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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 14, 2009

Bloggers and Strength Coaches Tell Their 3 Favorite Exercises

By Mark Sisson

Last week I was approached by Gym Junkies to be part of an article in which I and other health and fitness bloggers describe their top 3 favorite exercises with a little reasoning behind each of them.

Here are my current top 3 favorites:

1. Barefoot beach sprints. I ran 80-100 miles a week for years, but I feel more like a true runner just doing one set of these each week (and no other running except when I “play“). Nothing beats the flat, hard sand at low tide with the sun just coming up to make me feel connected to everything. Speed, baby.

2. Wide grip pull-up marathon. I love seeing how many of these pups I can do in 10 minutes. Works not only most of the back, shoulders, biceps, and forearms, but ultimately works abs really well, too. If you are short on time, a couple of sets of these are all you need.

3. Inverted push-ups. I started doing these to rehab my shoulder and found I liked them better than regular push-ups. I usually do them with my feet on a bench (don’t tell the gym owner) or up a few flights of stairs. It’s a good way to transition to handstand push-ups.

To read the top 3 favorites of Andrew Rubalcava of, Carla Birnberg of, Israel of and 7 others check out the full post:

Top Bloggers and Strength Coaches Spill Their 3 Favorite Exercises

Please share your favorite exercises in the comment boards!

Further Reading:

My Beach Sprints (Video)

2 Minute Salad Video with Caloric Breakdown

Low-Carb Diet Talk on Fox News

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41 Comments on "Bloggers and Strength Coaches Tell Their 3 Favorite Exercises"


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Methuselah - Pay Now Live Later

Clean and jerk/press has to be my favourite. Along the lines of your rationale for wide-grip pull-ups, I love this execise because you can pretty much work your whole body with a few short sets. Job done.

Son of Grok
9 years 3 months ago

Mark, try doing inverted push ups with your feet up on a big exercise ball. It works great.. you have to stabilize yourself at the same time.

The SoG

9 years 3 months ago

I already know how many pull ups I can do in ten minutes. Zero! But, I’ve tried the pull-up marathon with one foot on a chair under the bar for support. It really does work.

JE Gonzalez
9 years 3 months ago

Just like Methuselah, I also love the clean and jerk/press. Th other day I hit a new record of 15 consecutive pullups, from 3 6 months ago!
Also I was wondering, if I eat surplus calories (300-500) wile including bananas on some days but never going over 150 grams of carbs will I gain a lot of fat? You see, I wish to pack on a bit of muscle (don’t worry I don’t desire to be huge, just build some thickness in the arms, chest, and back)

9 years 3 months ago

My three favorites?

Weighted chins—I do sets of 4-6 reps working up to 90LBs. 30 rep consecutive body weight set is my PR. And the best part of the exercise is, the chin bar is always open.

Clean and jerk—just started doing these again and really, really like them.

Standing Bow in yoga—sometimes called Dancer pose. Strength, balance and flexibility. Awesome.

9 years 3 months ago

I really like walking lunges with my hands clasped behind my head. After 2 sets of 50 of those, i am spent.

9 years 3 months ago


who knew I was so boring?

wait. dont answer that.

9 years 3 months ago
Here is one I recently started doing. Tiki Barber mentioned it in an article I recently read. Its pretty primal: Plate Lifting Lay a 45-pound plate on the floor in front of you; you’ll need about 20 feet of clear space ahead. Squat, wedge your fingers under the side of the plate closest to you, and drive upward with your legs. When the plate is vertical, guide it forward until it is flat on the ground again, but on its opposite side (don’t just let it drop to the floor and bounce). Do 10 reps. Each lift will work your… Read more »
Keith Norris
9 years 3 months ago

(1)Barefooted sprints
(2)Power Clean (and Jerk)
(3)Power Snatch
The rest is mere commentary, decoration.

Andrew R - Go Healthy Go Fit
9 years 3 months ago


If you’ve got the barefoot beach sprints down cold, drop on by Santa Monica for some beach football… we’ve got some pretty fast kids on the team but my money says that most of them couldn’t cover you on the post! hahaha

All the Best,

Andrew R

9 years 3 months ago

What’s an inverted push up? Is it a raised feet pushup, or a handstand pushup? Google is kinda ambiguous in defining the term.

My favorite 3:
1. deadlift
2. weighted chin
3. handstand pushup

9 years 3 months ago

Great choices Mark. I love how you didn’t just drop “Wide Grip Pull-ups” on them, but added a little of your philosophy as well by adding the time element. Big difference between do x # of pull-ups at your leisure, and do x # of pull-ups in 10 minutes!

Henry Miller
Henry Miller
9 years 3 months ago

Dips on the armrests of my office chair. I can’t get a good range of motion, but it keeps me sane at work.

9 years 3 months ago

1) Walking. Love it.
2) Squats. Proper ones I learned from Crossfit, not the ones those idiot trainers at the gym teach you where you stop halfway down.
3) The Plank. I’m not totally in love with Pilates in general, but I love this move.

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)

Love holding plank – best Abs workout!

9 years 3 months ago

Love it!

Now to only find somewhere I could do some barefoot beach sprints in NYC without stepping on glass, vomit or HIV… hmmmmmmm

Andrew R - Go Healthy Go Fit
9 years 3 months ago


Three words… Vibram Five Fingers

All the Best,

Andrew R

Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips
9 years 3 months ago

Agree with you on the wide grip pull ups Mark. They are a fantastic exercise and really challenging too.

Calvin Sweeney
Calvin Sweeney
9 years 3 months ago
Hey Mark, One thing first: you mention liking Inverted push-ups: inverted refers to turning inside out or upside down e.g. invert an hourglass I think you mean feet elevated push-ups. I too like these with my preferences to place my feet up on an exercise ball for added effort and instability, or I use rings set a few inches off the floor and elevate my feet up on a box (these are the best and I use a number of variations). One additional benefit of either of these exercises is that in addition to working the chest/shoulders, etc. they work… Read more »
Bruce W
9 years 3 months ago
Do 5-8 “regular” (non-wide grip) pull-ups, then without letting yourself down (if you are using the equipment that allows for both techniques), grab the wide grips one hand at a time and try to do the same number of wide grip pull-ups. You kind of hang there for a second like an orangutan (primal?) trying to grab the wide grip, and this adds strength and coordination. Another favorite is to go out on to our ocean refuge here in the US northeast in the winter (when it’s wide open to the public) and carry heavy frozen water-logged pieces of driftwood… Read more »
Mike Caloi
9 years 3 months ago

My preferences (right now):

Clap push ups, jump squats, and close-grip chin ups.

doc alma jones
9 years 3 months ago

i do 15 minutes of walking followed by weights. i also need to maintain trunk strength to prevent backaches, so i do a series of spinal muscle & abdominal strengthening exercises.

different preferences for different people, eh? but in the end the exercise regimen that matters is one that includes a good cardio and good strength exercises. for more information on how your exercise routine can better your weight and health, visit my website:

thanks! 🙂

Fitness Fabulous
9 years 4 days ago

For me it’d be:

Chinups – as much as you can!
Barbell thrusters
Sprints (whether 100m or 20mx4 sprints)

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