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6 of my Favorite High Reward, Yet Ass-Kicking Workouts

Sometimes the best training sessions are the ones that weren’t planned. Preparing with a direct warm-up, focus, and program can be brain-tiring & energy consuming, sometimes even taking the excitement out of a solid workout (maxed out brain = can’t focus on movement). That’s why the fitness community is so great, we love to share! There is no sense keeping a good training session to myself, and some of these I have used from other athletes/coaches too.

If you need further coaching advice or want me to check out your movement technique, record a video of yourself doing any of the moves and send it my way, I would LOVE to share feedback… Enjoy!

1. Run, Hinge, Walk

3 name is boiling this down to the basics. I saw this training session from Endurance & OCR athlete Kevin Gillotti (who has an incredible story) and had to put it on my schedule. Needless to say, I was not disappointed, and this is a great all-around metabolic session that translates very well to Obstacle Racing, CrossFit supplementation, and overall general preparedness for life. If you are in need of a good mental and physical sweat, this one is for you.

10-15 Rounds (or) 30-45 minutes of…

  • 200m Run w/ Good Tempo All Rounds
  • 6 x KB Suitcase Deadlifts (@ 45-90% BW)
  • 60yd Farmers Carry w/ Pace
  • 60yd KB Bottoms Up Overhead Carry
  • *Rest 10-60 seconds*

2. Butt-Burning Lung-Torching ‘Fun’

This combo is back-to-back sets of lunges and running. Set a focus before starting, both for your run AND for lunges. Such as pacing each interval in negative splits, keeping a steady minute-per-mile pace across the board, or keeping it faster than a walk are some examples. FYI, the lunges suck, and I recommend using your knees on your thigh as leverage once your legs begin to feel heavy. That little aid will help you keep a strong posture during the lunges and avoid irritating your lower back. If you are quick at math, you will realize you just lunged a full mile, can somebody say buns of steel?

5 min Run – 400m Lunges

4 min Run – 400m Lunges

3 min Run – 400m Lunges

2 min Run – 400m Lunges

1 min Run All-Out

** If you are using a treadmill to run, be sure to set it at a 0.5% – 2% incline to promote good running mechanics **

3. Running Bear Barbell Bonanza

How did it achieve this name you ask? Well, I like to describe movements with exciting names to distract you from how tough they may be; once you get started you’ll see for yourself. It feels like you have a bear on your back by the time you hit the 3rd round… Get after it!

The Bear complex is a 6-movement series, consisting of a Deadlift – Power Clean – Front Squat – Push Press – Back Squat – Push Press. Completing all 5 equals one repetition. The weight I recommended below is intended for a barbell. If you are using Kettlebells or Dumbells, go a tad lighter. 

Do 10 Bear Complex, followed by an 800m Run

Do 8 Bear Complex, followed by a 400m Run

Do 6 Bear Complex, followed by a 200m Run

Do 4 Bear Complex, followed by a 100m Run

Do 2 Bear Complex, followed by a nap 🙂

Elite Male: 75%+ of BW // Elite Female: 70%+ of BW

Advanced Male: 50-65% of BW // Advanced Female: 45-60% of BW

Experienced Male: 35-50% of BW // Experienced Female: 30-45% of BW

4. Strength Endurance = Resilient Human

Determine how many minutes you are ready to dedicate:30 is a minimum to feel the training effect. 45 is better. 60 if you are feeling like a rockstar today. 75+ if you are looking for some next level s**t!

Set a timer for 30 seconds of exercise, 30seconds of rest, for however many minutes (i.e. 45 minutes = 45 rounds). Choose 5 exercises, each of them focusing on a different type of movement. The moves I chose correlate to my sport, but if these are not in your wheelhouse, drag and drop your own based on these 5 concepts

  1. Hinge, Pull, Step, Squat
  2. Strength Focused exercises, not Cardio
  3. Something heavy to push, pull or slam (sled, med-ball, tire)
  4. Get up and down from the floor
  5. Not all legs or all upper body

5. Simple & Effective EMOM

Every Minute On the Minute (EMOM) training rewards you for moving quickly and efficiently. Every 60 seconds, the next set begins. Based on the video below, if my set of cleans and climbers takes me 45 seconds, I have 15 seconds of rest before the next set begins. If it takes me 55 seconds, well, I only have 5 seconds to rest.

For this, alternate between Gorilla Cleans & Mountain climbers (minute A) with Plank Row-Pushups & Reverse Lunges (minute B). If you have 10 minutes, perform 5 sets of each. This style of training packs a bunch of density into a small time frame; perfect for vacation workouts, recovery days, or when you just feel crunched on time but are committed to doing the work.

6. Double Kettlebell Moving Complex

If kettlebells are unavailable, you can closely replicate this with a set of sturdy dumbells, just replace the swing with a bent over row. This makes my top 6 list because rather than prescribing a number of repetitions, it’s about distance. You can see the finish line coming closer, and it rewards you with each strong swing, clean and lunge by retaining energy to dive right into the next one.

Start with sets of 10yds, and work your way up to a full 30yd set!

Want more training tips and workouts like this? Connect with me on other social media platforms for more lifestyle optimization geared content!




If you want to dive deeper into habit forming, lifestyle changes that can make a difference, and other lifestyle enhancing information, pick up your copy of my newly released (and handsomely cheap) e-book, paperback, and audiobook; the Compact Fulfillment Guidebook! And if not, there are no hard feelings, just keep exploring the Mindful Trailrunner webpage for hot content on improving your lifestyle.

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