The Nightwing Workout

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So, despite what I said in the breakdown post, we're actually not going to use any weights at all, with the optional exception of leg strength training.  More on that in the "strength training" notes after the workout.  Instead, we're going to be focused almost exclusively on gymnastics ring exercises.  I feel these really embody the acrobat/gymnast core of Nightwing's physique and capabilities.  As an added bonus, rings are just plain fun, and they build ridiculous core strength and conditioning.

As usual for diet advice, you'll want to check out check out Macros and You!  If you're starting out on the heavier side, I'd definitely recommend starting by cutting down your body fat percentage.  The Secret to Burning Fat will help with that.  On the other hand, if you're on the slimmer side and you're looking to bulk up, check out The Secret to Building Mass.  This isn't really a true mass building workout, but with a solid diet you will definitely put on a good amount of muscle (look at olympic gymnastics who compete on rings if you don't believe me!)

As with all workouts, you’re going to want to Warm Up before every session, and Cool Down afterwards.  These are especially important for maintaining flexibility and mobility, things Nightwing has in spades.


Equipment Needed:
Gymnastics Rings (and something to hang them from - I just ceiling-mounted mine)
Power Rack (optional - see notes)
Barbell and Weights (optional - see notes)

Station –  Perform all sets of an exercise before moving on to the next exercise.  Rest 1-3 minutes between sets.

Level 1 (Beginner):

3x5-10 Bodyweight Squats
3x5-10 Kneeling Push Ups
3x5-10 Ring Reverse Row Sit-Back (knees bent)
3x5-10 second Ring Top Position Holds
3x5-10 Hanging Knee Raises(do these from the top position holds if you can!)

Level 2 (Intermediate):

5x5-10 Bodyweight Squats
5x5-10 Ring Reverse Row Sit-Back (straight leg)
5x3-5 Ring Dips (Rest your feet in front of you on a chair to make these easier at first)
5x3-5 Ring Pull Ups
5x5-10 second Ring Top Position Tuck Holds
5x5-10 second Tuck Front Lever Holds

Level 3 (Advanced):

5x3-5 Pistol Squats
5x5-10 second Ring Tuck Planche Holds
5x3-5 Tuck Lever Ring Rows
5x5-15 Ring Dips
5x5-15 Ring Pull Ups
5x5-10 second Ring Top Position L-Sit Holds
5x5-10 second Front Lever Swings

Level 4 (Nightwing):

5x5-15 Pistol Squats
5x5-10 second Ring Planche Holds
5x5-15 Tuck Lever Ring Rows (do these from a full lever if you're a total badass)
5x5-15 Ring Muscle Ups
5x5-10 second Ring Top Position L-Sit Holds
5x10-20 second Front Lever Holds

Strength Notes:

So, despite what I said in the initial breakdown post, we have eschewed almost ALL exercises except for bodyweight/ring based stuff.  Don't think that means this workout is easy, it is very, very hard at the upper levels.  My big exception here would be the squats.  It felt silly to include weights for a single exercise, but if you have access to the equipment, I HIGHLY recommend alternating heavy back squats and deadlifts (do squats on one strength day, then deadlifts on the next, alternating) instead of the bodyweight/pistol squats.  Sets of 5x5, at a high enough weight that that last set is a definite struggle.  Nothing will make your legs and lower posterior chain stronger than good old barbell exercises.

With that said, if you don't have access to the equipment, that's okay, do the bodyweight variants until you do.  You'll also be getting a lot of leg work in on your cardio days, so don't sweat it too much!

Also, on the ring stuff: have fun!  Don't just do the exercises as prescribed, start playing around with other motions and movement patterns.  There are TONS of great exercises you can do on rings, and they're just plain fun to goof around on once you start developing some solid upper body strength.  Enjoy it!


Level 1 (Beginner):

20 minute Walk/Jog
5 minute Rest
3x3-5 Tuck Jumps
3x3-5 Jumping Lunges
3x3-5 Speed Skaters
3x5-10 Calf Bounces
1 minute Rest

Level 2 (Intermediate):

20-30 minute Jog
5 minute Rest
5x5-10 Tuck Jumps
5x5-10 Jumping Lunges
5x5-10 Speed Skaters
5x10-15  Calf Bounces
20 Jumping Jacks
1 minute Rest

Level 3 (Advanced):

30 minute Run (shoot for a sub-8 minute Mile)
5 minute Rest
5x10 Burpees (with tuck jump and push up)
5x10 Jumping Lunges (go for height on these)
5x10 Speed Skaters (go for distance on these)
5x15 Calf Bounces (go for height on these)
20 Jumping Jacks (as fast as possible)
1 minute Rest

Level 4 (Nightwing):

30 minute Run (shoot for a sub-7 minute Mile)
5 minute Rest
5x15 Burpees (with tuck jump and clapping push up)
5x15 Jumping Lunges (go for height on these)
5x15 Speed Skaters (go for distance on these)
5x20 Calf Bounces (go for height on these)
30 Jumping Jacks (as fast as possible)
1 minute Rest

Cardio Notes:

This is going to fry your lower body AND your lungs.  As this workout is almost entirely plyometric, it's going to be rough on your joints at first, especially if you're overweight.  Listen to your body, and progress slowly.  Jumping right into a heavy duty workout like this and pushing yourself too hard too fast is a good way to get shin splints and other unpleasant side effects.  Listen to your body, make sure you stretch after every workout, and get plenty of rest.


Day 1: Strength
Day 2: Cardio
Day 3: Strength
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Strength
Day 6: Cardio
Day 7: Rest

Schedule Notes:

Feel free to take an extra rest day on day 3 if you're just starting out.  Two strength and cardio sessions a week is solid if you're just beginning.  With that said, once you're feeling up to it, you can do an extra cardio workout on day 4 if you'd like to pare down to just one rest day a week.  Listen to your body, get plenty of sleep, and remember that taking a day or two off from training to be careful is better than taking a month or two off because you injured yourself.

That's it for the Nightwing workout!  I hope it helps you push yourself to peak human performance!  I'll see you again on Monday with The Skills of Nightwing!  Live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

The Best Dan Wallace

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