The Legend of Zelda is one of the greatest video game series of all time.
A unique mix of role-playing elements, exploration, genius boss battles, and a fun (albeit generic) story come together every few years to blow the doors off everybody’s expectations.
We’ve written extensively about why this game is a perfect example of drawing inspiration for living a better life here on Nerd Fitness.
Today, we pay homage to this great game series with a workout worthy of the name.
Just as we’ve done in the past with the Konami Code Workout, the Star Wars Workout, and the Lord of the Rings Workout, here we have a unique workout plan inspired by one of the world’s most popular video games.
Even if you’ve never played a single second of Zelda, and you have no clue what The Master Sword is, you’ll still get a fantastic, balanced, challenging workout.
The Legend of Zelda Workout
In nearly every Legend of Zelda game, we have a few key game mechanics that are always present.
Now, because we love Ocarina of Time so freaking much, we’ll be building this workout around the level structure from that game.
In The Legend of Zelda there are THREE main temples in the Light World, which serves as a tutorial/warmup for the real meat of the game: the six temples in the Dark World.
Each temple completion gives you something that allows you to access the next…unless, you’re Cosmo and can beat the game in 18:32, but there’s no speed run or hack for our workout. So, we’re going to build our workout around this structure 🙂
WARM UP: Young Link
In the Ocarina of Time, as a Young Link you work your way through three temples until you get to the real meat and (sweet) potatoes of the game.
In our Legend of Zelda workout, you’ll be starting with three mini workouts designed to give you a proper warm up to get you prepped for the actual workout. Complete these three mini workouts in succession before you move on to whatever temple (workout) you are doing that day.
Shall we get started?
Deku Tree (Level 1): As link is getting used to exploring the land and learning how to use the tools and tactics at his disposal, so too shall you! We’re Navi (Hey! Listen!), and you are learning from us. Perform the following movements to get started:
- 5 neck rolls (clockwise and counter clockwise)
- 5 arm swings (five forward, five backwards)
- 5 leg swings (each leg – straight ahead)
Dodongo’s Cavern (Level 2): Now that you’ve completed a dungeon and know how the game works, it’s time to increase the challenge and make sure our arms and legs are properly prepared.
- 10 Death Mountain Climbers (mountain climbers)
- 10 Bomb Placements (bend at waist and touch toes, aka place bombs)
- 5 Hip Circles (clockwise and counter clockwise, like you’re hula hooping)
Jabu Jabu’s Belly (Level 3): We’re starting to get warmed-up, we’re finding our feet, and we’re ready to take on more challenging tasks.
- 5 Princess Zora Squats (Overhead Bodyweight Squats)
- 5 Link Lunges (each leg!)
- 5 Block Pushes (wall push ups or regular push ups)
Workout: Adult Link
Okay, enough with that kiddie stuff.
1) ALWAYS start each workout with the three warm-up dungeons above, and then on your first workout day complete the FIRST temple.
2) Take a day off (perhaps with a nice long walk on your off day!), and then complete the three warm ups and SECOND temple. (Can’t complete a temple? Start the level over again and try to do better than last time!)
3) Take another day off, and then complete the three warm-ups and THIRD temple. Remember, if you can’t complete a temple, aim to do slightly better next workout. Just like the video game, it could take you several tries before you can advance.
4) Repeat this process until you’ve completed the 6th temple, defeated Ganon, rescued Zelda, and saved Hyrule!
Here’s a sample week workout schedule:
Day 1: Warmup and Temple 1
Day 2: Off
Day 3: Warmup and Temple 2
Day 4: Off
Day 5: Warmup and Temple 3 (or repeat Temple 2 if you failed to complete)
Take a few minutes break between each circuit if you need to, but within each circuit try to complete all exercises and the boss battle without stopping.
The goal is to finish this workout as quickly as possible while maintaining proper form! For exercises that require dumbbells, be sure to select a weight heavy enough so your last repetition is very difficult. Complete each boss battle only once, unless otherwise directed.
Let’s get started.
FOREST TEMPLE (1) – Weapon: Fairy Bow
Complete the following circuit three times:
- 5 Block Pushes (push ups or wall push ups)
- 15 Fairy Bow Pulls – Dumbbell Rows
- 10 Back Lunges (10 each leg)
Boss Battle: Phantom Gannon – 3 sets of 20 second sprints, with as little rest as possible in between
FIRE TEMPLE (2) – Weapon: Megaton Hammer
Complete the following circuit three times:
- 10 Box Jumps (stand feet together, jump as high as you can, and STEP DOWN)
- 10 Bomb Throws (wall ball throws with the medicine ball)
- 10 Megaton Hammer Curls (dumbbell curls with palms facing each other)!
Boss Battle: Volvagia – 5 sets of 30 seconds of foot fire – run in place as quickly as possible for 30 seconds. Your feet should feel like you just got set on fire.
WATER TEMPLE (3) – Weapon: Hook Shot
Complete the following circuit three times:
- 5 Hookshot Shot Pull Ups (Put towel over pull up bar and grab both ends of towel and do pull ups that way. Use a band to help assist you if you need to.)
- 10 “Item Find” Clean And Presses (Dumbbell/Kettlebell Clean and Presses)
- 30 seconds of Iron Boot Farmers Carries (carry heavy dumbbells for 30 seconds)
Boss Battle: Morpha – 3 sets of 30 Seconds of Morpha Rolling Planks (front, side, back planks for 30 seconds each. This should take 6 minutes total.)
SHADOW TEMPLE (4) – Weapon: Hover Boots, Lens of Truth
Complete four times:
- 8 Shadow Dead Lifts (one-legged DB deadlifts)
- 10 Hover Boot jumps (stand feet together, jump as far as you can horizontally)
- 1 Minute of Cucco Flying (AKA Grab a pull up Bar and HANG for 60 seconds, as if you were flying with a chicken)
- 10 Dips
Boss Battle: Bongo Bongo – 3 sets of 30 seconds of Bongo Bongo Burpees
SPIRIT TEMPLE (5) – Weapon: Silver Gauntlets, Mirror Shield
Complete four times:
- 10 Overhead Silver Gauntlet Presses (Overhead DB Presses)
- 10 Heavy Bomb Squats (DB Goblet Squats)
- 10 Mirror Shield Raises (Hold 45 lb plate in front of you, raise it up to shoulder height, then lower it. )
Boss Battle: Koume and Kotake (Twinrova) 30 Seconds of Twinrova Side to Side Push Ups (or do them on your knees or against a wall if you have to!)
GANON’S CASTLE (6) – Weapon: Master Sword
Complete five times:
- 10 Epic Stair Steps (Dumbbell Step ups on a bench or climb stairs if you have them)
- 10 Triforce Push ups (Hands together so they make a Triforce shape – can do on knees if you have to).
- 10 Tower Climb Pull Ups (assisted if necessary)
Boss Battle: Gannon
Complete three times:
1) Sprint 20 yards
2) Inverted Row (to signify light arrows)
3) Sprint 20 yards
4) 10 Burpee pullups (jump to platform)
5) Sprint 20 yards
Master Sword Medicine Ball Slams
Remember, do the best you can, and try to complete these workout with as little rest as possible.
But, be safe and MAINTAIN GOOD FORM!
If you can’t complete a particular movement, scale it down to a similar movement that you can do properly.
If you’re looking for more detailed workout plans, we have a few dozen plans with HD-demonstrations of every exercise in the Nerd Fitness Academy. We’ll also be adding printable plans for this and other themed workouts.
Join over 4,000 people who are losing weight, growing stronger, and getting healthy with us in the Academy- we’d love to have ya 🙂
You now have the tools and your “map” for getting healthy – now, willst thou finish?
photo source: Jeremy G: Adult Link, 亞可 米米: HD Link, daveoratox: zelda cartridge, Chris: Triforce, Andrew Becraft: Lego Link, Zelda Wiki: Forest Temple, Zelda Wiki: Shadow Temple, Zelda Wiki: Spirit Temple, Zelda Wiki: Ganon, Zelda Wiki: Water Temple
26 thoughts on “The Legend of Zelda Workout”
Ha ha, this is awesome! The legend of Zelda, FTW!!!
I definitely like the boss battles at the end too; it’s kinda’ like what I’ve been doing for my challenges 😀
I think I’ll give this a try once I complete the current challenge. I’m doing the PLP program, along with some other exercises. This will be a neat program to jump into once I complete the PLP!
Thanks for the article Steve 😀
Hehe legend of zelda work out…
Never liked the water temple level though^^
why no sayian work out, or would that be insayian?
HAHAHA….hah,I got nothing…
Love it! I never played Zelda, myself, but this is an adventure I can see myself getting into. I like that it isn’t a huge amount of equipment per workout, which certainly makes setting up a circuit like this a whole lot easier! It looks bloody hard too. Will have to work it into my functional workout rotation for the 6 week challenge I think – I have ADHD when it comes to workouts, always want to try something new!
Nice! I just put up a workout for Zelda #1 on my blog about a week ago. This one is meant to be done as you’re playing the game. Check it out if you want another Zelda workout: http://nerdy-jock.com/2014/06/04/the-zelda/ Thanks, Steve!
I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a workout.
Hey, nice workout-routine. I’d like to try that very much, but I am mostly working out at home atm, so is there a substitution for the medicine-ball-slams?
Excellent article. I noticed only 3 errors:
1. The Morpha boss battle is only 4.5 minutes long, not six minutes. Or is there supposed to be a 30 second rest period after each series of three planks? Or are we supposed to do 4 series of three planks?
2. You wrote “The Legend of Zelda is one of the greatest video game series of all time” when you meant to write “The Legend of Zelda is the greatest video game series of all time.” I’m not sure how that “one of” got in there. I’ll blame Ganondorf.
3. You wrote “…and a fun (albeit generic) story…” when you meant to write “…and a fun (awesomely mythological) story…” It’s not generic; it’s the mythologically-connected Heroes’ Journey!
But seriously: nice workout and nice connections to one of…I mean THE best video game series ever.
Ooh, this seems to be perfect for me to start working out. I love Zelda and the way this is build seems manageable. I’m so looking forward to this
Why do you come up with the most awesome workout ever when I already train 3 times a week with my trainer? I’ll have to do one temple a week and then build from there, because I’m just too excited to wait, haha. 6 weeks to defeat Ganon seems like a perfect time frame to me. ;D
Oh Legend of Zelda, how thou have shaped me into who I am today. One more reason to love NF!
I am in love with The Legend of Zelda series. This is awesome! So excited to try this after I move into my new apartment!
OMG I love that game! This is an awesome challenge!
Pretty awesome workout progression! And it is based on Zelda, what more can I ask for? For some odd reason, it is one of my vivid childhood memories the moment my friends and I discovered you could walk through walls in the second quest of the original Zelda. Odd, I know.
What an awesome idea for a workout! Zelda is my all time favourite game, so I can’t wait to give this a go! Excited to see which temple I can get to! Definitely going to spend my rest days doing some low intensity parkour in the local woods as well to get that true Link experience…am I too old to buy and ocarina?!
I already started the workout and it’s awesome!! Thank you so much for this article. I can’t wait to kick Ganon’s ass!!
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I love this even better than the LOTR. I’ve not played this, being a Sega Genesis girl, but I know so much about it second hand that it feels quite comfortable. I’m doing each temple for one week, one — cause Im really out of shape due to six month depression disability, and two – if I were playing the game it would take me at least that to get to and win the boss battles. That’s six weeks of getting up to speed. I’m doing Zombies Run 5K, so that’s 8 weeks, and the extra two weeks I can do this workout as written above. (I just thought of that. Sometimes typing to other people helps!)
Hi! I am really fond of this workout, but I’m a complete newbie in fitness workouts. I completed Level 2 (I was so proud – haha) two days ago and today I wanted to try Level 3 but I am simply not strong enough yet, to do the pull ups. You said that I could use a “band” if needed, but I’m afraid I don’t understand what is meant by that. Could you help me out – anyone?
sooo – I did some research and found the answer – thank you. Now, already having to buy/build a pull up bar and surely won’t find some bands, can I do it with a chair like shown in those videos? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HHZAnKFD-U or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_vw0P8EVwQ
Definitely gonna try this today. Thanks,Steve!
Hallo Zelda fans, you may find interesting that the composer known as ZELDA LEGEND has been included in the cd “Red Hot and Chill Vol.2”, a selection of new artists in the styles chillout, lounge and electro.
OMG Legend of Zelda, I gues this is the better Fantasy History Game ever, also i think Link looks like a girl, but i like the way they put this character in a magic scenario. Best ejuice
In reply to the first question, it looks like the Morpha battle will be 6 minutes if you do BOTH sides. So: 30 seconds front plank, 30 seconds side plank, 30 seconds other side plank, and 30 seconds back plank would be one set that is two minutes long. Two more sets gets you to 6 minutes.
But I do have two different questions:
1. In the Twinrova boss battle: should that be 3 sets of 30 seconds of side-to-side pushups? Nearly all other boss battle challenges are 3 sets, but this one says just 30 seconds.
2. In the Ganon boss battle: are there 10 Inverted Rows? The number of reps isn’t specified.
I know this is an old article, but I am new here. I want to say that I don’t like to do strength training, but this was the FUNNEST workout I think I’ve ever done. Link is my hero and I love all Legend of Zelda games, so doing a workout based on this gave me a better schema on strength. As I did the forrest temple I listened to the soundtrack and then listened to the boss music as I did the boss portion. It made me feel like I defeated some evil. Thanks so much for creating this! I look forward to the other themed workouts 😀