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Certified trainer and infantryman Chris Kellum has you covered head to toe with his “Hybrid Warrior” training program, designed with the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) in mind. First, he offered an upper-body routine here on muscleandfitness.com; then a workout that blasts the legs, core, and lungs; and most recently, a hardcore deadlift and back workout. Now, he’s blasting your delts from all angles with the shoulder domination workout routine. Calling it “shoulder domination,” should tell you everything you can expect from this circuit workout.
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 50 minutes.
Workout overview: After a thorough warm-up for the shoulders, Kellum’s workout breaks off into a featured strength move, a trio of three-exercise circuits, and then a core finisher. Here’s a quick rundown of each:
Warmup (12 minutes)
Strength (Heavy) Work: Shoulder Press
This is a meat-and-potatoes lift (pressing a bar or dumbbell overhead) performed for four working sets of 10, 8, 8, and 6 reps. You’ll want to work up to a heavy weight on these to increase your upper body pressing strength.
Circuit 1: Lateral Raise + Front Raise + Shrug (4 rounds)
These three single-joint moves are done with hypertrophy-friendly rep counts (15 reps per sets) to help build muscle and provide stability around the shoulder joint. Keep the weight fairly light here and feel a good burn.
Circuit 2: Rotational Single-Arm Press + Landmine 180s (4 Rounds)
This circuit adds a torso twist to each exercise to work the core in the transverse plane, while still working the delts.
Circuit 3: Thrusters + Swings + Planks (4 Rounds)
Each of these three exercises involves the shoulders, but in combination with other areas of the body. Thrusters bring in the lower body, swings the entire posterior chain, and planks core isolation (in addition to working the delts isometrically). The thrusters and swings will also provide some anaerobic conditioning – not always fun, but effective.
Core Work: Ball Crunch + Heel Taps + Mason Twist (1-3 Rounds)
You’ll finish the workout with isolated core work to strengthen all the midsection muscles, including the abs and obliques.
Cardio (Active Rest)
No formal cardio here; just aim to get 10,000 total steps (walking) for the day. Here’s a tip from Kellum on how to easily get that done: “After each meal, go for a 15- to 20-minute walk — it will improve digestion, and you’ll hit your steps.”