Two of the most played-out excuses for missing workouts are “I don’t have time” and “I don’t have a gym.” Nonsense. All you really need is yourself for an all-out bodyweight-only workout.

The below routine, designed by an Army National Guardsman and certified strength coach, takes a mere 30 minutes and requires zero equipment. The results? A great calorie-burning workout that effectively hits the lower body, upper-body push muscles (chest, delts, triceps), and cardiovascular system … while also helping you lose the aforementioned excuses.

Military Monday is a recurring weekly series featuring expert trainers and strength coaches from the United States Military (both veterans and active duty), in partnership with the product development company Bravo Sierra. The workouts you’ll find here are what help make our male and female soldiers the strongest and fittest on the planet, and they can be done in a variety of locations (at home and in the gym) with minimal equipment.

Featured Trainer: SSG. Stephen K. Bart, Delaware Army National Guard, is the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) project manager for the state for Delaware as well as the owner and COO of CrossFit Reconstructed in Hockessin, DE. While overseeing the fitness and general physical preparedness of thousands of soldiers and civilians, Bart also serves his local community through the Green Beret Project, mentoring youth in Wilmington, DE.

Equipment Needed: “NBB” (nothing but bodyweight)

Time Commitment: Around 30 minutes, including warmup and cooldown.

Workout Overview: Bart’s bodyweight-only, metabolic-conditioning routine takes cues from both his military background and CrossFit training methodologies.

It starts with a warmup consisting of a brief jog, dynamic warmup drills, and an alternating combo of short, progressively faster sprints and hand-release push-ups (a standardized move recently implemented by the U.S. Army).

After that, you’ll move to the meat of the workout: a 12-minute EMOM (short for “every minute on the minute”) of “Iron Mikes” (walking lunges) and more pushups.

Finished? Not quite. A max-effort shuttle sprint completes the routine.

“This workout is short and sweet, but it packs a huge punch,” Bart says. “It will burn the legs, arms, and most of all, the lungs.”

An army soldier hiking with full pack and gear
Courtesy of SSG Stephen K. Bart

Staff Sergeant Bart’s 12-1-2 “Fire for Effect” Bodyweight-only Workout


During your warmup, focus on getting your heart rate high during the sprint portion, and try to go fast. The higher you can get your heart rate during the warmup, the better the workout will go.

For the 20-yard shuttle sprints, simply sprint 10 yards and back on any field, track, or court.

  • 2 min. jog
  • 10-Yard Heel Walk
  • 10-Yard Toe Walk
  • 10-Yard Butt Kicks
  • 10-Yard High Knees
  • 10-Yard Walking Lunge
  • 10-Yard High Knees
  • 10-Yard Butt Kicks
  • 10-Yard Toe Walk
  • 10-Yard Heel Walk
  • 20-Yard Shuttle Sprint (70% Effort)
  • 5 Hand-Release Pushups
  • 20-Yard Shuttle Sprint (80% Effort)
  • 5 Hand-Release Pushups
  • 20-Yard Shuttle Sprint (90% Effort)
  • 5 Hand-Release Pushups

‘Fire for Effect’ Workout

For odd minutes (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11), perform “Iron Mikes” (walking lunges) for distance

For even minutes (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12), perform 15 Hand-Release Pushups

Rest for one minute, then …

Two minutes of 20-yard shuttle sprints at maximum effort.

What to Know About ‘Fire for Effect’ Bodyweight-only Workout:

  • EMOM stands for “every minute on the minute.” Use a stopwatch, timer, or smartphone to keep track of time. A wristwatch will work best for this workout.
  • “Iron Mikes” are military talk for walking lunges. Keeping your hands on your head, lunge as far as possible in each one-minute interval.
  • For hand-release pushups, start on your stomach with your arms in tight to your body and your fingers under your shoulders. Press up to the top of a pushup, then lower yourself to the ground. At the bottom of each rep, lift your hands off the ground slightly and immediately put them back down and go into your next push-up rep. If you can’t get to 15 reps, do as many as you can in 45 seconds.
  • Upon completion of the 12-minute EMOM, you will rest for a minute before beginning Part 2.
  • For your last stint of 20-yard shuttle sprints, sprint 10 yards and back continuously for two minutes. Run as hard as you can and don’t hold back.
  • At the end of the workout, cool down with a five-minute walk. And don’t forget to hydrate!


Navy Seal training during hell week while eating a meal on the ground

4 Things Navy SEAL Hell Week Can Teach You About Y...

Learn how the most elite special ops force keeps their body's in peak physical condition.

Read article