High rep bodyweight workouts like the Shah Training Bodyweight 500 might not be the best way to build bodybuilder-sized muscle or pure powerlifting-type strength but when it comes to convenience, endurance, fat burning and general fitness, this workout is hard to beat. Add a timed “against-the-clock” element and you have the perfect workout for pushing you to new levels of intensity while providing a safe and accessible outlet for your natural competitive spirit!
This type of workout makes for an ideal fast fitness fix when you need a workout that can be done virtually anywhere and without equipment but they really come into their own when you use them as finishers after your regular gym-based strength training workout.
Finishers are designed to do exactly that – finish you off once your “real” workout is completed. Strength training is generally a relatively sedate activity that doesn’t do a great deal for fat burning or your heart and lungs. However, high rep bodyweight exercises will really crank up your heart and breathing rate without having to resort to all-too tedious traditional cardio exercises like running or riding a stationary bike.
And while high rep bodyweight workouts won’t directly build muscle, they will increase your work capacity and your ability to recover between sets and workouts. This means you’ll be able to train harder, longer and more often which WILL lead to greater muscle growth.
There are lots of challenging high rep bodyweight workouts around – just Google it – but to save you separating out good workouts from all the not-so-good workouts on the Internet, here is the tried and tested Shah Training Bodyweight 500 Workout.
For this workout, simply storm through the following list of exercises as fast as you can. Your time starts when you do the first rep of prisoner squats and ends when you do the last rep of burpees. Transitions between exercises count toward your final time, as any breaks during the performance of the workout do too. If you are unable to do the prescribed number of reps for any of the exercises in one go, don’t worry – just do as many as you can and then take a short rest. Keep chipping away at the reps until you have done them all and then move onto the next workout.
||Split squat jumps
||30 (15 on each leg)
||30 (15 on each leg)
||30 (15 on each side)
|Total number of reps
How To Do The Exercises:
Prisoner Squats – place your hands on your temples and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips backward, bend your knees and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor but do not round your lower back. Stand back up and repeat.
Push-Ups – resting on your hands and your toes or knees, make sure your body remains straight as you bend your arms and lower your chest to the floor. Push back up to full arm extension and repeat. Keep your core tight at all times – don’t let your hips sag down toward the floor or lift your butt up into the air.
Pull-Ups – using an overhand grip, hang from a pull-up bar with straight arms. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar and then lower yourself back down. No kipping – proper pull-ups only please! Can’t do pull-ups? Loop a resistance band over the bar and stand or kneel in it for assistance or use an assisted chin/dip machine.
Split Squat Jumps – from a split lunge position, jump up and into the air. Change legs in midair so that you land with your leg position reversed. Immediately spring into another jump. Use your arms for added momentum.
Bench Dips – sit on a bench or step with your feet on the floor, legs straight, and your hands on the bench next to your hips with your fingers pointing forward. Lift your hips forward and clear of the bench. Bend your arms until your elbows are bent to 90 degrees. Push back up and repeat. Move your feet closer to make this exercise easier.
V Sits – lie on your back with your legs straight and arms extended over your head. Sit up and raise your legs and upper body simultaneously so you end up balancing on your butt and simultaneously reach up and touch your toes so your body resembles a V-shape. Lie back down and repeat.
Squat Jumps – perform a regular squat but, from the bottom position, stand up quickly and explode into a jump. Land on slightly bent knees and repeat.
Pike Push-Ups – from the regular push-up position, lift your hips so your body resembles an inverted V-shape. Keeping your hips up, bend your arms and lower your forehead to lightly touch the floor. Push back up and repeat.
Body Rows – sit beneath a hip-height bar e.g. a barbell in a squat rack, a Smith machine or a TRX. Grasp the bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Extend your legs and lift your hips so your body is in an inverted push-up position. Keeping your body straight and rigid, bend your arms and pull your chest up to the bar. Lower yourself back down and repeat.
Lunges – stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Take a large step forward, bend your legs and lower your rear-most knee to within an inch of the floor. Push off your front leg and return to the starting position. Perform another rep leading with your opposite leg. Alternate legs for the duration of your set. Keep your torso upright throughout.
Chin-Ups – using an underhand grip, hang from a pull-up bar with straight arms. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar and then lower yourself back down. No kipping – proper chin-ups only please! Can’t do chin-ups? Loop a resistance band over the bar and stand or kneel in it for assistance or use an assisted chin/dip machine.
Hip Thrusts – lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Push down through your feet and lift your hips up toward the ceiling so they are fully extended. Lower your butt back to the floor and repeat.
Jump Jacks – stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Jump your feet out to the side and simultaneously raise your arms above your head – clap your hands. Lower your arms and jump your feet back together. Immediately spring into another rep.
Chinnies – lie on your back with your legs straight and your hands resting on your temples. Sit up and simultaneously bend one leg. Twist your upper body and touch your bent elbow to your opposite knee. Lie back down and then repeat the movement to the other side. Continue alternating sides for the duration of your set.
Burpees – stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Bend your legs and squat down, place your hands on the floor outside of your feet. Jump your feet back and into the push-up position and do a single, perfect push-up. Jump your feet back in and under you and then leap up into the air. Land on slightly bent knees and repeat. Omit the push-up and/or jump for an easier version of this exercise.
Record your time and do your best to beat it the next time you do this program.
The Shah Training Bodyweight 500 workout is easy but then again, easy never gets results! It will, however, burn fat like a furnace and improve your endurance and fitness like no other form of cardio can. Use it once or twice a week for best results.
You can go quite far with bodyweight movements. In fact you can attain practically ANY goal with bodyweight exercises! Don’t believe me? Check out Todd Kuslikis’ Bodyweight Bundle which features workouts and guides from 37 of the top bodyweight training experts. Click here to learn more!