Tim Kennedy’s Brutal Push-Pull Workout to Empty the Tank
Tim Kennedy has worn many hats. Among the most notable is the Green Beret—he’s an active duty Master Sergeant within the U.S. Army Special Forces. He happens to be a successful MMA fighter, with a decades-long career in the UFC, Strikeforce, and other promotions. And he’s starred in multiple TV shows, including Discovery’s Hard to Kill series.
What do all those jobs have in common? He has to be in great shape to do ’em. As part of our Everyday Warrior series, we recently caught up with Kennedy in the gym to break down his “ABC Workout,” a full-body circuit that’s perfect for building muscle from head to toe.
This workout gets its name from its three parts, labeled “A,” “B,” and “C” (plus a warmup). It’s designed to work the full body with movements that alternate in a push-pull fashion. Spoiler alert: It’s brutal. But would you expect anything less from a guy who served as an active duty special forces warrior and a pro MMA fighter at the same time?
Kennedy walked us through the workout while at the gym. You’ll start off with an EMOM warmup—that’s short for “every minute on the minute.” It’s modeled after a CrossFit Cindy workout, but his version involves repeated sets of toes-to-bar, squats, and pushups done every minute for 10 minutes. Once you’ve got your blood pumping, it’s time to move onto the A section of the workout.
The A section consists of three parts: Hitting the SkiErg, followed by pullups then handstand pushups (that’s right, you’re going upside-down in this workout). You’ll repeat all three segments a total of five times. Together they’ll work your legs, core, posterior chain, lats, rear delts, front delts, and your chest, too.
Then you’ll move on to the B section, and this is where things really get interesting.
“B is the devil,” Kennedy tells Men’s Journal.
This section involves riding an assault bike until you burn 10 calories, then deadlifting your body weight for 10 reps, followed by a set of 10 burpees—and repeating the whole thing five times.
“We kind of have a push-pull here,” says Kennedy. “Bike is full body. Deadlift is posterior chain and legs with a ton of core, and burpees are full body.”
Finally, you’ll round things out with the C portion of the workout, where you’ll burn 10 calories on a rowing machine, then grab a kettlebell to do 10 snatches followed by 10 swings. Like the previous two sections, you’ll repeat all three sets five times. In the process, you’ll work the posterior chain and quads.
Check out the full workout breakdown, including the equipment you’ll need to do it, in the video above.