This workout was created by Nerd Fitness Team Member and Master of the Fitness Universe, Jim Bathurst.
With zombie skeletons pounding at your door, you know what really makes me feel safe? Redundancy! If the wall doesn’t hold, the creatures have to go through metal bars. After that, another line of defense. And then another.
And you know what really makes me stick to my workouts? Redundancy. Multiple lines of defense against my own excuses:
Oh, you know what? It’s just too cold to walk or drive to the gym… “NO PROBLEM,” I tell myself, “I can do the workout right here!”
Oh, but I don’t have the right equipment. I probably need to skip it today… “NO PROBLEM!” All I need is my own bodyweight and a backpack filled with something heavy!
Oh, but the exercises at home aren’t right. They’re [too easy or too hard]… NO PROBLEM! Here are some backup exercises if I need a variation.
Today we give you the Winter is Coming Workout. In case of emergency, break the glass and do this workout instead of skipping the day entirely.
Do Season 1 to warm up (3x through), and then complete any season 3x through for your workout. If you are really ready to defend Westeros, try “binging” every season, doing the whole thing straight through!
Warning: If you don’t want to see spoilers, don’t do that season’s workout!
Season 1 (Warm Up): Don’t lose your head, we’re just getting started.
Watch the video above and complete the warm up 3x through. The video includes the entire workout and seasons below, so pause as you need!
While we would love to see you do this workout outside, we understand if you’re more inclined to Dornish weather and would rather just do this inside.
Are you ready?
Night’s Watch Pledge – Reverse lunge/spiderman stretch
In honor of the Night’s Watch, take a step back, kneel down and bow forward. The lower you bow (think about getting your elbow to your ankle!), the deeper the stretch. Alternate 5 times per side.
Hand of the King – Arm circles and hand stretch
With a new Hand of the King, it’s time to get those upper body muscle warmed up. Swing your arms forward 10 times, then backwards 10 times, then stretch out the hands back and forth 5x a piece.
Dothraki Horses – High knees
Trot through the Dothraki Sea and warm up your lower body. With your hands at your hips, alternately lift your knees up as high as you can. Aim to get the legs parallel with the ground. Control and lightness on the feet are more important than height! (Think quick, graceful horse, not a lumbering giant!) Alternate 10 times per leg.
Ned Head Circles – Head/Neck Circles
Too much? If we’ve somehow ruined something for you, then you didn’t read the intro paragraphs! Gently and slowly roll your head one direction for 5 reps, then the other direction for 5 reps.
Baby Dragons Flying – Jumping jacks
Dragons! Finally! Nevermind we’ll have to wait a million more episodes until they do something cool. Act like a baby dragon who can’t fly by doing 10 jumping jacks.
The Season 1 Warm Up Recap – 3x through!
Night’s Watch pledge – reverse lunge and bow – (alternate x5/side)
Hand of the King – arm circles (x10 each way) and hand stretches (alternate x5/side)
Dothraki horses – high knees – (alternate x10/side)
Ned head circles – head/neck circles – (x5 each way)
Baby dragons flying – jumping jacks – (x10)
Warning: Season 2 spoilers ahead.
Season 2 – Workout – War of the Five Kings – Get ready for battle!
Survive Season 1? Onto Season 2, where we get absolutely every character fighting for the Iron Throne! The exercises are as follows:
Balon Greyjoy Boat Rows – One Arm Rows
Grab that backpack or weight and make like you’re rowing a boat. Take a step and lean forward slightly with a good back position, and rest the non-working hand on your leg for support. Pull the weight up to your chest and then lower it back down. Build up those Gendry muscles! 10 reps per side.
Robb Stark Pushes Ahead – Push-ups
These can be done on the feet, the knees, on an elevated surface, or whatever tortuous push up variation you prefer. Keep the elbows tucked in slightly. As Robb had a tough struggle, make these push ups tough! 5 reps total.
Joffrey Sits on the Iron Throne – Wall Sit or Horse Stance
You know it’s gotta be uncomfortable sitting on a chair made of pointy swords, and this exercise isn’t going to feel much better. If you’re inside your castle, get your back against a wall and sit down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. If you’re outside, make like Khal and get into your best horse stance – getting your feet wider than shoulder width and squatting down until your thighs are again parallel with the ground. Hold 30 seconds.
Battle of Blackwater – Diagonal Chops
Who doesn’t love a good fight scene!? The biggest one of the series so far finds us at Blackwater Bay. Make like Tyrion and get to chopping! Grab your weight and lift it up and high to the side, then bring it diagonally across your body to your feet. Alternate 10 reps per side.
Valar Burpees – All men (and women) must do burpees.
What better way to end Season 2, than an exercise that makes you wish you were on Arya’s list? Squat down, step or kick your legs out, and lower yourself to the ground (or do a push up). Get your feet back underneath you and jump up! 10 reps total.
The Season 2 Recap – 3x through!
Balon Greyjoy boat rows – one arm rows – (x10/side)
Robb Stark pushes ahead – push up (any tough variation) – (x5)
Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne – wall sit or horse stance – (30 seconds)
Battle of Blackwater – diagonal chops – (alternate x10/side)
Valar Burpees – burpees – (x10)
Warning: More spoilers ahead.
Season 3 and 4 – Workout – Get in shape for your next wedding
Onto Season 3 and 4! More deaths. More spoilers. More reasons to elope.
Unsullied Marching – Fast Feet
Make like a quick army and move your feet! Keep your hands by your side and rapidly move your feet up and down off the ground. Control and lightness of the feet are more important than speed! Go for 30 seconds.
Jaime Lannister One Arm Swings – Backpack/dumbbell Swings
Grab your weight with one hand and swing it up to about shoulder height. Be sure to drive this movement from the hips and legs, rather than just lifting with your arm. 10 reps per side.
Wildlings Attack the Wall – Wall Walks or Inch Worms
If you’re outside for this one, get creative with your “wall” if you need to, using a sturdy tree or even a fence. Start at the top of a push up and walk your feet back and up the wall as you walk your hands back. Go only as far as you can control! If the wall walks are as unbelievable to you as GoT, then work inch worms instead: stand up, then reach down to your feet, walk your hands out to push up position, then walk them back to complete a rep. 5 reps total.
Flying out the Moon door – Jumping Jacks
Perhaps the only person you really want to see take a step out the Moon door is Lord Robin, in any case we’ll make like we’re flying again with some more jumping jacks. 10 reps total.
Mountain vs Viper – Mountain Climbers
Don’t start celebrating! We’re not done yet! Get yourself into the top of a push up and bring one knee up underneath you. In rapid fire succession, hop and switch feet. Alternate 20 reps per side.
The Season Recap – 3x through!
Unsullied marching – fast feet – (30 seconds)
Jaime Lannister one arm swings – backpack/dumbbell swings – (x10/side)
Wildlings attack the wall – wall walks or inch worms – (x5)
Flying out the Moon door – jumping jacks – (x10)
Mountain vs Viper – mountain climbers – (alternate x20/side)
Warning: You guessed it, more spoilers ahead.
Season 5 and 6 – Workout – Get in shape for your next bbq
The most recent two seasons and the hits keep on coming.
Shooting Arrows into Mance – Archer/Renegade Rows
Get yourself into a push up position with the weight under one side. Row the weight to your chest as you turn your upper body (like an archer pulling back a bowstring). Complete 10 reps with one arm, then switch for 10 reps with the other arm.
Sansa and Theon Jump to Freedom – Jumping Squats (optional: off a castle)
Get your feet shoulder width apart and squat down as low as you can, then jump up in the air as high as you can. Look to land safely and in control, unlike those crazy Winterfell kids. 10 reps total.
Lyanna Mormont Bear Crawls
“And though she be but little, she is fierce.” Lyanna was the breakaway star of Season 6. For this exercise we are going to get on our hands and feet and crawl around like a bear. Go for 30 seconds.
Jon Snow Dead Man Planks
He’s back! Get set on the ground in a front plank position on your forearms. Keep your core and butt tight and your body in a straight line as you support your own weight. Go for 30 seconds. If this sounds too easy, try 30 seconds per side in a side plank instead. Afterwards, rise! (Just don’t take an entire season to do it.)
Hodor Wall Sits
An exercise as painful as watching Hodor sacrifice himself for Bran. If you’ve got a doorway of zombies to lean against, then get your back against a wall and sit down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. If you’re outside, make like Khaleesi riding a dragon and get into a horse stance – getting your feet wider than shoulder width and squatting down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Hold 30 seconds.
Rickon Stark Lateral Lunges
Take a lunge to one side, then take a lunge to the other side. Just move absolutely any direction other than directly forward. Please man, come on. You are driving me crazy. I’m yelling at my TV like I’m watching football. Alternate 5 reps per side.
The Season Recap – 3x through!
Shooting arrows into Mance – archer/renegade Rows – (non alternating x10/side)
Sansa and Theon jump to freedom – jumping squats – (x10)
Lyanna Mormont bear crawls – (30 seconds)
Jon Snow Dead Man Planks – (30 seconds in front plank, or 30 seconds/side side plank)
Hodor wall sits – wall sit or horse stance for 30 seconds and cry.
Rickon Stark Lateral Lunges – (alternate x 5/side)
Defend the Wall, Defend Westeros
Winter is coming. For some, it’s already here.
If we’re not prepared, we’ll be overrun by
white walkers sloth and over-indulgence.
Hopefully these workouts help you feel more prepared than literally any character in Game of Thrones ever. Except maybe Podrick. That guy’s the man.
What else do you struggle with in winter? Look out for more “Winter is Coming” resources soon!
Photo: Brian Rinkler: Lego Throne