By Roger Lockridge
Whether you’re into powerlifting, bodybuilding, cross-training, or any other avenue of fitness, the ultimate goal is for you to improve your own overall fitness levels as determined by yourself. So shouldn’t it make sense for you to test your limits every now and then?
That’s what this personal test is for. It’s personal because you are the resistance. This three move, full-body plan is a great way to determine how well you can master your bodyweight, which parts of your body are the strongest, which are the weakest, as well as your endurance levels. The only form of equipment you will need for this is a pull up/dip station.
Before You Start…
Check your bodyweight so you know the poundage you will be working with. Weigh yourself in your clothes that you plan on training in. Next, set a timer or position yourself so that you can keep an eye on the clock. All of the exercises are based on time, not reps.We’re going to start with the exercise that focuses on all of the upper body pulling muscles. So your back, biceps, and rear delts will be doing the majority of the work here. Set that timer for five minutes. Over the course of that five minutes, the goal is to get as many reps as possible. Start and keep going until you reach failure. At this point, rest just long enough to catch your breath and be able to knock out more reps. Don’t stop the clock. This keeps the pressure on you to push forward. Also, make sure you pick up the count where you stopped. So if you did 12 pullups before stopping, start with 13. By the time you reach the end of the period, you might only be doing one or two reps before stopping. Every rep counts so don’t waste a moment. Once the five minutes have passed, take a two minute break. If you can’t do pullups, opt for an assistant machine and use minimum assistance. No pulldowns!
Now we shift our focus to the pushing muscle groups – specifically the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Dips are more challenging than pushups and we want to do the max amount of work possible. That said, if you can’t do dips, go ahead and substitute pushups. You’re going to do the same workout here that you did for the pullups. You got five minutes to do as many reps as you can and you maintain the rep count throughout the period. Don’t shortchange your reps either. Use a full range of motion. After this five minute session is over, take another two minute break. That’s enough upper body work. Now we’re going to show some love to the lower body. Bodyweight squats would be too simple. So to add some spice and intensity to this, you’re going to do a jump at the top of the squat. Make sure you go down as deep as you can with each rep. Also, jump as high as you can when you come up. When you land, re-position your feet, and go again. You have another 5 minutes to do this and you maintain that rep count too.
Now that you’ve finished, take all three numbers of the pullups, dips, and squats, and add them together. That number is your total reps for the day. The goal? Next time, beat that number. This workout in total will take you less than 20 minutes to perform but it should probably be the only workout you do.