My New Self-Isolation Home Workout

Dwayne Oxford
Jun 23, 2020 · 5 min read

Now that we are in a new world of self-isolation and in some instances self-quarantine, we are forced to be extremely resourceful on how we proceed with our daily life choices. Nothing could really prepare anyone for a global event like the Coronavirus pandemic.

As many of you know, I’ve been an advocate for home based workouts for over 15+ years. You can read my rage-like soapbox post, Why I Stopped Going to the Gym. But even with my current home work out regiment, it’s still difficult. In the new COVID-19 world of work from home, kids homework review (I have to be honest, my wife does the heavy lifting on a big chunk of the schoolwork), cooking, food shopping like a masked ninja with gloves, etc my current fitness schedule had to be changed. So I went on a Youtube hunt, and discovered a very simple but extremely effective approach to muscle building for upper and lower body. It’s called 30 Down. Initially discovered from a YT channel called Alpha Destiny, but seems like some of the inspiration came from this other YT channel, Felony Muscle.

So what is 30 Down? 30 Down, also known as form of prison workouts, is a simple but very effective set of high volume rep workouts that were popularized in prison. Yes, that’s right, these workouts are created by inmates. When you don’t have any weight equipment in such a small space, you have to find innovative ways to stay fit and prisoners are some of the most jacked dudes out there. So here’s how it goes. 30 pushups, then 1 minute rest. 29 pushups then 1 minute rest. 28 pushups, then 1 minute rest until you get to 1 push-up. You can even do this with bodyweight squats. In total, it’s about 465 reps. I usually add 35 more reps at the end to bring the total to a nice 500 rep routine. To say the least, it’s pretty brutal but you don’t have to start with 30 down. You can start with 20 down, or even 10 down. Test yourself to see which one you can start with, then work your way up as you get stronger.

But there is something hidden in the 30 down, and that is the rest period. So in a typical routine you do your group of reps (a set), lets say 12 reps, then rest for a minute, then go back into another set and so on and so forth. However, there’s something called agonist-antagonist paired sets (APS) aka Supersets.

The beauty of APS is working two muscle groups back to back. So let’s say you are working legs, utilizing squats. Rather than rest around doing nothing until you go back into the next set, immediately after your squat, go right into calf raises or a hamstring movement. Or let’s say you are doing pushups using the 30 down method. Right after each pushup set, you can do biceps. So while you’re resting from your pushups, you can do biceps. And back and forth, until you arms are roasted with fatigue. The beauty of this process is you can condense two opposing muscle groups into one session while saving time, while being way more efficient. I mean, who doesn’t like a 2 for 1 deal? So after experimenting for weeks with the 30 down method, here is my new routine:

APS arm/chest routine version 1

30 down pushup + bicep curls (resistance bands or dumbbells/kettle bells)
✰ 30 –25 pushups → 12–15 hammer curls ⤸
✰ 24–20 pushups → 12–15 regular curls (palms up)⤸
✰ 19–1 pushups

APS back and shoulder routine version

Pull ups + side shoulder raises + overhead shoulder raises + rear delt fly
✰ Pull ups till failure → 15–20 rep overhead shoulder raise (10 minutes)⤸
✰ Resistance band row → 15–20 rep side shoulder raises (10 minutes)⤸
✰ Resistance band straight arm pull down → 15–20 resistance ban rear delt fly (10 minutes)

APS Leg routine version 1

30 down squats + calf raises + hamstrings
✰ 30 –15 down squats → calf raises to failure ⤸
✰ 14 –1 down squats → hamstring chair raise or stiff legged dumbbell

APS Leg routine version 2

Single leg chair squats + calf raises + double barrel squats + sissy squats
✰ Single leg box squats to failure → calf raises to failure | 10 minutes ⤸
✰ Double barrel squats to failure → calf raises to failure | 10 minutes ⤸
✰ Sissy squats to failure → hamstring chair raise or stiff legged dumbbell | 15 minutes

APS Leg routine version 3

Single leg chair squats + calf raises + somersault squats + sissy squats
✰ Single leg box squats to failure → calf raises to failure | 10 minutes ⤸
✰ Somersault squats to failure → calf raises to failure | 10 minutes ⤸
✰ Sissy squats to failure → hamstring chair raise or stiff legged dumbbell | 15 minutes

APS Ab Pushup routine

✰ Ab roller to failure (10 minutes) → pushups to failure
✰ Hanging ab raises to failure (10 minutes) → pushups to failure

HIIT Cardio Playlist

My favorite lists of HIIT programs all in one playlist. Pick your poison.

One-off Push-up Insanity

Now occasionally you’ll want to really up the volume and intensity to shock the body. This routine is for really advanced people but feel free to lower the reps and volume to find where the sweet spot is for you. You can adjust to the total depending on our own strength and fitness level. Maybe its 100 pushups in one session. Maybe 200, but over time, you’ll be able to do more reps. And keep in mind that you don’t need to use all the advanced leverages and variants. You can do just knee pushups or regular pushups. Whatever works for your fitness level.

500 pushups v1|1 minute rest between sets
✰ Regular pushups |5 x 25 pushups)
✰ Incline pushups | legs raised (3 x 33 pushups)
✰ Diamond pushups (5 x 20 pushups)
✰ Decline pushups | torso raised(10 x 10 pushups)
✰ Knee pushups (5 x 15 pushups)
✰ Regular pushups (25 pushups)
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dGz5hsoXeU&

500 pushups v2| 10 reps at a time | 1 minute rest between sets
✰ Incline pushups | legs raised (100 pushups)
✰ Diamond pushups (100 pushups)
✰ Regular pushups (100 pushups)
✰ Decline pushups (100 pushups)
✰ Knee pushups (100 pushups)

1000 pushups | 6 reps at a time | 30 seconds rest between sets
✰ Incline pushups | legs raised (200 pushups)
✰ Diamond pushups (200 pushups)
✰ Regular pushups (200 pushups)
✰ Decline pushups | Upper body raised (200 pushups)
✰ Regular pushups (100 pushups)
✰ Knee pushups (100 pushups)
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoV8ZSjWJL8

Why I Hate the Joneses

We Bring the Truth Razors

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store