Advanced Body Weight Workout – WARNING: This Will Kick Your Ass

If this little dude can get in shape without a gym, what’s your excuse?

Many gyms these days are loaded with chumps, jerks, meatheads, pushy salesmen, and people who suck at working out.

Note: if you DO go to a gym, make sure you DON’T suck at it.

Luckily, you can burn fat, build muscle, and get a great workout using just your body weight.

You might have come to this article through our Beginner Bodyweight Workout; if so, welcome!

If you didn’t, I’d recommend starting there before moving onto this routine, because this is uber-advanced and designed for nerds looking for a brutally difficult challenge. It’s a great test of your physical strength, cardiovascular endurance, and a great place to go with your fitness until you decide to attempt the gauntlet and train with weights in a commercial gym.

We know starting with this stuff can be intimidating, and you might be looking for more advanced bodyweight training to take your training to the next level:

  • 1-on-1 Online Coaching: A coach from Team NF gets to know you better than you know yourself and builds a workout program and nutritional strategy that fits your busy life, your body type, and your goals.
  • The Nerd Fitness Academy A self-paced online course with 7-level no-gym-required workouts, boss battles, HD-video demonstrations, a nutrition and mindset roadmap, and  supportive community in our flagship course.

Are you ready for this?

NF Advanced Body Weight Workout

Warning: this workout that will have you sweating like a pig and leave you sore all over the next day. If you’re just moving beyond the beginner body weight workout for the first time, this workout might seem ridiculously difficult.

That’s because it IS ridiculously difficult – the first time I did this routine, taught to me by fitness guru and mentor Mike Rickett, I wanted to throw up afterwards and couldn’t walk straight for two days.

You’ve been warned!

Obviously, if this routine is too tough, there are quite a few variations you can make to lessen the difficulty and then build your way up to the real deal. Remember, it’s important to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, but safely.  Don’t try to do too much or you’ll just end up hurting yourself.

NOTE: I do use a pull-up bar in this routine. If you don’t have one at your home, you can head to a park and use their pull up bar, or substitute inverted body weight rows until you are strong enough to do pull ups and chin ups.  I include a video of how to do these inverted rows in your home at the end of this post.

Before you start, WARM UP – Never ever ever ever forget to warm up.  If you’re strapped for time, cut short your workout, not your warm up.  You can run in place, jump rope, do a few push ups, pedal on a stationary bike, jog up and down your stairs, etc.

Here’s the NF Advanced Body Weight Workout:

If you want to write down everything, here it is:

  • 10 one legged squats – each side [warning super-difficult, only attempt if you’re in good enough shape]
  • 20 body weight squats
  • 20 walking lunges (10 each leg)
  • 20 jump step-ups (10 each leg)
  • 10 pull ups [or inverted body weight rows using your kitchen table]
  • 10 dips – bar stools
  • 10 chin ups [or inverted body weight rows with underhand grip]
  • 10 push ups
  • 30 second plank

That’s one complete rotation.  If you’re up for it, try to do 3 complete circuits.  Stop when you need to, get water when necessary, but try to finish it as quickly as possible while still practicing PERFECT FORM.  The first time I went through this routine it took me right around 18 minutes.  What is it with me and 18 minutes of hell?

You can cut short the number of repetitions, but never half-ass a rep.  If you can only do five or six pull ups, bring a chair over to the bar, hop up above the bar and lower yourself down.  If you can’t do a plank for 30 sec, hold it for 15, and work your way up to 30.  If 20 body weight lunges is too many, only do 10 and work your way up to 20.  Challenge yourself safely and within reason.

Can’t Do Pull Ups? Do These Instead

I’m going to guess that the most difficult exercise for most people in this routine will be the pull ups and the chin ups.

If you don’t have a pull up bar, or if you’re not strong enough to do pull ups yet, that’s okay. Pull-ups are one of the toughest exercises out there!

If you’re somebody that wants to start training to get your first pull-up, check out our massive guide on strength training that covers exactly how to scale pull-ups until you’re strong enough to do them. You can get our guide Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know, when you sign up in the box below:

If you are unable to start training pull-ups, here’s an okay alternative: Inverted Body weight rows using just your kitchen table.

Attempt these at your own risk!

Most importantly, make sure your table is strong enough or you’re going to snap it in half. It isn’t optimal, but it’s better than nothing, and a good step up from the dumbbell rows in the Beginner Body Weight Circuit.  Inverted body weight rows are certainly tough, but not as tough as pull ups and chin ups.

How to Scale Your Routine

As I said earlier, this whole routine is scalable based on your ability. For example, here is a sample routine for somebody who has conquered the beginner workout but can’t do the full routine above:

  • 10 Body Weight Squats
  • 10 Walking Lunges
  • 15 Jump Ups
  • 3 Pull Ups (or 6 inverted body weight rows – overhand grip on table)
  • 8 dips (or 10 decline push ups if these are too tough)
  • 3 Chin ups (or 6 inverted body weight rows – underhand grip on table)
  • 10 push ups
  • 30 second plank
  • 30 jumping jacks

Whatever your fitness level, find a way to push yourself a litter harder, get better, be faster, and grow stronger (thanks Daft Punk!) Keep track of your exact routine, how long it took you, which exercises wore you out, exactly how many reps you did, etc.

Then, the next time you do this routine (make sure you wait at least 48 hours before attempting it again), try to do the whole routine with one or two more repetitions or with less down time between exercises.

Get started with it!

Our beginner bodyweight routine has helped tens of thousands of people get started with bodyweight training, and hopefully those looking for more of a challenge are getting it here.

If you attempt this workout and it’s too challenging, or you’re not sure how to incorporate it into your lifestyle, you’re not alone!

This stuff is tough, and you need to make sure you’re doing everything correctly!

Making bodyweight training work for you and your specific situation is really challenging: doing each exercise correctly is crucial, staying healthy and injury free is important, and actively scaling up each movement consistently is necessary for progress too!

If you’re somebody that’s super busy and overwhelmed at trying to scale your bodyweight training, or maybe you just need somebody to help guide you and keep you accountable, consider checking out our 1-on-1 online coaching program.

You can schedule a call with our team to see if we’re a good fit for each other – simply click on the image below:

That should get you started, good luck with this workout!

By the way, of you plan on doing this routine during the next few days, I apologize in advance for how your whole body will feel the next morning!



photo: eyeliam

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  • Patrick Reardon

    Actually Matt, he’s right. His workout sucks, it is not an advanced workout, it is an intermediate workout. Surfsnowrid152’s workout also is not that good. Try this one,

    10 empty back pack push ups

    10 leg lifts

    10 back pack push ups

    15 leg lifts

    20 back pack push ups

    30 leg lifts

    5 hand stand push ups

    20 back pack push ups

    30 leg lifts

    10 hand stand push ups

    30 sit ups

    30 leg lifts

    30 back pack push ups

    10 lunges

    10 reptile push ups

    50 push ups

    30 tricep push ups

    20 diamond push ups

    10 raised diamond push ups

    (30 pounds in the back pack)

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  • Annett

    Hey! I am new around the site and am looking for a workout that will help me loose extra body fat I have. I have been a vegan for 2 years now but I still have some weight that I need to get rid of. Would doing this workout or the beginnners one help me loose that weight ? also, how many times a week should I do it? should I do the same routine everyday or do I mix it up with something else? Thanks for creating this great website, I am sure you have given hope to many people to recover their health! 😉

  • fucking ashamed of you

    good god you are cocky, which would be fine if you where at all impressive or advanced in any way. I never comment on things or be a hater ect . but this is ridiculously shit and easy I think you need to see frank madrano….. that shit is advanced. Pillok

  • deltaWalk

    Great routine, cheers NerdFitness. Also a huge fan of body weight exercises, this one is going to make it into my fitness schedule.

  • Deverius

    Lol 10 lunges…. someone here skips leg day I’m guessing

  • Patrick Reardon

    It’s an upperbody workout.

  • matt

    you dont have 30 jumping jacks in the list for advanced work out you mentioned it in the video tho…. just a thought 🙂

  • Papa-Romeo

    what s best for bodyweight workout;
    >> rep-based (10 reps, 15 reps, etc for each workout) with rest in between workouts OR
    >> time based (1 min, 30 sec, etc for each workout) with no or little rest between workouts

    Like during weight training, is it okay to take rest between workouts?

  • michael

    Dude SORT your form out. If you keep doing one legged squats with your back bent like that you’re gonna do some lower back damage. Apart from that, pretty mediocre workout. X everything by 2 and add a barbell onto the squats.

  • Luis

    You can replace the squats, push ups and jumps by a burpee, which is combination of these three exercises. And as an added bonus, if you perform your burpees one after another at a fast pace, you get an awesome cardio workout as well.

  • NF Fan

    Love this workout so much! Left me so sore last week. Did it again today!

  • jenn

    I am surprised that there are not more “weighted” activities for a “weight workout”…if I was going to throw a barbell on my back while I lunged/ squatted etc…or throw in some weighted deadlifts, etc…what is a realistic weight for 3 rounds in these activities? I am a 30 year old slim female?

  • Tommy DiLallo

    Seriously, this kids workout is pussy!!!!!!!!

  • florist1231

    hey, leg lift are bad for you aren’t they?

  • Simon

    I gotta tell ya friends, this circuit is quite a challenge for me. I am new to organised fitness schedules, so I joined Nerd Fitness. I thought I was pretty fit, but actually doing everything on here… well, once through is okay, but three sets is a killer. I love it. I dread training day as much as look forward to it. A good feeling of going beyond myself once I do get through the 3rd set. Takes me about 35mins currently. I’d like to give a shout out for Steve Kamb and all the helpful info he has available in the courses he offers online. I live in a remote area, without any real training gear (except a pull-up bar and some mats), and I am happy to be joining a mob of people interested in being happily supportive of each other in whichever direction of fitness they ae moved to head. Good on ya,

  • Caroline

    I love how the discussion initially turned into a “How Rad Are You” competition. In my opinion you’ve provided a safe, realistic, efficient and well-rounded approach to working out for cheap / broke people without peacocking. A true coach and / or athlete will appreciate that. Respect.

  • Bea Pants

    I’m moving up to this workout next week because I pretty much blaze through three sets of the Beginner Bodyweight Workout. I can already tell it’s gonna be a game changer. I’m actually looking forward to having significantly sore muscles again. 🙂

  • Seth85

    Thanks for the workout! I just did 2 non-stop revolutions and I’m cooked. I was slow, methodical and watched my form. I’m drenched with sweat. My body far percentage is probably 15-20. I’m a normal guy in America. This was a great substitute for my gym trip. Thanks!

  • Seth85

    Body fat*

  • Nathaniel

    Hey there,

    When I did the one-legged squats, my tail-bone really started to hurt… A similar thing happened when I did the walking lunges, although the pain was more frequent with the one-legged squats. Why was that, I wonder?

  • Lisa

    The routine you displayed and suggested to scale would need to be scaled even more for me because I can’t do the jump ups due to really bad knees. What can I replace that with?

  • John

    First off, I fucking love this site. Second, it’s nice to see Mike Rickett recognized as the genius he is. He helped me train for USMC boot and I went from running a 13 minute mile to just over 8 min. He’s also training my brother who jacked up his body due to diving. Third I’ve tried the beginner bodyweight workout while vacationing, it’s giving me what I need to stay in shape. Last did I say I love the site?

    Keep ’em coming

  • Andrew

    Well, I tried this for the first time tonight. It was WAY tougher than I expected. Andrew gained XP. 🙂

  • SSthunder

    Looking forward to trying the inverted body weight rows this weekend, as I’m not sure if I can manage a pullup just yet. Plus I don’t have a pullup bar at the house.

    FYI, you left the jumping jacks off of the bulleted list but have them shown in the video list. Thought you’d like to know.


  • Patty McGuire Cook

    Can you define what you mean by a Jump Up here?

  • Russ

    Awesome, and tough. I just finished running an ultra, and I’m trying to better balance out my workouts these days. This was great. Really enjoy the site!

  • Chance

    Hey Gang – Just a hack on the inverted rows – If you use a “Perfect Pullup” type bar you can use a piece of nylon strap or a soft rope for the rows… Thread it through the pullup bar and tie a loop at each end for a dowel as the bar – Or just use tubing like for a resistance band.. Small, light, and easy to travel with also… Great site Nerd team! Keep it up!

  • Bodyweight exercises are a great choice to build muscle without weights. These exercises can be done everywhere, and they can be progressed and regressed to fit everyone. Bodyweight exercises are much safer since there is no need to use heavy equipment unlike lifting weights.

  • TheShallowEndDiver

    This beat me down haha. I did it and I feel great to say I did it but this really is a no joke body weight work out. I am in the military, I ran into heart troubles, now I am back up on my feat trying to get back down to size and this site is definitely helping.

  • John Felando

    Actually, the correct method is to go past 90 just a little bit without stopping any momentum. If you go to 90 then it’s like putting on the brakes and what happens to brakes when abruptly applied? Why they wear out, don’t they.

  • Andrea Van Acker

    I did the intermediate workout 3 times through and I’m not even that tired! I thought it would be difficult for me given my fitness level, but I’m pleasantly surprised!!

    Just one thing, I didn’t really know what a ‘jump up’ was. Maybe next time I’ll read the entire workout before I start 😛 I just did jump squats instead, but what are you supposed to do? I can’t find it on google either.

  • getfit83

    These are Awesome! But I’ve found 5 unique bodyweight workouts that burns fat ,gain muscle, and increase your overall performance.­eightexe

  • getfit83
  • Hey Steve, what is the benefit of doing this in circuits as opposed to burning yourself out as much as possible in the first rep? For example, I can do 20 chin ups in one go, then on the second circuit I can get about 10, maybe with a little jump on the last 2. Is it more beneficial to break this up into 3 or even 4 circuits, or do as much front end work as possible?

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  • Richard

    wait so doing this every day would be a really bad thing?

  • Rebecca Sagarnaga

    So after we’ve accomplished both beginner body circuit workouts and the advanced ones, how do we switch up our routine so our body doesn’t get accustomed to it after a few weeks?

  • OR

    Is the routine don’t contain abs exercises in purpose?
    And if I’ll do this routine regularly (day on-day off), will it be okay?

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  • Jay

    Hey Steve, I have been doing this workout for the past month and am loving the results and switch. I supplement a little yoga in the mornings to provide added flexibility.

    I was wondering if you had any other bodywieght workout routines that are just as challenging. Some variation would be since as doing the same thing 3 times a week can get monotonous. I also believe in muscle confusion for gains and overall fitness. Would love to hear your thoughts

  • eloquacious

    Silly question, but I’ve been researching a lot of “minimalist” bodyweight routines, and most only include one form of abdominal exercise. In each of the other exercises, there’s some attempt to do push/pull muscles more or less equally. Would it not make sense to add a Superman in addition to the plank, just to balance the core front and back? Or do you think the plank incorporates both sufficiently?

  • matteostifanelli

    Just started this WO and I also just discovered and made a committment to get six-pack abs by July 1st, here it is: – wish me good luck and thanks Steve for posting this.

  • Magic Mike

    30 jumping jacks missing from the list (but mentioned in video)

  • Tjerk

    Just thought i would give you a heads-up but you forgot to put the jumping jacks at the end of the list

    PS: Big fan of the site, keep up the good work.

  • Alex Koziol

    For anyone that thinks even the advanced workout is a little too easy, try this bodyweight workout:

    15 pistol squats each side
    12 pullups
    30 legs curls (medicine ball)
    30 pushups
    40 bodyweight deadlifts (good form!)
    8 pullups
    20 bodyweight squats
    20 pushups
    60 second plank

    Go through this three to five times with breaks only between rounds and you’ll definitely feel it.

  • thebest2013

    Hi man i just started to use beginner body weight and it’s cool i start building a little bit but im going to try this one now thank you ! peace bro Y

  • I have wondered about this exact topic many times.and finally i got found, Thanks 🙂

  • alonso Figueroa

    A workout i enjoy consists of a 2 mile run on the treadmill @1.0 incline min/mile pace varies but i normally keep it between 7-830 min/mile.
    3-4 min rest
    Before i get into the workout i want it to be known that i am no expert and try to keep it basic- push pull type workouts.
    20 air squats
    5 pull ups
    20 sit ups
    20 push ups
    Lets call these four exercises sets. i will do 10 sets with 30sec rest between each exercise and a 1 minute rest between sets.
    I would really appreciate it if somebody tried this out and gave me some feedback 🙂