Try This Upper-Body Challenge

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An Army dive team performs burpees.
The Army dive team works on completing 250 burpees during the Diver 250 Challenge at Kuwait Naval Base, July 14, 2012. (Sgt. Peter Berardi/316th Sustainment Command, Expeditionary)

Warming up with burpees does not sound like a great way to start off your day, but a short pyramid like the one below is a good warmup. However, anything after 10 on the pyramid is no longer a warmup, and it starts to become a physical and mental challenge. Luckily, you get to "rest" with pull-ups, dips and your abs of choice every fifth set.

Burpee pyramid warmup and workout:

Burpee pyramid: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 with 25-meter jogs/dynamic stretches in between. We usually do this on a basketball court, tennis court or field to get anywhere from 25- to 50-meter runs in between. You can even go 100-meter runs if you want a greater challenge.

  • Pull-ups max effort
  • Dips max effort
  • Bear-crawl 50 meters or stair-crawl up/down
  • Abs of choice 50 or plank pose one minute

Burpee pyramid 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 with 25-meter runs in between Repeat twice

  • Pull-ups max
  • Dips 10-15
  • Abs of choice 50

Burpee pyramid 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 with runs in between Repeat twice

  • Pull-ups max
  • TRX push-ups or regular push-ups max effort
  • Abs of choice 50 or plank pose one minute

Burpee pyramid 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 with runs in between

  • Pull-ups max effort
  • Dips max effort
  • Bear-crawl 50 meters or stair-crawl up/down
  • Abs of choice 50 or plank pose one minute

Finish with a 30-minute run ruck, or swim -- or two of the three.

If you have not done enough yet, you can add 25 push-ups and 25 flutter kicks every five minutes of your run or swim workout.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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