If you’re a gym rat, there’s a pretty good chance that, at some point in your life, you’ve followed a set workout regimen. It’s one thing to lift a few weights and run on the treadmill, but if you’re looking for results, it’s a great idea to read up on some set workouts, pick one and follow it. Throughout the last few decades, a number of workouts have completely changed the way people get in shape.
Here are the top 10 legendary workouts.
The Lou Ferrigno Workout
Thanks to his workout routine, the Incredible Hulk is still hulking as he approaches his 60th birthday. He does little in the way of cardio, preferring to spend most of his time actually pumping iron. Known primarily for his enormous biceps, which once measured 22 ¾" cold, Ferrigno uses the traditional method of pyramiding up (increasing his weights as he progresses), but, unlike most bodybuilders, he doesn’t lower his reps as he lifts or curls more weight.
The U.S. Army Ranger School Workout
The U.S. Army Rangers are renowned for their physical endurance, and that’s thanks to a rigorous, disciplined workout routine. A full repertoire of weight training (pull-ups, push-ups, etc.) and swimming is used to build strength and endurance, but that’s just the beginning. The infamous staples of the Ranger workout are road runs and marches -- the latter done while carrying a 40-pound pack for 16 miles.
The Lance Armstrong Workout
Seven-time Tour de France-winner Lance Armstrong doesn’t just cycle to stay fit; he targets his whole body with a variety of fat-busting exercises. His routine intensifies leading up to big races, when he immerses himself in his workout for at least three months. This includes hours of cycling a day and weight training, most of which is done at high altitude, where the air is thinner. Much of his cycling is done in high gear, for even more of a burn. How intense is it? He aims for 95 pedal revolutions per minute. Next time you’re on two wheels, try that and see just how difficult it is -- then do it for two hours.
The Herschel Walker Workout
Herschel Walker, the former NFL running back and Heisman winner, was a workout fiend whose excess in the weight room led to success and durability on the football field. And at 47 years of age, he’s still keeping in shape for his second career as an MMA fighter. His daily workout is devastating: 2,000 push-ups, 3,000 reps targeting abs, 1,500 pull-ups, 1,000 triceps dips, 1,000 squats, and running drills.
The Georg Hackenschmidt Workout
Legendary Russian strong man Georg Hackenschmidt achieved global fame around the turn of the century thanks to his emphasis on the combination of heavy lifting with skipping, running and jumping. He believed great agility should come with great strength, and that could be achieved by using one’s own body weight in workouts. While weights and machines are prevalent at gyms today, they were sparse during Hackenschmidt’s lifetime. As such, he relied on a multitude of push-ups, sit-ups and calisthenics in his workout routine -- if you want to keep it simple, there’s nothing better than using your own body weight as resistance.
The Laird Hamilton Workout
Regardless of your age, you’d probably give anything for Hamilton’s 46-year-old body. The pro surfer revolutionized the workout industry by showing the world that one can get in great shape without living between the walls of the gym. His awesome workout includes traditional weights, but adds mountain biking, circuit training, surfing, and both sand and water training, which are excellent for resistance. He’s also renowned for less-traditional practices, such as pulling heavy logs with ropes down the beach.
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The Jack LaLanne Workout
Since the 1950s, LaLanne advocated daily workout routines, proper nutrition and truly pushing yourself at the gym. He stresses doing each exercise as quickly as you can. LaLanne is truly a workout pioneer. He opened one of America’s first gyms and his TV fitness program taught viewers that even a few minutes of exercise a day (such as stretching during TV commercial breaks) is a start. LaLanne recently died.
The 300 Workout
Sticking with this workout will have you looking like a Spartan in a hurry. Used by the cast of the movie 300, this workout focuses on 300 reps to be completed in around 20 minutes. In other words, there’s no time for messing around or admiring yourself in the mirror. The 300 regimen targets the whole body with pull-ups, deadlifts, push-ups, jumps, kettlebells, and more. If you’re just starting out, however, it’s best to aim for 150 reps before building up to the full workout.
Less than a decade old, P90X has revolutionized the fitness industry, allowing people with busy schedules to get ripped at home by following a DVD -- instead of taking the time to work out at a gym. The 90-day routine is extremely challenging and requires very little equipment (mainly small items that are relatively inexpensive). P90X uses a combination of weight work with yoga, the martial art kenpo, cardio, and stretching, and alternates training (called muscle confusion) to keep the body from familiarizing itself with the exercises. This workout is legendary because it’s so widespread: the P90X infomercials are seemingly on all the time and as of last fall, more than 2 million people had given this demanding workout a shot.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger Workout
The father of all workouts helped take Arnie to seven Mr. Olympia titles well before you knew him as the Terminator. This workout is a six-day-a-week killer, targeting the chest, back and legs three days a week, the biceps, triceps and shoulders the other three days, and the calves, forearms and abs all six days. Like many other workouts, the Arnold Schwarzenegger workout should be started off slowly. Results will take time, and it’s best not to go for broke and then quit when the results aren’t immediate.