3 is the Magic Number

Hi everyone!

In keeping with the ideas that

  • Life is complex. Workouts should be simple.
  • Sometimes your workout time is limited.
  • A complete program includes mobility, strength and endurance.
  • While a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds (Ralph Waldo Emerson), smart consistency is the key to a strong, enduring body.

Here’s a cool workout for home and the road. It should help you feel better day to day, and it will help you get more out of your Riding.

Total time is 30 minutes including rest.

The hinged row, aka the bent row. On the bike it’s better to hinge than bend.

Who this is great for

  • You know you should train off your bike, but you don’t have time and you don’t know what to do.
  • You want a complete workout (mobility, strength, fitness) in a short time.
  • You need to build up before you take on the full F6 and Pump Up the Base workouts.
  • You, like me, need some consistency in a crazy Life.

Required equipment

  • Exercise band or pulley machine
  • Heavy object. Dumbbells are great. Kettle bells, jugs of water, rocks and kids work too. Quality movement is more important than amount of resistance.
  • Something for endurance. Bike outside. Bike on trainer. Rowing machine. RipRow™. A pair of shoes to run in. Or no shoes.
  • Some kind of timekeeping thing. Watch. Phone. Hourglass.

Stuff to know

3 minutes. Each block contains 3 minutes of work.

Transition quickly between moves.

Follow this order. This way, if you have limited time you still get core, mobility and strength.

Make this a daily routine. If your time is limited, start at the beginning and do as many blocks as you can. Core first. Core always.

If you don’t do the endurance blocks, do two or three rounds of the first three blocks. This would be considered a strength day.

If you’re riding outside or doing other endurance activity, skip the PUTB but do the first three rounds as a warmup.

If you don’t have access to a heavy object, everything can be done with bands. Keep a band in your car, office and suitcase.

If you have any brains at all, you’ll notice what each exercise is trying to accomplish. Feel free to create your own movements to accomplish the same things. Adjust for your mood, soreness and environment. Be creative. Have fun. Example: Instead of a back bridge, you might do some light dumbbell deadlifts, or give your kids piggyback rides. With piggies, everyone wins.

Start light and easy. Focus on perfect form. Get help from a qualified professional. REVO Physiotherapy and Sports Performance is the best place in Boulder, CO, and they can help you remotely.

ou are responsible for your body. Be careful. Be smart.

This program will build a habit and lay down a nice base of mobility, strength and endurance. When it gets easy, do more reps and/or resistance in the allotted time.


Block 1

  • Back bridge
  • Plank
  • Side plank – left
  • Side plank – right
  • Pallof press – right
  • Pallof press – right

Block 2

  • Deadlift with dumbbell
  • Lunge press with band
  • Hinged row with dumbbell

Block 3

  • Squat row with band
  • Wood chopper to the left
  • Wood chopper to the right

Blocks 4-9

  • 3 minutes at Sweet Spot intensity
  • 30 seconds between

Details are below.

Block 1: core activation

30 seconds each exercise

Back bridge

This guy is funny. Skip to 0:39


Spazzy but with great info. Skip to 0:55.

Side plank – left

If you can, rock a side plank.

You don’t have to be this sweaty or veiny.

My shoulders can’t handle a side plank, so I do a suitcase carry. This is great airport training.

Side plank – right

The same as side left, but on the right side.

Pallof press – left

I learned this move at REVO Physiotherapy and Sports Performance in Boulder, CO. Lunge as deeply as you can with good control. Resist the rotational forces from your band or cable.

Pallof press – right

The same as anti-rotate left, but on the right side.

Block 2: Movement A

Deadlift with dumbbell

Keep moving for 1 minute.

Scooby is a character, and he knows his stuff. Notice how he keeps his knees over his feet — critical! He sets up at 2:20.

Lunge press with band

30 seconds each side.

This video shows two sides. You should do this with one side at a time. Press and lunge forward on the same side.

Hinged row with dumbbell

30 seconds each side.

Step 1 is feet side by side. Step 2 is feet in bike stance (forward foot on the side you’re lifting with). Step 3 is on one leg like Scooby. Step 4 is on one leg with the other leg under you like I show below. Bringing the non-supporting leg under you requires more core.

Block 3: Movement B

Squat row with band

1 minute

If you don’t have a RipRow™ , this is the next best thing. Squat row is #1 in the F6 program.

Wood chopper to the left

1 minute. Be very careful with your low back.

Wood chopper to the right

1 minute. Be careful

Blocks 4-9: Pump Up the Base endurance intervals

Each block is 3 minutes at Sweet Spot intensity: 90-100% of threshold. Hard enough that you can only talk in short statements, but easy enough that you can talk. If you can barely say “It’s OK, I’m alright, I’m fine” that’s good. This level gives you the most aerobic fitness with the least destruction. For more info check out Pump Up the Base.

Ride your trainer, ride outside, run, row, RipRow™, do calisthenics, squat row, carry a rock, swim or do any other exercise that puts you at sweet spot and that you can sustain for long enough.

Take a 30-second rest between each block.

Do up to 6 of these blocks. If you don’t have time, that’s OK. Do less, but focus on quality.

Here’s Lee deep in 6 not-so-sweet-spot intervals on RipRow™ prototype 5.7. You can see the form falling apart, but better here than on a real trail. Password is “LetsRipRow2017!”

Make it habit. Make it fun. Tell us how it goes!


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