The Greatest Workout Ever Created

Today’s workout is the greatest workout ever created.

Why? Because it’s based on the best on the greatest video game code ever created.

In fact, you can probably guess it right now:

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A start.

That’s right, the code for extra lives in Konami’s NES classic, Contra.  Since its release, this code has become famous among nerds. I remember a few years ago when a nerd hacked, allowing you to input the Konami code to see a screen full of unicorns and rainbows. There’s even a website (in which you must enter the Konami code to access the site) that chronicles all of the easter eggs hidden through Internet Land.

It was only a matter of time until I figured out how to pay homage to one of my favorite games growing up here at Nerd Fitness.

That time is now.

Let’s learn how to perform the greatest workout ever created.

Konami Code Workout

Konami Code Workout Video

After completing a warm-up (beginner or advanced), do the following:

Depending on your particular situation, you can try a few variations of this workout:

  • Set a time for 5 or 10 minutes, and see how many complete circuits you can complete in that time.  Record your number and come back a week later under the same conditions to beat your own record.
  • Set a goal number of circuits.  Try 5, 10 or 20 complete circuits and see how long it takes you to complete the workout.  Record your time, and attempt again a week from now to see if you can complete it faster!
  • Do a circuit or two during commercial or game breaks.  Watching a TV show? Playing a video game?  See if you can complete a circuit or two during a commercial break or between levels.  Certainly better than nothing.
Don’t forget to stretch out and cool down after (beginner or advanced)!

Some tips and tricks

This is NOT an everyday workout.  Your muscles need to recover, so at MOST you should do this every other day, but I see this more of a “once a week” test or “once a month” benchmark to see how things are going.

Practice proper form.  Racing through this as quickly as possible while doing half-squats, sloppy burpees, swinging pull ups, and improper push ups will put you on the fast track to injury.  PLEASE put an emphasis on your form, take care of yourself, and you’ll have fun.  Cut corners to go faster and you’ll put yourself at serious risk for injury.  Work on great form, and then work on completing the workout faster.

Have some fun!  I’m not gonna lie, my favorite workouts are always nerd-themed, simple, easy to follow, and don’t require a lot of equipment. I’d love for you to go through this workout and leave a comment with your results:

  • 10 minutes – How many circuits can you complete in 10 minutes practicing GOOD FORM!
  • 10 circuits – How quickly can you complete 10 full Konami Code Workout circuits while practicing GOOD FORM!

Now go get it done.  Good luck.


PS – Our “I ate too much at Thanksgiving” sale finishes up tonight at 11:59PM EST!  Simply use the code “BOBOMB” after adding Rebel Fitness GuideRebel Running Guide, and/or Rebel Strength Guide to your shopping cart and get 20% OFF!  We’ve also added brand new superhero Nerd Fitness shirts (Men’s and Women’s) to our Battle Gear store – jump on it!

photo source: Contra, Contra lego

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  • This is indeed the Greatest Workout Ever. Well done, sir!

  • Katelin

    gonna try to do this workout today :))))

  • Im in love.

  • Andrew Lake

    Yup, you got me! I’ll add this to my currently empty Mondays!

  • LOL Perfection.

  • 10 sets in 11 mins
    + sets of Dips and Push Ups Tabata style!

  • Mateo(sunrunner)

    Terrific Post! love the genius behind the workout, a definate must try. I especially love the tip at the end to try and squeeze in a circuit during commercials or pausing the video game to get one in.

  • One of your greatest posts of all time and an insanely memorable workout. Bravo, sir.

  • Brandon Scriver

    EPIC!!!!! I am going to “borrow” this to post on my own blog! (Totally giving you credit and mad props for it though!) Love it! Love It! LOVE IT!

  • usnmustanger

    So epically nerdy in the most awesomely nerdy way. This motivated me to get back on track with working out. A bit out of shape after some time off from strength training (been doing mostly cycling & running these days), so it took me 15 minutes to do 10 complete circuits with good form.
    Thanks for this!

  • Barefoot Dawsy

    Ah, just like the Nerd Fitness of old. Great post!

  • love the creativity!

  • SweatyGirl

    I am ready for a Pitfall inspired workout! Bring on the jumps, ropes, and alligators!

  • Courtnie Marie

    Can’t wait to try this out in a bit! I’m concerned about burpees though since I can’t do a pushup yet… maybe just a jumping jack – wall push up – jumping jack?! haha not exactly getting the up and down movement of a burpee so if anyone has any better suggestions, help a girl out!

  • Tim B.

    I like the idea of using this exercise as a measurement of progress. Maybe use this one on Saturdays, and do my regular week routine, then can definitely see how much I improve on a weekly basis using this as a kind of ‘control exercise’, like a research project. Brilliant!

  • thanks for the idea, brother 🙂


  • There are lots of modified burpess; some go from the squatting down position to having their chest hit the deck, with the body in plank, then get back to the squatting position and doing that however it works for them (not doing a pushup, just making sure they get all the way down)… you can do a kneeling pushup to start or if that’s too hard just skip the pushup, either kicking your legs back from the squat or just starting with a jump to a squat and then back up until you’re upper body can handle a pushup/burpee. Before you know it you’ll be doing advanced burpee forms where you don’t even squat, you just go plank form mid-air, then land into a pushup and fire back up! 🙂

  • I personally believe the gold standard of this should be seeing how fast you can do 30 of them…. it WAS 30 lives, right?

  • sudmalis

    did you see the vlogbrothers version? John Green did a nerd workout with this once for a punishment

  • Lukup A.K.A. The Curse

    Thought this would be an ideal moment to bring everyone’s attention to this thread:

  • Chrissyisawesome

    This is amazing. I signed up for NerdFitness YESTERDAY and this workout came flying into my inbox this morning. Talk about great timing. First workout with NF: 5 sets in 4 minutes. Woo!

  • Rachel

    I love when you make videos!

  • u forgot the select button before the start at the end of the code, gotta ensure you get your 30 free lives

  • I created a cheat code of my own in terms of short cutting in the video game of muscle bulding….I formulated a stack of sorts, which comes out next month, could I send you it for free in return for your trial and opinion? It stacks protein powder, creatine, L-arginine, l-glutamine, Alpha lipoic acids and some other fun stuff. I’d love your honest opinion. Thanks and keep up the great blog

  • jfrankovich

    I really like this workout! A possible modification would be to represent the Start button at the end of the code, with START = “Sprint To A Random Thing” (or Tree, if you’re outside).

  • FaceAK

    Just another reason to get a pull up bar….not exactly wanting to do this at a park since it’s about 6*F out today! Hopefully my boyfriend has been listening and gets me one for Christmas 😉

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  • Super clever and fitting for the site!! What took you so long to integrate the most iconic game cheat code ever?? 🙂

  • brandon

    Loved loved loved this workout. Wish I had seen the idea for a sprint for start. Anyway, I busted out 17 rounds in 10 minutes. Shared this link on my FB page. Hopefully some of my peeps will give it a go.

  • It would be cool to modify the pull-ups and have a great hotel room workout. Excellent workout post for the avid traveler.

  • Courtnie Marie

    Thank you! brilliant idea with the plank form. I think I can handle the regular burpee start and drop into a plank for a few seconds then jump back up. I honestly cannot wait to do a real push up 🙂

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  • It’s nice to know that konami code can also be used as a work out tool. What muscle are we targeting here?

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  • Ian

    It’s so hard! First time I could only do it twice through at most (meaning, I tried it tonight). Def. a good measure of fitness and a good gauge for progress!

  • Awesome full body workout.  Did 14 circuits in 10 mins this past Monday and 16 circuits in 10 mins on Wednesday.  Gonna see how much I can do tomorrow.  I was thinking that once I’m able to do 20 in 10 mins, I’d level up with either a weight vest or see how many I can do in 15 mins.

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  • Eva

    I loved this circuit! Did 10 in 15min, but was definitely slacking. Love the explosion of the single burpee in there to make sure your heart is pumping.
    I have pretty good lower body strength (thank you, fencing and cycling), but my upper body strength is comparatively poor. Doing the upper body exercises in two-rep sets like this is great for me (much better boost to my confidence than struggling through 5 *incline* push-ups…yeesh).

  • Damn you it will kill me but 30 is what I am aiming for now.  Since you told me this there is no other way!

  • Sethan65

    Although I have never heard of this game (don’t get angry at me please) it was a great workout. After doing it I have added it to my Mondays. I did 17 sets in 10 minutes. Thanks for the great ideas.

  • D.H.

    So question, maybe I missed it while reading through all these cool posts, but how frequently is it suggested we work out a week? 

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  • fudderduds

    I was wondering how many calories one rep of the Konami Code workout would burn. I’m trying to track my calorie intake and calories burned.

  • I just finished this workout and I love it!!!! I did 14 circuits in 9 minutes!!! Well I’m just begining with the rebellion and i just realize that I got hooked with NF!!! thanks Steve 😀

  • joel hawk

    Took the guys at work through this workout thismorning after a quick 2.5k run. the gamers amoungst them really appriciated the reference but all suprisingly thought it was going to be too easy. however at the end of 20 rounds, myself in 11mins19 with times out to 15mins… everyone stood corrected, and gassed. well done

  • Tom Christian

    This workout can be modified to a great circuit.
    10 pull ups
    25 push-ups
    10 rear lunges each side
    10 burpees
    15 air squats