This 5-Minute Obstacle Course Race-Inspired Workout Is a Ticking Time Bomb

WHILE OBSTACLE COURSE races are a popular fitness pursuit, the concept of implementing the training principles behind them into your everyday workouts isn't so widespread. But that's how Thaddeus "TK" Kornegay, NASM-CPT, a trainer and member of the 2023 Men's Health Strength in Diversity class, designs his sessions—including this brutal five-minute routine that will push you to your limit.

The workout, which TK calls the "Ticking Time Bomb," challenges you to jump, row, and hold through the entire period with no real time to rest. The series is relatively simple—all you need is a timer, a pair of light to medium dumbbells, and some space to jump around to give it a go.

You'll take on TK's routine using an every minute on the minute (EMOM) structure. That means at the start of each minute, you'll perform a set amount of reps for each exercise, then rest for the amount of time left until the next minute begins. For this particular workout, however, you'll pass the time in a squat hold position, making every moment a challenge.

The Ticking Time Bomb Workout

Directions: Set a timer for five minutes. At the start of the first minute, perform four burpee broad jumps. Immediately get into position with the dumbbells to perform six reps of renegade rows (three reps per arm). After finishing the rows, stand up in a squat hold for the remainder of the period. When the next minute starts, begin the cycle again. Repeat for the five minute period.

Burpee Broad Jump

How to Do It:

  • Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  • Squat down, placing your hands flat on the floor inside your feet.

  • Leap your feet back into a pushup position, squeezing your shoulder blades, abs, and glutes. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

  • Bend at the elbows to lower your chest down to the floor. Control this movement rather than throwing yourself straight down.

  • Press back up into the pushup.

  • Leap your feet forward back to the initial squatting position.

  • Explode straight forward into the broad jump, driving your arms up.

  • Land on the floor under control.

For an extra challenge (and to add another OCR component to the workout), you can leap over the dumbbells you'll use for the next exercise. If you feel tired or not confident you can clear the weights, skip this part.

Renegade Row

How to Do It:

  • Start in a high plank position, with dumbbells in each hand. Your shoulders should be directly over your wrists, squeezing your shoulder blades, abs, and glutes.

  • Move your feet out just a bit wider than the standard plank at about shoulder-width apart.

  • Row one of the dumbbells up to your chest. Squeeze your abs and glutes to keep your hips square to the floor.

  • Return the weight to the floor. Repeat with the other arm.

Squat Hold

How to Do It:

  • Start standing with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing out at a comfortable angle.

  • Squeeze your shoulder blades, abs, and glutes. Think about keeping your chest up.

  • Push your butt back, then bend your knees to lower down into the squat.

  • Descend to a parallel or near-parallel position (meaning your thighs are in line with the floor). Aim for a depth with your butt just deeper than your knees.

  • Hold this position for the remainder of the period, working to keep your chest up.

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