Don't have time to work out? Lack access to equipment, machines or the right gym?
You will not get a pass from Brad McLeod, a former Navy SEAL who's now a veteran personal trainer, coach and author based in Atlanta.
Author of a book on improving your Pull-Ups, McCloud has gone through Navy SEAL Hell Week not once, but twice. Although he passed through the week that makes or breaks most BUD/s candidates (only 20 to 25 percent of those who volunteer for the SEAL training program earn the coveted Trident), McLeod failed a math test and was dismissed from BUD/s.
Per U.S. Navy policy, McLeod got another shot to become a SEAL, but he had to serve a year on a ship before he could return to San Diego for another attempt.
The challenge for McLeod was this: How do you get into optimal physical condition on a U.S. Navy ship? "There are some pretty nice gyms at certain Navy bases, but you can't lift weights on a boat," he says. "You're at sea and you're moving."
When his ship docked and he got shore leave, McLeod could get in some running, but for the most of the time during his interim year, he had to make do with a small room in the guts of the ship.
"It was like a dungeon," he says.
McLeod did have the benefit of having experienced the physical and psychological extremes of Hell Week (five-plus days of sleep deprivation, incessant physical conditioning and running tests, surf torture and hypothermia), and he was able to transfer that information into bodyweight workouts that prepared him for his return.
"It was all body weight," he says. "I didn't touch a weight that entire year."
He returned to BUD/s, ground his way through another Hell Week and all of the other supreme challenges of the program (drown-proofing is another obstacle candidates face), earned the Trident and went on to serve six years with the SEAL teams.
With two decades of experience as a personal trainer, McLoud says his "No Excuses" bodyweight workout, with a built-in warm-up, can be performed anywhere, any time, and it's an ideal solution for time-stressed or cash-strapped individuals who want to get into super shape.
'No Excuses' Bodyweight Workout
- Wrist Stretch – 10x each way
- Wrist Rotations – 10x each way
- Arm Circles 10x each way
- Press, Press, Fling – 10x
- Up, Back and Overs – 10x
- Shoulder Pass-Throughs – 10x
- Hip Swivel Kicks (forward) – 15x each leg
- Hip Swivel Kicks (side) – 15x each leg
- Jumping Jacks – 25x
- Hip Mobility Drill – 3 laps
- Mountain Climbers – 25 (two-count)
- Push-Ups (regular) – 20x
- Swimmers Chest Stretch – 10x
- Alternate Hand Forward Hand Back Push-Ups – 15x
- High Jack High Jill – 10x each arm
- Cherry Pickers – 10x
- Airborne Heismans – 20x
- Standing Pause Air Squat – 30 seconds
- Dive-Bomber Push-Ups – 10x
- Standing Lunge – 20x (10x each leg)
- Air Squat – 50x
- Push-Ups with Sideways Walk – 10x
- Frog Jump Lateral Jump (1-foot high minimum) – 10x
- Eight Count Bodybuilders – 20x
- Split Jumps – 15x
- Burpees – 20x
- Ab Crunches – 25x
- Wide Push-Ups – 15x
- Sit-Ups – 50x
- Push-Ups with Sideways Walk – 20x
- Thai plank – 10 each side
- Leg Levers – 25x
- Reverse Crunches – 20x
- Sitting Calf Stretch – 10x
- Plank hold for 3 minutes