Body Weight Ab Workout for Fighters

Getting ready for a big kettlebell workshop at the FVT Studio this morning, so I got a new friend of mine – Andrew Raposo – to hook us up with a short and sweet body weight ab workout for fighters.

This one’s a killer – and even if you’re not a combat athlete, I think you’ll get a lot out of it … a couple of new and interesting exercises here for sure.

Enjoy, and talk soon -

- Forest


Body Weight Ab Workout for Fighters
by Andrew Raposo, author, Fighter Abs

I don’t know about you but when I think of examples of people with a strong core, I think of fighters. The amount of core strength they need for their sport is ridiculous. They need to generate power from their core to transfer over to their punches and kicks. On top of that, fighters need to withstand blows to the body. They essentially need a rock hard suit of armor like core. A belly isn’t going to do much for that.

With all that core strength, they also got a nice set of ripped abs as well. Which has plenty of benefits that I’m sure you can think of for yourself.

So what do they do to get this strong core and nice abs?

Today I am going to show you body weight exercises that will bring your core strength to a whole other level. At the same time, it will work your abs better than any type of sit up or ab crunch exercises that you have performed in the past. These exercises will even help with your one arm push up training as well as your handstand push-ups. With that said, let’s get right into it. Here is the workout:

– Long Plank Walkouts – 10 Reps

– Long Plank Armpit Touches – 10 Reps Each Side

– Single Leg Saw Plank – 10 Reps Each Side

– Hardstyle Plank – 10 Sec x3

Rest 30 Sec – 1 Min

Repeat for a total of 3 rounds.

See the video on how to do the workout here:

Perform this circuit at the end of a strength training session or on a separate core-training day. You don’t want to be too fatigued when performing these exercises.

Enjoy this circuit. Your core strength is going to be through the roof.

- Andrew Raposo
Author, Fighter Abs

PS - You can check out Andrew’s full “Fighter Abs” program here:

=> Get Fighter Abs

About Andrew

Andrew is a North American Super Middle Weight Muay Thai Champion and a Two Time Provincial Gold Medalist in Boxing. He has been competing in Muay Thai and Boxing for the past 7 years. Andrew is a passionate Fitness & Strength Coach and runs a private practice out of Toronto, Canada. Where he trains high-level fighters for competition as well as transform average bodies into extraordinary results with his unique approach to training.

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4 Tips to Get Your First Handstand Push Up

Got a few tips for you today to help you get your first HSPU!!

You may or may not know this – but I am a pretty big dude by most standards. I sit around 245-250 nowadays, and was over 300 pounds in my pro football days.

So, handstand push ups are an exercise that at one point in time I NEVER thought I’d be able to do. I FREAKED out the first time I tried flipping myself upside down
into a handstand postion against the wall ;)

BUT … they are a baddass exercise. They great for:

– building shoulder and upper body strength
– improving balance
– strengthening the core and glutes

And more. So I really wanted to learn how to do them.

Over the last couple of years I’ve worked up to where I can crank out sets of six or eight reps at a shot (with my feet against a wall – still working on the  freestanding version ;)

Honestly I think if you want to call yourself truly fit – and Body Weight Strong – you should be able to do this exercise.

Without further ado, 4 tips to help you get your first handstand push up:


1 – Train consistently

The bare minimum to improve is two sessions a week … but to really advance, go for three times, if not every day. Think of this particular exercise like a skill – in
order to master it, you have to practice it frequently!

To get better at handstand push ups, do more handstand push ups (and variations/practice drills we will cover here in a sec/etc.). Simple :)


2- Adequately stretch

Many people have issues just getting into to the handstand position due to wrist or back pain. A simple way to remedy this is to work up until the point where you
encounter pain – and then stop.

Here is a stretch for getting your wrist strength up :

Bend your wrist back by using your other hand to push back the fingers toward the backside of the wrist. Try to push both on the fingers and the palm
to be sure both the wrists and fingers receive the stretch. Work both sides.


3 – Increase tension

The more tension you create in your muscles, the stronger you will get. Tension in one muscle allows the surrounding muscles to contract even harder.

Squeezing your abs and your legs while doing your handstand is a simple way to increase muscle tension during this particular exercise.

Another cool way to increase tension is with your fingers. When in the handstand position, grip the floor like you are trying to tear it apart with your fingers. This
move will put tension in your forearms and give you even more strength!


4 – Be safe!

When starting a handstand push up training program you may very well fall – and that’s okay! Be sure to not start off in a cluttered area. Clear the area of furniture
or obstacles so if you lose your balance you’ll minimize any damage. Having a friend act as a spotter when you are first getting started is another great way to feel
confident and avoid injury.


Bonus tip! :)

Here is an example of a great first week of workouts :

Workout 1

Kick up into a Handstand against the wall and hold it for 3 seconds then come to feet. Repeat 10 times.

Pike Press 5 x 5

Workout 2

Hold handstands for a total of two minutes. Do this is as many sets as you need. From workout to workout try to reduce the number of sets you need.


Boom! Hope you enjoyed this article. Take the tips we covered, get to practicing, and you’ll have your first HSPU in no time …

Oh – also – don’t forget, my Body Weight Strong 2.0 program – where you’ll learn how to do handstand push ups, pistol squats, one arm push ups, and all kinds of other
cool advanced body weight moves – is on sale this weekend at over 50% off:

=> Body Weight Strong 2.0

- Forest

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“Freedom From Equipment” 4th of July Body Weight Workout

If you’re in the US – happy 4th of July!

We’re laying low, doing a little grilling, hanging out by the pool, and will probably catch some fireworks later on.

How about you? What do you got going?

Before the festivities start – or later on this weekend – you can declare your independence from equipment – and offset the hot dogs and beer – with this body weight only workout:

(Don’t forget – you’ll get MANY more workouts like this one with my full 12 week body weight training plan, Body Weight Strong 2.0 … and it’s on sale this weekend at 50% off! Click HERE for more info and to grab your copy)

“Freedom From Equipment” 4th of July Body Weight ONLY Workout

(exercise pair 1)

– feet elevated push up – 35 sec AMRAP (as many reps as
- vertical jump – 35 sec AMRAP

Rest for 30 seconds between exercises. Do them back and forth, circuit style.
Do three total sets of each exercise.

Rest for about 60 seconds, and then move onto:

(exercise pair 2)

–inverted row 35 sec AMRAP (as many reps as
–split squat progression – 35 sec AMRAP

Rest for 30 seconds between exercises. Do them back and forth, circuit style.
Do three total sets of each exercise.
Rest for about 60 seconds, and then move on to:

(exercise circuit)

– body weight prisoner squat
– cross body mountain climber
– burpee
– shuttle sprint

Do as many reps as you can of each exercise in 30 seconds; rest for 5 seconds between moves to transition; blast through the circuit three times without resting, getting as many reps as you can of each exercise.

“Enjoy” that one ;) Happy 4th of July. And have a great weekend!

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

PS - For LOTS more workouts like this one, check out the “Freedom From Equipment” sale we’ve got going this weekend on my 12 week body weight training program, Body Weight Strong 2.0:

=> Body Weight Strong 2.0 “Freedom From Equipment” sale

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Body Weight Ladder Challenge Workout


I think I’ve mentioned this to you before, but it was just a few years ago that I personally got into body weight training.

I have a strength background, and have been pretty strong by most standards since my football days – but when I first started getting into this body weight stuff, it exposed a lot of my weaknesses. I could bench 450 but only could do a handful of pull ups. The first time I tried a pistol squat I failed miserably and literally thought I’d NEVER be able to do one in my entire life! ;)

After a bit of hard work on the body weight basics I’ve much improved (but of course still a work in progress!) Bottom line is though, no matter where you are at today, if YOU have a desire to be not just strong, but BODYWEIGHT strong, you can do the same.

You just need to work the basics hard, dedicate yourself to getting better at them, and have a plan to get you from where you are now, to where you want to be.

=> Here’s a program that will help you get better at pull ups, push ups, and other body weight training basics

Got one of my all-time favorite body weight – only workouts for you today. This one is a great test of your all-around body weight fitness … you have to be relatively strong to complete all the pull ups and push ups and squats … have to be moving well, be flexible, mobile, have a strong core, etc to do all the reps with perfect form … and you have to be in good condition just to finish it!

This is not only a great workout in itself, it will give you a great idea of where you are at with your body weight strength, and what you need to work on. Let’s get right to it:

Body Weight Ladder Challenge Workout

Start with one pull up.

After you complete the pull up, move directly into two push ups.

Follow the push ups with three body weight squats.

Then you’ll start “climbing the ladder”, increasing your reps by (1,2,3 respectively) in each exercise each round until you reach:

– 10 pull ups
– 20 push ups
– 30 body weight squats

So your second and third rounds would look like:

– 2 pull ups
– 4 push ups
– 6 squats

And then:

– 3 pull ups
– 6 push ups
– 9 squats

Your goal is to 1) use PERFECT form in each exercise 2) “climb the ladder” as fast as possible.

Get your time to complete the workout, then try to beat it next time around!

This body weight training stuff can be humbling. Especially if you’re used to doing other types of workouts, a training session like this one can OBITERATE you … but also show you what you’re weak at, and what you need to improve.

Try this body weight challenge ladder workout this week, and let me know how you do.

And if you are looking for a full program to help you get better at pull ups, push ups, and other body weight training basics, HERE is one I highly recommend.

That’s it for now. Train hard, have a great weekend, and talk soon -

Forest Vance

PS - Almost forgot -

I’ve gotten together with several fitness experts – like Travis Stoetzel, Logan Christopher, and others you may have heard me mention before – to put together a package of free gifts for you this weekend -

We’re doing this as our way of saying “thanks” to YOU for being a loyal blog reader / email subscriber / Facebook follower / etc.

You’ll find training programs, over 30 shake recipes, and a LOT more … totally free. Check it out at the link below, and grab whatever you like … but hurry! The offer expires Monday night:

=> FREE workouts, shake recipes, + much more

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Burpee Tolerance Test (new video)

How many burpees can YOU do in a row without slowing down?

This challenge will test your “burpee tolerance”, as my friend Dennis Heenan calls it.

Here’s what you do…

1 – Get warmed up and ready to rock

2 – Perform as many burpees in a row as possible without slowing down

3 – Once your pace starts to slow, that number is your “burpee tolerance”

The key is to start at a reasonable, brisk pace, and NOT SLOW DOWN. As soon as your pace starts to slow, the test is over.

(Dennis recommended that you do as many burpees in a row without stopping completely … but this is a little tweak that I think makes the test even better. This way, your form stays impeccable and it’s a better test of your “burpee fitness”)

After going through the challenge, make sure you write down the amount of burpees you were able to get in a row.

Your goal now is to beat that score the next time you perform this test.

As you can see in this video, when I took the test myself, I got 18.

Take the test yourself today, and let me know how you do!!

- Forest Vance

PS - Click here for a plan on exactly how to do 50 straight burpees with no rest, PLUS 27 other goal programs

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Just Say NO to Burpees


Love ‘em or hate ‘em – they’re a staple of most conditioning programs these days.

But believe it or not, SOME trainers and fitness experts are now coming out and saying -

“Just say no to burpees!”

It’s true. In a recent article in the Denver Post from personal trainer Jamie Atlas, he says NO to burpees. He says the exercise has morphed into something completely different than it was originally intended (as a fitness testing drill in the military), and it’s hard on the knees and lower back.

I for one need a little more convincing before I take the exercise out of my workout programming. The article wasn’t super specific as to WHY the exercise was so bad for the knees and back.

BUT – I do agree that you have to be READY for the exercise. You have to be able to hop back, land in a perfect plank position, then hop forward, and land with the feet nice and flat. And this has to happen on EVERY rep.

And also. If you just don’t like doing burpees – or you have an injury that prevents you from doing them – or you just need a little more time to work up to doing them – there are surely a lot of good alternatives.

You can absolutely, positively, get in fantastic shape without them.

A great start is this program from my friend Jen Sinkler, which includes 130 conditioning workouts – and not a single burpee:

=> Get 130 workouts from Jen here – NO burpees included

I met and had the pleasure of training with Jen over a three day weekend at an RKC II certification a few weeks ago – and could not BELIEVE what a well-rounded athlete she was.

Within the span of about an hour, I saw her:

– walk on her hands
– do a pistol squat with a 24k (53#) kettlebell
– jerk a 36k (80#) kettlebell over head

You may know Jen already – but if not, she’s been featured regularly in Men’s and Women’s Health, Shape, The Huffington Post, and — just to name a few. She also played elite-level rugby for 13 years, six of them while working as a fitness editor, writer, and coach.

So, it was very cool to meet her, and get to train and hang out over the three day weekend.

Another cool thing I found out about was the most recent training course she’s put together. Jen has assembled a library, a “smorgasbord” if you will, of 130 kettlebell, body weight, dumbbell, and even full gym conditioning workouts.

She sent me a copy of the program, and I’ve gotten the chance to check it out – and they ROCK. It’s a fantastic resource that I am already using for my own training, and with my boot camp clients.

And, you won’t find a single burpee in the 130 workout library ;)

=> Get 130 KB/BW/DB workouts from Jen here

By saying NO to burpees and working Jen’s 130 NEW workouts into your training, you’ll have that winter layer OFF, and be summer-ready in no time :)

Train hard, and talk soon -

Forest Vance

PS - Here’s a quick sample workout from the program -

You can use this as a “finisher” for the end of your current routine, or as a high-intensity stand-alone workout in a pinch.

Complete two rounds of this circuit, working for 30 seconds then resting for 30 seconds for each movement. Count the total amount of reps you get, then try to beat your score next time around:

– Triceps Pushup
– Skater Jump
– Flutter Kick
– Box Dance Step
– Knee-to-Elbow Plank
– In-and-Out Squat

Then go get 129 more workouts like this one here

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Mud Run Training – #1 Pull Up Mistake (and how to fix it)

During your mud run, it’s a sure bet you’ll be climbing, crawling, and jumping on (or in) to things.

So if you can’t do pull ups, your mud run is going to be agonizing.

That being said – doing them the RIGHT way, when it comes to getting prepared for your mud run, is also key.

Watch this video to for the #1 pull up mistake you’re probably making – and how to fix it:

Mud Run Training – #1 Pull Up Mistake (and how to fix it)


Mud runs, obstacle races, whatever you want to call them … have EXPLODED in popularity in recent years.

They are a fun way to challenge yourself, and get a great workout at the same time.

That being said, I can tell you first hand that these things are no joke.

We signed up and trained for one a short time ago as a team at my training studio. We were prepared going in, and as a result it went well – but it was a serious challenge, both mentally and physically.

People frequently ask me how they should prepare for these events – so I put together a six week training plan to get you ready to rock, based on the one that worked so well for our team.

Check it out here:

=> How to Train for a Mud Run (6 week program)


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The Band Assisted One Arm Push Up (video tutorial)

The one arm push up is a great exercise. But it can be tricky to master.

There are a lot of folks that might even have the STRENGTH to do it, but have a hard time with proper technique – getting the right muscles to fire at the right time, and just getting their body into the proper position.

The band assisted one arm push up is a FANTASTIC progression, and way to work up to doing full one arm push ups. We actually did these this morning at a training session – and while I have done them in the past, quite honestly I forgot all about them.

So I shot a quick video for your benefit that shows you how to do it – check it out – and let me know how it goes for ‘ya!

The Band Assisted One Arm Push Up

** For my complete 12 week program that’ll take you from whereEVER you are now, to body weight STRONG, click HERE **

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San Diego Body Weight Challenge Workout

Coming at ‘ya from sunny San Diego today. I am here for a business meeting with some fitness friends, we are having lots of good times, and also helping each other build our businesses.

Gonna head outside for a quick training session this AM – gotta love the outdoor workouts, get ‘em in whenever I can.

Monkey bars at the Embarcadero, downtown San Diego

Here’s what I got planned:

Week 1 Workout #3
Challenge Fat Loss

Set your timer to 20 mins. Do as much work as you can in the allotted time. If you get to one rep of everything, start counting up again. Do 10 of each exercise, then 9 of each exercise, then 8, etc.

– burpee
– push up
– squat jump
– mountain climber
– stick up with wall sit

This workout is one of my favs when I want an arse-kicking workout I can do anywhere, with absolutely zero equipment. (Got access to some bars to do pull ups, etc. today as you can see above … but for this workout, they’re really not even necessary!)

Give it a try next time you’re on the road, short on time to get to the gym, etc. – and let me know how you do!

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

PS - Almost forgot – if you liked this workout, you can get more zero equipment challenge workouts like it HERE

PPS - When you click the link above, you’ll see more than sixteen different challenge workouts on that page … go get those, then email us at fvtraininfo (at), and we’ll send you three totally free bonuses (pretty cool, eh?):

- FVT Challenge Workouts 2010
- FVT Challenge Workouts 2011
- FVT Challenge Workouts 2012

Then you’ll have even MORE minimal equipment, CHALLENGING workouts to keep you busy for weeks and months to come!

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Get Body Weight STRONG (full sample workout)

Quick body weight only strength workout for ya today -

You can crank this thing ANYWHERE, all you need is a pull up bar.

If you don’t have one, be resourceful – find a playground at a park near you, or heck, nail a 2×4 to a tree in your back yard and do your pull ups from that.

No excuses.

And don’t forget – my brand NEW Body Weight Strong 2.0 – progressive 12 week body weight strength training system is now available, and you can get it this week at a special “launch celebration” discount:

=> Get Body Weight STRONG here

Phase Two, Day One – Body Weight Strong 2.0

(warm up)

– jumping jacks – 30 sec
– body weight squats – 12 (hold for one count in bottom position each rep)
– EASY push ups – 10 (pick easy version for YOU – warm up tempo!)
– EASY inverted rows – 10 (focus on firing up that upper back!)

- do exercises circuit style for two rounds total

(Exercise pair one)

– one arm push up progression -1 to 5 reps each arm
– vertical jump progression – 8 to 10 reps

- Do four sets total of each exercise. Rest about one minute between exercises – but remember, get mostly recovered before the next set.

(Exercise pair two)

– pull up/chin up progression – 1 to 5 reps
– split squat progression – 8 to 10 reps

- Do four sets total of each exercise. Rest about one minute between exercises – but remember, get mostly recovered before the next set.

Rest for about 60 seconds, and then move onto:

(Exercise circuit)

– burpee
– shuttle sprint
– repeating squat jump
– bear crawl

- Set your timer for 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Get as many reps as you can in 20 seconds of the burpees. Rest for 10 seconds. Run as fast as you can for 20 seconds in the shuttle sprints. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat the full sequence two times through in this same fashion.

Enjoy that workout, and have a great day -

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II
Author, Body Weight Strong 2.0

PS - If you liked this workout, you’ll love Body Weight Strong 2.0 – and you can grab it at a huge discount this week (if you haven’t already):

=> Get Body Weight Strong 2.0 PLUS all the bonuses here

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