WOW: I’m Gonna Be (500 Reps)

Hit 500 reps total, using the following:

Handstand Pushups
Weighted Lunges
Broad Jumps


Warmup: 30 second Grok Squat, three light sprints at 70%.

Maybe I’m showing my age by making a reference to The Proclaimers in a workout post, but I do so unabashedly. Besides, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” is still one of my top training songs and it always kills at karaoke.

Remember how I mentioned WOWs might occasionally take the form of fitness tests, as opposed to workouts you’d do on a regular basis? That sometimes I’d ask you to perform a grueling, demanding task just to prove to yourself that you could do it, as a mark of progress? This is one of those times.

I’m always trying to come up with new workouts to keep things interesting (for you and for me), and my latest one consists of choosing a number of reps, usually in the hundreds, and then attempting to reach that number by way of various exercises. I might do a combination of pullups, pushups, planks, box jumps, glute ham raises, and/or lunges to hit four hundred reps. If I go for six hundred reps, I’d obviously do more of the easier stuff. 500 seems to be the sweet spot. It’s rough, but if you choose the right reps and exercises, you can usually finish it. It’s also a lot of fun, despite the effort involved, because you’re constantly moving onto a new movement, and you’re never relegated to grinding out single reps on one movement since you can just try the next one and come back later. It’s hard to give up when you have six other choices.

So, using pullups, pushups, handstand pushups, planks (where one second equals one rep), weighted lunges, and broad jumps, hit 500 repetitions. You can mix them, mash them, and alternate them in any order you prefer; just be sure you do at least 50 reps of each exercise (don’t go easy and just do several minutes of planks – although that’s harder than it sounds) and reach a total of 500. There’s no time limit, so rest in between sets – or even reps, if it gets to that point – as needed. And remember, you have the freedom to customize this workout. If you’d like to add box jumps or inverted rows or some other movement to the rotation have at it.

Make it easier:

  • Do more reps of the exercises that are easiest for you. Some people might have an easier time doing more lunges, rows, and planks, while others might find it’s easier to do more pullups and pushups.
  • Listen to your body and go with the flow of the workout. If another pullup just sounds impossible at the moment, save the rest of ’em for the end.

Make it harder:

  • Do more reps of the exercises that are hardest for you. If you find handstand pushups difficult, do them anyway.
  • Wear a weight vest the entire time.


If you can’t complete a pullup or a handstand pushup, for example, use the PBF Essential Movements Progression and Self-Assessment to determine which movements you can complete. Even if you’re doing knee pushups and chair pullups, that’s totally fine! Do what you can.

What are WOWs?

  • Workouts of the Week (WOWs) are an optional component of Primal Blueprint Fitness that add a fractal and often fun and playful quality to the basic PBF protocol.
  • In most cases WOWs should only be completed by those that have mastered Level 4 of each Lift Heavy Things Essential Movement. Also, it’s recommended that WOWsreplace one or both Lift Heavy Things workouts or the Sprint workout (depending on the WOW) each week instead of being done in addition to the Lift Heavy Things and Sprint workouts.
  • Learn more about WOWs and Primal Blueprint Fitness by getting the free eBook. And access all Workouts of the Week in the WOW Archive.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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21 thoughts on “WOW: I’m Gonna Be (500 Reps)”

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  1. Mark, I have recently gotten into Pavel Tsatsouline’s work with Kettlebells. One thing he says in Naked Warrior is to use your shifting weight or to do the exercises in an awkward way to up the difficulty of them. What do you think?

  2. how do you count reps for the planks ? like 1 minute counts for one rep ? or if we do the dead hangs from pull up bar can we say every 10 sec counts for 1 rep

    1. It says one second is one rep, but that’s a bit too easy for most people.

  3. The Proclaimers ah … :-)Great Scots!

    A second per rep for plank, easy, you are kidding me! Have you tried doing 90 second planks (holding good form)! And if you find that easy, wear ankle weights and alternate holding one leg just a little off the ground during the plank …

  4. thanks for the responses. so almost doing 5 rounds of; 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 3 hand stands pushups, 60 sec plank, 20 lunges (10 each leg), 5 broad jumps

  5. If this counts as a fitness test, should the second workout for the week be something different?

    1. Following Salim’s example: 3 cycles of 5 pull ups (6 chin ups on the third cycle); 25 push ups; 10 walking lunges with a 40 pound sandbag on one shoulder, than 10 more with the weight on the opposite shoulder; 60 second planks supported on tires; 15 high balls (my shoulders couldn’t take the hand stand push ups–think a kind of wall ball with a 25 pound medicine ball, aiming for throws up to 10 feet); and 10 broad jumps (5 on third cycle). My math is sketchy, but I think that’s 501 reps. No idea how long it took, and my rests started between cycles and went to between cycles and then after the lunges, too. And they got longer every time. I think it took me a year, or so.

  6. About 50 min to complete.

    Box Jump24″ 10 10 15 15 – – 50
    Push ups 25 25 35 30 20 15 150
    Pull ups 10 15 20 5 – – 50
    Plank 40 60 45 15 – – 160
    50lb 20 20 20 15 – – 75
    HS pushups 9 5 5 4 3 – 26


    1. Man, I wish I could do that many pull ups. You must have a back like a cobra. Or I have a back like pencil…

  7. Awesome workout, wasn’t that bothered about doing hand stands and was slightly more focused on legs and plank. Also, added a weighted throw which was great alongside the lunges and broad jumps!

    Thanks Again

    1. Did you throw something like a ball or a rock, or was it more like a spear/javelin with a weighted end?

  8. Thanks for suggesting this WOW

    My table below:

    Push ups : 30 – 50 – 10 – 10 = 100
    pull ups: 10 -10 -10 -10 – 10 = 50
    box jumps: 50 – 50 = 100
    broad jumps: 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 = 50
    HS push ups: 10- 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 = 50
    Plank: 50 – 50 – 50 = 150
    Totals 500

    around 50 minutes to complete.

    The broad jumps series were the hardest to complete for me!

  9. While I’m not able to do the workout itself in one sitting, I do love the song now that I’ve heard it. Very good stuff!

  10. dk how long to count the plank but i’ll go 90 sec and count it as 9. love planks =) can’t wait for this to kick my ass haha

  11. Decided to change the plank rep @ the last second. instead if I did say 1min 30 sec i counted it as 13 reps by moving over a decimal.

    started at 10:08am finished at 11:13am = 65 min

    Push^ 20-20-11-14 = 65
    Pull^ 2-2-6-4 = 14
    Wtd. Lunge 20-100-20-60 = 200
    Broad Jump 12-14-20-26 = 72
    Plank 13-13-13-15 = 54
    Box Jump 10-20-30-40 = 100
    Dive Bomb 7-4-4-10 = 25
    Shldr Press Push^ 3-3-4-5 = 15

    Total 545
    =P I swear I thought I had 500 exactly but I guess with all the jumping around with moves and my weak math skills I was off big time. So much fun tho, my fav is the box jump so i tried to stray from it and focus on pull^s, work in progress
    Kudos to you pull^ pros =/ I envy it sooo

  12. Wow what a challenge! I tailored this to my own level. Since I am unable to complete a handstand push up, I instead timed myself at a handstand. Also, I changed up broad jumps for Box Jumps. Unfortunately, for the first time in a year of jumping I clipped the tips of my toes and landed on my shins. Painful! The remainder of my 500 I finished with pushups, even though I had tears in my eyes from my fall. What a great way to finish the year off 🙂