Tim Kennedy's brutal push-pull exercise to empty the tank

Tim Kennedy wore many hats. Among the most notable is the Green Beret - he is an active duty Master Sergeant in the US Army's Special Forces. He happens to be a successful MMA fighter with a career spanning decades in the UFC, Strikeforce and other promotions. And he's starred in several TV shows, including the Discovery series Hard to Kill.

What do all these professions have in common? He has to be in great shape to do them. As part of our Everyday Warrior series, we recently caught up with Kennedy at the gym to break down his "ABC workout," a full-body circuit perfect for toning from head to toe.

This workout gets its name from its three parts, labeled "A," "B," and "C" (plus a warm-up). It is designed to train the whole body with movements that alternate in push-pull mode. Spoiler alert: it's brutal. But would you expect anything less from a man who doubled as an active duty Special Forces warrior and professional MMA fighter?


Kennedy walked us through the workout at the gym. You start with an EMOM warm-up - which is short for "every minute to the minute". It's modeled after a CrossFit Cindy workout, but his version includes repetitive sets of toes-to-bar, squats, and push-ups performed every minute for 10 minutes. Once you've got your blood pumping, it's time to move on to the A portion of the workout.

Image courtesy

The A section has three parts: hitting the SkiErg, followed by pull-ups and handstand push-ups (that's right, you're going upside down in this workout). You will repeat all three segments a total of five times. Together they will work your legs, core, posterior chain, lats, posterior delts, front delts and also your chest.

Tim Kennedy trains on an AssaultBikeImage courtesy

Then you move on to the B part, and this is where it gets really interesting.

"B is the devil," Kennedy tells Men's Journal.

This section involves riding an attack bike until you burn 10 calories, then deadlifting your bodyweight for 10 reps, followed by a set of 10 burpees — and repeating that five times.

"We have a kind of push-pull here," says Kennedy. “Bike is whole body. Deadlifts are rear chain and legs with a ton core, and burpees are full body.”

Tim Kennedy trains on a rowing machineImage courtesy

Finally, top things off with the C portion of the workout, where you burn 10 calories on a rowing machine, then grab a kettlebell to do 10 snatches followed by 10 swings. As in the previous two sections, you will repeat all three sets five times. You'll work the posterior chain and quadriceps.

Watch the full breakdown of the workout, including the equipment you'll need to do it, in the video above.

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