As a lifelong athlete, I have done a lot of work outs.
Work outs that are well written, terrible, fun, and sometimes soul-crushing.
Out of the thousands of work outs out there, these are two of my all-time favorites.
The first one is a classic CrossFit work out that pushes you mentally and physically. The second is challenging and simple, but in my opinion, is one of the most effective work outs ever created.
1. Holleyman (via CrossFit)
30 rounds for time of:
At first glance, this hero work out seems daunting. And it is difficult! It should take about 27-35 minutes.
I love it because it forces you to pace yourself and combines few high skill movements with power/volume. You get a full body work out by combining pushing, pulling, legs, cardio, and power. You are changing movements quite often so it never gets boring.
Most importantly, it is done in memory of a fallen soldier, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Aaron N. Holleyman.
For those who want to try, here is what I recommend:
If you are proficient at power cleans and hand stand push ups, give it a shot! Establish a comfortable pace that you can maintain the entire work out. I promise it won’t feel comfortable after the first 10-15 rounds.
If you are not confident with heavy cleans and hand stand push ups, scale down the weight to something challenging but doesn’t compromise your form.
Hand stand push ups can be scaled to regular push ups or even a light strict press. A scaled version will still challenge you and force you to push yourself.
Another one of my favorite work outs is Tabata. The Tabata work out consists of 8 rounds of 20 seconds all out work then 10 seconds of rest.
This formula has been proven to vastly improve cardiovascular endurance and aerobic capacity.
It is actually more effective than 60 minutes of moderate intensity cardio. Athletes will learn what maximum intensity is supposed to feel like.
This formula is fantastic because you can tailor it to your specific athletic needs. It can be done on just a cardio machine, or you can incorporate other movements like air squats, kettle bell swings, push ups, or pull ups. Get creative and mix it up!
Just make sure to keep the intensity up for your work intervals for maximum benefits.
Below are a few links to some of the research and other information on Tabata. There are also Android and Apple apps for the Tabata timers if you want to try it at home.