By Jared Evans

A workout to build toughness

Looking for a workout to build your biceps and your ability to toughen up?

Well look no further! As I promised, here is how you can combine different survival building skills into one workout. This can be done a few times a week in addition to your regular training or it could be a stand-alone routine.

Since this isn’t customized to your unique needs, make sure you are cleared by a physician and use your judgement on scaling things to your level. There are some pre-requisites in terms of ability for this workout so if it is too far out of your comfort zone, don’t do it! If you try this routine, you take responsibility for your actions!

Ok, disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to it.

First, warm up with some joint mobility exercise to get the blood flowing. Joint circles for all of the major joints. Neck, shoulders, trunk, elbows, hips, knees, ankles. 10 reps each direction if done quickly will only take you about 3 minutes. But, it will pay off big time for preparing you for what’s ahead!

Next, you will need a medicine ball, 5-15 pounds is probably enough, and one that is made to be slammed. Also a pullup bar or something to hang from. A pair of heavy dumbbells or kettlebells. And lastly, a large soft mat/surface to roll on.

Ok now that you have your equipment, here is the workout.

  1. Bear crawl 5-10 yards out and back.
  2. Hang while changing grips on pullup bar, 5 to 10 times back and forth. Go from palms facing back, to mixed grip, to palms facing forward, and then repeat.
  3. Knee strike (mauy thai style) 10 to 20 reps in the air or on a heavy bag each side
  4. Mixed carry. Have one dumbbell straight overhead and the other hand hanging at your side with another dumbbell, like a briefcase. The weight of the top hand should be about half of the bottom hand. Walk 10 to 20 yards back and forth then switch sides and repeat.
  5. Grab your medicine ball and hold it high over your head, slam it down in front of you. Make sure it’s not bouncy first or it can hit you in the face! Use your full body, folding at the hips and knees and whip your arms down explosively. Scoop it back up with a full squat and repeat 5 to 10 times quickly.
  6. Time to roll! Start with an easy version of a front roll. Get low to the ground, start on your knees on your mat. Put your left hand on the floor, reach your right hand under your left arm close to the floor and across your body to guide your right shoulder to the ground. Tuck your chin to your chest and push your hips up and over your shoulder as you roll from your right shoulder across to your left hip. Keep yourself tucked like a ball so you roll smoothly. There should be no clunking!

Repeat 3 to 5 times on each side. After that repeat the circuit 3 to 5 times.

This is just one example of how to combine these types of skills into a workout and there are infinite ways to modify it. You can throw the medball in different ways, practice different striking techniques, carry in other ways, swing or do monkey bars for climbing skills, etc. Use your imagination!

Always look for ways to challenge yourself but be safe and train smart. If you have questions or if anyone is interested in a video demonstration of these techniques, let me know. And as always, send us questions via email at or message us on your Facebook!

Stay strong.