BeWOW: The 500-Rep Fitness Challenge

Our latest Be Well Workout of the Week.



Warning: You’re going to feel pretty darn awesome after completing this workout. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself casually mentioning to every single one of your coworkers, family members and Facebook friends that you crushed it at the gym this week. And for the record, I wouldn’t blame you one bit: This is a totally brag-worthy workout.

Let’s start at the end: By the time you finish this workout, you will have completed an impressive 50 reps of each of the 10 exercises below. That’s a mind-blowing 500 reps in all. The best part is you’ll totally be able to do it,  because we’re going to break the workout down into manageable, bite-size pieces.

All you have to do is work your way down the list below five times, completing 10 reps of each exercise for each circuit. Be sure to gather all the equipment you need before you begin—in this case, kettlebells, free weights, a physioball and a pull-up bar (see the modification below if you’re not up for pull-ups)—so you don’t waste precious time. Then, complete five circuits, taking a one-mintue break between each.

Have fun, and good luck!

BeWOW: The 500-Rep Challenge

Do 10 reps of each of the exercises below, and complete the circuit five times through. 

Kettlebell swings
Lunge jumps
Reverse fly
Ski jumpers
Physioball crunches
Mountain climbers on physioball
Overhead press
Plank on physioball with arm shifts

Explanation of exercises

Pull-ups: Suspend yourself on the pull-up bar with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up, keeping your body as straight as possible, until your chest reaches the bar. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. (If you’re struggling with pull-ups, try these alternatives instead.)

Kettlebell swings: Standing with feet about hip-width apart, hold a kettlebell in front of you both both hands. Bend your knees into a squat, swinging the kettlebell back through your legs as you drop down and forward to about shoulder height as you stand. Repeat in a fluid motion.

Push-up: Start lying face down with your chest on the floor, with hands facing forward and palms down in line with your shoulders; elbows should be pointing back. Push up until arms are extended (the inside of the elbow should be facing forward) and drop back down.

Lunge jump: Position yourself in a lunge. Jump upwards switching the front and back legs. Once landed, repeat.

Reverse fly: Stand with feet hip-width apart and hinge forward at the waist. Holding a weight in each hand (palms facing towards each other), keep your arms slightly bent and using your back, squeeze your shoulder blades together, lifting your hands to the side.

Ski jumpers: Start in a skier’s stance (like a squat, but bent forward at the waist slightly). Using your arms for momentum, jump up and to the left, landing on both feet. Jump to the right. Repeat.

Physioball crunches: Lie on your back on a physioball (a.k.a. stability ball) with feet on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees. Put your hands behind your head and tighten your abs as you perform a crunch, lifting your shoulders off the ball.

Mountain climbers on physioball: Get in plank position with hands on a physioball and toes on the floor. Alternating legs, bring your knee into the chest, keeping your upper body strong. Extend leg and switch. To make it more challenging, flip it around so your feet are on the physioball and your hands are on the floor (as pictured at the top of this post).

Overhead press: Holding a pair of free weights at your shoulders with your palms facing forward, press the weights up over your head. Return the weights to your shoulders and repeat.

Plank on physioball with arm shifts: Get in a elbow-plank position with elbows on physioball and toes on the floor. Roll the ball away from you as far as you can (it will only go a few inches, at most) then pull it back in with your elbows, tightening your abs to do so.

» Did you complete this week’s BeWOW? Tell us how you did in the comments! Or, feel free to tweet at us about it using the hashtag #BeWOW. Check out all the BeWOW workouts here.


Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every Monday right here on Be Well Philly.