Star City is in trouble.
With masked supervillians like Deathstroke, Merlyn, Deadshot, and the League of Assassins terrorizing the population, it’s up to the our friend, Oliver Queen, also known as The Green arrow, to set things right.
Thanks to the popularity of the surprisingly fantastic (and only kinda hokey) show Arrow, Oliver’s battle with the enemies of Star City have been brought to the limelight. If he was a member of the NF Rebellion, Arrow would most definitely be an Assassin.
Admittedly, I didn’t know much about the Green Arrow comic series until I started watching the show; Stephen Amell’s portrayal of the Green Arrow and his training regiment (filmed here at the Parkour gym I’ve visited in California) got me hooked instantly:
And it was his on-screen training with the Ninja Warrior obstacle (the salmon ladder!) that turned me into huge fan:
Today, I’m going to take you through a workout that would do the Arrow proud, and make his enemies think twice about once again kidnapping his sister, who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
The Green Arrow Training Philosophy
If we want to fight crime like The Green Arrow or his heroic female partner The Canary, we need to prepare our bodies with four key aspects of training:
1) BODYWEIGHT TRAINING: The Arrow didn’t hone his skills and build a powerful body by doing machine-assisted bicep curls, smith machine power-curtsies, and ab-coaster crunches. It was done with real world movements that pushed his body to the limit. Thus, we’re only interested in exercises that can be completed anywhere…even a deserted island!
2) PARKOUR AND SPRINTS: Oliver is a master traceur; he’s constructed a body designed to carry minimal body fat but maximum power – allowing him to vault over obstacles or scale buildings at a moment’s notice. He’s pretty damn good at appearing up in the rafters, or on top of buildings, and disappearing just as quickly.
This is all possible because he has focused on clearing obstacles and really building a strong back to allow him to haul himself up into hard-to reach locations. Parkour for the win!
Note: Michael Scott Parkour doesn’t count:
3) MARTIAL ARTS ACUMEN: It’s said that The Green Arrow is proficient in several forms of martial arts including judo, wing chun, taekwondo, as well as eskrima. The reason he was able to learn these skills so rapidly while trapped on the island is two-fold:
- He has a body built for it! It’s tough to be a master martial artist when you’re carrying around excess body fat and no muscle. When you prepare yourself for everything, you can accomplish anything.
- He HAS to do it. Oliver Queen was presumed dead after a shipwreck, and spent five years trapped on an island with minimal access to equipment of any kind. During those five years, he learned to hunt, survive, and thrive in some nature’s most brutal environments. His options were to either die, or adapt, evolve, and survive. It’s amazing what we’re capable of when there’s no other option. Now, with the fate of his family, friends, and Star City hanging in the balance, training with conviction is the only option.
4) A DISAPPOINTED GRAVELY VOICE AND HOKEY JOKES. I mean, everything sounds more epic when you do it in a disappointed, gravely voice, even reading famous sports lines. This is probably the most important part of this workout, so it’s probably best to start practicing now. You should probably have a detective with corny commentary joining you too.
Now, before we get into the actual workout, there are two more things I want to tell you: ALWAYS start with a warm-up when you can, and end your workout with a cool-down. The goal below is to pick the level of each exercise that is challenging but that you can attempt safely.
How often should you do the Green Arrow workout? This is a workout that can be completed in any park or location with a bar to hang from, and thus can be done whenever you need a break from fighting crime (or when you want to mix things up from your regular routine)!
Feel free to put on a green hoodie for this, and listen to some epic music.
The Green Arrow Workout
Alright, you masked vigilante, you…let’s get angsty.
Complete up to four circuits of the following exercises, picking the level of difficulty for each exercise that suits you. So, complete the recommended number of repetitions for exercise 1, then immediately move onto exercise 2, then exercise 3, etc. After completing all five exercises, rest briefly and repeat the circuit 3 more times if you can!
They are split into four levels:
- Intro (Beginner)
- Oliver (Intermediate)
- Green Arrow (Advanced)
- Justice League (Expert)
Remember, we want to build a stronger, antifragile body, and thus we need to consistently increase our strength by progressively challenging ourselves with more difficult movements as we get stronger. As you repeat the workout in the future, see where you can increase your load.
This workout is best completed on a playground or park. Ultimately, you need two pieces of equipment: a pull up bar or bar to hang from (aka Monkey Bars, the top bar of a swing set, etc.), and a bench on which to jump or do incline push ups. Ready?
Movement 1 [Safety]: The Parkour Roll (5 rolls)
- Intro: 5 Box squats
- Oliver: 5 Tuck jump to silent landings
- Green Arrow: 5 broad jumps
- Justice League: 5 Knee broad jumps
- Intro: 5 second Bar hang, (shoulders pulled down and back!)
- Oliver: 5 Jumping and eccentric pull ups
- Green Arrow: 5 Dead hang pull-ups
- Justice League: 3 Archer Pull ups to each side
Movement 4 [Crawling]: Evasive Movement
- Intro: 10 seconds Quadrupedal movement
- Oliver: 10 seconds Push up crawl
- Green Arrow: 10 seconds Quadrupedal movement, backwards, upstairs
- Justice League: 10 seconds Cat balance
Movement 5 [Lateral Movement]: Side squats
- Intro: 5 Ducks under an obstacle
- Oliver: 5 Cossack Squats each side
- Green Arrow: 5 Quadrupedal side lunge
- Justice League: 5 Locomotion leg movement
Movement 6 [Push]: Push Strength
Intro: 5 Push-up negative/knee get up
- Oliver: 8 Strict Form Push-ups
Green Arrow: 5 Handstand wall walks
Justice League: 5 Handstand push ups (assisted)
Movement 7 [Self-Defense]: Punches and kicks
Intro: 2 punches (left, right) front kick with dominant leg
Oliver: 3 punches (left, right, left) roundhouse kick with rear leg
Advanced: 2 punches (left, left), front leg kick, 2 punches (right, left) roundhouse kick with rear leg
Justice League: Alternate right handed and left handed sets (while surrounded by 4 or more ninjas!)
So, here’s what an entire workout for the intro level looks like:
- 3 Beginner Parkour Rolls
- 5 Box squats
- 5 second Bar hang, (shoulders pulled down and back!)
- 10 seconds Quadrupedal movement
- 5 Ducks under an obstacle
- 5 Push-up negative/knee get up
- 2 punches (left, right) front kick with dominant leg
Rest. REPEAT 3x!
Save Star City
See if you can complete the workout above for a full 4 circuits. If you can only do one set or two circuits, that’s okay. But start training, for the League of Assassins is coming for you.
And they are NOT happy.
Deadshot has you in his sights and Deathstroke won’t hesitate to hack your head clean off.
I’ll leave you with this quote, from Arrow to Superman:
“You remember what we did yesterday? We saved the world – again.
You don’t think that has any value, well think again, pal. The Justice League goes on, with or without you. Look, nobody can question your service or commitment to making things better. If you’re quitting because you think you’ve already done your fair share, fine, we’ll throw you a parade.
But if you’re quitting because it’s easier than continuing the fight, then you’re not the heroes we all thought you were. The world needs the Justice League… and the Justice League needs you.”
If this workout is too advanced, check out the beginner bodyweight routine, and work your way up to the Green Arrow Workout. The Justice League wants to keep you happy and healthy first!
Here are some other fun workout plans if you want to mix things up!
The world needs heroes. Good luck, Arrow!
PS: If you are looking for more workout plans, along with high def demonstrations of each exercise, check out the Nerd Fitness Academy, which now allows you to actually complete quests, gain experience points, and level up your life!