body weight 500 workout.

The body weight 500 workout.

body weight 500.
bodyweight 500 Men's Health, Craig Ballantyne
Craig Ballantyne Does The
Body Weight 500 Workout
By: Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

I remember the day I completed the Bodyweight 500 for the first time. It was a warm, muggy afternoon in September, and I started by taking a few deep breaths, rubbing my hands together, and mentally preparing myself for the challenge ahead.

And then I launched into it, not 100% sure what to expect. After all, not only was it my first time doing this workout, it was the first time anyone had ever completed the 500 workout. So I was my own guinea pig. What if it turned out to be too easy? What if it was too hard? What if I couldn't even finish my own workout?

Fortunately, I started strong. I did all 50 Prisoner Squats without rest, and felt pretty good. I get nice and deep on the squats, but I don't go as fast as some other people. But overall, I know I've done a lot of work already when I get through this exercise. Plus, I focus on keeping my elbows up and shoulder blades together so that I work my upper back muscles.

For the pushups, I did the same. I cranked out all 50 in a row. Now let me just say, you don't have to do it that way. Feel free to do 30, rest, and then finish 20 more. Or do 10, rest, and repeat that 4 more times. Or do 10 sets of 5. Whatever gets you to 50.

Then I moved on to the 25 squat jumps. I put everything I had into the jumps, and didn't hold anything back. And that's how you have to be when you are in a challenge against yourself. Land with bent knees and explode back up as quickly as possible.

At this point, your quadriceps are tired from the squats and the jumps, so you move onto Stability Ball Leg Curls and crank out 25 of those. Your abs have to work for body control, and your hamstrings will be under a lot of tension. Don't let your legs cramp up. I must admit, I slightly lost my balance here, and had to break my set up into 17 reps, a small break, and then 8 final reps.

Next up, 50 Stability Ball Jackknives. And I must say, I was very surprised to complete all 50 without rest. This wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Great! Onto the next exercise...

...which was step-ups. I did 25 reps per side. Nothing crazy here, just good old fashioned leg work. Now onto the 2nd half of the work, where you do a lot of pulling exercises, starting with 25 pullups. This is where you slow down the pace a bit, after all, there are not many people that can do 25 straigth pullups. I did a couple of sets of 8, then some sets of 4, and then a single to finish off my 25.

Then I moved to 50 forward lunges, doing 25 for each side. Not too bad, but my legs were getting tired. Time to fry the upper body. First, 50 close grip pushups. I did 30, 10, and then a final 10 reps. Tired! But I had to do 50 inverted rows next. So I did a set of 15, 10, 10, 10, and then 5. Your upper back muscles will be working.

Now we are on the home stretch. Up next, I did 50 regular bodyweight squats, and then moved to the final exercise, which slows you down again. This time, it was 25 chinups. I did 4 sets of 5, a set of 3, and then a final set of 2 reps to finish it all off.

And so endeth the initial Bodyweight 500 workout. All of that was done in 27:30. So far, quite a few people have beat me, and I know I could do better now that I have this benchmark to work against. Overall, the top time from any TT user is 22:03. Can you beat that?

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

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