Who says you have to stick to the same old bodybuilding routine? MusclePharm-sponsored athlete and Bodybuilding.com Spokesmodel finalist Tyler Holt is ready to mix things up by combining strength work with intervals for a challenging workout that still meets his physique goals.
"Usually, I stick to my bodybuilding roots when I lift," explains Holt, "but this workout is all about total-body conditioning to elevate your heart rate and burn fat."
For this workout, Holt uses high-intensity interval training (HIIT)—short, intense intervals followed by minimal rest—and a landmine setup, which is a barbell that pivots from one end. If you don't have a landmine, just stick a barbell in a corner, slide the weight or weights on the end, and you're ready to go.
This workout is about conditioning and endurance, not about lifting heavy weight. In fact, Holt uses only a 20-pound plate for the entire workout! The circuit is built around six different landmine moves you can do without having to change weight on the bar, so you can quickly transition from one move to next while keeping your heart rate high.
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest. After you complete one full circuit, rest 1-2 minutes, then repeat. Complete 3-4 circuits. This workout should take you under 40 minutes to complete.
Throw this workout into the mix 2-3 times per week to add extra conditioning to your routine. You can also use it as an alternative to steady-state cardio. Remember, this is a high-intensity interval workout—not weight-focused—so go light and focus on endurance and conditioning. For more high-intensity workout ideas, check out Holt's Dual Core Circuit, or his Screaming 1,000-Rep Arm Workout.
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The first exercise is a landmine burpee, which is similar to a regular burpee except you're using the landmine and keeping your hands on the bar the entire time. You're hitting your whole body here: a little bit of legs, some core, some shoulders, some chest.
This is HIIT, so keep the intensity high. "Since we're only working out for 30 seconds on each exercise, go as hard as you can for all 30 seconds," says Holt. "Everything is at your own pace, but I want you to push yourself."
Stand in front of the bar. Bend down and grab the end of it, jumping your feet back as you drop down to the floor. Jump forward now to stand up out of the burpee. Hold the end of the bar as you stand up with it, keeping it in the middle of your chest and then pressing the weight out at the top.
If this sounds a little strange, you're not alone in feeling that way: "This might look crazy," Holt admits. "But it is stable when you go down, so trust yourself and your strength."
Landmine Lunge to Press
Get down on one knee and hold the end of the barbell at your shoulder. Rise to a standing position and push the barbell forward. Step back to the kneeling start position and repeat for the desired number of reps. Don't let the bar rest on your shoulder as you step back. You want to keep tension in that shoulder muscle the whole time, so keep your muscles active by holding the bar off of you.
After 30 seconds, switch to the other knee and arm.
"Keep the weight on your front leg and stabilize yourself with your core," says Holt. "If you start going too fast or start wobbling, slow down. Make sure everything is stable."
Landmine Bent-Over Row
Your legs get a rest as you move on to bent-over rows. As with the lunge and press, you're only doing one arm at a time on this. Again, do 30 seconds on one side, then switch and do 30 seconds on the other.
The setup for this exercise is a little bit different. Stand perpendicular to the bar, so that both toes point toward the long side of the bar. Use a staggered stance: outside foot forward at the end of the bar, opposite hand holding the bar. Bend from the hips, keeping your back straight.
To row the bar, pull your elbow up high and to the side, following the natural path of the landmine. Lower the bar back down and repeat. After 30 seconds, switch to the opposite side.
"At this point, you're getting a little bit tired," says Holt. "But always remember to keep your form good, keep your core tight, keep your back straight, and don't let anything slack."
Once you've finished both arms, enjoy another 30 seconds of rest before moving on to the next exercise.
Landmine Chest Press to Sit-Up
Take your time positioning yourself for this exercise. If you need a dumbbell to help hold your feet down, grab a heavy dumbbell and put your toes under it. If you have a training partner who can hold your feet down, even better.
Lie on your back parallel to the bar with the end of the bar even with your chest.
"I want your elbow at a 45-degree angle from your body when you grab the bar," says Holt. "So, adjust your body to whichever position allows that to happen."
From the floor, do a single-arm chest press, then hold the weight up as you lift your upper body off the ground in a sit-up. As Holt says in the video, this is not a shoulder movement—treat this like a dumbbell press while you're on the ground, then keep the bar extended overhead as you sit-up. Move with control on the way back down.
"It's very important to control yourself back down," explains Holt. "It's very easy to just fall back and let the bar crash your elbow back onto the floor. We don't want that to happen. Control yourself on the way down and control your elbow down to the floor."
As with the other single-side exercises, do 30 seconds on one side, then 30 seconds on the other. Rest 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.
To get a real twist through your torso, keep the landmine in front of you the entire time. This means even when you're turning, the bar is always in the middle of your chest.
"You don't want your shoulders doing any extra movement," says Holt. "You want your core doing the work."
Twist to one side, keeping your core tight, then be explosive with the weight as you come back up and over to the opposite side.
"As I twist to the side," he says, "you'll notice I let my back foot pivot and my heel come up as my leg rotates. This lets my hips open up and keeps my core flexible enough to complete this range of motion, so I don't put any extra strain on my hips or my lower back."
If you've never done this exercise before, expect your core to be burning by the end of this interval. It's a rotational exercise, so you'll definitely feel the sides of your body working, but this move targets everything in your core from your hips to your obliques to your abdominals to your back. Once your 30-second interval is up, take 30 seconds to rest, then get ready for the final exercise of the circuit.
Landmine Pull and Press
For this exercise, start in the same position as you did for the bent-over row, standing perpendicular to the bar with your inside hand holding the end of the weight.
Row the bar up and, as you cross your chest, twist your body and switch hands so you're pressing the weight up. You should end looking down the bar as you face the pivot point, with your opposite hand holding the bar out in front of you. Stay on one side for 30 seconds, then switch over and do another 30 seconds on the other side.
Keep that intensity and stay explosive throughout the entire exercise.
"You're at the end of the circuit and I know you're tired, but I want you to stay focused," says Holt.
If you need to slow down in between reps to catch your breath, that's fine, but make sure you're explosive on each rep.
Once you've done 30 seconds on each side, you've made it through the end of the first round. Now you get 1-2 minutes to rest, depending on how you're feeling and depending on your level of conditioning. As Holt explains, if you need rest, take it!
"I want you to challenge yourselves," he says. "But if you need the 2 minutes, take it. And keep pushing—you've still got two more rounds."