Carson City Bootcamp Workout: 15 Minute Fat Burning Circuit

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This is a simple and effective Carson City Bootcamp style fat burning circuit you can do anywhere, without any equipment.

You’re going to do ten reps of each exercise and complete as many circuits as you can in 15 minutes.

Rest briefly when you need to and then get moving again until your 15 minutes are up.

As you get in better shape, you can start adding reps to each circuit, try to complete more circuits in the 15 min, or go for longer periods (17min, 20min, etc)

The exercise order keeps your blood moving, giving you a double whammy workout of body-shaping strength exercises and fat-burning interval training.

Rather than congesting one area of the body with blood, as in a traditional bodybuilding-style workout, this circuit uses a mechanism called Peripheral Heart Action to build your cardio by keeping your heart and lungs working hard as they push blood flow to different areas of the body.

You’ll see that the exercise order is: Legs, Upper Body, Core, Repeat.

With no time wasted, if you only have 15 minutes to get fit, this is the best type of workout to do :)

Let’s get to it!

Workout: 10 reps of each exercise, as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.

Rest: Brief, when needed.

Bootcamp Circuit Exercise 1: Squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause, and slowly stand back up. Squeeze your butt at the top.

A more advanced variation is to use the hop squat:

Bootcamp Circuit Exercise 2: Hindu Pushup

Begin in a pushup position but move your feet hip-width apart and forward, and raise your hips so your body almost forms an upside-down V (downward dog pose). Lower the front of your body until your chin nears the floor. Then lower your hips as you raise your head and shoulders toward the ceiling. Now pull your hips back to return to your starting position.

Bootcamp Circuit Exercise 3: V-Up

Lay face up on the ground with your legs extended and arms above your head. Simultaneously lift your arms and upper body along with your lower legs (knees straight) up until they meet above you. Lower your body and legs back to starting position.

Peripheral Heart Action training was originally used by physique athletes who wanted to burn fat without losing hard-built muscle.  (Curious about the benefits of muscle?  Check out this post: Get Some Firmness On Your Frame)

Combined with a high protein/low carb diet, PHA training proved to burn fat fast.  And that’s what we want, right?

Next time you can’t make it to your Carson City Bootcamp, give this circuit a try!

Get Strong Enough To Lift Mjolnir

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After I posted EAT LIKE THE MIGHTY THOR a few days ago, I received a few requests to see what Chris Hemsworth’s strength and conditioning program looked like.  Here it is…

The challenge was to take Chris from this:

To something more like this:

And to do it in only 3 months…

How did he do it?  Well, you’ve already seen how he ate to put on muscle, so here’s his 2 part workout plan:

Phase One: 8 Weeks Muscle Building

3 Sessions Per Week

Day 1: Chest and Back
Bench press
Bent-over row
Weighted Dip
Weighted Pull-up

Day 2: Legs
Hamstring Curl

Day 3: Arms
Close-grip Bench Press
Weighted Chin-up

The sets and reps went like this:

Week 1- 4 sets of 4 to 6 reps
Week 2- 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps
Week 3- 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
Week 4- 4 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Weeks 5-8 the cycle was started over.

You can see there was nothing fancy about this workout, just basic compound movements and lots of intensity.

Most people who are looking to add muscle overly complicate things and do every exercise under the sun.  The “everything” approach actually breaks down muscle leading to no progress despite hours and hours in the gym.  Until you are very advanced it is better to pick a few big “bang-for-the-buck” exercises like the bench press and deadlift

Carson City Bootcamp: Simple 20 Minute Workout

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Don’t have time to make it to bootcamp?

No worries, this 20 minute workout will rock your metabolism and all you need is a set of dumbbells.

You’ll combine strength training moves to put together a high intensity cardio circuit workout.

First, you need a stopwatch, clock, or iPhone workout timer app.  You’ll do each exercise at a moderate pace at the top of every minute.

Try for 1 second down, 1 second pause, and 1 second up on each rep.  That way 10 reps should take you 30 seconds.

Start exercise number one at the top of the minute.  After your 10 reps, rest for the remainder of the minute.  At the next minute, do ten reps of exercise number two.  Repeat with each exercise until you’ve done all 5.  That’s one round.

Do a total of four rounds.

Bootcamp Circuit Exercise 1: Overhead Y Squat

Stand tall and raise your arms straight above you so they form a Y with your body (Do the YMCA!). Pull your shoulder blades together and down, and lower your body as deep as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Push through your heels to raise yourself back to the starting position and repeat.

Bootcamp Circuit Exercise 2: Hand Lift Push Up

Assume a pushup position with your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart and your arms straight. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels (long and strong). Lower your body until your chest touches the floor. Lightly lift your hands an inch off the ground, then push yourself back to the starting position and repeat

This exercise can also be done kneeling for beginners:

Bootcamp Circuit Exercise 3: Right Leg Step Back Lunge

Stand tall with your feet slightly closer than shoulder width apart. Step back with your left leg and lower your body until your right leg is bent at least 90 degrees and your left knee almost touches the floor. Push back to the starting position.

Bootcamp Circuit Exercise 4: Renegade Row

Assume a pushup position with your arms straight, with your hands grasping a pair of dumbbells. Without allowing your torso to rotate, row the dumbbell in your right hand to the side of your chest. Lower without twisting. That’s 1 rep.

This exercise can also be done with kettlebells for a greater stability challenge:

Bootcamp Circuit Exercise 5: Left Leg Step Back Lunge

Stand tall with your feet closer than shoulder width apart. Step back with your right leg and lower your body until your left leg is bent at least 90 degrees and your right knee almost touches the floor. Push back to the starting position.

That’s it! A simple and effective workout to do on the days that you can’t make it to your Carson City Boot Camp!

Never Be Gymless Again! 50 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

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A Carson City Gym post by Luke Wold….

Hey there, it’s Luke – hope you’re doing awesome, and I gotta tell you: I’m excited about today’s post for you.

You know there are just some days when you can’t make it to the gym: kids get sick, family in town, big project due, traveling, whatever.

And it sucks because the gym has all the cool toys: kettlebells, ValSlides, suspension trainers, swiss balls… the fun stuff!

Annnnnd, summer is coming up.  You don’t want to miss a workout right before beach season

So I want to share FIFTY sweet exercises that will give you a killer workout using only your own body!  You can do ‘em anywhere.

Have fun….

    1. Toe Grab Squats

Areas worked: thighs, ankle flexibility

    1. T-Pushup

Areas worked: Arms, Chest, Shoulders, Core

    1. Reaching Hockey Squat

Areas Worked: Thighs, Balance

    1. Hip Circles

Areas worked: butt, hips

    1. Cobra

Areas Worked: Back, Low Back, Shoulders, Butt, Hamstrings

    1. Short Arc Leg Lifts

Areas Worked: Stomach, Front Of Thighs

    1. Quad Stance Push Up

Areas Worked: Front Of Thighs, Arms, Shoulders

    1. Grasshopper Pushup

Areas Worked: Sides, Arms, Chest, Flexibility

    1. Butt Lift

Areas Worked: Butt, Stomach

Advanced Variation: Use one leg

    1. Pike Plank

Areas Worked: Stomach

    1. Jackal Pushup

Areas Worked: Stomach, Back Of Arms

    1. Kick Through

Areas Worked: Stomach, Arms, Coordination

    1. Bird Dog

Areas Worked: Low Back, butt

    1. Hindu Pushup

Areas Worked: Arms, Flexibility

    1. Warrior Sit Up

Areas Worked: Stomach

    1. Tiger Pushup

Areas Worked: Back Of Arms, Stomach

    1. Butt Lift Leg Swing

Areas Worked: Butt, Stomach, Leg Flexibility

    1. Chest Tap Push Up

Areas Worked: Chest, Arms, Shoulders, Core, Explosiveness

    1. Plank Walk Up

Areas Worked: Balance, Back Of Arms, Core

    1. Wide Toe Grab Squat

Areas Worked: Thighs, Groin, Ankle Flexibility

    1. Moving Side Planks

Areas Worked: Sides

    1. Squat

Areas Worked: Thighs

    1. Long Jump

Areas Worked: Thighs, Explosiveness

    1. Side Feet Lift

Areas Worked: Sides

    1. Gateswing Squat

Areas worked: Thighs, Groin

Level 1:

Level 2:

    1. Shin Box Switch

Areas Worked: Hips

    1. One Arm Lowering Pushup

Areas Worked: Chest, Arms, Shoulders, Core, Balance

    1. Deck Squat

Areas Worked: Stomach, Legs, Balance

    1. Turtle Rolls

Areas Worked: Core

    1. Thrusting Side Plank

Areas Worked: Sides

Level One:

Level Two:

Level Three:

    1. Pike Pushup

Areas Worked: Shoulders, Back Of Arms

    1. V Up

Areas Worked: Stomach

    1. Pendulum Lunge

Areas Worked: Thighs, Balance

    1. Frogger

Areas Worked: Flexibility, Arms

    1. Ground Spiral Squat

Areas Worked: Legs, Hips, Flexibility

Spiral Squats Explained:

    1. Squat Hold

Areas Worked: Thighs

    1. Shin Box Flag

Areas Worked: Stomach

    1. Willow Quarter Burpee

Areas Worked: Heart and Lungs, Arms, Core, Thighs

    1. Spinal Rock To Pistol Squat

Areas Worked: Core, Thighs, Balance, Coordination

    1. Hop Squat

Areas Worked: Explosiveness, Thighs, Calves

    1. X Plank

Areas Worked: Core, Balance

    1. Spinal Rock To Deck Squat To Burpee With Pushup

Areas Worked: Everything!

    1. Downward Dog Kickover

Areas Worked: Back Of Thighs, Arms, Butt

    1. Bottom Pushup Hold

Areas Worked: Arms, Chest, Core

    1. Cycle Jump

Areas Worked: Balance, Explosiveness, Coordination, Legs

    1. Planker Pushup

Areas Worked: Arms, Stomach

Planker Pushup Explained:

    1. Rocking Chair

Areas Worked: Core, Groin, Hips, Flexibility, Coordination

    1. Pushup Position Stomach Circuit

Areas Worked: Stomach, Sides, Arms

    1. Hip Touch Twist

Areas Worked: Sides, Arms, Shoulders

    1. Threading Plank To Butt Lift Hold

Areas Worked: Core, butt, Coordination, Balance

Whew!  Have fun!

Talk to you soon,

~ Luke

PS – It would be totally awesome if you left me a comment with YOUR favorite bodyweight exercise :)

Fat Burning Abdominal Circuit Workout

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Most people think abdominal workouts require hundreds of sit-ups
and crunches. The truth, however, is that they are just a waste of
your time, and in some cases, may actually injure your low back.

If you really want 6-pack abs along with a sculpted body then the
most efficient and effective way of achieving it is through total
body exercises.

In this workout you will be performing nine total body exercises in
circuit fashion. Therefore, each exercise will be performed back
to back to back with no rest in between.

Start with kettlebell swings. These are 2-hand swings and you need
to power up with the hips. Drive them back and power them back up.

Move immediately into extended pushups. Move your arms out in front
of you as you lower yourself down and back up.

The next exercise is a stability ball pike. This is a more advanced
version of the stability ball jackknife. Place your feet on the
ball and your hands on the floor and pull the ball in as you push
your hips up until you are in a pike position. Try to get your hips
as high up as possible. If you are not very flexible, just do
jackknifes in place of them.

Move immediately into stability ball back extensions. Plant your
feet against a wall or something stable. Your chest is supported by
the ball. Place your hands behind your head and raise yourself up
and back down.

Next is a 1-arm kettlebell swing. Make sure you are driving back
with your hips and back up. If you are more advanced, you can do
snatches in place of the swings. Do all reps on one side and then
do all reps on the other side.

Next you will do high rep close grip pushups. Tuck your elbows into
your sides with your hands closer together as you move down and
back up. Do as many as you can.

Move immediately into stability ball leg curls. Place your feet on
the ball and bridge your hips up with your arms out to the side.
Curl the ball in while keeping your hips up the entire time. Do 20

The next exercise is a stability ball rollout. Place the ball in
front of you and start in an upright position, roll the ball out.
Get a nice long stretch as you roll out and contract your abs when
you pull it back in. If you have an ab wheel, you can use that in
place of a stability ball. This is going to be harder than using a
stability ball.

Finally, you’re going to finish off preferably with a sprint as the
last exercise. If you can’t do sprinting, you can sprint in place
or finish with burpees.

In most cases, although you aren’t directly targeting your
abdominals, you are still required to brace them which in turn
indirectly works your abdominals for a powerfully efficient
abdominal workout.

If you want maximum fat burning results, switch from crunches and
cardio to the belly fat burning Turbulence Training workouts:

=> Turbulence Training For Abs $1 Trial

Mobile Unit: Fat Burning Bodyweight Circuit Exercises

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Special Guest Post By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Turbulence Training for Fat Loss

When you travel, you worry about missing your workouts and eating poorly…So you must plan ahead for both (apples and almonds for planes, trains, & automobiles)…and bodyweight circuits for “no-equipment fat burning”.

And while I have bodyweight exercises that are just as hard as the bench press and barbell squat in one of my bodyweight workouts, today we’ll focus on replacing intervals with bodyweight circuits.

To do a bodyweight circuit…

a) Pick 3 lower body exercises

b) Pick 3 upper body exercises

c) Alternate between a lower and upper body exercise without rest, till you are done with all 6 exercises

d) Rest a minute.

e) Repeat 2-3 more times until you are done  in 20 minutes

For example, this is a great circuit that doesn’t need any equipment

1) Prisoner Squat (12 repetitions)
2) Elevated Pushups (8 reps per side)
3) Single-Leg Deadlift (10 reps per side)
4) Close-grip Pushups (As many reps as possible)
5) Jumping Jacks (30-60 reps)
6) Cross-Body Mountain Climber (12 reps per side)

Whew. That’s pretty advanced…for a beginner, we’d slow it down like this and take some breaks between exercises…

1) Wall Squat (8 reps)
2) Kneeling Elevated Pushup (5 reps per side)
3) Lying 1-leg Hip Extension (8 reps per side)
4) Plank (30 second hold)
5) Jumping Jacks (5-10 reps)
6) Side Plank (15 second hold per side)

Safe travels, and of course, always check with your doctor before beginning a fat burning bodyweight circuit exercise program.

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit Turbulence Training for Fat Loss

Can’t Be At Bootcamp? No Problem – Introducing The Mobile Unit Workouts!

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It sucks when you have to travel for work and are going to miss a few bootcamp workouts.

And it’s even worse when you don’t have any fitness facilities at your hotel, and you’re going to be stuck exercising in either your room or out in a park.

No dumbbells.  No medicine balls.  No spin bikes.


But now, if you want to keep getting fit on the road, you’ll be able to check out for a whole series of workouts you can do anywhere!

Just click on the Mobile Workouts button on the right-hand side of the page:

How To Get A Great Workout In Your Hotel Room:

Start off with a Functional Movement Warmup.  When you’re traveling, it is EXTREMELY important to keep up with these simple exercises.

Long hours in a car or plane will screw up your posture and get you out of alignment, making it hard to feel good and get in your workouts.

Here is a follow along manual: Functional Movement Warm Up

Once you’re warm and loose, pick your workout:

You can also do more than one workout in a row.  For example:

  • 3 Rounds Foucault’s Pendulum
  • 15 minutes Matrix Combo One

Don’t do the same workout 2 days in a row.  Either pick a new workout on Day 2 or (if your hotel has a cardio gym) do a fat loss interval training workout from this page: Interval Training For Extreme Fat Loss

Finish every one of your hotel room workouts with at least 5 minutes of stretching for anything that still feels “tight.”

Have Fun!

~ Luke

PS – If you need a printable manual to take with you, my friend Craig wrote this Four Week Bodyweight Workout Guide that has complete workouts PLUS pictures and descriptions of each exercise.

You can download it here:

4 week bodyweight workout

6 Week Workout: Fitness For Time-Pressed People

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Some people are in the gym 6 days a week, 3 hours at a time.  The rest of us (known as people who “have a life”) just want to get fit, lose weight, and tone up in as little time as possible.

This is a 3 day a week program, and it is designed so that you can do all 3 days in a row, if that’s your only option.

At 25-45 minutes a session (as little as an hour and fifteen minutes a week), there’s no excuse for not getting any exercise :)

There are 2 workouts in this plan, what will change the most is the sets and repetition ranges on each day.  Something like this will work for about 6 weeks, after that your body will stop making progress.  After that switch to another one of these programs: 6 Week Workout Plans

You’ll alternate the 2 days like this:

Week 1:

  • Day 1: Workout A 5 sets of 5 reps, 60 seconds rest between sets
  • Day 2: Workout B 3 sets of 10 reps, 45 seconds between sets
  • Day 3: Workout A 2 sets of 15 reps, 30 seconds rest between sets

Week 2:

  • Day 4: Workout B 5 sets of 5 reps, 60 seconds rest between sets
  • Day 5: Workout A 3 sets of 10 reps, 45 seconds between sets
  • Day 6: Workout B 2 sets of 15 reps, 30 seconds rest between sets

Got it?


Here are the workouts….

Workout A

A: Double Kettlebell Clean:

B1: Overhead Slider Lunges (Do reps on both sides)

B2: 2 Point Dumbbell Row

C1: 1 arm 1 Leg Romanian Deadlift

C2: Dumbbell Incline Press

D1: Plank Hold for 30 – 90 seconds

D2: Alternating High Pulley Woodchoopers

Workout B:

A: Romanian Deadlift/Bent Forward Row Combo Lift

B1: Back Foot On Bench Lunge

B2: Pull Up

C1: Weighted Glute Bridge

C2: Rope Face Pull

Repeat D circuit 3x

D1: Slider Core Drill (20sec each of Pike, Knee-In, Mountain Climbers)

D2: Prone Cobra 60-120 sec

The End

If you use this simple program to keep exercising during those busiest times of the year (back to school, Christmas Holidays, Etc.) then you’ll not only keep the progress you’ve made toward your dream body, you’ll push yourself even farther!

6 Week Workout For Fat Loss!

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I call my metabolism based training system “Firestorm Fat Loss” since it rapidly accelerates the rate at which you burn fat both during and AFTER your workout.

You hit the road, and your metabolism hits overdrive.

This six week workout is what you need if you want to lose more fat in less time – 30 minute bootcamp style workouts – than ever before.

Secrets Of This 6 Week Workout

Why Your Metabolism Will Burn Extra Hot

Firestorm Fat Loss programs are designed to maximize fat loss through resistance training. Here are the 3 main principles this workout is based on:

  1. You burn more calories by moving your body through a 3D world. Most programs have you exercising in only one plane of movement – this workout has you going forward and backward, side to side, and up and down.
  2. You burn more calories both during and after your workout by performing exercises bootcamp-circuit style. Studies have shown that a circuit-based workout will raise your metabolism for 38 hours AFTER your workout. That means if you exercise on Monday before breakfast, you’ll still be burning calories after lunch on Tuesday!
  3. You burn more calories both during and after your workouts by training athletically. This means lifting weights, using explosive movements, and performing exercises on unstable surfaces like sliders, swiss balls, and balance boards.

How To Ignite Your Metabolic Furnace

Do each of these total body burning workouts once a week, with your “cardio” workouts either immediately following or on your in-between days.  (Here is a complete fat loss cardio plan I wrote: Interval Training)


  • Monday: Workout A
  • Tuesday: Interval Training
  • Wednesday: Workout B
  • Thursday: Interval Training
  • Friday: Workout C

The workouts in this 6 week bootcamp are planned as a circuit, so you go from one movement to the next without resting. Once you’ve completed one circuit, rest for 90 seconds and go again. 3 circuits for beginners, 6 if you’re more advanced (or determined to lose the most fat in the least time!)

6 Week Progression

This workout will be effective for about 6 weeks.  After that your body will adapt and stop raising your metabolism so high.

Try to lift a bit more weight weight each week you cycle back through the workouts.

The Right Resistance

In this workout, use the heaviest weight you can to complete all of the reps in perfect form.

Warming Up:

Here is the best warmup you can do (pictures and all!): Wold Fitness Functional Warmup

Workout A:

Exercise One: Front Squat and Push Press
Reps: 4-6

Exercise Two: Swiss Ball Reverse Crunch
Reps: 12-15

Exercise 3: Chin Up
Reps: 4-6

Exercise 4: Kettlebell Windmill
Reps: 4-6 (each Side)

Exercise 5: ValSlide Pike OR Swiss Ball Pike
Reps: 12-15

Rest 90 seconds, and repeat circuit 3-6 times.

2 sets of 2 minutes

Workout B

Exercise 1: Power Snatch/Overhead Squat
Reps: 4-6

Exercise 2: Swiss Ball Roll Out OR ValSlide Reach Out
Reps: 12-15

Exercise 3: Kettlebell Tactical Lunge
Reps: 24

Exercise 4: Two Point Dumbbell Row
Reps: 8-10 (each arm)

Exercise 5: Swiss Ball Dumbbell Woodchopper
Reps: 16-20

2 sets of 1 minute

Workout C

Exercise 1: Romanian Deadlift/ Bent Row Combo
Reps: 6-8

Exercise 2: Med Ball Kneeling Shoulder Press
Reps: 8-10

Exercise 3: Mogul Squats
Reps: As Many As Possible in 30 seconds

Exercise 4: Swiss Ball Atomic Pushup OR ValSlide Atomic Pushup
Reps: 10-12

Exercise 5: Medicine Ball Russian Twist
Reps: 20 (10 each side)

BONUS EXERCISE: Extended Hamstring Bridges
2 sets of 90 seconds


If you really want to lose body fat quickly, this program WILL work.  Head to the gym, get your favorite music rocking, and get after it!

Arnold’s “Freehand” Workout – How To Start Getting In Shape

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It always seems like we want to start off with the most advanced “thing” available.

We want the workout the pros use, the diet the magazine cover model follows, and the supplements the health guru swills down.

But the most advanced isn’t the best place to start.

What you should be doing is what’s best for you, not what the champ is doing right now.

You can really see this with guys at the gym who have been bitten by the muscle bug.

They want bulging biceps, thrilling thighs, and a colossal chest – and they want it NOW.

So they get a copy of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding and skip to the last section, where he details his two-times-a-day advanced workout.  And they follow it faithfully, dragging themselves to the gym for endless sets of flies, curls, and extensions and curse their lack of progress until they finally burn out.

These guys are at different levels, and need different workouts

These guys are at different levels, and need different workouts

See, the followed an advanced program when they were only beginners and it didn’t work.

But it’s really their own fault for skipping over the foundation programs.

A two-times a day workout with complicated exercises will work, as long as you’ve got something to work with.

In his books Arnold actually recommends starting off with 2-6 months of basic calisthenics.  He calls these workouts “freehand” exercises and they build the base that will allow trainees to move up a level in training without burning out or getting injured.

Check out what he says about the value of beginners starting out with freehand exercises (from Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder):

“I became aware of the value of these non-apparatus exercises the summer before I began seriously working with weights.  I was hanging out with bodybuilders and other athletes who when to a lake near Graz and did a one-hour exercise routine, which included 15 to 20 exercises that they just made up as they went along.  They would look for a tree where they could hang on to the branches and do reverse-grip chin-ups or regular wide-grip chin ups; they would do push-ups or handstand push-ups or regular push-ups with elevated feet; they would do leg raises and sit-ups.  I started working out with them and discovered after a couple of weeks that my body was toned and in better condition than it had ever been.

Freehand exercises have a tonic effect on the muscles and internal organs.  They gently tone up the circulatory system and are beneficial in safeguarding the general health of the body.  Advanced freehand exercises shape and muscularize the body in a unique way; all the world’s best-built men include them in their workouts.  Freehand exercises help build muscle size, give definition, and create the kind of muscle contour that gives the body the look of a sculptured Greek god.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger in jeans

I actually started resistance training with freehand exercises too, and then when I started going to the gym and lifting, everyone was surprised at how fast I progressed.  It’s the way to go if you want to do things right.

(If you’re curious, I did 100-200 pushups, 200-500 squats, and 500 crunches with my feet on the couch – every day)

Below is Arnold’s suggested freehand workout for beginners, where you can start getting in shape and getting the look of a sculptured Greek god…

Freehand Exercise 1: Push Up

The push up is a great exercise for the chest, shoulders, and the back of your arms (triceps).

Arnold recommends starting with 50 push ups a day and working your way up slowly.

Freehand Exercise 2: Dips

The dip has been called the “king of upper body exercises.”  It also works your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Dipping is more difficult than push ups, because you’re working with a higher percentage of your body weight. Arnold recommends working your way up to 50 total reps for the workout. Once you’re strong enough, aim for 5 sets of 20 reps.

Freehand Exercise 3: Body Row

The body row is a great exercise for your back muscles – your lats (wings), upper back, and middle back.

It’s important to keep your body absolutely straight during this exercise. Work your way up to 50 total reps in your workout.

Freehand Exercise 4: Sit Ups

Sit ups are a great way to work your upper abdominal muscles.  It’s important to keep the movement smooth and rhythmical – focus on the stomach muscle contraction.

Arnold recommends doing two sets of 50 reps.  Once you get comfortable, move up to 200.

Freehand Exercise 5: Bent Leg Raises

While the sit up will work your upper abs, the bent leg raise (or reverse crunch) works your lower abs.

The reason for the bent legs is that it makes the exercise slightly easier – so you can do more reps – and it is more comfortable for your lower back

Arnold recommends a minimum of 50 reps.

Freehand Exercise 6: Bent Over Twist

Arnold put this exercise in for your obliques – the muscles at the sides of your waist – and your lower back. If you do this one right, you’ll feel your sides working. If you do it wrong, you’ll feel the twist in your low back.

bent twist

Start with 50 reps and work your way up.

Freehand Exercise 7: Squats

Squats are THE exercise for building your legs and strengthening your hips.  They also build flexibility through your lower body that you will need later for more advanced exercises.

It’s very important to keep your body as upright as possible while squatting, to keep the work on your thighs and not your lower back.

Arnold recommends 50 to 70 reps.

Freehand Exercise 8: Calf Raises

Your leg development will never be complete if you skip working your calves.

Do the calf raise off a step or off a book to work the full range of motion.  Really flex and tighten your calf at the top of each rep to get the most benefit out of the exercise.

calf raise

Arnold recommends at least 50 reps.

Freehand Exercise 9: Close Grip Biceps Chins

Chin ups and pull ups require an overhead bar.  You can use one at the gym, at the park, or get one that fits across your doorway.

Chin ups are tough when you do them right but the benefits are enormous for your arms and back.  Strive to make each rep smooth and pull yourself as high as possible.

close pull up

Arnold recommends reaching a total of 30 reps.  (Check out this article for tips on pull up training: How To Improve Your Pull Up And Chin Up)

Some Of Arnold’s Tips for this program

  • Concentrate on each exercise.  Feel what your muscles are doing as you move.
  • Maintain a positive mental attitude.
  • Good form is more important than the number of reps.  Add more reps/resistance as you progress, but never at the expense of good form.
  • After your workout stand in front of a mirror and assess your progress.  Practice a few poses.
  • Eat well and get enough sleep.
  • Put your heart and soul into your training, diet, and sleep programs.

arnold flexing