Warrior Workout

Build the body of a fighter with this fast-paced, fat-shredding routine

Photographs by Dylan Coulter, By Ted Spiker, Workout Photography by Beth Bischoff

When Martin Rooney trains clients at his gym, he’s not just focusing on bench presses and barbell curls. Rooney, the author of Training for Warriors, uses exercises that build speed and explosiveness, which means that his clients gain the strength needed for a first-round knockout as well as the endurance to go the distance. This workout can not only make you leaner and more muscular, but also leave you in fighting shape.

How to Do the Warrior Workout

Ignite your body’s fat-burning furnace and build muscle with this total-body workout 2 or 3 days a week. Perform the exercises as a circuitone exercise after anotherwith little or no rest in between. Rest for 2 minutes after the circuit and then repeat it. Work your way up to three circuits. To shred your midsection, try Rooney’s hurricane workout (see Ultimate Fat Fighting) between training days.

The Workout

1 Judo pushups (12 to 15 reps)
2 Crossover stepups (12 reps)
3 Leaning shoulder flys (10 reps)
4 Medicine-ball pikeups (8 to 10 reps)
5 Mixed-grip chinups (8 to 10 reps)
6 Swiss-ball wall squats (8 to 10 reps)
7 Around-the-head plate drills (10 reps)
8 Boxer’s dumbbell speed twists (20 reps)
1. Judo Push-up
Begin in a traditional pushup position, but move your feet forward and raise your hips so your body forms an inverted V.

Keeping your hips elevated, use your arms to lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Keep your arms in close and maintain the tension on your upper body.

 

Then lower your hips until they almost touch the floor as you simultaneously lift your head and shoulders toward the ceiling. Return to the starting position. That’s 1 repetition.

2. Crossover Step-up
Hold a dumbbell in each hand as you stand with your left side next to a step or bench. Step up onto the bench with your right leg by crossing it in front of your left leg. Push up by using the leg on the bench.

Next, bring your left foot up, pause, and slowly reverse the motion to step down. Do all your repetitions, switch sides, and repeat.

3. Leaning Shoulder Fly
Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and stand with your left side next to a squat rack or post, your feet together. Now grab the rack with your left hand and allow your left arm to straighten so that your body is leaning at an angle away from the rack. Let your right arm hang straight below your shoulder and turn your palm so that it’s facing your side. That’s the starting position.

Keeping your right arm straight, raise the dumbbell until your arm is parallel to the floor. Don’t raise the dumbbell above shoulder level. Pause, and lower it to the starting position. That’s 1 repetition.

4. Medicine-Ball Pike-up
Lie on your back with your legs straight and hold a medicine ball over your head with your arms outstretched.

Keeping your arms and legs straight, simultaneously raise them so your feet and hands touch. Flex your abs by rotating your hips toward your upper body. Lower your body to the starting position. That’s 1 repetition.
 

5. Mixed-Grip Chin-up
Hang from a bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, one palm facing toward your body and the other facing away. Pull your chest to the bar and pause. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull yourself up. Then slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Do the recommended number of repetitions, and rest. Flip your grip and repeat.

6. Swiss-ball Wall Squat
Stand with your feet slightly in front of your body and use your back to hold a Swiss ball against a wall. Keep your feet flat and don’t rise onto your toes as you lower your body. Keeping your back in contact with the ball, lower your body until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. (The ball will roll down the wall as you squat.) Stay in the down position for 5 seconds and return to a standing position. That’s 1 repetition.

7. Around-the-Head Plate Drill
Grab a weight plate by the sides with both hands and hold it just in front of your chest. The plate should start in front of your body. Keep your elbows bent throughout the move. Raise the plate up and over one shoulder.

Continue a clockwise rotation behind your head keeping the plate close to your body. Continue moving the plate on the path around your head, and return it to its original position after going over the opposite shoulder. Complete all reps moving clockwise, and then repeat, this time going counterclockwise.

8. Boxer’s Dumbbell Speed Twist
Grab a dumbbell with both hands and sit on the floor with your knees bent. Hold the dumbbell an inch or two in front of your chest and raise your feet off the floor. That’s the starting position. Now brace your core and rotate the dumbbell a few inches to your right. Maintain your lower-back position as you rotate your body.

Then rotate it to the same position on your left. That’s 1 repetition.
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