Warrior Challenge


There is a saying from the Ancients – who anticipated the airport TSA by centuries – that the journey of 1,000 miles tires your mind before it tires your feet.   That’s true about working out, yeah?  Face it: you’re not going to get a transformed body until you transform your mind, and if YOU don’t do it it ain’t gonna get done.   Here’s some help.

Below is a simple Warrior Challenge to aid your transformation – but you have to understand how it is put together, and for that we return to some basics.

Warrior Basics

Remember, your basic question is not, “Are you a Warrior?” but “What kind of a Warrior are you?”  You cannot choose whether to be a Warrior – you are born into a world at war.   To paraphrase Tolkien, “Open warfare is upon you whether you choose it or not.”   We’re not talking Muslim terrorists, although that certainly is warfare; we’re talking the battles you fight daily.

From the time you get up in the morning you face battles.  Most of them are within you, some deal with your responses to others – perhaps beginning with how many teaspoons of sugar in your morning coffee, or, worse yet perhaps beginning with how many teaspoons you want your spouse to put in their coffee.  Anger, drinking, laziness, gluttony – how you face those battles tells me more about you than if you win them.  Face enough battles as a Warrior; you will soon win more than you lose.

For you, surrender is not an option, because some of these battles you are fighting are for your life or the lives of your loved ones, or for your marriage.  (If you don’t think you have battles, then perhaps that’s because you’ve surrendered – but you can reverse that.)  To lose a battle is not surrender; to lose a battle is not to lose the war.   We lost Corregidor but came back with a vengeance at Midway.   You will always have another battle, another chance to prove what kind of Warrior you are.

Because that is the question:  What kind of Warrior are you?

Warrior Challenge

Here’s one step on the road to awakening the Warrior Within.   The following Challenge is a great way to steel your mind while hardening your body.  You will have to force your mind to force your body to work harder at the end than it did at the first.  As a side benefit you’re going to burn a bunch of calories, too.   You’ll be wakening the Warrior Within, but building the Warrior without as well.  What’s not to like?

Those dear people who work out in my studio with me know that I love to challenge them to do more – more reps, more weight, more speed, but I’m just really asking for more of who they are.  We’re not going to get one more kettlebell swing out of your body unless it is in your mind first.  My workouts are based on training your heart and soul – your mind, will and emotions.  That swing is in there, we just have to evoke it!

Challenge-style workouts force your mind – and thus your body – to do more than it is used to, to do more than you think you can.  Break your routines, your habits.  Break those agreements you’ve made with yourself.

This is not just “Last set best set” but “Last Rep best Rep.”  The challenge is not just to do more, but to do better.  An honest last rep, not just another last rep.  Granted, this is only one workout, but when done in combination with other Challenges your body will be more willing to submit to your mind.

Ok, here’s the workout –


Set your timer for 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest (30/30 if you are a beginner) and 17 rounds.  If you don’t have an interval timer download the free “Gymboss” app for your phone.

Go through this three times.  Each time through is six minutes and 20 seconds.  (Note that the rest consists of the 20 second rest at the end of the Burpees plus a whole 40 seconds + 20 seconds on your timer.) 

This is an AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) workout.  The first time through, in the rest interval after each exercise write down the number of reps of that exercise.  The second time through challenge yourself to ADD ONE REP to the number you did the first time.  Then in the third time through ADD TWO REPS to the number you did the first time. 

You may feel like you have done as many reps as possible in Round 1, but give it all you’ve got to add another in Round 2 and Round 3! Wake that Warrior!

The “Get-ups” which frame this fearful symmetry will seem absurdly simple until you try to increase the number.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy them.  Here ya go:


Reps 1

Reps 2

Reps 3


1. Jumping Jacks        
2. Free-style Get-ups Left        
3. Mountain Climbers        
4. Free-style Get-ups Right        
5. Burpees        
6. Rest 80 seconds, repeat.        

Don’t feel bad if you can’t do more reps on Rounds 2 and 3, note your total for the day and try to beat that tomorrow!

Try this across several days and watch your totals increase.

Now next time you’re tempted to quit on a project, or dump another spoon of sugar into your coffe, recall how you forced yourself to do one more rep.


Free-style Get-ups (Note that this is different than a Turkish Get-up.): This seems simple, but when you are doing it AMRAP you’ll feel it.

  1. Lay down on your back with your feet fully extended and your arms at your side. 
  2. For a Left Get-up, place your right hand across your chest to your left shoulder. 
  3. Without using your right hand, stand upright using any movements. 
  4. Without using your right hand, lay down again into the starting position.
  5. Repeat until the bell rings.


About Tom Schweickert

Tom Schweickert, EA, CPC, CPT brings a unique combination as a Life Coach, Personal Trainer and Money Coach to help folks negotiate these interesting times.
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