You may have the seen the article I wrote about one of my favorite workouts called The Barbell Trinity.
The routine is simple, but it definitely isn’t easy. You’ll get crushed by three exercises (deadlift, squat, bench press) done for max reps in a 30 minute time span.
Now I know what you’re about to ask next, because I’ve had to ask the very same question before, too: What if I don’t have any access to barbells, or any weights for that matter?
For the past 25 years I have worked out twice a day, every day. That’s over 18,000 sessions. I didn’t complete that many workouts by quitting every time I didn’t have equipment. There have been numerous times in my life that in order to train I’ve had to get creative, because I had nothing more than a floor and an empty room.
This Trinity Format is perfect for these no gear workouts. There really aren’t many restrictions on what you can or can’t do, because it can be very difficult to injure yourself when you stick to bodyweight-only exercises. You just choose three exercises. Set a clock for 30 minutes. And get to work banging out reps. Here’s an example of how the format works:
The No Gear Trinity Workout
There are numerous exercises you can choose from for the protocol.
By choosing from this list of 10 exercises, you an actually create 120 different workout combinations.
Want more workouts like this? Check out the Men’s Health Maximus Body book, which is filled with no-nonsense muscle building routines.
I have done many of these combinations but one in particular stands apart in my mind from all of the rest. It’s called “The Lowly Trinity”.
It’s a combination of air squats, lunges, and an ab movement of your choice. I usually choose curl-ups or V-sit kickouts.
Why do I love it so much? Because I love working legs and abs. This one completely checks both of those boxes. When done right, walking and laughing will be extremely challenging for a few days following the workout.
How to Crush the Lowly Trinity
A few tips:
Don’t Stop Moving
This isn’t a time to take it slow or rest. You’re going for as many reps as humanly possible. I’ll accomplish this by alternating the leg and ab movements. For example: squats, curl-ups, lunges, curl-ups, squats, curl-ups, etc.
Do a Higher Number of Reps for Each Set
If you were to do something like pushups or pullups, you couldn’t go forever and would have to limit your reps per set. When it comes to squats you can easily do 10 to 20 reps per set, so push it as far as you can go without going to failure. A good rule of thumb is the minute my speed slows down, I switch to the next exercise.
Don’t get complacent because of the name—don’t go into the workout with low expectations. You can probably do a lot more reps than you think you can. A lot of people will settle for a small number (i.e. 100 or 200 total reps). I’d start by aiming for 500 total repetitions. Go big or go home.
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