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Stars and Stripes – Captain America Workout

Welcome to our Old Glory Captain America Workouts.  As a long-time comic book aficionado, these workouts are a tip of the hat to Marvel’s shield-slinging patriot.  A grueling workout with lethal finishers. Go hard or go home!!

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

Introduction

Captain America is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. In the Marvel stories, the original Captain America is the alter ego of Steve Rogers.  Rodgers is a frail young artist enhanced to the peak of human perfection by an experimental ‘super-soldier serum’ after joining the military to aid the United States government’s efforts in World War II.  Over time Cap’ gains a wealth of combat experience in the trenches taking the fight to the Nazis.  Captain America possesses excellent hand-to-hand combat skills, with knowledge of a range of martial arts.  He is a tactical genius with extensive combat experience.  In battle, he is renowned for using an indestructible shield made of an alloy of adamantium and vibranium.  (In the real world) the popularity of the character dropped off after the war and the comic was discontinued.

CAPT AMERICA WWII
Taking the fight to the Nazi. Captain America during WWII.

However, in 1964, Marvel Comics revived the character and had him join the Avengers. In the story, Cap was trapped in ice towards the end of WWII and lost to history.  He survived being kept in suspended animation until his body was found and revived in modern times.

Since that time Marvel has had a fun run with the character in his constant battles against a range of villains.  These include Hydra, the Red Skull, Baron Zemo, Winter Soldier and a whole host of human and non-human entities.  

Captain America Civil War
Avengers disassembled. Captain America takes on Iron Man in the 'Civil War' storyline.

The character’s appeal is that in a modern world Rodgers often struggles to maintain his ideals as a man out of his time.  He has old-fashioned ‘all American’ values which often brings him into conflict with enemies foreign and domestic. Indeed, Cap is as likely to be taking on alien races as being involved in espionage-type activities against shady government agencies with murky agendas.  He has a never say die mentality, will stand by his team regardless of the odds and refuses to turn his back on his morals and standards.  He remains a highly respected figure both with the American public and in the superhero community, which includes becoming the long-time leader of the Avengers.

Captain America has remained in publication and the character has been in a number of his own movies as well as the Avengers movies.

“I can do this all day.”

― 'Steve Rogers (Captain America)'

The Circuits

shield-of-captain-america-wallpaper

About the Workout:

The Captain America workout runs from Monday to Sunday.  5 days of training and 2 days of active rest/optional cardio.  The workouts are a combination of targetted upper/lower body workouts and whole body circuits.  Mid week is a core session mixed with some cardio in the form of running and heavy bag work/shadowboxing.  The workout is aimed at hypertrophy gains, lean muscle mass and fat loss.   

 

Equipment required:

This workout predominantly uses bodyweight exercises amd traditional weights, dumbbells, barbells and resistance machines.  It also includes a lot of body weight and core exercises.  Don’t worry if you don’t have to have some of the equipment, improvise with what you do have. See our section here on improvised gym equipment.

Workout Tips

  • The workout contains 5 x circuits Mon-Fri.  1-day upper body, 1-day lower body, 1-day core, and 2-day whole body circuits. Active rest days are Saturday and Sunday.
  • Undertake the programme for 4-6 weeks.
  • For the weighted exercises, find 75% of your 1RPM for each exercise.  That is your baseline. 
  • With each set/session look to gradually increase the weight.
  • Make your way steadily through the exercises. 
  • Concentrate on good effort and technique and try not to exceed rest times. 
  • 60-90 secs recovery between weighted exercises.
  • No rest between core exercises.
  • At the end of each workout is a ‘finisher’ This is cardio in the form of post-exercise runs and martial arts drills.  Complete this for the extra calorie burn.
  • Use the workouts for 4-6 weeks until you plateau then change things up again.
  • The Captain America workout is aimed at both Endurance and hypertrophy gains.

Warm ups

(Always warm up before starting any routine).  Start by performing mobility drills on shoulders, hips, ankles, wrist and neck muscles.  Use light core stretches to activate the muscle groups we shall be using.

After mobility drills use three rounds of the warm-up drills below.

Quick warm up. Workouts. Functional Training. Super Soldier Project.

Monday: Upper Body

Warm-up sets: For all resistance-type exercises undertake 2x warm-up sets at a much lighter weight before undertaking the main circuit.

Resistance: 70% of 1RPM as a baseline. Increase weights by increments with each set.  Note the weight used and aim to go slightly heavier with each weekly session.

1. Bench Barbell press – 3 sets of 12 reps.

2. Incline Barbell press – 3 sets of 12 reps.

3. Seated shoulder press – 3 sets of 12 reps.

4. Shoulder/Deltoid Complex 3 sets of 10 reps each. Move from one exercise straight to the next.

  • Front raises.
  • Lateral Raise.
  • Reverse Flys.

5 – Triceps/Biceps Superset. 3 sets of 12 reps.

  • Barbell curls.
  • Bodyweight triceps dips.

6 – Triceps/Biceps Superset. 3 sets of 12 reps.

  • Hammer curls.
  • Overhead dumbbell extensions.

7. Back extension – 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

8. Lat pull down – 3 sets of 12 reps.

9. Face pulls- 3 sets of 12 reps.

10. Good mornings with Barbell – 3 sets of 12 reps.

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Finisher:

11. Cardio: 10 mins – Interval training on the treadmill or outdoors.

Tuesday: Whole Body AMRAP Circuit 

This circuit is an AMRAP workout (As Many Reps As Possible – for 30 minutes).  Work through the list of exercises, completely all reps and sets.  Once you have finished, return to the first exercise. Continue until the time has expired.

  1. Pull-ups – 6-8 reps.
  2. Sandbag shouldering 5 reps on each side.
  3. Burpees – 15 reps.
  4. Push-ups – 15 reps.
  5. Bodyweight inverted rows – 15 reps.
  6. Mountain climbers – 40 reps.
  7. Bear Crawls – 30 secs.
  8. Zercher squats – 15 reps.
  9. Dumbbell dynamic lunges – 10 reps on each side (20 total).
  10. Sprints – 25 metres and return.
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Finisher:

  • Martial Arts (Bagwork of shadowboxing) – 5 rounds of 2 minutes. Punches, kicks, knees, elbows, defense. All out for each round.

Wednesday: Core Circuit

Note: Planks and reverse planks – 20 secs hold between each exercise. (For example, do exercise 1 then plank for 20 seconds;  then do exercise 2 then reverse plank for another 20 seconds and so on.)

  1. Weighted Sit-ups – 3 sets of 15 reps.
  2. Bicycle crunches – 3 sets of 15 reps.
  3. Lying floor leg raises – 3 sets of 15 reps.
  4. Weighted crunches – 3 sets of 10 reps
  5. Hanging knees to chest 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps.
  6. Hanging knees obliques – 3 sets of  20 reps (10 on each side).
  7. Flutter kicks – 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps.
  8. Windshield wipers  3 sets of 10 to 20 reps.
  9. Woodchoppers – 3 sets of 10-15 reps per side.
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Finisher: Cardio – 10 Min Jog outdoors or on Treadmill.  Add speed intervals and inclines to make it more challenging.

Be that guy 😀

Thursday: Lower body

Warm-up sets: For all resistance-type exercises undertake 2x warm-up sets at a much lighter weight before undertaking the main circuit.

Resistance: 70% of 1RPM as a baseline.  Increase weights by increments with each set.  Note the weight used and aim to go slightly heavier with each weekly session.

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  1. Deadlift – 4 sets of 15 reps.
  2. Back Squats – 4 sets of 12 reps.
  3. Front-squat – 4 sets of 12 reps.
  4. Leg press – 3 sets of 10 -12 rep.
  5. Bulgarian split squat – 3 sets of 12 reps.
  6. Seated leg curls – 3 sets of 15 reps.
  7. Seated leg extension – 3 sets of 15 reps.
  8. Standing calf raises – 3 sets of 15 reps.
  9. Lateral squat – 3 sets of 12 reps.
  10. Adductors – 3 sets of 15 reps.
  11. Abductors – 3 sets of 15 reps.

“That's America's ass!!.”

- Scott Lang (Ant-man referring to Captain America's rear)

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Finisher:

  • Martial Arts (Bagwork of shadowboxing) – 5 rounds of 2 minutes. Punches, kicks, knees, elbows, defense. All out for each round.

Friday: Whole Body AMRAP Circuit 

This circuit is an AMRAP workout (As Many Reps As Possible – for 30 minutes).  Work through the list of exercises, completely all reps and sets.  Once you have finished, return to the first exercise. Continue until the time has expired.

  1. Chin-ups6-8 reps.
  2. Triceps dips – 15 reps.
  3. Jump squats – 12 reps
  4. Box jumps – 10 reps.
  5. Battleropes – 20 seconds fast waves/20 secs slams.
  6. Crocodile walks – 30 seconds.
  7. KB swings – 15 reps.
  8. Med Ball slams – 15 reps.
  9. Weighted step-ups – 6-8 reps per leg.
  10. Push Press 10 reps.
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Finisher: Cardio – 10 Min Jog on Treadmill.  Add speed intervals and inclines to make it more challenging.

Saturday – Active Rest

Rest. Stretch. Do some soft tissue work. Optional cardio (see below).

Sunday – Active Rest

Rest. Stretch. Do some soft tissue work. Optional cardio (see below).

Nutrition

All the exercise in the world won’t help if you are not eating correctly.  To maximise the gains from this workout, eat little but often.  

  • Water– Throughout the day (between 1.5-2 litres).
  • Breakfast – Porridge with nuts and berries.
  • Morning snack – Hemp or a whey-based protein shake with Branched-Chain Amino Acid intake (BCAA).
  • Pre-workout snack – Fruit and nuts.
  • Post-workout snack – Banana.
  • Lunch – Chicken/turkey salad with a light portion of carbs (lentils, basmati rice or sweet potato).
  • Afternoon snack – Protein shake.
  • Dinner – Lean protein (i.e. fish, chicken, or beef) with vegetables of choice.
  • Before bedtime – Greek yoghurt with nuts and honey.

Whichever workout you undertake

Remember to cool down, stretch and drink water!

Workout Complete!!

If you have enjoyed our Workout please share or feel free to comment below 🙂

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