How many times have you heard someone say “I go to the gym to be healthier and more fit!”. It’s like the saying goes “The more you put in…the more you get out!” If you want progress then you are going to need to put in lots of effort. While being healthier and fitter should be the ultimate overall goal…sometimes you have to put a little “bad ass” in your efforts. If you really want to see where you rank on the overall fitness meter, I have a few workout challenges for you. Not only will you look and feel like a bad ass but you will get some pretty dam good workouts from them to. These various challenges will test your strength, endurance, recovery, and mental drive.
These challenges shouldn’t be done all of the time but periodically to see how your current workouts rank as far as being able to build your strength, power, endurance, conditioning, and explosiveness. Try one or two to see how your overall fitness fairs. If you do well, your workouts may be right on par but if not you may need to change up certain things in your training program. Here are four different challenges to try.
Push Sit and Run-Strength and Endurance
Here is a simple one to test basic strength and endurance. You will start of by doing two minutes of non-stop push-ups. You want to place a four inch book, pad, or block of wood underneath your chest before you start. Once you start, make sure you lower your chest to hit the block each time. Only the reps where your chest hits the block should be counted.
Next you are going to do two minutes of elbow to knee crunches on your back. Be sure to touch your knees with your elbows each time. The final part of the challenge is a 1 mile run. While running a mile should not be that challenging, doing it after two minutes of push-ups and two minutes of sit ups should be a little more difficult.
Fantastic Four-Pure Power
Here is a test of all around pure strength. You are going to take the big four multi joint lifts (squat, deadlift, bench press, and standing military press) and test your strength levels in each. You will do three or four warm up sets and then try maxing out. You want to perform maxing out in the order of Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, and finally Overhead Press.
A good measure of strength would be:
Squat (2xBodyweight males, 1xBodyweight females)
Deadlift (1.5xBodyweight males, 1xBodyweight females)Bench Press (1.2xBodyweight males, 1xBodyweight females)
Overhead Shoulder Press (.75xBodyweight males, .50xBodyweight females)
Here is a great test of your conditioning prowess. You are going to need a jump rope and some mental fortitude.
You are in actuality only going to jump rope for a total of ten minutes, but it’s going to be a tough ten minutes. You start off by jumping rope for one minute. Once that minute is up, immediately do 10 burpees. Once you finish the burpees go back to jumping rope for one minute again. Now once you finish jumping rope this time, do nine burpees. Continue this back and forth, reducing the number of burpees by one each time. Keep alternating until you reach zero on your burpees. There is no doubt your lungs should be on fire by the end.
Kettlebell Century Club-Explosiveness
This challenge is great for not only testing strength and endurance but it will also build and test explosiveness. The mechanics behind this challenge is pretty simple. You are going to perform kettlebell swings for ten reps as explosively as possible. Once you perform a set, you are going to wait thirty seconds and perform another set. Continue this until you reach ten sets.This will end up giving you a total of 100 reps when you are done. If you are a male you want to use between a fifty to seventy five pound kettlebell. If you are a female, you want to use between a twenty five to thirty five pound kettlebell. If you do not have kettle bells, you can use dumbbells by holding them at one end and swinging them.