Men’s Health Workout – USS North Dakota 8/22/18

I enjoy reading stuff about fitness. I’ll read books, blogs, periodicals, etc. In my humble opinion, there is a lot to gain from keeping tabs on current trends in fitness, regardless of whether you are just a weekend warrior, or if you are a trained and credentialed professional in the field. As a matter of fact, its REQUIRED with most certifications to have a certain amount of CEU’s (continuing education units) each year to keep your credentials. I’m not saying that a Men’s Health article meets that requirement, I’m just pointing out that the stage is set, and the expectation exists that people in the field will keep learning as they go. Therefore, there isn’t any reason why us regular folks can’t do the same!

I’ve been a subscriber to Men’s Health for a while now. I used to subscribe to Men’s Fitness as well (that was more focused on exercise/nutrition, whereas Men’s Health has equal parts lifestyle as well). In addition, I’ve had these subscriptions in the past as well:

  • Sports Illustrated
  • Sporting News
  • The Weekly Standard
  • Thrasher
  • Transworld Skateboarding
  • Mad Magazine
  • Cracked
  • Golf Digest
  • Golf
  • ACSM Journal (this is a professional journal for trainers)
  • BYO (Brew your Own – I still have it currently)
  • ESPN the Magazine
  • Rolling Stone

You get the idea. Between those periodicals and the books I try to read, it was just too much, and I was literally throwing money away. These bad boys would stack up, and it just took forever and a day to get through them all. So, I’ve paired it down to the essentials – one mag about healthy stuff and one mag about beer. Easy peasy.

Men’s Health is a nice general periodical about things that impact a man’s life (note for the ladies – there is a Women’s Health by the same publisher and it follows pretty much the same format). They aren’t a sponsor of this blog, and I’m not getting any type of kick back for saying that – I generally like the product. I am at odds with some of the nutrition advice at times, but I’m weird when it comes to stuff I put in my food hole, so I won’t hold that against them. I always enjoy the section of the magazine where it shares a new exercise routine/program for that month. Every once in awhile, there are some blah ones that don’t tickle me, BUT, there are also some workouts that I can’t wait to try. The workout in the September 2018 issue called “Under Pressure”, The USS North Dakota Workout” is one that I couldn’t wait to try. It’s pitched as the workout a crew on a Navy submarine performs on a regular basis. It’s a pretty simple bodyweight routine over the course of three rounds. Here is how it works…

Round 1 is a descending ladder. If the rep starts at 15, the next set you do 14, then 13, then 12…you get the idea.

  • Bodyweight squat x 15
  • Tricep push ups x 10
  • Lunge x 10 (I counted both legs as 1 rep)
  • Regular push ups x 15

Your first set reps go…15, 10, 10, 15, then the 2nd set goes 14, 9, 9, 14…your last set will be 5, 0, 0, 5. The magazine says to rest 20 seconds between exercises. That seemed like way to much, so I did it as a circuit for time, and only really rested for a few seconds after each 4 exercise set. Round 1 wasn’t too much of a problem, but it got the blood pumping. I might take the 5’s down to zeros next time (which means I’m adding 5 more rounds).

Round 2 is just a straight 3 sets of the prescribed exercises…

  • Dips x 15 (I did full dips – not the chair for this item)
  • Right side plank, left side plank, forearm plank x 30 seconds each
  • Push up plank hold x 30 seoonds
  • Chair dips x 10 (I did chair dips this time)

This round wasn’t impossible, but it kept the blood pumping. My shoulders certainly felt it between the dip and plank work.

Round 3 is the “burnout”…

  • bodyweight squats for max reps
  • push ups for max reps
  • sit ups x 60

I felt like sneaking in some back work, so I subbed chin ups for max reps in the spot of bodyweight squats. That got me huffing! The situps were hard. I got to about 30 w/o stopping, then I had to do micro sets of 3 reps with a pause the rest of the way.

The article completes by saying the sailors usually do 10 minutes of light cardio after they are done with the three rounds. I was in a time pinch, so I just did my 2 minute cooldown and called it a day.

This is a workout I’ll certainly come back to. I’ll be sure to keep the max chin up variation in the mix because I’m a firm believer in training pull movements whenever you can!

Finally, it’s worth noting that there was a great article about Peter Berg (film actor & director), and he described his core routine. Let me tell you – it’s pretty brutal. I ran our Wednesday workout group through it last session, and we felt it the next day. I won’t go into details on that – you should get the magazine and check it out!


Are you a subscriber to Men’s Health? Have you tried any of their workout programs in the magazine? Do you have any favorites? If so, please share in the comments. If you liked this article, please be sure to “like” and “share.” Thank you.