Welcome back, American Partisans! Before I get further into the weeds of How to Get Lean n’ Mean (Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2), I’d like to get back to the physical training dimension of fitness by providing the next workout program of the American Partisan Workout Fundamentals series. I just recently read Wyoming Survival’s excellent post titled “Building Your Tribe”, where Tony P. states: “I’ve seen TOO many preppers/survivalists who couldn’t run 25 yards and fight for 30 seconds to save their lives. They believe they will get fit after the collapse comes….. all they are going to get is robbed, killed, and possibly eaten after a collapse.” I couldn’t agree more, and so I got inspired to post a new workout for y’all! 

Hopefully, Partisans found the previous workout to be useful, either in whole form, or by getting ideas and examples that they could develop further. Remember, in the final analysis, the serious Partisan will have to find his own way forward in physical training that reflects personal needs and preferences, which is fine, as long as they stick to the Fundamentals.

Once again, here is a full list of the Workout Fundamentals, for reference:

To reiterate, all workouts I will be presenting now and in the future will be based on the Integrated Workout Formula, as well as my list of high-quality exercises, unless otherwise noted. Also as with the previously posted example workout, the workouts presented in this post will include an equipment-based workout and a minimalist workout as well.

**

Full-Body Workout with New Exercises for the Seasoned Beginner

First off, please note that this particular post’s workout is for SEASONED beginner Partisans that have already put some time in with the first posted workout over the past few weeks, and/or are NOT totally deconditioned, unlike what was assumed in the previous workout I provided. The first program provided below (that is, the non-minimalist program) assumes the presence of gym equipment, while the second program provided assumes very minimal equipment.  (Disclaimer: the workout programs presented below are just examples that may or may not work for you; however, these workout programs should be good for the vast majority of seasoned beginners.)

Seasoned Partisan trainees who have cut their teeth with some working out on the true basics for the last few weeks should now move to broaden their workout options with new movement types in different planes of motion (vertical/horizontal), as well as variety in quality exercises. As with the last posted workout, though, the programs in this post are deliberately structured for beginners in that they also start out with light weights (= low intensity) and high repetitions for now. But don’t worry; future workouts I post will definitely get into how to scale up the intensity and load productively.

*

Basic Program Information and Explanations

Because this set of workouts has the seasoned beginner in mind, the execution of the program is going to be somewhat different. For example, there will now be TWO different workouts to perform each week: the previously posted workout, which we’ll now call “AP Workout Fundamentals Program A”, and today’s posted workout, which we’ll call “AP Workout Fundamentals Program B”. Please pay particular attention to any distinctions made between the two workouts from now on. At the same time, many parts from the text body of the previous post will be the same in this post, where applicable.

You’ll notice as you read on that performing the exercises presented in AP Workout Fundamentals Program B requires additional technical considerations, which is one of the reasons why AP Workout Fundamentals Program B was intended for seasoned beginners.

  • Weekly Workout Days: Monday – AP Workout Fundamentals Program A; Thursday – AP Workout Fundamentals Program B (3 – 4 days apart; can be different days of the week, as your situation dictates, but with the same spacing of 3 – 4 days between AP Fundamentals Workouts A & B)
  • Strength Training (Push-Pull-Legs / Core-Grip-Neck Circuit) Instructions
    • Perform all exercises of the circuit one after another in the order presented, and without rest for the number of sets and repetitions prescribed; rest after each round of the circuit, as indicated
    • A brief “startup” phase should be observed with this new workout, since new movement types are being introduced beyond what was covered in AP Fundamentals Workout A. After going slowly through a much briefer “startup” phase (this time, only for the first WEEK or two of doing 1 – 2 rounds of each circuit), go through the circuit for 3 rounds for around 3 – 4 weeks; then start performing the circuit for four rounds for at least several months, taking particular care to build up your numbers – once again, that’s the whole point!
  • Explanation of My Workout Shorthand Format: “Load x # of Sets x Number of Repetitions / Time in Position”

(Note: Whenever a time duration is provided [i.e., “time in position”] instead of a repetition number, this refers to the length of time, in seconds, spent holding your body or a load in the prescribed position)


Some Examples of My Workout Shorthand Format:

  • Push-Ups: BW (BW = “Body Weight”, i.e., no external loading used) x 3 x 20 = Use your body weight for 3 sets of 20 repetitions of each set of Push-Ups 

  • Barbell Squat: 300 x 5 x 5 = 300 lbs. on the barbell for 5 sets of 5 repetitions for each set of the Barbell Squat 

  • Hang from the Chin-Up Bar (aka “Hangers”): BW x 3 x 60 seconds = Use your body weight to hang from the bar for 3 sets of 60 seconds for each set of Hangers

  • Etc.

**

General Program Notes and Instructions 

  • YouTube is a potentially useful resource for seeing how to do exercises; Google Images is also quite good
  • The time and load values I have provided here are approximate and just a suggestion that should work for most people; if not, then find a good starting point that works for you
  • As with AP Workout Fundamentals Program A, the overarching purpose of the workout programs presented below is to get seasoned beginner Partisan lifters prepared for more intense workouts down the line; take the time to slowly build up your capacity in the movements presented for AP Workout Fundamentals Program B, as well as continuing to build your capacity with the movements provided in AP Workout Fundamentals Program A
  • The absolutely most critical thing is that there must be some realized, measurable progress (i.e., American Partisan Workout Fundamental Concept #6: Progressive Overload) from workout to workout! Improvements in Strength Training must be TAKEN by conquest, and are made as follows:
    • Continue adding repetitions or time to body weight exercises
    • Where external loading is used (iron weights; other), the load should be increased by 5 lbs. as soon as you can do 20 repetitions with a specific load. So, for example, if you start with 12 repetitions using 20 lbs. on a particular exercise, then continue adding repetitions until you OWN 20 repetitions and perform them for two workouts in a row; then, add 5 lbs. and start back at 12 repetitions with the new increased load, building up in the same way.
  • For the Conditioning portion of this program, make improvements by adding time to the duration of your conditioning “burst”, 2 – 3 seconds at a time
  • Duration times provided for the different elements of the workout formula are approximate; the workout may take a bit longer as you increase the workout volume by making improvements and increasing your time doing certain exercises

**

American Partisan Workout Fundamentals Program B – Equipment Available (Gym) / Non-Minimalist Version

The workout program just below is intended for use in an equipped location, i.e., a gym. While any of my physical fitness programming is based on simplicity, both in equipment and structure, the one element of physical fitness that truly has no substitute is the use of heavy iron weights – barbells and dumbbells (along with benches, plates, and barbell racks, where applicable). A lot can be done with crude loads and objects (like sandbags and barrels), but in my opinion and experiences, nothing allows for the structure, efficiency, and versatility in strength training like barbells and dumbbells. For this reason alone, an investment in at least some dumbbells and an overhead bar should be considered very seriously if you have a home-based gym setup – these two basic pieces of equipment add many options to your exercise possibilities. Add an adjustable bench to round out the toolkit. 

Also, many with a home gym setup will still not have particular access to heavy barbells, plates, and racks from which to lift them. For home gym setups falling into this light-duty, “semi-equipped” category – that is, your home gym doesn’t contain barbells, racks, and even benches, your workout should end up being a hybrid mix-and-match between the gym-based workout presented just below, and the minimalist workout program provided in the following section. That’s ok too – you will still be satisfying the basic needs of the workout formula anyway. 

I. Warm-Up + Stretch (Duration: ~ 15 min)

  • Jog/Run for 10 minutes (treadmill; trail; or pavement)

  • Stretch tight areas on your body for 5 minutes: back; shoulders; neck; etc. (Note: YouTube is pretty good for getting some stretching ideas!)

II. Strength Training Circuit (3 – 4 Cycles; Rest Time Between Circuits: 2 Minutes) (Duration: ~ 15 minutes)

  • Push (Vertical): Standing Dumbbell Presses – 30 lbs. x 3 – 4 x 20

  • Pull (Horizontal): Bench-Supported Dumbbell Rows – 20 x 3 – 4 x 20

  • Legs (Back Side): Romanian Dumbbell Deadlifts – 15 x 3 – 4 x 20
    Note 1: Doing Romanian Dumbbell Deadlifts for the first few times can lead to seriously brutal soreness in your hamstrings, so go low with the number of sets you perform in the first few workouts to bypass the crippling soreness that this focused exercise can cause.
    Note 2: Give particular emphasis here to maintaining your straight back by focusing like a laser on keeping your chest out, and your shoulder blades down and back (in a “position of attention” form). 

  • Core: Lying Knee Raises – BW x 3 – 4 x 15
    Note: There are several ways to approach the Lying Knee Raise; I am of the mind that the hands should NOT be placed under the pelvis for support, and so I deliberately chose a link to a site whose visual example reflects that approach. If you’re going to work your core, then NO external support should be used, or you’re defeating the whole purpose of working the core to begin with. Therefore, make sure your hands are away from your pelvis, and perform this movement by NOT ARCHING, but rather, keeping your lower back pressed flatly against the floor at all points of the movement, such that a hand could not be slipped under your flat back. Extend your legs out only as far as you can keep your back flat to the deck, and repeat.

  • Neck: 2-Way Neck Bridge Hold Against Wall (Left and Right Sides) – BW x 3 – 4 x 45 seconds each side
    Note: Any sort of soft object (exercise ball; towel; etc.) can be used as a head pad with this holding exercise

[Note: Grip will be addressed in Part III, below]

III. Strength Endurance / Conditioning Circuit (2 – 3 Cycles; Rest Time Between Circuits: 2 Minutes) (Duration: ~ 10 minutes)

  • Elevated Hip Bridge Hold: BW x 2 – 3 x 30 seconds (Hold the position for time, as opposed to doing reps)

  • Wall Walk-Up Handstand Hold: BW x 2 – 3 x 30 seconds
    Note 1: This extremely rigorous movement is meant to accustom the Partisan to handling his own body weight on the vertical push, as well as doing Handstand Push-Ups for reps, a great prize and tool for minimalist workout needs!
    Note 2: If at first you can’t get that close to the wall, and are in a more diagonal (vs. vertical) position, that’s ok too. Progress by continuing to move closer to the wall until you are almost perfectly vertical, with your tip of your nose just a few inches from the wall itself.

  • Side-to-Side Hops: BW x 2 – 3 x 30 seconds
    Note: This exercise is best performed by using an object as a “center line”, so that you are jumping over the same spot and getting uniformity of hop distance (as much as possible). 

  • Light Standing Dumbbell Reverse Curls: 10 x 2 – 3 x 30 seconds (this exercise will develop the brachioradialis muscle, which is a neglected but important muscle that flexes the elbow when the palms are facing each other or facing downwards; this exercise will also develop the strength of your wrist extensor muscles – another neglected muscle group)

  • Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk:  45 x 2 – 3 x 60 seconds (an excellent total-body conditioning exercise!)
    Note: The load of your dumbbells will depend on your existing grip strength, as well as how much grip “juice” you still have left after the rest of the workout. Don’t hesitate to use heavier or lighter dumbbells that enable at least 45 seconds per round of the Conditioning Circuit; build up to 60 seconds for 3 circuits, and then increase the load.

IV: Cardiovascular Training (Duration: ~ 15 minutes)

  • Jog/Run for 15 minutes

V: Cool-down / Stretch / Mobilizations (Duration: ~ 5 minutes)

  • Light Trunk Twists w/ Broomstick (PVC, or whatever light pole is available) (Mobilization): BW x 1 x 30 each direction
    Note: Be sure to keep your core tight, and turn slowly in order to maximize the utility of this mobilization

  • External Rotations with Cable (Mobilization): BW x 1 x 15 each arm (these are worth doing multiple times a week, since pretty much everyone has tight shoulders!)

  • Stretch tight and/or just-worked parts of your body


American Partisan Workout Fundamentals Program B – Minimalist Version

AP Workout Fundamentals Program B can also be done in “minimalist” fashion, and still be very productive!

As with any “minimalist” workout program, the minimalist workout below is heavy on Calisthenics, some of which were included in the equipment-based version of this workout, above. 

For more advanced trainees doing minimalist workouts later down the line, the introduction of external loading (again, using sandbags, barrels, loading belts, and other objects) will be very helpful for adding intensity and functional variety to your workout. But for beginners, mere body weight will be sufficient in most cases. 

[Important Note: This minimalist workout assumes the availability of an overhead/chinning bar. Don’t have one? GET ONE!!! If there is any one single piece of exercise equipment that is pretty much mandatory and that simply cannot be substituted, it’s the overhead bar. I’d also recommend that all Partisans equip themselves with all of the equipment specified in my very first post, but certainly the overhead bar is truly a MUST.]

I. Warm-Up + Stretch (Duration: ~ 15 min)

  • Jog/Run for 10 minutes (treadmill; trail; or pavement)

  • Stretch tight areas on your body for 5 minutes: back; shoulders; neck (Note: YouTube is pretty good for getting some stretching ideas!)

II. Strength Training Circuit (3x Cycles; Rest Time Between Circuits: 2 Minutes) (Duration: ~ 15 minutes)

  • Push (Vertical): Pike Press Push-Ups – BW x 3 – 4 x 12
    Note 1: Be sure to choose a platform height for your feet that permits for performing the prescribed number of repetitions, and increase the height for more intensity/load-bearing as you improve)
    Note 2: Keep your torso/upper body was VERTICAL as possible at all times; don’t let the exercise become an Incline Push-Up.
  • Pull: Chin-Ups (Traditional) – BW x 3 – 4 x 6 (Repeated from AP Workout Fundamentals Program A)
    Note: Pulling Exercises in general can be tricky for minimalist setups when it comes to loading. Due to the basic need to pull a load of some decent amount, finding appropriate loads that will work for exercise purposes is much more complicated when using a minimalist setup that has no iron weights (if you do have adjustable dumbbells [very, very highly recommended!!], then definitely use them for some Bench-Supported Dumbbell Rows, as shown in the equipment-based workout!). For this reason, I suggest doing Chin-Ups once again for AP Workout Fundamentals Program B. While it’s true that horizontal pulling isn’t covered at all in this way, nobody could ever possibly argue that doing Chin-Ups is waste of time! But in the final analysis, doing any kind of Rowing exercise without some kind of external load or low-height fixed bar – both of which may not be available at all in many minimalist scenarios – is just not possible. 

  • Legs (Back Side): 50 lb. Sandbag Deadlift – 50 x 3 – 4 x 20
    Note 1: Do your best to keep your back straight and tight, which gets tougher as you get lower to the ground. The taller the Partisan, the more awkward it will be to lift a 50 lb. sandbag with a straight back from ground level. However, it really doesn’t get much more functional or realistic than to lift a load from the floor, so this is worth adapting to. Just make sure that you don’t bend your back any further than the amount of bend you start with, and do your best to keep the back straight as you bring the sandbag to your hips at the top of the lift.
    Note 2: Use more or less weight in your sandbag, as your reality and situation dictate. However, keep in mind that VERY heavy loading (100 lbs.+) is absolutely possible, and is what you should strive for over time, working all the way up to average male body weight (say, 150 lbs. or more) – this is the potential weight zone of a combat casualty evac, so…
    Note 3: Make sure to reinforce your sandbag somehow so it can last longer. Sandbags are a fantastic, multifunctional exercise tool that take a huge amount of punishment, and are a great value for the money if you take the time to construct durable sandbags out of cheap, off-the-shelf materials; contractor-grade heavy-duty garbage bags work very well as “inner bags”, while burlap or canvas bags work well as “outer bags”. For VERY large sandbags, use a large duffel bag (or “sea bag”).

  • Core: Lying Knee Raises – BW x 3 – 4 x 15
    Note: There are several ways to approach the Lying Knee Raise; I am of the mind that the hands should NOT be placed under the pelvis for support, and so I deliberately chose a link to a site whose visual example reflects that approach. If you’re going to work your core, than NO external support should be used, or you’re defeating the whole purpose of working the core to begin with. Therefore, make sure your hands are away from your pelvis, and perform this movement by NOT ARCHING, but rather, keeping your lower back pressed flatly against the floor at all points of the movement, such that a hand could not be slipped under your flat back. Extend your legs out only as far as you can keep your back flat to the deck, and repeat.

  • Neck: 2-Way Neck Bridge Hold Against Wall (Left and Right Sides) – BW x 3 – 4 x 45 seconds each side
    Note: Any sort of soft platform (exercise ball; towel; etc.) can be used as a head pad with this holding exercise

 

[Note: Grip will be addressed in Part III, below]

III. Strength Endurance / Conditioning Circuit (2x Cycles; Rest Time Between Circuits: 2 Minutes) (Duration: ~ 10 minutes)

  • Elevated Hip Bridge Hold: BW x 2 – 3 x 30 seconds (Hold the position for time, as opposed to doing reps)

  • Wall Walk-Up Handstand Hold: BW x 2 – 3 x 30 seconds
    Note 1: This extremely rigorous movement is meant to accustom the Partisan to handling his own body weight on the vertical push, as well as doing Handstand Push-Ups for reps, a great prize and tool for minimalist workout needs!
    Note 2: If at first you can’t get that close to the wall, and are in a more diagonal (vs. vertical) position, that’s ok too. Progress by continuing to move closer to the wall until you are almost perfectly vertical, with your tip of your nose just a few inches from the wall itself.

  • Side-to-Side Hops: BW x 2 – 3 x 30 seconds
    Note: This exercise is best performed by using an object as a “center line”, so that you are jumping over the same spot and getting uniformity of hop distance (as much as possible). 

  • Sandbag Reverse Curls (optional, for those who are inclined to make smaller-sized sandbags): 20 lbs. (of sand in the bag) x 2 – 3 x 30 seconds (see examples of how to do this here and here, and modifying the movement to have your palms-down hand position)
    Note: Make sure your palms are facing down (as best as you can) as your perform this movement, and use a load that is light enough to permit for both gripping this awkward object, as well as perform the exercise for the specific time. If it’s too heavy, you won’t be able to do much at all due to awkwardness. This movement will simultaneously work your grip, as well as the aforementioned brachioradialis muscle.
    [Alternate Exercise: Hangers w/ Palms Facing You (Hanging from an Overhead Bar for Time – this is the Grip portion of the workout): BW x 2 – 3 x 45 seconds]

  • Bear Hug Sandbag Carry: 50 lbs. x 2 – 3 x 45 seconds (just lift the sandbag to chest height one time, walk around with it until the time is up, and then put it back on the floor – this is a superb conditioning movement!)

IV: Cardiovascular Training (Duration: ~ 15 minutes)

  • Jog/Run for 15 minutes

V: Cool-down / Stretch / Mobilizations (Duration: ~ 5 minutes)

  • Light Trunk Twists w/ Broomstick (PVC, or whatever light pole is available) (Mobilization): BW x 1 x 30 each direction
    Note: Be sure to keep your core tight, and turn slowly in order to maximize the utility of this mobilization

  • External Rotations with Cable (Mobilization): BW x 1 x 15 each arm (these are worth doing multiple times a week, since pretty much everyone has tight shoulders!)

  • Stretch tight and/or just-worked parts of your body

 

Parting Thoughts on the AP Workout Fundamentals Programs

At this point, American Partisan Operators seeking to get into exercise have not one, but TWO different workout programs that cover the full spectrum of movement that the body is capable of. They include an integrated formula of a Warm-Up, Strength Training, Conditioning, and Stretching/Mobilizations in both equipment-based and minimalist formats. These two workouts ought to keep beginner American Partisan Operators productive for a good while – for at least 3 – 6 months, I’d reckon. They are also highly adaptable – feel free to make viable substitutions using high-quality exercises of similar type. Again, just make sure that you are keeping notes and constantly progressing somehow in each workout, increasing loads and times as you go. 

Beyond this, I’ll be getting into intermediate level workout ideas and programs in future posts. The intermediate-level workout programs should be usable by more than just beginners, and so Partisans that are more well-versed in exercise should be able to derive benefit and ideas from what I present there. For now, GO OUT AND GET SOME!!! No excuses anymore – you have entire workouts to use in whole form! I’ll be back with more good fitness posts soon. 

Looking forward to any comments and questions below! Thanks for reading.

**

Previous: AMERICAN PARTISAN WORKOUT FUNDAMENTALS – EXAMPLE WORKOUTS USING THE FUNDAMENTALS

 Save as PDF
close

Welcome American Partisans!

Sign up to receive articles daily

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Liked it? Take a second to support us on Patreon!