Basement Triathlon – Swing, Crawl, Carry

SAMPLE ARTICLE / WORKOUT: 75 “metabolic monsters” conditioning circuits

by Nick “the mad scientist of muscle” Nilsson

I will tell you right up front… this workout is awesome and it is horrible at the same time.

When you don’t have a lot of space to work in and not a lot of equipment to work with, you need to get creative.

This three-exercise “triathlon” of swings, crawls and carries is going to push your metabolic conditioning and strength-endurance to the limit.

You’ll be doing continuous training (no rest), shifting the workload around to different areas of your body as you go, strategically resting other areas of your body so that you can perform at a relatively high level all the way through.

The exercise selection is very specific. It takes advantage of different STYLES of training, in addition to different exercises, so you’re working different muscles and different types of muscle fibers as you go through it.

There is no reprieve, there is no rest.

Adjust the weights you use according to your own strength levels. You can select different time blocks or you can set a goal of a certain number of rounds through.

For example, I did 30 minutes straight, which ended up being exactly 10 rounds through. You can choose to go 10, 15, 20 minutes… or 3, 5, 8 rounds… whatever you like.

You’ll start with a kettlebell (or dumbbell) swing to work the posterior chain with a powerful, explosive exercise. Do 20 reps of swings.

I’m using the equivalent of a 105 lb kettlebell for this (it’s an 85 lb dumbbell with an attachable handle called a KettleClamp). Select a weight you could normally get at least 25-30 reps with good form.

When you’ve finished the 20 reps, set the weight down and go straight to the dumbbell crawling.

This is one of my favorite core exercises. You can get more detailed instructions on how to perform it here.

I’m using a pair of 65 lb dumbbells for this. If you’ve never done this exercise before, practice it a little first so you know how to do it and get an idea of how
much weight you can use. I’ve been doing this one a long time so I went fairly heavy.

Essentially, you’re doing a bear crawl type of exercise with dumbbells in your hands. Move with opposing limbs so that when you move your right hand forward, your left foot moves forward. This is easier to see in the video than in still pictures or text.

This gives you two points of contact on the ground at all times (opposing points of contact so all the loading goes diagonally through your core, which is what makes
this exercise so effective).

Go about 20 feet, then turn around and come back. We’re always going to have a “home base” here because of the cycling through the three exercises.

Once up, hold them steady and start walking. I went 4 times up and down my basement floor. If you have more space available to you (like in a gym), you can certainly walk longer before turning around.

When you’re done with the carry, set the dumbbells down, grab your kettlebell and start swinging again.

Then just repeat for as many rounds as you want or as long as your time block goes for… or until you collapse into a pool of sweat.

FYI, this circuit will hit the muscles of your upper back very hard…each exercise works the area in some fashion. You’ll feel a deep soreness for several days after doing it.

Bottom line, though, this an excellent and very simple circuit workout that will get your metabolism CRANKING.

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