This 5-Minute Workout Challenges You to Row, Press, and Push

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For this workout, grueling is an understatement. We’re talking five minutes of chest-thumping, glutes-burning, arms-throbbing fire and brimstone.

In our “5 Minutes of Hell” series, MH fitness editor Brett Williams, NASM-CPT, takes on a new challenge with master trainers who pick many poisons. For each episode, the fitness experts create the most difficult workouts they can, and Williams does his best to keep up while the clock is still running. If you think you have what it takes (yes, yes you do), lace up your sneakers and follow along with Williams as he cranks out a mini-session with Equinox trainer Terry White, Jr., NSCA-CPT.

Today’s workout is a total body and conditioning circuit that runs the gamut from rowing machine sprints to kettlebell swings. Click play on the video above and let’s get to grunting. Here’s a run-through of all six movements.

  • Cardio Row

    1 minute

      If you go all out, the rower amps up your heart rate in just a few seconds. If you don’t have a rowing machine at home, try going all out with moves like jumping jacks.

      • Overhead Press

        20 Seconds

          Good luck catching a break. After a minute of intense action on the rowing machine, it’s time to grab the kettlebells. Keep your core tight and be sure to keep breathing.

          • Gorilla Row

            30 Seconds

              Hold onto the kettlebells for this next move. Don’t move your legs while maintaining that tight core and squeeze at the top.

              • Kettlebell Swings

                30 Seconds

                  Power the movement from your hips here, but don’t let your body shift around. Almost done.

                  • Kettlebell Figure 8/Halo

                    40 seconds

                      Don’t be tempted to take this exercise as a rest. Yes, it’s less involved than some of the other movements—but it’s essential that you keep your abs engaged for the duration. From your knees, you’ll engage your core as you move a kettlebell in a figure-eight motion around your head. When you feel like giving up, you probably only have 10 seconds left to go, so keep going.

                      • Pushup to Cross Climber

                        40 seconds

                          Yes, this burns as much as the title implies. Between each push up you’ll bring your knee to your chest towards the opposite elbow.

                          Five minutes has never felt longer, huh?

                          “What I really love about that one is that I’m breathing hard, I pushed myself. But there were moments in there where I could really, really feel myself working smart,” says Williams, as soon as he puts another “5 Minutes of Hell” in the bag. Congrats if you conquered this challenge, too.

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