The Single Best Workout

All too often, I’m asked: “If you could only do one workout, what would it be?” Although I wish I could say it was a home workout, I’d need my own rowing machine for that! So, other than finding myself a gym with a rowing machine (which by the way, are often unoccupied), I choose this simple workout. It is powerfully effective; it boosts strength & stamina with only 2–3 exercises and can be modified 3 different ways.

Pre-Workout

  • Warm up until you feel loose
  • Punching bag, skipping, drills, or dynamic stretching (up to you). Head and arm rotation. .
  • Adding a weighted vest/backpack or resistance bands will dramatically increase intensity (burpees with weight vests are the best!)
  • Dumbbells –– weight is up to you.

Workout #1

  • One-mile run
  • 30 burpees (I love throwing this in just for fun)
  • 3000 meters rowing –– threshold pace (this means neither too hard nor too easy)
  • 50 pushups (can be an alternative for bench press)
  • 2000 meters rowing –– threshold
  • 40 pushups
  • 1000 meters rowing –– threshold
  • 30 pushups
  • 500 meters rowing –– full sprint (i.e., as hard as you can go)
  • 20 pushups
  • 250 meters rowing –– full sprint
  • One-mile run

Modification: lunges, dumbbell arm curls to super-set the pushups

Total rowing: 6750 meters

Total running: 2 miles

Total push/strength exercise: 140 reps

Workout #2

  • One-mile run
  • 30 burpees
  • 3000 meters rowing –– threshold pace
  • 50 dumbbell shoulder presses (can be an alternative for barbell shoulder press)
  • 2000 meters rowing –– threshold
  • 40 dumbbell shoulder presses
  • 1000 meters rowing –– threshold
  • 30 dumbbell shoulder presses
  • 500 meters rowing –– full sprint
  • 20 dumbbell shoulder presses
  • 250 meters rowing –– full sprint
  • One-mile run

Modification: lunges, dumbbell arm curls to super-set the pushups

Total rowing: 6750 meters

Total running: 2 miles

Total push/strength exercise: 140 reps

Workout #3

  • One-mile run
  • 10 dumbbell shoulder presses or pushups (can be an alternative for barbell press)
  • 500 meters rowing –– threshold pace
  • 10 dumbbell shoulder presses or push-ups
  • 500 meters rowing –– threshold
  • 10 dumbbell shoulder presses or pushups
  • 500 meters rowing –– full sprint
  • 10 dumbbell shoulder presses or pushups
  • 500 meters rowing –– full sprint
  • 10 dumbbell shoulder presses
  • 500 meters rowing –– full sprint
  • 10 dumbbell shoulder presses or pushups
  • 500 meters rowing –– threshold
  • 10 dumbbell shoulder presses
  • 500 meters rowing –– full sprint
  • 10 dumbbell shoulder presses or pushups
  • 500 meters rowing –– threshold
  • 10 dumbbell shoulder presses
  • 500 meters rowing –– full sprint
  • 10 dumbbell shoulder presses or pushups (can be alternatives for barbell press)
  • Two-mile run

Modification: lunges, dumbbell arm curls to super-set the pushups

Total rowing: 4000 meters

Total running: 3 miles

Total push/strength press: 100 reps

You can alternate between these four workouts with a day or even two in between. On your “off day,” you can do light cardio, yoga or light stretching.

Enjoy and be well!

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