What is the @andywhatsnext Weekend Workout Challenge series? It started with me posting some crazy challenges for a group of friends I used to train with in Los Angeles — to keep each other motivated. Now, it’s more to fight the tedium that threatens our fitness lifestyle? I’ve been working out at least once a day, every day, for 30 years. Maybe you’re the same way — whether for 30 years or six months? If so, we all know that the gym/weight room/garage or wherever you train can get a bit monotonous. Yes, that routine is necessary, and the grind is part of what we love!

To ward off the boredom, I’ve taken to “testing” myself more and more as I get older — I usually try to come up with some challenging (sometimes crazy?) exercise or mini-workout to do at the end of each week of training. This series will highlight some of these challenges, pointing out which muscle groups are being called into action, and explain their benefits (even if it might be just to impress your friends). As always, my “official” recommendation is don’t try this at home! But, just in case you’re crazy like me, let’s get to it.

This week’s weekend workout video is an advanced bodyweight circuit challenge consisting of two exercises: L pullups to sprawls. As pointed out in the social media comments, I tried a tough challenge of this combo, called “5-5-5”: 5 sets of 5 repetitions in 5 minutes.

WHY TRY THIS? I love combination movements like this because in very little time, you can activate and fatigue all the major muscle groups in your machine. This is a fantastic “finisher” to empty your tank at the end of a workout, or you can even utilize this as a standalone workout if you’re short on time.

THIS CHALLENGE TARGETS: Total-body conditioning. Some people call that a “metabolic” workout because it’s great for activating multiple muscle groups, elevating your heart rate, and firing up your fat-burning system. All the major movers are involved here: pushing (chest, triceps, shoulders), pulling (back, biceps), squatting (quads, glutes), levering and popping up (hamstrings, calves), and even core stabilization (abs).

THE BUILD-UP VERSION: If you’d like to try the challenge but you’re not quite able to perform all the movements in the video, no problem! Here are a couple of ideas for building up to it:

  • Instead of the L pullups, you can do regular pullups with a leg raise in between, or even just hanging leg raises, while you build up your strength for pullups with any manner of assisted pullups or lat pulldowns.
  • Instead of the Sprawl/Push-Up/Pop-ups, you can slow down and just do a bodyweight squat, then a pushup (modified if needed) then stand up at your own speed.

That’s it. Enjoy responsibly, and best of luck beating yourself up! Let me know how it goes!

Muscular female entering an empty gym carrying a gym bag

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