Military Muscle: Try this killer compilation workout from Bob Thomas to start out 2014

Feel like sweating? The following workout combines elements of some of my toughest past workouts into a single effort to help you kick off 2014.


The weight you choose should be based on your ability and fitness level; I’ve included some suggestions. Any time you rest during the workout, you should take at least a minute — or however long you need — to get your breath and energy back.

If you look at this and think, “No way am I fit enough to tackle this workout,” have no fear. I’ve included suggestions for scaling it down. If you want to attempt it as written, start from the beginning but discontinue when you feel you can’t give a good effort.

[Check back tomorrow for Bob's second workout: The Test.]

1. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 PYRAMID

Do 10 reps of each, followed by nine reps of each, etc. The final round is one rep of each.

4-count burpees. Start in standing position: 1. Drop to the ground. 2. Thrust feet out so you end in pushup position. 3. Bring feet back underneath you. 4. Explode up with arms above your head, resulting in about a 6-inch jump.

Situps. Legs in the air, knees bent at 90 degrees.

Pushups. Chest almost touching the floor to full up extension.

Pullups. No kipping.

Scale it back: Start the pyramid at five reps of each.


2. 750-METER ROW

If you don’t have access to a rower, do a one-minute run at 80 percent effort back and forth on a 25-meter course. Rest one minute and repeat.



Set the bar and weight at 55 percent of your body weight. We’re intentionally doing only half of the pyramid here.

10 push presses, then lunge left/lunge right (bar rests on chest)

1 pullup (no kipping)

9 push presses, then lunge left/lunge right

2 pullups

8 push presses, then lunge left/lunge right

3 pullups

7 push presses, then lunge left/lunge right

4 pullups

6 push presses, then lunge left/lunge right

5 pullups

Scale it back: Option 1, rest between sets;

Option 2, do only the push presses and skip the lunges.



One jingle jangle is five round trips at 85 percent to 90 percent effort on a five-meter course. Start each jingle jangle on the minute.

Scale it back: Do three jingle jangles and keep the pace at 65 percent to 70 percent effort.



Do 15 sets of 30 seconds each. Men, go for 35 pounds and women, 25 pounds. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

Scale it back: Do eight to 10 reps.


Retired Navy Cmdr. Bob Thomas has been our Military Muscle columnist since 2007. He’s the director of the Navy Wellness Center in Pensacola, Fla. He’s his base’s lead trainer, a wounded warrior program facilitator and the Navy nutrition counselor there. His special emphasis is on fitness for the military retired population. Find his Military Muscle columns here.