Here are the workout routines to get ripped that I do at Santa Monica’s Original Muscle Beach with Tony Horton and the rest of the group. You can read the description of each routine as described by Tony Horton himself, on his Facebook post.
1. Roundhouse Pull-ups ~ Wide grip (no kipping*) pull-up, then while hanging with straight arms lift your straight legs (bending at the waist) clockwise up to the bar and around to the bottom again (360º), slowly. Repeat but bring the legs up counterclockwise on the next one. Do as many as you can alternating clockwise and counterclockwise. I do 10 to 12 total.
2. L Dip ~ Standard dip on parallel bars as deep as you can go without hurting your shoulders, then lock the arms straight at the top, lift the legs up above the bars, open and close over the bars, bring the legs down and repeat. I do 15 to 18.
3. L Sit Double Rope Climb ~ Starting seated with legs straight and toes pointed I climb up two ropes that are about 4 feet apart top to bottom. The ropes are 15 feet high and the goal is to stay in an L keeping the legs parallel to the ground all the way to the top and while coming back down again. Once is enough.
4. Elevated Push-ups ~ Military push-ups with feet on a short 2 foot wall. The goal here is to maintain a straight body and maximize a full range of motion. I’ll do 30 to 40 depending on my mood.
5. Knee Raise Deep Dips ~ Starting on one end of the parallel bars we do a set of dips with knees up so the thighs are parallel to the ground. At the same time our feet are forward enough so you can see them the whole time. After said number of dips we drop the legs down and walk on our hands to the other end of the bars. We try to repeat the same number of reps at that end. Finally we’ll drop the legs and walk backwards (on our hands) to the original starting position. Once more we try to finish with the same number of reps in position 3 as in 1 and 2. My number of late has been 7-7-7.
6. Muscle-ups & Pullovers ~ Hanging from a pull-up bar, pull (kipping helps here) yourself up as high as you can then press up above the bar. Flip over and around the bar to the original pre pull-up position. Repeat as many times as you can. Without letting go of the bar, pull up and go the other way by bending at the waist and throwing the legs and body up and over the bar backwards. Repeat and do as many of these as you can. My best is 9 & 9. I’ve been doing 7 and 7 lately. This combo destroys me.
7. Handstand push-ups ~ Two people stand on parallel bars. One is the spotter and the other is doing upside-down push-ups. The spotter prevents the handstand push-up person from falling over. We try and get our shoulders as close to the bars as possible at the bottom of the exercise. At the top we’re in a handstand position. The spotter can pull on the legs to assist the person doing the exercise. On a good day I can do 7. Most days it’s 5.
8. 25 Foot Rope Climb ~ Arms only. If you need your feet to get to the top use them. Once you’ve got the no-foot thing down the goal is to see how few pulls it requires to get to the top. I’ve done it in 11 pulls but average 12.
9. Double Dip – Double L ~ Just like L Dips but this time it’s 2 dips (no kipping) in a row followed by raising the legs up higher than the bar and opening the legs as wide as you can twice while maintaining the above bar height the whole time. That second open close move above the bar is a hip-flexor burn-fest.
10. Levers ~ This can’t even be described as a pull-up. It’s done on the pull-up bar but it’s a pure gymnastic move. When done properly the entire body is locked straight as a board the entire time and you’re never hanging at the bottom like a traditional pull-up. There are two positions. 1. When you’re chin is above the bar (your body perpendicular to the ground) and 2. When your arms are straight (arms and hands reaching toward your feet) and your body is parallel to the ground. My best is 20 but I average 16 to 18.
11. Press Handstands ~ If you’re a gymnast (or former gymnast) this move might be possible. Most people (who are willing to try it) require a strong spotter. The idea is to start in an L position (top of a dip with your legs out straight in front of you) then lean forward, raise the hips, clearing the parallel bars with your feet, then press into a handstand. Once last year I managed three in a row without a spotter. There might have been less gravity that day, who knows. This move requires strength, balance, flexibility and lots of practice.
12. 25 Foot Rope Climb ~ Same as Round 2
13. Traveling Plyometric Dips ~ So there you are on the parallel bars, arms locked and your body swinging back and forth. The hinge during this swinging is less in the waist and more at your shoulders. Picture an upside-down human metronome. When your legs and body begin to come forward in the swing, the arms unlock and bend (at the elbows) like a traditional dip. This creates momentum forward. As the legs (and body) swing past the center point the arms straighten again and the forward momentum allows you to let go of the parallel bars and jump forward to catch the bars (with fairly straight arms) a few feet ahead. Repeat this until you get to the end. I’ve seen Chuck Gaylord get from one end to the other in 2 explosive leaps. I’ve done it in 3 but average 4. Then you do it backwards. I go back and forth twice.
14. Muscle Ups On The Rings ~ While hanging on the rings (with a false grip*) you pull your body (hands and rings below your armpits) as high as you can, flip the rings in your hands, drive your chest toward the ground and your elbows skyward, then do the deepest most unstable dip of your life. My best is 9. Today I did 8. Some days it’s 4 or less because it tears the tendons around the elbows to shreds. It took months before I got my first one.
15. Handstand Push-ups ~ Same as in Round 2.
16. 25 Foot Rope Climb ~ I like to start in an L from the ground this round, trying to maintain straight legs parallel to the ground the whole way up. For fun I’ll go again upside down. It’s easier than it looks. It’s just scary
About 65% of the time we do Ab RipperX between Rounds 4 and 5. Sometimes we slow it down or speed it up, and we never do 25 reps per exercise. We’ve been doing 16 lately.
17. Swing Handstands ~ This exercise starts out looking just like Traveling Plyometric Dips. Arms are locked, swinging back and forth with the upper body being the hinge, not the waist. The difference is that we stay in one place (at the end of the parallel bars, facing away from the center of the bars) and swing right up to an handstand. The goal is to try and hold the handstand for a beat then float back down to repeat the move again. Much of the time I over-swing and end up having to dismount. My best is 6 in a row with no dismount. If I get 3 or 4 in a row I’m pretty happy.
18. Plyometric Switch Grip Pulls ~ This move is different than regular switch grip pull-ups where you go back and forth to chin-ups to pull-ups (every 2 reps) while hanging at the bottom. On the plyo version the switch happens after the second rep at the top. For example: I do a chin-up, then at the top of my second chin-up I let go, flip my hands around to a pull-up position and repeat this back and forth every 2 reps. If you can’t do at least 12 full range of motion (bar to your collarbone) pull-ups then don’t even think about this move. I’ve seen folks land on their face and tear half the skin off the palms of their hands. My best is 26 and average 22.
19. Prison Cell Push-ups (with a twist) ~ From a standing position (we do it on grassy area about 30 yards long to lesson the impact) fall straight forward to the bottom of push-up #1. At the top of said push-up bring the right knee to the middle of the right tricep. Down and up for a 2nd push-up. At the top of the second push-up bring the left knee to the middle of your left tricep. Now do a third push-up before you jump your feet to your hands and repeat 12 to 15 times.
20. Plyometric Double Rope ~ Instead of climbing the two ropes one hand at a time we pull up with both as high as we can, let go (with both) and re-grab the ropes higher up. I can get up a 15 foot rope in 6 plyo pulls.
*Kipping: This is when you use body english, jerking, waving or any extra swinging to assist you during an exercise.
*False Grip: A grip where the rings are under the wrist and not the palm of the hand like a traditional grip. This grip is necessary for the transition from pull-up to dip in a muscle-up.
WARNING: THESE ARE ADVANCED GYMNASTIC EXERCISES. IF DONE IMPROPERLY OR WITHOUT TRAINED SUPERVISION DEATH OR INJURY MAY OCCUR. SERIOUSLY!