Garage Workout 12/5/18 – Jump Rope!!!

26 degrees F. It was COLD.

To quote one of our participants, “…I didn’t know you can sweat when its 26 degrees out…”

For the past couple of Wednesday sessions, we were inside doing various yoga workouts that I shared with the group. Today we decided to go old school and get our butts outside.

We hadn’t completed a focused jump rope workout in a LONG time. So, I programmed this session around our long lost friend. Good ol’ JR. In total, we logged a solid 16 minutes of jump roping. That is a lot of jump roping.

A funny thing can happen when you leave your garage workout gear in your car during the harsh winter – your jump rope can FREEZER. Granted, my travel rope is a piece of garbage from AmazonBasics, but still, I spent the first minute of JR trying to soften that darn thing and get the bearings spinning again. It eventually came around, but geez – you normally warm up your body – not your exercise equipment!

In the first couple of rounds, the bodyweight calisthenics didn’t seem to be too much of a challenge, so for the last two rounds, I tried to add in more difficult progressions for the basic exercises (sub A-skips for high knees, sub squat with oblique crunch for regular squat, etc). In the future, I’ll probably add more plyo in the bodyweight calisthenics part of this. But, overall, this was a pretty decent workout that got us sweating. Which, again, is quite the feat on a 29 degree morning.

Overall, the group enjoyed the experience, and looks forward to the tweaks I might make next time around. Sphinx blasters could make an appearance…

Continue reading Garage Workout 12/5/18 – Jump Rope!!!


Garage Workout 10-31-18: CdF Hybrid

Today is Halloween. Baby Breaking is dressed up as a huge spider. Not going to lie – it’s kind of cute. For the better part of a couple decades, I couldn’t have cared less about Halloween, but, I must say, having a kid now makes me wonder how much fun I can have with this in the coming years. Right now – it’s still a sham and annoyance – as of this typing, the little meat puppets will be ringing my bell in about an hour to collect their candy. I’ll probably be more in the spirit once I actually dress up with Baby Breaking and we go get our candy!

This year doesn’t matter (since he probably doesn’t know what planet he’s on), but, someday soon, this stuff will imprint, and he will look forward to these “kid” holidays. I think I’m going to feed off his energy and want to be the best Halloween partner I can be.

You want to be a banana son? Cool. I’ll dress up as a tailpipe. If you don’t get that reference, I can’t help you.

If you’ve been reading the Core de Force workout reviews, you’ll remember that I keep saying, “I love this exercise, I’m going to steal it for the Wednesday group.” Guess what – stolen, stolen, stolen. Exactly 90% of today’s workout moves were inspired by Core de Force. I’m glad I’m doing a program that is letting me fill out the dance sheet for Wednesday mornings. It’s pretty easy and mindless.

Just as well – my sleep quality right now is just as good as the Bills offense.

The group (we had 5 today!) was pretty excited to be exposed to new moves. That excitement lasted for about 5 minutes. Then, when we did the sphinx blasters, they all started groaning. I think I found a new move to punish them with. To quote one of our members…

“I’d rather do bear crawls up the ramp than do these.”

They affectionately started calling them “sphincter blasters.”

Continue reading Garage Workout 10-31-18: CdF Hybrid

Garage Workout 10-3-18: The 20’s

Two weeks in a row. We did it. We showed up for the garage workout two weeks in a row. I can’t remember the last time we pulled that off. We should get some type of trophy. Well, three of us showed up. Maybe half a trophy. Last week we needed sleeves. This week, I was sweating of my berries just walking up to the top of the parking garage. Go figure. #mothernature

Since I play softball at night on Wednesday’s and I want to be a quasi-productive hitter at the plate for my team, I’ve decided to make the workout more leg-centric. This will allow my arms to be more than just floppy noodles come game time. One of the group members pointed this out after the first set.

Group member: “Seems like a lot of legs here.”

Me: ……………………..”Yeah, I have softball tonight and want to hit.”

Group member: “Wow, that seems selfish.”

Me: ……………………..”Sure is. Tell you what – you can sub in 20 seconds of push ups for any leg exercise you don’t want to do. See – everyone wins.”


He only did one set of push ups.


Today’s workout was inspired by a workout I found on the Darebee site. I’ve mentioned this site before in prior posts, but its such a great tool, its worth talking about again. This is a totally free site, and the information on exercise, workout programs, and nutrition, is pretty amazing. You usually have to pay for stuff this good. The site does ask for donations in its “support the project” content. I’m not any type of paid sponsor, nor have I been asked to solicit on their behalf. I’m just a guy who thinks this is an amazing personal fitness tool, and I think more people should see it and donate to the cause. Its all about sharing information to help people become the best versions of themselves (that they want to be). This site is doing that, and doing it in an amazing way.

Anyway, I took one of their workouts and changed the volume- rather than being rep based, I opted to make the exercise time based (trying to sync/count reps in a group setting can throw off people’s mojos). I was able to program the entire workout into my phone’s Tabata Timer app, and it worked like a charm.

Workout: The 20’s

  • 6 total exercises in the circuit
  • 20 seconds each
  • no rest in between exercises
  • 2 minutes rest between sets
  • 5 total sets

Warm up: 

  • 100 jump rope (any style)
  • Sun Salutation A x 3


  • Jumping Jacks (any style)
  • Burpees
  • Jump rope
  • Jump squats
  • Jumping jacks (any style)
  • Jumping alternating lunges (aka iron mikes)

Cool down:

  • Sun salutation B x 2 (I’m getting these guys into Yoga)

Post workout nutrition:

  • The Works omelet @ First Watch – my favorite breakfast meal of the week!
    • No tomatoes, sub fruit for the bread, add side potatoes (I was in a potato mood)


Do you have any fun and off the wall places that you like to work out? If so, please tell us all about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share.” Thank you!

Garage Workout 9-26-18

If you follow the garage workout postings, you know that I’ve said before how tough it is to get us all out there on a regular basis. Even this week, just two of us participated. Everyone else was traveling. The prior week, I wasn’t able to attend and lead due to a work obligation, so one of the other members picked up the mantle and ran the troupe through a modified version of “the tower.” But, even with just two of us, we were chomping at the bit to get back on the horse and dominate that parking garage.

I will note that this workout was the first of the post-summer workouts that required us to wear SLEEVES since it was a brisk 48 degrees F at workout time. No worries – after 300 jump ropes, the sleeves came off.

Quick aside related to it being almost fall — Trader Joe’s now has its pumpkin spice coffee. That isn’t a paid endorsement. I just love the stuff. This is ME – informing YOU that this pumpkin spice gold is on the shelves and it won’t be there forever. Get it, stock up, enjoy. I’ve been known to make a nice stout out of pumpkin spice coffee. I did it with Wawa Pumpkin Spice Coffee last year, and will most certainly do it with TJ’s this year. If you don’t like pumpkin spice stuff, you probably don’t like Nickelback either.

I hadn’t done a HIIT style workout in a little while since I’ve been keeping it simple with push/pull/yoga/mediate. Again – I agree on paper its boring, but it’s oddly satisfying. The yoga is making my body feel oh-so-good. I feel like I’m progressing along in my meditation “journey” because now the 10 minutes disappears before I know what hit me (whereas when I first started, I was fidgeting and counting the seconds). I will most certainly continue to meditate.

Anyway – back to today’s workout. It is a HIIT style workout. I found it via an interesting website called The cool thing about having a hobby like fitness blogging is you get to see the community that is out there of like-minded people that just enjoy fitness-type endeavors and sharing their experiences/information with the world. I was emailed the link by a member of the staff, and spent some type surfing around the site.

Long story short – the website covers a whole host of topics (not just fitness), and the information is both interesting and useful. I’ll certainly spend some more time there. The section that reviews sports equipment is very intense. There is a LOT of information in that article. The discussions about cricket and rugby were interesting. In addition, the section that talks about baby “stuff,” was helpful to me as a fairly new father. I enjoyed reading about the myriad of details you should take into account when selecting your baby supplies. With regards to fitness & exercise, I was impressed by the editorial staff based on their bios. The session we did this AM was crafted by a two-time Olympian (pretty cool).

Today’s workout is aptly named “House of Pain.” Here is a directly link to the site and Nick Catlin’s YouTube video.

The prescribed protocol is to cycle through the exercises one after another as a circuit (minimal or no rest). Once you finish the 6th exercise in the circuit, rest for 3 minutes, and repeat between 4 and 6 times. The exercise list is:

  • Jumping lunges x 20 reps
  • Push up to sit up combo (this was cool and I’ll definitely use this move again in other workouts) x 10 reps
  • Burpees x 10 reps (note – Nick’s protocol did NOT have a push up into the burpee – we decided to add that for 3 of the 4 sets we did)
  • Jump squats x 20
  • Push up + squat thrust (aka in/out abs) x 10 reps
  • Bear crawl 15 meters up and back

First, we warmed up with 300 jump ropes (mixed styles) to get the blood pumping. Then, it was GAME ON!

Initially, I was skeptical that this workout would wind me or get my blood pumping. Right around the jump squats on the first set, I started thinking that I underestimated Nick’s workout. At the end of the first set, both my workout partner and I were happy we had 3 minutes rest. My HR came in around 110 bpm after that first set. Not too shabby.

On the 2nd set, I timed how long it took us to get through the circuit. We clocked in around 3 min, 30 sec. So with 3.5 min to 3 min rest, Nick programed just over a 1:1 work/rest ratio. I’m totally on board with that. Our wind was still very hard to reclaim. We tried discussing our fantasy football rosters, but only managed some broken words in between gasps of air.

We finished the 3rd and 4th sets, and decided to stop since we were under a time constraint, and wanted to get to the pull up bar to squeeze in three sets of pull before calling it a day. I think we could have clawed our way through two more sets. But, it would have been a challenge. For the 4th set, we stopped doing the push up with the burpee and defaulted to what Nick programed – certainly tired our arms out a little less, but was still impactful.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this workout, and I’m grateful that Nick shared it with the world. This will be a workout I revisit when I’m traveling as its perfectly suited for a hotel room (no equipment, minimal floor space needed – you could just bear crawl up a step or two and back for the duration of the “15 m” requirement).

We then proceeded to hit First Watch and enjoy our victory omelets (or other applicable breakfast food). For me it’s the omelet. Love me some omelets. Omelets are such a simple and perfect food. Just scavenge your fridge for anything you want, saute it in butter, and then make it the filling for a folded over omelet. Cheese, sausage, bacon, veggies, sour cream – you name it – it’s probably omelet worthy! Do me a favor – put your fruit on the side – fruit inside an omelet would be weird.


Do you have any fun and off the wall places that you like to work out? If so, please tell us all about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share.” Thank you!

Garage Workout 8-1-18

i'm back.JPG

I’m reusing the same graphic (above) from the last garage workout post. Its been like two months since our last garage workout.

We suck.

The hiatus this time was much longer than the previous break in action. Hopefully we’ll keep the momentum going. I think everyone feels motivated to get back into action. One of the regular members said he feels, “…soft…”

simpsons blubber

The trouble is syncing our schedules. Of our normal group of 5, three of them travel about 40% of the time for work. Trying to get us all into the same parking garage on the same day at the same time is like trying to herd a bunch of cats that found Walter White’s product.

Editorial note – if you don’t get that reference, go binge watch Breaking Bad right now.

Since I’ve been very pushy pully and yogiy recently, I decided to incorporate all of that into a nice “welcome back” session for 3 out of the 5 of us.

Two of us were traveling.

Huge surprise.

Here is how the morning broke down…

We did what I’ll call the “Yoga Tower.” Usually, the tower is a hellscape of ramp work and then some moderate rep and moderate timed bodyweight movements. For today’s session, I modified it.

  • Ramp 1 – run @ 50%
  • Landing 1 – sun salutation A
  • Ramp 2 – lunge
  • Landing 2 – sun salutation B
  • Ramp 3 – run @ max
  • Landing 3 – sun salutation A with dancing warrior
  • Run to ramp 4, but stop and do balance series
    • Standing knee raise
    • Tree
    • Extended leg w/toe bind

Normally there is another ramp, but since they are re-staining the woodwork on the garage, we would have been huffing fumes for the next ramp and landing. I’m sure we would have had a nice deep downward dog with our minds expanded, but I decided to err on the side of caution.


The group seemed to like that a lot. The dancing warrior sequence got the most acclaim. Next we moved inside to the pull up bar for THE BASICS.

I’ve written about THE BASICS before. Its a simple routine authored by Al Kavadlo.

5 sets, 10 reps

  • Pull up
  • Dip
  • Hanging leg raise

Due to time constraints, two of the participants only did 4 sets, but I quickly squeezed in the 5th set. Call it OCD, but my mind would have revolted if I didn’t complete the 5th set. I needed closure dammit! I’m glad I did the 5th set. This marks the first time I hit 10 reps on all 5 sets for the pull up work. Looking back, it was probably due to the extra rest in between sets (since we had to share the bar between 3 people). But, who cares – I’ll take the win!

We then proceeded to hit First Watch and enjoy our victory omelets (or other applicable breakfast food). For me its the omelet. Love me some omelets.


Do you have any fun and off the wall places that you like to work out? If so, please tell us all about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share.” Thank you!

Garage Workout 5-23-18

i'm back.JPG

Hello garage workout – my old friend. I missed you. I’ve probably said it before, but I’ll say it again – the parking garage at work is probably one of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment. Between the ramps and the stairs, there are a ton of things you can do to program a workout.

Putting all of that aside. I love doing a workout outdoors. Between the fresh air and the sunlight, there really isn’t a better way to “play” as an adult. I think that is in our DNA – playing outside is fun.

By far, my favorite garage workout of all time is THE TOWER! The cool thing is, my fellow garage workout’ers agree that THE TOWER RULES!

the tower

The idea is pretty simple. You start at the bottom of the parking garage. You do some type of activity up the entire length of the first ramp. When you get to the landing, you perform two exercises either for reps or time. Then, you recovery jog to the next landing, do something new up the length of the 2nd ramp, do two more exercises at that landing, and just keeping doing that same pattern until you reach the top of the garage.

We have 4 ramps in our parking garage. Money!

Running is the easy one. I tend to get the most groans when I program lunges, frog jumps, bear crawls, etc. Basically the stuff you’d hate doing for high reps on a level ground – yeah, I program that crap up a ramp!

Since this is usually an assault on your lower body, I aim to program upper body and core work in at the landings. On rare and torturous days, I’ll program in some burpees or even some plyo leg moves if the ramp programming is “light” that day.

On to the workout…


  • Warmup
    • 300 jump ropes – various skills
    • 120 jumping jacks – 20 reps each of various skills
  • Round 1
    • Ramp 1
      • 75% sprint
      • Chest slap plyo push ups x 10
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 2
      • LUNGE
      • Full jack plyo push up x 10
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 3
      • Bear crawl
      • In/out push up x 10
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 4
      • 75% sprint
      • Dive bomber push up x 10
      • X crunch x 15 + 5 second hold on last rep
  • Round 2
    • Ramp 1
      • 75% sprint
      • No momentum push up with plyo “pop” at the top x 10
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 2
      • LUNGE
      • Rotating clock push ups x 12
        • Start in plank position at 12 o’clock, do a push up, plyo jump your hands to 1 o’clock, do a push up – repeat this entire process until you go around the entire “clock.”
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 3
      • Bear crawl
      • Full superman push up x 10
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 4
      • 75% sprint for half the ramp, then frog jumps the rest of the way
      • Full jack plyo push up x 10
      • X crunch x 15 + 5 second hold on last rep
  • Cooldown
    • just pace back and forth, and assess our lives

This bad boy weighed in at a 436 C burn on about 44 minutes of work (all in). The heart rate chart is pretty nice…

tower hr chart.JPG

…things got real during round 2. When I finished my second round of bear crawls, and saw the HR meter at about 170 on my wrist, I said, “…yeah, that’s about right…” Due to the limitations of wrist equipment properly measuring HR activity during non-running moves, I’m always pleased when it hits 170 or higher. That means I’m really working! In reality, I’m probably pushing the 180’s and/or close to my maximal HR.

The victory omelet at First Watch couldn’t come quick enough.

I think my heart rate just finally returned to normal about 4 hours later. Kidding 🙂


Do you have any fun and off the wall places that you like to work out? If so, please tell us all about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share.” Thank you!