“Freedom is man’s capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves.” – Rollo May

Okay, so first up, a couple of highlights from last week’s workouts; one from the field, one from the studio.

Sunday, 9/2/12 –
HIIT circuit, 3 rounds
– 20 hand-over monkeybar “sprints”
– 3 muscle-ups
– 14 broad jumps for max total distance
– 16 dip bounds (traversing a long run of parallel bars)
– 2 x 7 hand-over thick rope climb

finisher: 26 (approximately 50 yards worth) of tire flips, in 3:34

I have no idea how much this thing weighs.  Seems to depend on which dealer you happen to speak with.  I’ve heard 450 and I’ve heard 600, too.  Let’s just say it’s one heavy bi-atch 🙂  And friggin’ hot, too.

So I just made this workout up on the fly when I got to the field and saw what was available.  Funny, because I’d initially intended to perform a sprint-based HIIT session.   Seeing that the other “toys” were available made me change my mind, though 🙂

Friday, 9/7/12 –

Barbell complex (Clean Grip snatch, front push-press, RFESS, BTN thruster, RDL/BOR, all at 5 reps), 135; Omni flye x 3; ARXFit Inc. Press x 3.  3 rounds.

HIIRT?  You know it.  This was insanely taxing.  That is all.

Here’s the final round:

 Questions?  Answers!

I’ve been reading your content for about 2 years now, and I’m a huge fan of everything you put out there for the rest of us to ponder and discuss. Your blog is one I continually search back into for nuggets of wisdom and inspiration.

My question relates to training, specifically to programming for someone without the time constraints of your typical clients. I have recently been located to Italy for a 6 week work stint and my job responsibilities only consume a few hours of the day. No more office dwelling for 10+ hours, sitting in a chair while the sun is shining outside. I have not yet found any gyms (have asked around but no one seems to know what a barbell is) and my Italian is not at a level where I would feel comfortable dropping into one of the crossfit gyms near Milan.

How would you go about training with mostly bodyweight assuming you had unlimited time to train, with leisure time accounting for most non training time? I’ve been away from the gym for 2 months because of hectic work and personal travel, and I’ve become quite displeased with my level of fitness at the moment. If I do join a gym here short term it would likely be with some cable machines and limited dumbbells.

Thanks in advance for reading and considering this question.
Best Regards,

Sean Carroll


Thanks for the note.  And damn, where the hell can I land a gig like what you have goin’ on?  Sounds sweet!

The short answer here is that you can do a hell of a lot with a sprint-based workout and an emphasis on bodyweight exercises (push ups, handstand push ups, muscle ups, various pull ups, dips, pistol squats, etc).  Overtraining is next to impossible (if you program correctly, following sensible drop-offs in each exercise).  I’d also try to locate/make an implement for caber tosses, and try to find yourself (or build up) a Tbar for swings.  Getting your hands on some TRX straps (or again, building some of your own) would round out your travel arsenal.  Use this an an opportunity to dominate the bodywork scene, then you’ll be primed to get back in the gym upon your return.

As far as loose programming goes — and again, with sprints and bodyweight work alone, it’s pretty damn tough to overtrain — I think I’d sprint and jump and throw one day, and do bodyweight bar, TRX, etc. work on alternate days.  I’d use the HIIT ideology as your overarching framework here (short burst, all out efforts.  Short rest.  Brief, brutal, and basic).  Otherwise, just keep things simple and fun; you’re likely not to have this type of opportunity again anytime soon.  This is a time to have some fun, work technique on movements you probably haven’t done in quite a while, and to experiment with the power of sprints and bodyweight work.  Don’t try to over think this!  For an example, consider my HIIT workout above.  6 weeks worth of stuff like that seems pretty sweet to me.



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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.


  1. No questions to ask, Keith. But, that was a brutally hard workout and a great motivation just before I am leaving to the gym. Today is gonna be Press and Dead lifts. The video also goes to show the great condition you are in to be doing 3 rounds of that complex.


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