I first got the idea for this workout from Steve, a reader and fitness enthusiast from Colorado.
Steve mentioned that he’d been doing a Navy SEAL-style drill workout to see how many reps of different exercises he could perform in two minute intervals, and as soon as he told me about his workout, I immediately thought: that sounds like fun!
So the next day, I created my own mini workout challenge sequence with the idea of sharing it with you guys.
In case you hadn’t guessed, two minutes straight of all out effort isn’t easy at all—it’s pretty brutal. But setting benchmarks like this one and like the 100 burpee challenge is a great way to measure your progress, so I’d encourage you to try it out and see how many reps you can get in.
Just as with the 100 burpee challenge, you’re best off trying to do this challenge every month or so to compare your numbers and see how you’re improving in different areas of your fitness. Give it a shot:
The 2 Minute Benchmark Workout Challenge
For this challenge, you’re going to be doing as many reps as you can in just two minutes of the following exercises:
1. Double unders (do single unders if you can’t do double unders yet)
2. Pull ups
3. Air squats
4. Push ups
6. Sit ups
So basically, you’ll do two minutes of each of the exercises (I followed this exact order), ideally resting no more than 30-60 seconds in between.
Remember, just like with all the workouts, you should do whatever version of the exercise you can currently do—for example, if you’re still doing jumping pull ups, then do as many jumping pull ups as you can during the two minute interval. Just make sure to make a note of it so you can better measure your progress in the future.
Don’t forget to fuel up
Please make sure to fuel up properly during this workout.
I know, I know, not every one likes to eat before they work out, but you should have something in your stomach (ideally a mix of carbs and protein) before attempting this workout. I actually had to stop partway through and eat a few bites of a banana because I waited too long after breakfast to work out and just plain ran out of energy.
Because remember: food is fuel! Your body needs the proper mix of carbohydrates, protein, and good fats in order to have a productive workout. And if you’re not feeding it properly beforehand, you just won’t be able to accomplish as much and will end up fading partway through like I did. Don’t follow my bad example!
With that in mind, here were my scores for the exercises:
Double unders: 173
Pull ups: 23
Air squats: 84
Push ups: 35
Sit ups: 57
I’ll admit, I’m not totally stoked about all of those scores. I did do full pull ups and push ups, so I know that if I’d switched to jumping pull ups and knee push ups as I began to fatigue I could have had higher numbers, but that seemed harder to track so I decided against it. My arms were also pretty tired after doing that many push ups, which I have no doubt made my burpee numbers suffer.
Can’t wait to do it again and see how much I can improve!
Submit your favorite workout
I know a lot of you guys are pretty creative and like to come up with your own workouts, so I thought it’d be fun to feature one of your workouts on the site. If it goes well, we can try and make this a regular thing!
Here are a few things to keep in mind when submitting a workout:
1. Choose a workout type. Workouts can be based on one of the regular 12 Minute Athlete workout types (12 minute, 16 minute, AMRAP, time challenge, or tabata) OR they can be something new and different, it’s up to you.
2. Keep them simple! This goes for both the exercises and the workout itself. Most people tend to get confused and lose motivation with overcomplicated workouts, so stick to easily understandable movements and workout instructions.
3. Keep them short. 12 Minute Athlete workouts work because they’re short, intense, and don’t take up your entire day to do. Keep this in mind before you submit a 2-hour long distance running workout.
And most of all, have fun with it! I know a lot of you guys are actually fitness professionals or former athletes yourself, so give us your best shot. Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!
You can email all workout submissions to [email protected]
4 thoughts on “The 2 Minute Benchmark Workout Challenge (+ Get Your Workout Featured!)”
Awesome workout! This one was tough – haven’t posted my numbers in a long while ,but am proud that I managed to do this with only the breaks it took to reset my timer!
Single unders 220
Pull ups (Reg grip to neutral to chin up) 16
Push ups 50 ( thought I might die)
Sit ups 24
I had no idea what to expect from myself on this one. I’ll post my results and seek improvement in future attempts.
Single Unders: 240
Air Squats: 53
Love these “benchmark” type of workouts. Thanks for posting Krista!
Such a complete athlete. Wow. In addition to me doing the workouts and challenges, as a pta that works with kids, I use the 12 and 16 min hiit workouts to push them to reach their full recovery and potential. Thanks for everything!
Whenever I do burpees it aggravates my hip flexors.