The Zombie Apocalypse Workout


All of a sudden you need to build your own shelter, hunt for your own food, and maybe even outrun a few zombies. If you’re not lucky enough to be in the company of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) or Daryl (Norman Reedus) from The Walking Dead, which returns on AMC this Sunday at 9 p.m./8 p.m. central, your physical fitness and survival instincts will be your only hope. To see if you’re up to the task, here’s a short list of exercises that will test your strength and stamina, plus some background on how working a few key muscle groups might come in handy if you’re surrounded by a horde of zombies. Yes, you just may survive in the end of days—if you can survive these exercises.


Also known as suicides, ladders increase your speed and improve your reaction time—skills that will be very handy when it’s time to make a break for it. So head to an empty parking lot with four open spaces and see what you’ve got: Start with your feet and fingers on one of the lines, then sprint forward four spaces, bending down to touch the last line before running back. Vary the leg you start on, and compete against your best times with a stopwatch.

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These will work your arm, leg, and back muscles, which you’ll need to rescue your allies from all kinds of sticky situations. (You can get your test your deadlift strength here.)

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Andrew Lincoln: Slaying Zombies at 40
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Overhead Shoulder Presses

To supplement the dead lifts, this is another strength booster you’ll need for the upper body. (Here’s how to get the most out of every shoulder press rep.)

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If you’re stranded and need a new base camp, you’ll be building your new house out of scraps from the 21st century, and pushups will help. How? You’ll need upper-body strength to haul sheet metal, lumber, sewer grates, and tarps to your mountain hideout. One hundred pushups is the goal—can you bang it out with these pushup tips?

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You’re going to be picking up looted furniture for your makeshift shelter, and strong calves and quads will help. So if you haven’t been working on your squats? You’d better get to it.

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Biceps Curls

Basic, yes, but biceps curls are a must for anyone who plans on hunting. Whether you’re swinging a pick ax or pulling back on a bow when the bullets run out, biceps curls will make or break this huntsman. Get some blood rushing to those biceps with these biceps curl variations.

Standing Woodchops

These exercises will work the arms and abs you’ll need to help you—no surprise here—chop wood. To woodchop, hold something with weight (like a medicine ball) with your arms extended above your right shoulder. Keeping your arms straight, but not locked, bend at the knees and rotate your torso to the left as you bring your arms down and across your body. When your hands reach your left ankle, hold for a second and reverse the movement, holding at the top. Do 10 reps then switch sides.

Deep Knee Bends

Doing some deep knee bends with jumps will help you gain vertical height, which will be imperative to escaping the hordes of enraged masses. (Just picture yourself grabbing on to low tree branches to rise above any threat!) To start, stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart, looking straight ahead with both arms out in front of you, zombie-style. Now slowly bend down until your hamstrings touch your calves, then push off your heels and drive yourself back up to the starting position. Finally, flex your quads with all your might and repeat. Add 20 full reps to your workout today to test your strength, and watch your form if you have knee issues.

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