Try This Tough-ish Workout To Really Build Your Strength

Let’s admit it: most workouts are tough going. There’s always the element of challenging yourself every time you step up and throw down. But this workout, by Willow Way trainer and gym owner Alida Hendrikz, is tough as nails (ish) and will really test your mettle. At Willow Way, workouts work in six-week cycles. “Through our signature workouts, Strength, Effort, Grind and Speed, we focus on different strength movements, cardio, engine-building and gymnastics,” says Alida.

Keen to give it a try? This tough-ish workout incorporates strength moves along with functional full-body movements that combined, make for an all-over torch that’ll burn calories like it’s nobody’s business.

This workout consists of a warm-up and strength training circuit.


For the warm-up, do three rounds of each move.

  • 10 Ring Rows
  • Lateral Box step-ups, 8 per side
  • 10 Band pull-aparts

The Tough-ish Workout

Strength builder

For this section, do a superset of moves for four minutes, completing three rounds.

Barbell lunges, 8 per side

Start by lowering your one leg into a lunge position, being careful to stabilise through your glutes and through your feet. Stand and return to start. That’s one rep.

Pull-ups, between 9 and 12 reps

The strict pull-ups can be performed with or without bands to help with assistance. You can break up the reps into smaller sets taking a quick break between reps to see if you can reach the top end of the reps range.

EMOM (Every Minute On The Minute)

For five minutes, work as hard as you can, completing this circuit before resting and going again for four rounds in total, giving you a quick 20-minute workout. “It is important to choose the right weight that will allow you to hit the rep ranges and challenge you to get the correct stimulus of the workout,” explains Alida. And don’t go too fast, she cautions, rather keep up a consistent tempo throughout that you can sustain.

Minute 1: 15 Dumbbell floor presses

Start by laying on the floor and bring your feet up closer to your body. Engage your core and keep your lower back pressed into the ground. Then, get your dumbbell ups and have your elbows not straight next to your body but more at a 45-degree angle from your body. Press the dumbbell up and breathe out when pressing up. Move through the movement with control.

Minute 2: 20 Weighted box step-ups 

Stand in front of the box and step up with one foot pressing through the heel to straighten your leg and make sure you are extended at the top before stepping down from the box. Make sure to engage your core, keeping your back straight and don’t drop your shoulders.

Minute 3: 8 – 10 per side Dumbbell bent-over rows

Keep your core engaged and your torso parallel to the floor. Exhale as you pull the dumbbell to your hip – control the movement on the way down and focus on keeping your shoulders square. Exhale as you pull the dumbbell to your body.

Minute 4: 8 – 12 Knee tucks / Toes to bar 

Jump onto the rig in an active position making sure your core and lats are engaged and that you have a full grip on the bar. From the active hanging position use your core to drive your knees to your chest and back down. Control the movement and perform as slow and strict as possible. If you’re doing toes to bar, the principle remains the same.

Minute 5: 10 Calorie row  

See exactly how they’re done with this video below:



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