The Warrior Workout

To win the war against fat, your assault strategy must be able to deal a deadly blow that lasts. In training, this means sticking to a workout that helps you melt your midsection and keeps you motivated.

“You can do arm curls for only so long before you become bored,” says Martin Rooney, chief operating officer of the Parisi Speed School in New Jersey and one of the world’s top strength and conditioning coaches. “There’s nothing better than designing a workout that has people sweating and smiling,” he says.

Among his students are two world champions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, one national judo champ and three Ultimate Fighters. They’re here because Rooney is best known for his ability to physically and mentally prepare mixed martial artists for the ring. It’s easy to see why.

Rooney’s programmes are not for the fainthearted. Only after a 45-minute warm-up that features agility drills, abdominal training and wind sprints – enough to make a mere mortal puke – are the fighters ready for their actual workout. And it’s not about to become easier. Next on the docket is one of Rooney’s trademark “hurricane” training sessions: three 5-minute rounds of five different exercises, performed for 1 minute each. A typical training can include these lung- and muscle-busting moves:

  • A 136kg tyre flip
  • Quick-feet drills through a ladder
  • Pushing a weighted sledge
  • Sprinting with added resistance
  • Pounding a tyre with a sledgehammer

Go fast and hard for a minute, and move to next station – for 5 minutes straight. Then catch your breath and do it all over again. “If a guy we compete against can’t do on one day what we do every day,” says Rooney, “he’s going to be in trouble.”

“The variety of exercise combinations you can use is nearly limitless, which is key to keeping your workout fresh and exciting.” So ask yourself this: Can you handle a hurricane? Or would you be “in trouble”? Find out by trying the routine for yourself, using Rooney’s mix-and-match system. Even if you’re not quite ready for the ring, you’ll burn blubber, build muscle and take your conditioning to an all-time high.

Next page: Create your own Hurricane workout you can do in the comfort of your home.

Create Your Own Hurricane

Simply pick one exercise from the options (A, B, or C) listed in each group. Then do all five exercises in the order shown, without resting. That’s one round. Rest for 2 minutes between rounds, then repeat up to 2 more times. Use this plan twice a week, on the days between your regular workouts.

GROUP 1

A JUMP ROPE
Skip or jump at the highest intensity you can maintain for a total of 60 seconds.

B TREADMILL RUN
Go at the fastest pace that you can maintain for the entire 60 seconds.

 

Swing your arms forward,
not across your body.

 

 

 

 

C SHADOWBOXING
Throw punches at an imaginary opponent – alternate hands, and mix jabs and hooks to the body and head – while you dance and
duck as if you were in the ring.

GROUP 2

A STEP-UP
Place your left foot on a bench and push your body up until both feet are on it. Step down with your left foot, then your right. Repeat, this time starting with your right foot. Continue to alternate.

 

 

Press your heel into the
bench as you step onto it.

 

 

 

 

 

B BENCH JUMP
With your feet shoulder-width apart, dip down and jump up onto a bench. Step down and repeat.

C SCISSOR BENCH JUMP
Place your left foot on a bench with your right foot on the floor. In one movement, jump up and switch leg positions in mid-air. Continue to alternate to the left and right.

GROUP 3

A MEDICINE-BALL CRUNCH
Perform a classic crunch while holding a medicine ball against your chest.

B MEDICINE-BALL RUSSIAN TWIST
Sit holding a medicine ball in front of your chest. Lean your torso back slightly and raise your feet off the floor. Now rotate the ball to your left and then to your right. Move back and forth quickly.

C MEDICINE-BALL PIKE
Lie on your back with your body straight, holding a medicine ball behind your head. Now simultaneously raise your legs and arms
until the ball touches your feet.

 

Move your legs and arms
up and down quickly.

 

 

 

GROUP 4

A PUSH-UP
Keeping your body rigid, lower yourself until your chest touches the floor. Repeat as many times as you can in 60 seconds, even if you have to stop – just rest and start again.

B CHIN-UP
Using a shoulder-width, underhand grip, pull your chest to the bar. Repeat as many times as you can in 60 seconds, just as you did on the push-up.

 

 

Squeeze your
shoulder blades
together.

 

 

 

C DIP
Lower your body until your elbows are bent 90 degrees. Repeat as many times as you can in 60 seconds, just as you did for the push-up.

GROUP 5

A WALKING LUNGE
Step forward with your left foot, lower your body into a lunge, then bring your right foot forward. Now push your body back to a standing position.

B SQUAT THRUST
Squat and lean forward so that your hands are on the floor and you’re on the balls of your feet. Then kick both legs back into a push-up position, reverse back to a squat and jump as high as you can.

C JUMP SQUAT
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then jump as high as you can.

 

Try to land softly
on your toes.

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