Fun Workout Challenge

Posted on by Ben Bruno

A lot of people—myself included—like to hear ideas for different workouts to try.

Here’s a fun challenge involving chin-ups and pushups that I’ve been doing for a few weeks on the last workout of the week.

I’ve been doing ring chins, but you can just as easily use a bar too with whatever grip you like best.

The following is all done in succession with no rest between exercises.

10 Chins
20 Pushups
8 Chins
16 Pushups
6 Chins
12 Pushups
4 Chins
8 Pushups
2 Chins
4 Pushups

In total it comes out to 30 chin-ups and 60 pushups. It might not seem that tough on paper, but trust me, it’s rough.

All chin-ups are to be done with good form: full range of motion, chin over the bar, no kipping, etc. If you lose a little kick towards the end it’s not the end of the world, but it shouldn’t look like you’re having a seizure on the bar.

Pushups are to be done with good form too: no sagging the hips, and you must go all the way down until your chest touches the floor and come all the way back up.

The first step is just to try to complete the whole thing unbroken without having to stop mid-set on the chin-ups or pushups.

From there, I don’t like the idea of trying to improve your time because that usually gets leads to sloppy form. Instead, I like to add a little bit of weight and going through the process again.

I’ve been doing it for a little while and have worked up to completing it with a 20 pound weight vest, which is tougher than it sounds. Today I almost made it through with 30 pounds added, but failed on the third rep when I was shooting for four. My goal is to finish the whole thing with 30 pounds though, and I’ll hopefully share a video when I do.

If this workout is too much for you at first, you can start at eight chin-ups and work down, which comes out to 20 chin-ups and 40 pushups—a much more manageable task. Or start at six chin-ups, or whatever you can handle. Just do double the amount of pushups that you do chin-ups.

I’ve been getting great feedback so far from people that have tried it. And by great feedback, I mean something to the effect of: “Ben, you’re such an asshole!”

With my job, that’s a huge compliment.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

  • http://www.garmaonhealth.com/ Joe

    Ben, you’re certainly not an asshole, but a taskmaster for sure!

    OK, I’ll try this but will begin by touching the chin-up bar for 10 reps, then 20 push-ups on my knees.

    • Ben Bruno

      Haha thanks! I’m ok with being a taskmaster :-)

  • Sam

    Crazy, even before I saw this, I was doing alternating sets of chinups and pushups for the past two weeks, since I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of other lifting (femoral stress fracture, so obviously nothing that puts weight on the foot). One-legged pushups make this even harder. Going to hit it up again tomorrow! (+ dips)

    • Ben Bruno

      Nice! I bet one leg pushups are brutal!

  • Daniel Aipa

    That looks like a good fun challenge, especially with an addition of 30lbs. I may have to give this a go and see where it takes me. Plus I could always work on my pull-ups, they suck!

    • Ben Bruno

      I just hit my goal of finishing it with 30 lbs. Failed a few times but finally got it. On to 40… :-)

  • Ken

    The push-up chin-up challenge was great did it right OH press day. Good mini medley to keep the blood running.

    • Ben Bruno

      Nice! Glad you liked it. We’ve been having some fun with it. Or at least I think it’s fun… :-)

  • Roy

    Another option for advancement is to raise the feet, but no more than what brings the body to a level position. After that, the muscles exercised are altered. This is based on simple fulcrum mechanics. When doing a standard push-up, depending on torso and arm length, one is pushing 65-70% body weight. By raising the feet, this increases that percentage. It’s an excellent way to increase the effort without external loading.