear Crawl x 25 meters
  • Inverted Row x 10
  • 200-meter run
  • Deadlift x 5
  • Farmer's Walk x 25 yards
  • 400-meter run
  • 5 Burpees/Jump to Pull-Ups (to match movement pattern of climbing over a wall)
  • 200-meter run
  • 10 Step-Ups holding a sandbag (or Medicine Ball) itute)
  • 200-meter run with sandbag
  • 20 hand releases on a pull-up bar (to mimic monkey bars)
  • 20 Burpees
  • 400-meter Run
  • 25-meter Bear Crawl
  • Rope Climb—or 5 Rope Pull-Ups or 10 Horizontal Rows
  • 200-meter run
  • 5 Deadlifts or Tire Flips
  • Farmer's Walk x 25 yards
  • 400-meter run
  • Rest 2-3 minutes and repeat

You can either do on set as a finisher or up to 3 sets for an excellent training session!

This is also great timed set. Train hard and test yourself again in a few weeks.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: STRENGTH TRAINING | ENDURANCE TRAINING | WORKOUTS | MILITARY | EXERCISING | BURPEE | ENDURANCE | MEDICINE BALL | CLIMBING | OBSTACLE COURSE | HEALTH AND FITNESS