When was the last time you counted to a thousand?
This is the rhetorical question that ex-Marine Aaron Marks asks when introducing his latest workout – a full-body circuit with a total of 1,000 repetitions. This routine is for anyone who doesn’t have exercise equipment but wants better stamina, fat loss, and general grit.
Do you know who the training is not for? The faint of heart.
Recommended trainer: Aaron Marks is a Marine Corps veteran who served four years as a machine gunner with 2nd BN, 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune, NC. He now lives in Portland, OR and is also a programming consultant and hard to kill fitness athlete and a full-time member of the Bravo Sierra team.
Equipment needed: “NBB” (nothing but body weight)
Time required: Depending on your fitness level, take an hour (give or take) for this workout.
Training overview: Marks’ circle is pretty simple – a collection of seven exercises that will train you from head to toe, four rounds of 225 reps combined, and 1,000 total reps at the end of the workout.
Interrupt the repetitions as you want (or need to). On each round, you can either do all of the repetitions of an exercise before moving on to the next, or you can go back and forth between exercises. For example, you may want to break up the 40 reps of burpees with some supermans or lying leg raises.
“This workout can be as fun as it is difficult. Whether you train with a friend or in a group, or want to beat your personal best, anything is possible with a workout like this. Can you add equipment? In any case, but at your own risk. For example, I did the squats with a 60 pound go jerk sandbag, and Round 2 was a lot harder than I expected.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you! “
Aaron Marks ‘Hard to Kill’ 1,000 reps, full body circuit
Courtesy Bravo Sierra
Warm up: Make five into 10 minutes of light cardio followed by dynamic full body stretching before completing the routine below.
“One thing I like to do before a workout is to warm up with a very light jog to get my blood flowing and my body to warm up,” says Marks. “I usually run to 1-2 songs, about 4-6 minutes. So pick two songs to think twice and start jogging. Another great alternative is shadow boxing (for all the fighters out there).
“The right warm-up is extremely important for your training. A good warm up will not only prevent sudden injuries, but it will also really help you activate your muscles to get the most out of your workout. A solid 5-10 minute warm-up changes everything. “
The workout: Do 4 rounds of the following exercises
Diamond Pushup – 25 reps. Air Squat – 40 reps. Mountain Climber – 60 reps. Superman – 35 reps. Burpee – 40 reps. Cannonball Situps – 30 reps
Rest periods: “While this workout isn’t meant for time (although it can be), you only rest as long as you need to between laps,” says Marks. Most people also need to rest during laps and exercises, especially movements like burpees and diamond push-ups. Rest as needed to complete all of the repetitions.
Disclaimer: As the number 1,000 suggests, it is a high volume and high challenge training. Don’t try to do it as written unless you are in pretty good shape. If you’re not sure, do 1-2 rounds instead of four. You will be doing well under 1,000 reps while doing this, but it will still be a good enough workout.
Diamond pushups – This is a triceps-focused push-up where your index fingers and thumbs touch to form a diamond shape.
Squats – Do these quickly if you want, but make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor on each rep.
climber – Feel free to do these “one count” climbers where each “right-left” includes two reps. Go through them as soon as possible.
Superman – Slow down this movement a little and make sure that with each repetition you feel the glutes contracting. Use Supermans as a short break for your lungs – you will need it for the next exercise …
Burpee – Touch the floor with your chest and jump all the way up on each rep. Forty reps per round will be difficult; rest as needed and just do them.
Cannonball Situp – This exercise is similar to a V-Up (lying face up, starting with your legs outstretched and arms above your head), except that instead of touching your hands and toes together, you lift your legs and core off the floor so that they are bend in the middle with your knee bent. The tip of each rep should look like a “cannonball” you would do in a swimming pool.
Lying leg raises – Lie face up on the floor with your legs straight out and your arms on the floor on your sides for stability.