This month's workout will challenge you both physically and mentally. Our workout consists of five exercises; with each exercise requiring the completion of 100 reps before moving on to the next one -- for a total of 500 reps.
Chances are you won't be able to complete all 100 reps of each exercise straight through, so rest when needed, but continue to push yourself to get through the entire workout as quickly as possible.
Because of the amount of volume involved with this workout, choose a light to moderate weight based on your fitness level.
Barbell squat: Begin with feet shoulder-width apart while resting a barbell on your upper back. Slowly squat down as you inhale, ensuring that your heels stay heavy, while pushing your hips back. Your lower back should maintain its natural curve and your eyes should be focused forward, not toward the floor. Exhale as you stand back to the top, making sure your legs and abdominals stay tensed. Repeat for as many reps as possible, resting when necessary until you've completed all 100 reps. The squat can also be done with dumbbells held at your sides, or simply by just using your own body weight.
Pull-up: Grip a pull-up bar with an overhand or neutral grip. As you pull yourself upward, drive your elbows down and back until your chin clears the bar. Slowly lower yourself down until arms are fully extended. It may be necessary to use an assisted pull-up machine or place a bench or box underneath the pull-up rack so you can use your legs for assistance. Simply place one foot on the box and grip the pull-up bar just as you did before. As you pull upward with your arms, step up with your leg to assist the upper body. Rest when needed and continue until you've completed all 100 reps.
Kettle bell swing: Grab a kettle bell in both hands with an overhand grip. Feet should be shoulder-width apart while you maintain an upright posture. As you squat down, let the kettle bell swing back and between your legs. As soon as the kettle bell reaches its lowest point, stand up forcefully as you push your hips forward and swing the kettle bell upward to shoulder height. Control it back down to the bottom and repeat for as many reps as you can. Rest for a few seconds and repeat until all 100 reps are completed.
Push-up: Take a standard push-up position on the floor. Tighten your entire body, and make sure you have a straight line from shoulder to ankle. As you inhale, slowly bend your elbows and let your body drop down until you have a 90-degree bend at each elbow. Exhale as you push back to your starting point. If you struggle with this type of push-up, you can modify it by performing it from your knees, or by propping your upper body up on a bench. Repeat for 100 reps.
Planked punch: Assume a plank position on your forearms with feet wider than shoulder width. Be sure to tense your abs while maintaining a straight line from shoulder to ankle. Extend one arm forward in a punching motion until your arm is fully extended. Return to your starting position and repeat on the other side. Keep your entire body rigid and don't allow your hips to rock side to side as you punch. Repeat until you complete all 100 reps, resting briefly as needed.
So give our 500 Workout a try and see how volume training can push you to a new level. For a video of this workout, visit PushFitnessTraining.com/blog.
• Joshua Steckler and Mark Trapp are co-owners of Push Fitness, a personal training studio in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning and nutrition. Contact them at PushFitnessTraining.com.