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:
- Everything you need to know about getting strong.
- Workout routines for bodyweight AND weight training.
- How to find the right gym and train properly in one.
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!