Hopefully you’ve at least HEARD of Angry Birds, the game that pretty much took over every app store on every phone in every country in 2010. Next time you see somebody holding an iPhone sideways, just asked them “Angry Birds?” and there’s a good chance you’ll get a head nod. If you’ve never played Angry Birds, here’s the lowdown: it’s a 99-cent game that’s deceptively simple: launch your “angry birds” via sling shot at towers and buildings housing green pigs and try to destroy them with as few birds as possible.
Depending on how many birds it takes you to kill these things, you’re awarded a score for the level – 1, 2, or 3 stars. Each level gets more and more complicated as there are more obstacles to work around, more green pigs to kill, and birds with different abilities to launch.
Sounds simple enough, right?
…so what makes this game so great that everybody has it on their iPhone? It’s because Angry Birds is a lot of fun to play, whether you have three hours or three minutes – you ALWAYS have enough time to beat a level or two and accomplish something.
WTF does this have to do with working out?”
Anybody that says they “don’t have time to work out” is either:
Because you’re reading Nerd Fitness, if you tell me “I don’t have time to work out” I’m going to pray that it’s because you’re uninformed – the Rebellion doesn’t do well with liars or lazy people.
Today, we’re going to see how Angry Birds can teach us to make a workout fit into any schedule imaginable. If you can find find 5 minutes here, ten minutes there, and you actually care about bettering yourself (much offense intended to those that don’t care…you’re reading the wrong site), you can get in a full workout.
Now unfortunately, this pretty much renders the “I don’t have enough time to workout” excuse obsolete, which means that the lazy folks and liars will actually have to start working out instead of complaining how busy their lives are!
The Angry Birds Workout Plan!
If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know that your diet will be 80% of your success or failure when it comes to getting in shape: if you can eat right, then your workout will merely supplement your awesomeness.
I’ve found that in the past whenever I get lazy and convince myself that I don’t have enough time to work out, I tend to skip out on eating well that day too. With today’s workout, you’ll be able to get your workout done throughout the day, which will keep your mind focused on “I am full of win and I am getting in shape” and will also help you make good decisions when eating well throughout the day.
I’ve been doing only body weight workouts while traveling, so I figured today would be a good day to give away a free body weight workout plan that makes it impossible for you to say “I don’t have time.” I’ve had to chop up my workouts to work around bus schedules, last minute activities and more. These things happen; luckily you can still get an awesome workout in by dividing it into smaller pieces.
Here’s how The Angry Bird Workout Plan works: it’s deceptively simple – only four major movements.
- Body weight squats
- Push ups
- Pull ups (or bent over rows or inverted rows)
Each exercise will have MANY different levels based on your ability and level of fitness.
Depending on how much time you have during the day, you can do your whole workout at once, or break up your workout into four different sessions throughout the day (with each session being ONE of the exercises). You can even split the workout across two days if you have to: squats and push ups on Monday, and then pull ups and planks on Tuesday.
Here’s a sample day:
- Wake up, do 40 jumping jacks to warm up, and then do body weight squats.
- At lunch, you grab your suitcase and do bent over rows.
- After work, you do another 50 jumping jacks and then do your push ups.
- After dinner, you do your planks while watching TV.
How it works
Your goal is to do the required number of reps for your level in two sets or less. Just like in Angry Birds, you can award yourself a star rating based on how you did:
- 2 total sets to reach the required number of reps – 3 STARS: advance to the next level
- 3 total sets to reach the required number of reps – 2 STARS: work towards two sets
- 4 total sets to reach the required number of reps – 1 STAR: not bad, but you can do better
- 5 or more sets to reach the required number of reps – ZERO STARS: you have work to do!
This means the best score you could get for a day’s workout would be 12 stars: 4 exercises and 3 stars per exercise, and you then move up to the next level for all four exercises for the next workout.
A few bits of important info:
- You can be at different levels for each exercise: you can be at level 5 on squats and only level 2 on push ups. That’s okay!
- Rest 60 seconds between sets. use a stop watch or your phone to keep track of time between sets. Be consistent!
- On the set that you cross the goal number for total reps – don’t stop at that number if you can do more – keep going, and keep track of your total.
- Don’t do this workout two days in a row – give your muscles time to recover: every other day should be fine.
- Record each of your workouts: write down your total number of reps, sets, and how long you waited between each so you can compare from workout to workout. I’ve included an Angry Birds Workout sheet at the end.
- As soon as you can do the total number of reps within two sets, you level up and work towards the next goal set of reps.
- Warm up before each session – something to get the blood flowing to your muscles so you don’t pull anything! I recommend 40-50 jumping jacks (or as many as you can do).
The Exercise Levels
- Level 1 – 30 Body weight squats (do it without the chair)
- Level 2 – 50 Body weight squats
- Level 3 – 70 Body weight squats
- Level 4 – 100+ Body weight squats
- Level 5 – start back at level 1 with overhead squats
- Level 6 – start back at level 1 with jump squats
- Level 1 – 40 incline push ups or knee push ups
- Level 2 – 20 push ups / incline push ups
- Level 3 – 50 push ups / incline push ups
- Level 4 – 80 push ups / incline push ups
- Level 5 – 100+ push ups / incline push ups
- Level 6 – (start back at level 2 with decline push ups)
- Level 1 – 30 one arm rows (with backpack, luggage, laptop bag)
- Level 2 – 20 inverted rows (or bent over rows)
- Level 3 – 10 pull ups
- Level 4 – 16 pull ups
- Level 5 – 22 pull ups
- Level 6 – 30+ pull ups
- Level 1 – 60 seconds of planks
- Level 2 – 2 minutes of planks
- Level 3 – 3 minutes of planks
- Level 4 – 4 minutes of planks
- Level 5 – 5 minutes of planks
- Level 6 – 6 minutes of planks
Want an even BIGGER challenge? Do the four exercises as a circuit, which will exhaust you even more and give your heart a great workout:
- Do as many push ups as you can do, write down the number
- Immediately do as many squats as you can do, write down the number
- Immediately do as many back exercises as you can do (depending on your level), write down your reps.
- Immediately hold a plank for as long as you can, write down the time.
- Rest for as long as you need to (though generally no more than 2 minutes is recommended).
- Start back at push ups, and continue the cycle until you complete each rep requirement.
- If you finish the total reps for one exercise before another, you can rest or go right to the next exercise.
This will require you to do the whole workout at once, but it shouldn’t take you more than 20-25 minutes. Keep track of your total time and work on besting that number each time.
Give em the bird
This type of workout is set up similarly to how the Body Weight Brigade workouts are set up in the Rebel Strength Guide, so make sure you check it out!
The Rebel Strength Guide has more exercises, variations, and varieties along with a greater focus on strength and muscle building, but is set up similarly with ranks and levels so that you can advance at your own pace (and more importantly, see progress from workout to workout!).
Because I’m a nice guy, I’ve included an Angry Birds Workout sheet that you can download if you want to keep track of your progress. I’ve filled in the first day as an example if you’re curious how to fill it out. It’s an Excel document, but you can download and then open in Google Docs if you don’t have Excel. Page 1 has space for five workouts, page two is a reprint of the exercises and levels so you know what you need to do.
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the Angry Birds Workout after you’ve tried it once or twice. How are the levels – is level 1 way too easy or way too tough? Gap between levels too big or two small? Let me know!
Check out the Rebel Strength Guide if you want more bodyweight only workouts!