There's a great little song out there by Jonathon Coulton entitled "Tom Cruise Crazy," and it ran through my head the entire time I watched this video:
It's the Bodyweight 1000 from Turbulence Training, and it has convinced me that Craig Ballantyne has finally gone off the deep end. Don't get me wrong, it looks like a great workout, but WOW- could ANYONE complete this workout and not need to feel like they were going to die? Well, I suppose an Ironman athlete wouldn't have too many issues with it.
Actually, if it was severely trimmed down I believe it could be a very effective workout. And it is the culmination of 6 weeks of hard strength training, but it's definitely not for the weak or new-to-workout. Hell, I'm not sure I could do it (for one thing, it has more than one pull-up involved, so that kicks me out of the running unless I want to take 3 days to do it).
However, if you study the workout, you may see why I believe it would be effective even if trimmed down:
100 reps jump rope/jumping jacks
100 close-grip push-ups (shoulder-width)
25 jumps (hands behind head)
25 pull-ups (overhand grip)
100 bodyweight squats
50 bicycle crunches (25 per side)
50 walking lunges (25 per side)
50 underhand inverted rows
50 stability ball leg curls
100 bicycle crunches (50 per side)
50 decline push-ups
25 overhand inverted rows
50 mountain climbers (25 per side)
50 bodyweight squats
100 rope skips/jumping jacks
And you're done. Or dead. Depending on your perspective or athletic ability.
Now, why do I think it's a good workout? Well, it uses a lot of good, basic and fundamental exercises, alternating upper with lower body. Doing this workout would definitely work on your muscular endurance and strength. It would let you know that you've reached the pinnacle of athletic ability, and could probably compete with the best of the best. Well, except for Lance Armstrong. Not too many could compete with him.
As for trimming it down, doing 1/3 or an 1/8th of the exercise reps would still get anyone a good sweat and hard breathing. Most of it can be completed with access to a bar. My gym has a Smith Machine that works perfectly for that purpose, but a gym isn't even necessary. One could do it at the playground if so inclined.
So, while I won't be trying it anytime soon, it's still a great workout to check out. Perhaps, if you've been working out for awhile, you could use some of it as a test- how much could you actually complete? Where's your max rep load?
I'll be doing Workout B of TT 2k4 tomorrow afternoon (at least, I think I did A on Monday). Yesterday, I backed off 5 lbs on the first exercise, and the rest of it was easy. Strange how overdoing it on one exercise wipes out the system for the rest of the time (and 30 pounds on an incline chest press is not my max, but I backed down to 25). I did run out of time toward the end, so instead of doing bicep curls alternated with tricep extensions, I did three sets of 5 of renegade rows with 20 lbs. Those were 15 lbs in January, and I hadn't done them since, and the 20's didn't feel too hard either. I came back later and did 20 min HIIT on the elliptical, but I felt like a cheater because I only increased speed and not resistance on the hard minute (1 min on, 1 min off for 10 min).