Body Weight Workout Challenge

The body weight workout challenge: my body weight doesn’t lie…I can’t cheat and sadly I can’t lighten it up. Doing a body weight workout challenge is a brilliant way to kick your own ass with out a stick of equipment. You can’t find an excuse to back out because all you need is, well, just your body.

I created a cool body weight challenge workout for you. What I like about it is that it’s timed sets. I love training by the clock. I get the interval time set, put it in overdrive and I don’t stop until I hear a beep. (In fact, in my fitness boot camps, we do so many timed sets that my clients are so conditioned to the beep, if they’re in a grocery store and hear someone’s watch go off they say they feel like hitting the floor for some push ups.)


I digress….Back to the workout…


Admittedly, it’s darn near impossible to train your back with any kind of intensity without a bar of some sort. In this workout, I use a pull up bar. If you can’t do pull ups, you can do assisted pull ups, jump pull ups or inverted rows.

If you have no bar to use for your pull ups, well you’re out of luck. You’re going to have to go find something to pull…can you drag your car by it’s bumper down the block? Your whole posterior chain (fancy words for back, bum and hams) would feel that.


Basically, you need to be pulling to be working your back. You push to work your chest. The pull of gravity with your body weight is your resistance. Anytime you can find something to hang off, you’re all set for a back workout. I’ve been known to hang from the rafters in an airport, off a lifeguard tower on a beach, off a low bridge over a creek. Geesh, just look up and you’re sure to find something…

Safety first though, be sure to check out if whatever you’re hanging from can hold your weight. And if it’s sort of ‘if-y’, make sure to get your camera set up so we can watch the fall out (literally)  😉


challenge workout


Here’s the workout:


Set your timer for five sets of 1 min with a 5 second transition time.


challenge workout


  • Burpee
  • Pull ups
  • Squats
  • Push ups
  • Box jumps


Count your reps for each set and record (during the 5 second transition).


challenge workout


Rest 2 minutes between sets.


Repeat up to 3 times trying to match your reps from the first set.


Side note: I felt that the 5 second transition time was a little short to record and get started on the next set, perhaps 7 seconds (or 7 minutes is what my body would have liked!) would work better. Recording my reps cut into the next set, but then again, I’m not sure how many more reps I would have eeked out with an extra 2-3 seconds anyway. I’d recommend just remembering your reps, but I can’t trust my memory. Once I get into that lactic acid pool, I can barely remember how to count let alone how many reps I did five sets ago.


This is a quick 15 minute workout, but trust me, it’s a tough one. I was totally toasted.


challenge workout


The next time out when I repeat the workout, I’ll try to beat the number of reps in each set. At least now I have a benchmark.


You may notice that I also recorded my finishing heart rate and recovery heart rate one minute later. I’m a fool for all that kind of stuff. Any way I can quantify things is cool by me, this way I have numbers to compare in subsequent workouts. In fact, I have stacks of workout logs that I’ll occasionally go through. It’s neat to see how my strength and fitness has progressed over the years. I always hold myself accountable to a certain standard, I’m pretty sure this has helped me maintain and improve my fitness even as I age.


For the record, I’m the guinea pig with this workout, this was my first time trying this one and I had no idea how many reps I’d get. You have my numbers to shoot for and exceed. Tell us how you do!


By the way, I added a body weight challenge workout edition to my program. In it I’ll show you how to train with just your body weight to increase your pull up and push up power. You can check that out here.