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Absurdly Grueling Workouts


Sure, it defies common sense, but swimming with cinder blocks can shave tenths of a second off your time! Olympian Gary Hall Jr., who holds the American record for the fastest fifty-meter freestyle (21.76 seconds), swims twenty-five meters underwater, resurfaces, takes one breath, grabs a standard 17.5-pound cinder block, then does another underwater lap, cinder block in arms, kicking furiously for as long as he can. He repeats this drill five times. Oh, and before he even gets in the pool, Hall does lightweight circuit training: seven reps each of bench, incline bench, upright rows, pull-ups, dips, and tricep extensions. He does three circuits, for a total of eighteen sets, with no rest.

Chance you'll drown: 41 percent

So do this instead: Swim underwater, kicking twenty times before coming up for air. Repeat five times. When that becomes easy, introduce a five-pound weight. Do the lightweight circuit just as Hall does, but replace the pull-ups with lat pull-downs.
Guaranteed results: Tighter, stronger core. And more powerful lungs.


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