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What I have noticed over the years is that many people will train regularly for a few months and then will either get bored with the same old weight training and cardio routines, or will get discouraged because their progress comes to a grinding halt after a while. Now before I start with some of my favorite non-traditional training styles, I will state that I think one of the best ways to achieve a lean, muscular and healthy body is through a consistent weight training routine with free weights.
Just look at any world-class 100-meter sprinters and notice how ripped-to-shreds those guys are.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed all of these ideas for ways to really shake up your workouts and make them fun again. If you’re interested in taking your fat-loss efforts to an entirely new level, sign up for our newsletter on this site and grab your FREE FAT LOSS REPORT which details 27 unique methods for boosting your metabolism and losing belly fat!
You can choose to integrate some of these alternative training techniques with your weight training routines on the same day, as alternative workouts on separate days of the week, or even as separate training cycles where you try some of these techniques for several weeks at a time before cycling back to a traditional weight training workout.
Wind Sprints and Hill Sprints – Find any open field in a park or athletic field and try 50, 75, and 100-yard all-out wind sprints.
Now compare that to the emaciated weakling physiques of many marathoner, and you’ll see that sprinting is where the action is at for a healthy, ripped, powerful body! At between $100-$150 per kettle-bell, they are definitely not cheap, but they are well worth the money. Body-weight Workouts – For a change of pace, try adding to your routine one or two workouts a week at home with just body-weight based exercises. Ring Training – This type of training basically uses portable gymnastic rings that you can take anywhere with you. Then you can quickly adjust the rings to do exercises like ring dips, ring push ups, ring pull-ups, hanging leg raises, horizontal body rows, L-sits, and more. Swimming – A great full body workout that stresses the muscles and joints in a much different way than most resistance training. Sandbag Training – This form of training is a nice variation to mix in with your strength training. Indoor (or outdoor) Rock Climbing – This is yet another fun way to get in a great workout that will also challenge you both physically and mentally. Stick Wrestling – This is a killer full body workout and can also be a great competition between you and your friends.
Rope Climbing – This goes back to the old high school days of climbing the rope in gym class. Bag Boxing – You can use a heavy bag, a speed bag, or even one of those rebound bags to get a great workout. Jumping exercises – squat jumps, box jumps, lunge jumps, and broad jumps are some of the best ways to incorporate explosive jumping exercises into your routines. In all of my years working, this usually surprises people when I mention they should consider eliminating these foods from their diet.
By combining moves that increase the heart rate with strength training exercises, the result is a workout that burns calories and builds muscle. You just need to have an open mind to the huge world of various training styles and techniques that are out there.
Try some of these training styles out and you’ll be on your way to never being bored again with your workouts…and your body will thank you with muscles popping out that you never knew existed! You can go to a football field and do stadium stairs, any building that has stairs like a hotel (most people take the elevator, so you will not even have many people looking at you while you’re working out), or even the stairs in your own home.
After each sprint, rest long enough to catch your breath before the next one (generally 1-2 minutes).


Kettlebells are an alternative type of free-weight training instead of – and dumbbells. Just one or two kettle-bells and you’ve literally got yourself an entire home gym that you can use for the rest of your life…worth every penny in my book! These can be great because you can get a high intensity workout done in only 15-30 minutes without having to go to the gym on days that you might not have time for a trip to the gym. Dips and push ups on the rings are my favorites and the rings really make them a hell of a lot more difficult, while also incorporating your stabilizer muscles to a much greater degree. Incorporating swimming workouts once or twice a week into your normal training routines can really enhance your physique. It works your body with an unstable object, which makes muscles that might normally be neglected get in on the action to perform the movements. Indoor rock climbing gyms have starting popping up all over the place in recent years and will be more accessible than outdoor rock climbing to most people. Seriously, if you have access to a rope, either at a gym or somewhere outdoors, rope climbing builds a powerful and ripped upper body like no other exercise. Among the three, the heavy bag is the best all around full body workout, while the speed bag will test your rhythm and timing and give you a great upper body workout. The explosive and powerful nature of jumping exercises works your leg muscles in an entirely different way than most normal slow grinding strength training moves. Make it interesting, make it fun, and make your fitness a priority, and you’ll have the body that you want. Seriously, there are so many different and fun training styles out there, that there is no reason you should ever get bored with your workouts and give up on that lean ripped body that you’ve been looking for.
For an awesome full body workout, try mixing stairs sprints with an upper body exercise like push ups or pull-ups. Their unique construction and weight distribution (basically a cannonball with a handle) allows for a whole different realm of exercises that’s available compared to dumbbells and barbels.
Try alternating body weight squats, push ups variations, lunges, and floor abs exercises continuously for 15-30 minutes. The rings allow your joints to move in a more natural pattern and can help you prevent or even recover from shoulder injuries. You get the leg pumping exertion during the uphill climbs, while also getting the adrenaline rush of the downhill acting as your recovery intervals. If you have a yard, you can even set up some of these exercises in your yard and do some outdoor workouts to have a little fun. A great way to incorporate rope climbing into intense workouts is to do a climb up, then lower yourself back down. If available at your gym or if you have a bag at home, try mixing these in as a good warm-up or as an intense finish to your strength routine.
I’ve even seen a university study cited once that found squat jumps to elicit the greatest testosterone response of all exercises studied. Also, mixing in various training styles builds stronger joints by reducing repetitive movement pattern overload and varying your training stressors. If done with a high enough intensity, stairs workouts help to create changes throughout your entire body due to the muscle-building and fat burning hormonal response and metabolism increase that you get through working the biggest muscle groups in your entire body. Kettlebells have been typically used for training hard-core athletes, military units, martial arts competitors, and other tough individuals, but there is no reason that anybody looking to get stronger, bigger, or more cut can’t learn the exercises and benefit from them. Try to take very short rest periods or none at all to really amp up the intensity since this will be a brief workout. For sprint style, swim as hard as you can to the other side of a 25-meter or 50-meter pool (or sprint swim similar distances in a lake or the ocean if you like to swim outdoors).
You can make your own sandbags to train with by filling various sized duffle bags with sand, or you can use those construction type sandbags that come in several shapes. Mix it all together and you get a super-fun, high-intensity, leg burning workout that will melt fat off of your entire body and build awesome legs at the same time.


There are actually sticks designed specifically for stick wresting, but you can even just use a strong broomstick cut down to about 30-36 inches long and taped up with some athletic tape to prevent splinters.
Then while your upper body is recovering for the next climb, you can do a lower body exercise like squats or lunges, or go up and down stairs. Once you get good, you can jump rope much faster with the plastic ropes than the fabric ones, which will allow you to get a more intense workout. If you thought that going up and down the stairs was the only way to get a good stairs workout…think again.
However, dips on the training rings feel perfect, and also give me a much better muscle pump.
Sandbag exercises can be done as squats, cleans, presses, lunges, shouldering, throws or heaves, carrying up hills, etc. The climbs can be tough and will challenge you both physically and mentally as you pump away trying to make it up steep hills without having to resort to getting off of the bike.
Whenever I go indoor rock climbing (which is only on occasion), my forearms are sore for about 2-3 days afterwards. For your stick wrestling workout, stand on a soft mat or carpeted area (or grass if outdoors), match up with a friend or foe. You can get one of those giant tractor tires and do tire flips (which is basically a dead-lift followed by a push-press).
Keep alternating the upper body rope climbs with the lower body exercises in between and you’ll get one hell of a full body workout. Try super-setting jumping exercises with upper body exercises for some really intense workouts. My fellow trainer and friend, Virgil Aponte, has developed a website that focuses on creative stairs workouts using all kinds of exercises you never would have thought of before. Then after you make it up the challenging climbs, you get rewarded with the adrenaline rush of flying down steep hills while jumping off of boulders and logs and trying not to stumble or fall off the bike. You can also try your hand at log lifts, boulder lifts and carries, keg lifts and tosses, weighted sled dragging…anything that involves pulling, pushing, lifting, or heaving any types of odd objects. These sprint workouts are so amazingly effective at changing your entire body for the same reason as stairs exercises…by powerfully working the biggest muscle groups in your entire body, you greatly stimulate your metabolism while simultaneously increasing your fat burning and muscle-building hormones. You can also mix different strokes (crawl, breaststroke, side stroke, backstroke, butterfly) on each swim sprint. I’ve actually found an entire book devoted to sandbag training, which gave me some great ideas for doing sandbag based workouts. Then you simply push, pull, jerk, and thrash your opponent around trying to knock them off-balance until they either fall or lose their grip of the stick…and you win that round! Try mixing together two-legged jumps, one-legged jumps, arm crossovers, double jumps (rope passes under feet twice for each jump) to keep things interesting and increase the intensity. I’ve found that sprint swimming gives me a great muscle pump (especially in the upper body), without any soreness the next day as is typical with weight training. Strongman training works your entire body in a very intense fashion and could easily spark some new results.
Also, try alternating 15-20 second high intensity bursts where you jump as fast as you possibly can, followed by 15-20 second recovery intervals where you jump slowly to get ready for your next burst. This is because swimming has no eccentric movement (the negative portion of a lift), which is what causes muscle soreness. Keep in mind that even though swimming works your muscles well and is a nice alternative workout to mix in once or twice a week, it does not strengthen your bones.



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