How to Get Tough

Get-Fit Guy has tips on how to make yourself tough – tough enough to handle not only hard workouts, but also other painful experience life might throw at you, like hot water, cold water, needles, car crashes, emotional stress, or even chronic pain.

Ben Greenfield,
October 22, 2013
Episode #158

Page 2 of 2

How to Train Like a Triathlete

So you want to train like a triathlete, but don’t necessarily want to go jump into a lake, buy a fancy triathlon bike, go running, or squeeze oodles of swimming, biking, and running into your week? No worries!

Here’s a simple I-can’t-swim-won’t-bike-and-don’t-like-running triathlon workout:

  • Warm up for 5-10 minutes. I’d recommend beginning with a quick dynamic stretching protocol.
  • Next, head to the lat pulldown machine, where you’re going to replicate the upper back and arm burn of a swim. Do 15-20 lat pulldowns with a wide front grip (fingernails facing away from you), then 15-20 lat pulldowns with a more narrow reverse grip (fingernails facing you). If lat pulldowns are too easy for you, do pull-ups.
  • Next, with minimal rest, head to the leg press machine, and do 10 leg presses in a very slow controlled motion with about 10 seconds forward and 10 seconds back. This will burn quite a bit, but the slow, controlled movement will create a lactic acid burn in the legs very similar to riding a bicycle very hard. If leg presses are too easy for you, do squats.
  • Finally, grab a jump rope and jump as hard as you can for 2 minutes. If you don’t have a jump rope or can’t jump rope, just do jumping jacks or step-ups instead. Alternatively, if you feel like running, hop on a treadmill for 2 minutes.

Your goal is to get through that entire routine 3 times, with minimal rest. Throw this workout into your routine once a week, and you’ll form well-defined lats and legs, you’ll burn a lot of calories in the process, and you’ll definitely make yourself more tough.

Want something a bit more challenging and even more cardiovascular? Then try this workout, which is not necessarily for the faint-hearted, but will definitely leave you huffing and puffing just as if you’ve completed a triathlon:

  • Station 1: 500 meters (0.3 miles) rowing machine (*Bonus - complete in under 2 minutes)
  • Station 2: 20 reps Front Squat to Press
  • Station 3: 0.75 mile bicycle ride (*Bonus - complete in under 3 minutes)
  • Station 4: 20 Romanian Deadlifts
  • Station 5: 0.3 mile run (*Bonus - complete in under 2.5 minutes)
  • Station 6: 20 Pull-ups

A challenging time limit goal for one round of this routine is 11 minutes. Think you can do it? Try it and let me know just how tough you really are! Post your experiences at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy, where you can also ask any other questions about how to get more tough or feel less pain.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll get inspired to line up on the starting line of a triathlon with me!

Triathletes biking and tough guy images courtesy of Shutterstock; triathletes swimming image courtesy of ARZTSAMUI/Shutterstock.com.


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