Who doesn’t love a good chest and triceps workout? We all do, but this one’s a little bit different. It was programmed by Chris Kellum, a certified personal trainer and member of the Florida Army National Guard. Because he needs to be prepared for the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), hitting the pecs and arms isn’t quite enough. He also needs a rock-solid core and elite-level conditioning.

So, to be more specific… who doesn’t love a good chest/triceps/abs/cardio workout? We all do, even if the cardio isn’t exactly fun. When it’s over, you’ll be glad you did it.

This workout is part of Kellum’s Hybrid Warrior training program for the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). Other workouts in this series include:

Featured trainer: SPC Chris Kellum is a sniper team infantryman in the Florida Army National Guard. A NETA-certified personal trainer and member of the Bravo Sierra team, his mission is to inspire others by incorporating fitness and military on his YouTube channel and documenting the process of transitioning to a warrant officer to go to flight school. All of his workouts can be found on his Playbook fitness app.

Equipment needed: Dumbbells (multiple pairs), landmine (with weight plate), resistance bands, barbell (optional), BOSU ball or stability ball.

 Time commitment: Around 60 minutes

 Workout overview: Kellum’s routine is a nice blend of traditional strength and bodybuilding exercises and challenging push-up variations for the pecs and triceps, plus a dash of core training and big splash of cardio at the end.

After a warmup including two shoulder-mobility drills and two chest moves, the workout is broken down into four two-exercise circuits (supersets). Each of the first two circuits pairs a pressing move with a push-up variant (flat bench press and hand-release push-ups in Circuit 1, incline press and yoga push-ups in Circuit 2). Circuit 3 supersets a triceps move (skull crusher) with a dumbbell fly, and then Circuit 4 targets the triceps with a sphinx pushup followed by a reverse flye to give some attention to the upper back (which stabilizes on pressing moves).

After some isolate core work, the routine finishes with quite a conditioning bang: two separate mile runs, going at as fast a pace as possible and using a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio between the first and second mile runs. Warning: Your lungs will be burning by the end of this, but in a good way.

Chris Kellum’s ‘Hybrid Warrior’ Chest and Triceps Workout

Warmup (12 minutes)

Circuit 1 (4 Rounds):

  • Bench Press: 10-12 reps
  • Hand-Release Pushup:  20 reps
  • Rest 45-60 seconds

Circuit 2 (4 Rounds):

  • Incline Barbell Press: 10-12 reps
  • Yoga Pushup: 20 reps
  • Rest 45-60 seconds

Circuit 3 (3 Rounds):

  • Dumbbell Skull Crusher: 12-15 reps
  • Dumbbell Chest Flye: 12-15 reps
  • Rest 45-60 seconds 

Circuit 4 (3 Rounds):

  • Sphinx Pushup: 5-10 reps
  • Band Reverse Flye:  20 reps
  • Rest 45-60 seconds

Chris Kellum’s ‘Hybrid Warrior’ Core Workout

  • Hanging Leg Raise: 20 reps
  • In & Outs:  15-20 reps
  • Oblique V-Up: 15 reps per side
  • Plank Hold: Max time
  • Rest 15 seconds between exercises. 

Chris Kellum’s ‘Hybrid Warrior’ Cardio Workout (Middle Distance Speed Training)

Perform this cardio protocol after the above circuits and core workout, or in a separate session.


  • Forward Leg Swing: 20 reps per leg
  • Lateral Leg Swing: 20 reps per leg
  • Groiners: 2 sets, 20 reps per leg
  • Jog: 400 meters

Directions: You’ll be doing two separate mile runs as fast as possible. Run the first mile, rest the amount of time it took to complete the run, then run the second mile. For example, if it took you 7 minutes and 11 seconds to run the rest mile, rest for 7 minutes and 11 seconds, then run the next mile. Your goal is to beat that time on the second mile.

  • Run 1 mile for time
  • Rest
  • Run 1 mile for time

Cooldown: Jog 400 meters

Exercise Notes

  • Bench Press: Dumbbells, kettlebells, or a Smith machine can be used in lieu of a barbell. Kellum recommends using a weight that’s roughly 55% of your 1-rep max (1RM).
  • Hand-Release Pushup: At the bottom of each push-up, lift your hands off the floor for a split second with your body flat on the floor.
  • Incline Barbell Press: As with bench press, dumbbells, kettlebells, or a Smith machine can be used. Kellum recommends going slightly lighter here – 50% of your estimated 1RM.
  • Yoga Pushup: A yoga pushup is essentially doing a push-up and going into a down dog position at the top. Hold the down dog for 1-2 counts, then lower back to a push-up position and repeat.
  • Dumbbell Skull Crusher: Use a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and keep your upper arms perpendicular with the floor throughout. Go past 90 degrees at the elbows at the bottom of the rep.
  • Dumbbell Chest Flye: Keep your elbows slightly bent and your upper arms angled slightly forward (not directly out to the sides).
  • Sphinx Pushup: Start in a standard push-up position with your hands in front of your shoulders (not directly underneath) on the floor. Keeping your elbows pointed behind you, bend your arms to lower down into a forearm plank. Then, contract your triceps to extend your arms and return to the push-up position.
  • Band Reverse Flye Do this exercise bent over at the waist, standing on the band with both feet. Keep a slight bend in the elbows throughout.
  • Hanging Leg Raise: Use a pull-up bar or captain’s chair. If you don’t have either, doing leg raises lying face up on the floor with your legs extended.
  • In & Outs: Lie on your back with your arms extended overhead and heels a few inches off the floor. Crunch up and bend your knees to bring your thighs and midsection together over your hips.
  • Oblique V-Up: This is similar to a regular V-up, only with your body angled to one side so that when you bring your legs and torso up, you’re emphasizing the oblique muscles. Do reps to both sides.
  • Plank Hold: Shoot for a 2-plus-minute hold; if you repeat this workout, try to beat your score the next time out.
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