Olympic Workout

Before I get to this Olympics-inspired workout, I need to talk about the opening ceremony for a second. In a word: weird. First off, small children singing in a choir-like fashion make me incredibly uncomfortable for some reason. Secondly, interpretive dancing in cheesey Abraham Lincoln-esque costumes to symbolize the Industrial Revolution? Um what? They should have let me plan London’s opening ceremony. It would have been one big Spice Girls concert, and every 30 seconds or so the camera would pan over to a shirtless David Beckham. BOOM. People would be like Beijing who?

Olympic Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • Two 10-lb hand weights
  • Exercise mat

Anyway, I’ve taken inspiration from some of the summer Olympic events in putting together these exercises. Swimming, wrestling, soccer, roller-skating, track & field, rowing and cycling moves were all used (in some vague form). You’ll be completing this Olympic workout for time, but you can choose to attack it any way you wish. I went through a first round and did as many reps of each exercise as I could. I then went through a second time and finished up what was left. Breaking it up into two rounds allowed me to keep up a quicker pace.

  • 100 Freestyle Planks: Start in a plank position. Sweep your left arm back (like you’re doing a freestyle stroke), and as you do twist into a side plank position. Continue to sweep your arm around over your head and back into your starting plank position. Repeat, alternating to the right side.
  • 50 Sumo (Wrestling) Jump Squats with Alternating Leg Lift: Legs wide apart in a deep squat position (the sumo wrestler stance), do a jump squat, land back in starting position, then lift left leg straight out to the side, keeping right leg bent. Jump squat again and repeat with the right leg.
  • 200 Soccer Drill Toe Taps: A slight variation on high knees, tap one toe gingerly on top of the medicine ball then jump onto other foot and do the same. You don’t need to use a medicine or soccer ball—use any inanimate object. Or, if your kids are misbehaving, a small animate object.
  • 100 Side-to-Side Skater Jump Lunges: Leap to the right, landing on your right leg and fluidly bringing your left leg behind it and touching the ground with your left hand. Repeat in the opposite direction.
  • 50 Long Jump Burpees: This is a burpee with a slight variation. Instead of jumping up, jump forward—and as far forward as you can. So the sequence for one burpee looks like this: Squat down, placing hands on the ground in front of you, carefully jump back into a plank position, jump back up to squatting, then stand up and jump forward as far as you can.
  • 50 Breaststroke Lifts: Lay on your stomach with arms outstretched and legs and chest lifting off the ground. Bend arms, bringing them back towards your sides while lifting chest up even further. Extend arms back out to starting position. (Your feet and chest will remain off the ground the entire time.)
  • 50 Standing Rows (25 with each leg): Step forward with one leg and lean forward, keeping your back straight. Holding weights (in the pictures I have 5lbs in each land but when I actually did the workout, I used 10lbs in each hand), row your arms back, bringing the weights up towards your ribs. Repeat.
  • 100 Seated Bicycles (50 forward, 50 backward): Sit with feet elevated and hands lightly on the ground at your sides for support. Cycle your legs, extending one after the other. Do 50 pedaling forward and 50 pedaling backwards.

The burpees were definitely the most brutal for me. The workout took me about 35 minutes, and it left me feeling like a true Olympian (even though, let’s be real, Ryan Lochte would have finished it in about 7 minutes).

Try this out and let me know how you liked it. And I’m dying to know—what’d you think of the opening ceremony? Please tell me I’m not the only one who thought it was painfully awkward. 

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  1. I’ve done these kind of exercises before and they are hard. They really work the muscles.
    I rather liked the Opening Ceremony with all the kids singing and loved how England have shown their history to the World.

    • I think most people would definitely agree with you about the kids singing. I don’t know why it makes me so uncomfortable, maybe I’m traumatized from my Sunday School choir days haha 🙂

  2. 50 plus says:

    LOL! I love this post.

  3. I can’t wait to try this workout! This looks brutal, but worth it! The kettle bell workout is my fav, but this will be good to throw into the mix.
    I thought the opening ceremony started out nicely, but then got weird really fast. The whole digital age segment was awful, not to forget to mention their praise to national healthcare (set to the soundtrack of Tubular Bells, which was the theme to The Exorcist!). Weird.

  4. i quite liked the opening, it was quirky and imaginative. sure some of it was a bit odd, but then, Danny Boyle can be off beat. there were also some amazingly beautiful moments, such as the Olympic rings being forged and raised, from the industrial scene, not to mention the torch which was just stunning and unique. plus some humor with the Queen’s entrance and Mr Bean. i have to say as an initially skeptical Londoner, i enjoyed it.

    great work out 🙂 i like that you split it into rounds rather than wait to recover, good strategy.

    • I agree–loved the Queen’s entrance. And DEFINITELY loved when David Beckham made an appearance bringing in the torch 🙂 Glad you like the workout!

  5. Oh man – I just found you through Pinterest and just completed this workout. Those burpees were RIDICULOUS. At least no push-ups were involved 🙂 Can’t wait to try your other workouts and recipes!! Keep up the good work! …..And now, I think I’m going to go lie down….

  6. Christa says:

    I don’t think I did this whole workout but it still killed me! For the first four moves, is it 50/100/200 moves total? Or 50/100/200 in each direction? I ended up doing pairs of moves for 25/50/100 sets and that was more than enough to remind me I’m out of shape. Can’t wait to try more of your workouts!

    • Nicole says:

      The first time I went through the workout, I did it the same way you did, and then the next time I tried it I doubled up for an extra challenge. So I’d say either way is correct 🙂 Glad you liked it!

  7. Ah man..this will definitely take me more than 35 minutes to complete…And I’ll have to write it down on an index card to remember it…But hey ho, off to the gym we go! XD

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