By Strength and Guile – The Odysseus Workout

The Odysseus Workout is the third in our series of Legendary Hero Workouts. Functional and Bodyweight Circuits inspired by ancient legends. Be brutal to yourself and get noticed by the Gods!

Click the link below to skip the introduction and go straight to the workout!

War Veteran

Odysseus is a legendary Greek hero renowned for his cunning intellect and unwavering determination. A key strategist in the Trojan War, Odysseus devises the infamous Trojan horse, leading to the city’s capture and the war’s end. Following the fall of Troy, Odysseus embarks on a perilous journey home to the island of Ithaca, where he reigns as king. This harrowing journey, known as the Odyssey, is fraught with challenges.

Along the way, Odysseus faces the wrath of the sea god Poseidon, whom he has offended, as well as numerous mythical creatures and obstacles. Meanwhile, Odysseus’s home in Ithaca is besieged by suitors vying for the hand of his grieving wife, Penelope, who believes him to be dead. Armed only with his wit, strength, bow, and the aid of the goddess Athena, Odysseus races against time to make it home, reclaim his throne and defeat the suitors. The Odyssey stands as a timeless tale of adventure, resilience, and the enduring power of wit and strategy.

Odysseus faces numerous obstacles on his journey home from the Trojan War. These include encounters with man-eating cyclops (left), a sorceress that turns his men into pigs (right), sirens, and the wrath of vengeful gods like Poseidon.  All of which prolong his voyage and test his resilience and cunning.

We hope you enjoy the workout. Here you will face your own monsters.

The Circuit

The Odysseus workout incorporates a mix of strength training, cardiovascular exercises, and functional movements. It aims to improve overall strength, endurance and power.  It also contains high-intensity cardio exercises to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn calories.

The inclusion of dynamic movements like animal walks and dynamic exercises are aimed at enhancing agility, coordination, and mobility. There is also a time component to challenge participants to push their limits, and test mental resilience and discipline.


  • 8 x stations. Each exercise has a set number of reps and a time limit.
  • 4 x rounds.
  • You are aiming to finish the assigned reps of each station within the allotted time. If you succeed in this there are benefits, if you fail in this there are penalties.
  • Odysseus’s Cunning: If you succeed in completing the assigned reps of a station within the allotted time span for three rounds, there is a reward.  You get an opportunity to us ‘Odysseus’s Cunning’ (Highlighted as ‘OC’) on the fourth (final) round of that exercise. This allows you to make something a bit easier on the last round.
  • If you manage to succeed and complete ALL reps and sets within the time limits you will undertake The Battle of Ithaca (below) circuit for a finisher.
  • Penalties: If you fail to complete the allotted reps for any station more than three times, you will face ‘Poseidon’s Wrath’ (below) as your finisher as opposed to the Battle of Ithaca.

Weight used:

  • These are HIIT circuits aiming at the perfect balance of training for strength and endurance. For these exercises aim at 70-80% of your 1 rpm for each exercise.


The Odyssey

The Stations: 4 x rounds

  1. Challenge of the Cyclops: Single KB swing or Single KB thruster 20 swings or 15 thrusters in 45 seconds. (OC – 15 swings or 10 thrusters).
  2. Keeper of the Winds: Assault bike/cardio. 20 calories in 1 minute. (OC – 10 calories).
  3. The Spell of the Sorceress: Pick an animal. Undertake that movement x 10 ms – 45 seconds. Bear crawl. Lizard walks. Crab walks. Duck Walks. Gorilla walks. (OC – Choose your own animal. No time challenge, 45 second walk.)
  4. Land of the Dead: Deadlift x 12 – x 45 seconds. (OC – No time limit).
  5. The Sirens Call: 10 seconds push ups with 5 seconds plank hold. 25 push ups in 1 minute. (OC – 15 push ups).
  6. A Choice of Dooms: Battle ropes or choice of six DB exercises (see below). Must complete 20 fast alternating waves and 20 slams in 45 seconds. DB exercises x 15 reps in 45 seconds. (OC – 15 of each battlerope exercise, no time limit. DB exercises – no time limit).
  7. Stealing the Sun God’s cattle: Tire Push x 25 metres (27 yards). Tire Flip x 10 reps. Tire carry x 25 metres (27 yards). 90 seconds. (OC – No time limit).
  8. Calypso’s Island: Undertake 1 minute x jump squats. Immediately undertake weighted wall-sits x 1 minute. (OC – Can stop the clock on the wall-sits for a quick break).
Odysseus Workout.
Odysseus Workout
Odysseus Workout

The Battle of Ithaca Circuit

Bodyweight circuit 10 mins AMRAP.

  1. Close grip inverted row: x 10 reps.
  2. Shoulder push up: x 10 reps.
  3. V-ups: x 10 reps.
  4. Deep squat: x 10 reps.
  5. Archer pull up: x 10 reps.
  6. Archer push up: x 10 reps.
  7. Shrimp squats: x 10 reps.
  8. Hanging knee ups: x 10 reps.
  9. Triceps push up: x 10 reps.
  10. Cossack squats: x 10 reps.

Poseidon's Wrath

12 mins EMOM x 2 rounds.

  1. Dumbbell Thrusters: 10-15 reps.
  2. Box jump step overs: 10-15 reps.
  3. Barbell Push Press: 10-15 reps.
  4. Butterfly sit ups: 10-15 reps.
  5. Weighted leg Raises: 10-15 reps.
  6. Sprints: 6x 25 metres (27 yards) dash.

Whichever workout you undertake. Remember to cool down, stretch and drink water!

Workout Complete!

After many years at sea, at the mercy of Poseidon, facing countless trials and tribulations, Odysseus finally makes it home to Ithaca.

Appendices: Beginners Guide to the Odyssey

Odysseus’s encounters as he returns home.

  1. The Lotus Eaters: Encounter with the Lotus Eaters, where some of Odysseus’s men indulge in the lotus plant and lose their desire to return home.
  2. Polyphemus the Cyclops: Trapped in the cave of Polyphemus, the Cyclops, who devours several of Odysseus’s men before Odysseus blinds him and escapes.
  3. Aeolus, Keeper of the Winds: Odysseus receives a bag of winds from Aeolus, but his crew opens it, causing a storm that blows them off course.
  4. Circe the Sorceress: Circe transforms Odysseus’s men into pigs, but with the help of Hermes, Odysseus overcomes her and eventually secures her help.
  5. The Land of the Dead: Odysseus travels to the underworld seeking advice from Tiresias and encounters various spirits, including his mother.
  6. The Sirens: Odysseus encounters the Sirens whose enchanting songs lure sailors to their doom, and he navigates this challenge by having his crew plug their ears with beeswax.
  7. Scylla and Charybdis: Navigating between the monster Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis, Odysseus loses several men to Scylla’s attacks but manages to escape.
  8. The Cattle of the Sun God: Despite warnings, Odysseus’s men eat the cattle of the sun god Helios, leading to their destruction and further delays in their journey.
  9. Calypso’s Island: Odysseus spends years stranded on the island of the nymph Calypso, who falls in love with him and offers him immortality if he stays with her.
  10. Phaeacia and King Alcinous: Odysseus encounters the Phaeacians, who provide him with hospitality and aid in returning home to Ithaca.
  11. The Suitors in Ithaca: Upon returning to Ithaca, Odysseus finds his home besieged by suitors vying for Penelope’s hand, leading to the climax of the story where Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, plans his revenge and ultimately defeats the suitors.
The map of the Odyssey according to the story. Blown waaaay off course. Don't piss off Poseidon, especially if you travelling by boat.

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2 thoughts on “By Strength and Guile – The Odysseus Workout

  1. I can’t wait to give this one a try. This is one of my favorite books I read and can’t wait to train like the legendary hero

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