Be a Superhero Workout – 6 Day Complete Conditioning Program

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This week I was asked to put together a superhero-style training program. More specifically, the question was regarding Captain America.

How can you build muscle, agility, strength, and add in proficiency with bodyweight exercises as well? This program does just that.

You will be working out six days per week. Three sessions will be spent in the gym, hammering away with a combination of conventional powerbuilding training and bodyweight exercises. The other three days will involve intense conditioning work.

Related – The 6 Most Brutal Conditioning Exercises

Recovery will not be easy, so make sure to maximize your protein intake, daily calories, and sleep. Push past soreness and keep going. Your body will adapt, and in as little as two to three months you will notice solid changes in your strength and functionality.

The workout structure will be as follows:

  • Day 1 – Upper Body A
  • Day 2 – Conditioning A
  • Day 3 – Lower Body A
  • Day 4 – Conditioning B
  • Day 5 – Upper Body B
  • Day 6 – Conditioning A
  • Day 7 – OFF
  • Day 8 – Lower Body B
  • Day 9 – Conditioning B
  • Day 10 – Upper Body A
  • Day 11 – Conditioning A
  • Day 12 – Lower Body A
  • Day 13 – Conditioning B
  • Day 14 – OFF

Continue rotating resistance training workouts in the same pattern.

Conditioning Program Notes

Progressive overload. Don’t simply use a random weight. Your goal for each exercise is to push yourself, and add resistance when possible. Remember to keep your focus on good form. Never perform anything other than quality reps. When your form starts to break down, stop a set.

Pike press. Place your feet on a bench. Try to set your torso and legs at least at a 90 degree angle. Lower yourself like you were doing a handstand push-up, then press yourself back up. Watch the demonstration below.

A post shared by Steve Shaw (@bendthebarman) on

Article author Steve Shaw demonstrates the pike press, a bodyweight shoulder exercise.

Inverted rows. These are a poor man’s pull up. Inverted rows are a challenging bodyweight exercise for the back that will also help you to improve your pull ups strength. Place your feet upon a bench. Next, set a bar about four feet off the ground in a rack, or use a Smith machine. Explosively pull yourself up until your chest is near the bar.

Watch this video for an explanation and demonstration.

Handstand push ups. Challenging, but a wonderful bodyweight shoulder exercise. I like to face my chest towards the wall and walk my feet up. This is a safer alternative than facing away and trying to flip your feet backwards towards the wall.

Lower yourself slowly, and only descend as far as it feels comfortable.

Frog jumps. Start in a frog stance. This will look like the bottom of a goblet squat. Jump forward as far as possible. You do not need to land in the frog position.

Upper Body a
Superhero Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
 Bench Press  3  6-12
 Dumbbell Row  3  10-15
 Military Press  3  6-12
 Push Ups  2  Max
 Pull Ups  2  Max
 Pike Press  2  Max
 Dumbbell Curl  3  12
 Cable Triceps Extensions  3  12
Upper Body B
Superhero Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
 Dumbbell Bench Press  3  10-15
 Barbell Row  3  6-12
 Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press  3  10-15
 Chest Dips  2  Max
 Inverted Rows  2  Max
 Handstand Push-Ups  2  Max
 EZ Bar Curl  3  12
 Dumbbell Skullcrushers  3  12-15
Lower Body a
Superhero Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
 Squats  3  6-12
 Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts  3  10
 Bodyweight Lunges (40 reps per Leg)  2  40
 Burpees  2  15-25
 Leg Extensions  4  15
 Ab Wheel Rollouts  3  10-15
 Seated Calf Raises  3  15
Lower Body a
Superhero Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
 Deadlifts  3  5-8
 Leg Press  3  12-15
 Box Jumps  2  10-15
 Frog Jumps  2  10-15
 Leg Curls  4  15
 Planks  3  60-120 seconds
 Standing Calf Raises  3  15

Conditioning Workouts

Workout A

  • Running progression – Comfortable pace. Just try to make it to the listed time without stopping to walk. (See the chart below)
  • Jumping Rope – 5 minutes, as many repetitions as possible.

Workout B

  • Sprints – 10 sprints of 50 meters. Rest as long as needed in between efforts.
  • Running progression – Run for half the duration of your previous “workout A” running progression.

Running progression:

  • Workout 1 – 5 minutes
  • Workout 2 – 5.5 minutes
  • Workout 3 – 6 minutes
  • Workout 4 – 5 minutes – “Step back” day – taking a slight break from progression
  • Workout 5 – 6.5 minutes
  • Workout 6 – 7 minutes
  • Workout 7 – 7.5 minutes
  • Workout 8 – 6.5 minutes – Step back day
  • Workout 9 – 8 minutes
  • Workout 10 – 8.5 minutes
  • Workout 11 – 9 minutes
  • Workout 12 – 8 minutes – Step back day
  • Workout 13 – 9.5 minutes
  • Workout 14 – 10 minutes
  • Workout 15 – 10.5 minutes
  • Workout 16 – 9.5 minutes – Step back day
  • Workout 17 – 11 minutes
  • Workout 18 – 11.5 minutes
  • Workout 19 – 12 minutes
  • Workout 20 – 11 minutes – Step back day

Be patient as you ease yourself into running. This progression approach appears to be slow, but it will actually have you up to 20 minutes a day in less than 3 months. This is a smart, smooth, and safe approach.

Make sure to ease yourself into sprinting. Start slow and find our your capabilities before increasing the intensity.

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Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.