Son of Grok

Get your Pump On

Get your Pump On

Alright, so you are now an expert at walking. You also have your sprinting regimine down pat. It is time to throw in some resistance training… aka weight lifting.

Now, for you girls that are shrugging off this post as one for the guys… DON’T. I am only going to say this once (for now)… WOMEN NEED STRENGTH TRAINING TOO!!!! Do not worry, you are not going to “hulk out” or “bulk up” too much unless you slip and fall on Ronnie Coleman’s gymbag subsequently accidentally injecting yourself full of testosterone. I see this as highly unlikely. Women for the most part simply do not have the hormones to get as big as they often think they will. If it was that easy to get huge even for men, we would have millions of 300 pound high school boys running around flexing up a storm. A little bit of hard earned, toned, “girl muscle” is actually quite sexy on a women and also essential for kissing that dreaded cellulite goodbye.

Strength training is how you tell your muscles “Hey! I need you!”. You will want to do some strength training probably 2-3 times per week and you should never need to go for longer than about 30 minutes. That should be easy enough to motivate for right?

This helps you in your goals in several ways:
1. You will retain your muscle while burning fat.
2. You will firm, build and tone those sexy muscles.
3. You will actually burn MORE fat!
4. Increased bone density.
5. Improved Balance, Flexibility, Mobility and Stability.
6. As always there are other benefits as well.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a fancy gym or even any equipment at all to start this type of training. It can be done in the comfort of your own home using the only piece of equipment that you ever actually NEED… yourself.

For Beginners:
Here is a very simple bodyweight circuit that I came up with for a buddy to get him started. It is very simple to do and a great place to start. You do not need any equipment for this workout and can do it at home.

The Exercises:
This one is pretty self explanatory. Rest on the balls of your feet, hands shoulder width apart. You need to do 10 in each set. Start with full good form pushups. If you can’t complete the 10, go to your knees and do “girl” pushups until you get to the 10 (there is no shame in knocking out some girl pushups don’t worry). Eventually you will get to where you can do the full 10 pushups

Wall Sit:
Stand in front of a secure wall. Turn around so your back is facing the wall. Place your back against the wall and squat down so that your shins are completely vertical and your thighs are horizontal. Hold this as long as you can.

Jumping Jacks:
Hopefully familiar with this one. Let me know if you aren’t.

Lie down with your back as flat as you can on the floor. Stand up as fast as you can, then lie down with your back flat on the ground again as quick as you can. Keep going as fast as you can for around 30 seconds.

Ok now the workout:
Do the following as fast as you can as many times as you can for 20 minutes or until you can’t do anymore. If you are 100% tuckered out before you reach 20 minutes just keep building up until you make it to 20 minutes.

Do this as fast as you can without resting as many times as you can in the 20 minutes:
1. Pushups – 10
2. Wall Sit- As long as you can
3. Jumping Jacks – 30
4. Stand-ups – As many as you can in 30 seconds
5. Rest 30 seconds
6 Repeat!

If the wall sit is too easy or boring, I recommend switching it out for walking lunges which is one of my favorite exercises.

For the more advanced:
This is a mostly upper body workout that i threw together the other day. It KILLED ME. I was sore for many many days.
Between sets, do not fully “rest” Hit the punching bag for 30 seconds between each set or shadow box for 30 seconds. go for the 8-12 rep range on all exercises.

1st Exercise – Ring Flys and Bent over Rows. put your rings very close to the ground. Elevate your feet on a bench or a chair and perform flys. If you don’t have rings, you can do dumbell or cable flys. Immediately go to a set of Bent over Rows (So it is a chest back superset). Then go to your Punching “rest”. Do 4 sets of this then move to exercise #2.

2nd Exercise – Feet up pushups and pullups. Do these with a weighted vest if you can. Do a set of the pushups and then immediately move to a set of pullups. Use rings for the pullups if you have them and a bar if you don’t. Then immediately go to your punching “rest”. 4 sets of these then on to exercise #3.

3rd Exercise – Ring dips and Ring Row Pullups. Do a set of ring dips (if no rings than do other dips) and immediately move to a set of ring row pullups (or a bar if no ring). To do these pullups, hang from rings/bar andelevate feet (kindof like an L above you) until your chest runs parallel to the ground. Do pullups from here. It is like you are doing pullups to your body rather than to your chest/shoulders. So do dips then rows then your punching “rest”. 4 sets of this.

Finish it up – 1 set of 8-12 deadlifts hard and heavy followed by 1 set of Hanging Power Clean and Presses hard and heavy.

The entire workout should take 30-40 minutes. Have fun with this one… it is a killer!

10 Responses to “Exercise for beginners (and non-beginners) #3: Strength and Resistance Training”

  1. Elizabeth

    I am totally going to do this today.

  2. Tim

    “……Hit the punching bag for 30 seconds between each set or shadow box for 30 seconds……” OR, clench your stomach muscles and punch yourself in the abs!

    Hey, thanks for all this. The body weight only stuff is great! I’m off on a 4 day biz trip today and will make use of all this. Taking a tip from, it’s looking like a 24 hour “travel fas”t, then a workout once I get through the air travel to the hotel.

  3. Son of Grok


    My absolute favorite travel workout is burpees and lots of them. Can’t go wrong there.

  4. Rachel

    Burpees and jumping jacks are awesome. I also like planks for core strength :)

  5. Chris -

    Nice stuff. I’m personally a big fan of the weights, but not having access to them shouldn’t prevent you from getting a good workout.

    Have you played with sandbags? They’re cheap, easy to make, and surprisingly punishing.

  6. Son of Grok

    Agreed, agreed and agreed. Although I do think this whole “core craze” ia a little ridiculous.

    I have been itching to play with some sandbags but i have not actually done it yet.

  7. TrailGrrl

    Thanks for this. Off to ATL on Monday and I need to do something. There is a fitness center that might actually not suck. Hard to say, they always make them look bigger than they are. But we are right downtown so there should be something better if need be.


  8. Tim

    Status report (as if anyone is looking for one from me). Made the trip fine, stayed on with the fast all the way to my lodging (22+ hours now). The hotel has a good workout/fitness center, lots of elipticals, treadmills, excerbikes and sundry aerobic equipment, placed facing a bunch of flat screen TVs, standard fare it seems. They also have a plethora of machines for all the various lifts a guy or gal could want. Really nice, all the same brand, space age looking. I’m sure it’s a nice expensive set up. And a few users in there.

    So, to stay on the paleo practicalities, I carried my baggage (about 35/40 pounds) up 20 floors to my room. Changed into a pair of gym shorts, and walked back down the 20 flights to the gym. Then I launched into Pushups, Wall sits, Jumping Jacks and Get Ups on the floor mats in the corner. That is a lot of work, my friends! I felt a little self conscious/weird doing such moves with all the equipment around me! So I did use all the cable/pulley and plate machines to see what they all do, you can certainly get a workout there, too! And there was a neglected rack of dumbells that I went ahead and did a few basic lifts with. In and out and fully worked over in 1/2 hour. Then a quick stop in the bar/grill and up 20 flights of stairs back to a protein feast.

    Thanks SOG!

  9. Son of Grok

    When in doubt… do burpees!

    Always looking for a status report from you! Sounds like a pretty primal trip so far. If I were you, i would be sprinting those stairs… and probably freaking out the other people in the hotel lol.

  10. Rachel

    Agree with you there on the whole core thing. The thing is, I was a springboard diver, and therefore I am very aware of the importance of abdominal strength. Now, in a desk job, it’s particularly useful to have strong abs so that my back doesn’t have to do all the work.

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