By Jason Rhymer, Training Department Editor

Bodyweight training, as the name implies, is exercise done by simply using your own bodyweight. The exercises do not require any machines or other free weights. So, you can do this training most anywhere at any time. Here’s a killer bodyweight program being made available publicly for the first time exclusively through Faith & Fitness Magazine. It is one of my favorites that I have been doing with my private bootcamps over the last year. It has the potential to add tons of fun to your training program and burn tons of calories.
Let’s break down the terms in the title and then get into it:
Roll The Bones– This is slang for rolling dice to determine the “gasser” (cardio) portion of the program.
Tabata – This word, pronounced Tuh-BAH-tuh is a four-minute training set that alternates between twenty seconds of work and ten seconds of rest.
Here are your Roll The Bones challenges. Get two dice and roll them. Add the numbers and do the following CARDIO exercises.
2 = BURPEES – Drop into a “frog” position with hands on the ground in front of you. Next, kick your legs out behind you as you enter the top of a push-up. Immediately bring your legs back under you and jump straight up. Say to yourself, “Down, kick-out, kick-in, jump!”
3 = GET-UPS – The cardio version of this great strength exercise is simple…lay down completely flat and stand-up as fast as possible. Repeat as fast as possible. That’s it. Don’t over-think it. Figure out the fastest way for your body to be flat and horizontal on the ground and then standing tall.
4 = HIGH KNEES – Run in place getting your knees as high as possible. Remember to involve your arms by moving them according to this rule: when your left knee is up high, your left arm is back and your right arm is forward. Same goes for the right knee (left arm is forward and right arm is back).

5 = MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS – Get in the top of a push-up position and run in place. Alternate your feet back and forth as close to your hands as possible. Keep the hips low and go as fast as possible.

6 = LATERAL HOPS – Keep both feet together and hop side to side. Keep the feet low to the ground and you are only covering a two foot area, so go fast!
7 = DEFENSIVE SLIDES – Over a 5 yard space (or as big as your living room will allow if doing it in your home), stay in a semi-squat position and move laterally just a few steps and reach across your body to the ground outside the foot that lead. Immediately start sliding the other direction, and reach across your body after a few steps. This is how you teach basketball defensive positions, thus the name Defensive Slides. The feet never cross over each other. It is just a quick side shuffle.
8 = SPEED SKATERS – Similar to the lateral hops above, except your feet are apart and you hop sideways onto one foot. Absorb the hop with the whole leg, and immediately hop sideways onto the other leg. Make sure the foot lands safely with the heel and ball of the foot in contact with the ground.

9 = JUMPING JACKS – Really? If you need this description, we may have bigger issues. Just check out the photos.

10 = 90 OR 180 DEGREE HIP TURNS – Start in the “universal athletic position” (first pic): Knees bent, butt out, spine long, head facing forward. “Throw” your hips 90 or 180 degrees depending on your fitness level, landing in the same starting position. This is not a jump up high. Your feet barely leave the ground. Just be fast through your hips, reset and repeat as fast as possible maintaining proper form.
11 = GORILLA HOPS – Squat, jump, and tuck your legs. Return your legs to the ground to land properly. Try to land softly. Reset for the squat and repeat. Make the squat smooth and the jump ballistic.
12 = Anti-Treadmill Cardio Blaster (ATCB) – A Rhymer Original! We combine some of the fun things in this list. Do 5 seconds of Mountain Climbers, 5 seconds of High Knees, and 2 Burpees. For some people that will take about 20 seconds. Others may need to do 1 burpee, while others may need to do more to fill out the 20-second requirement.
Statistically, you have a better chance of rolling a 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 so I have put the most “bang for your buck”, general conditioning exercises there. The harder, more obscure exercises are left for 2,3,4 and 10,11,12. Let's take these 11 cardio challenges and put them in a complete fat-burning bodyweight program with some resistance exercises.
The dice will determine your CARDIO challenge. You choose your own RESISTANCE challenge. For the example below we will use the resistance exercises of push-ups and squats. Get a kitchen timer or set your cool training watch to countdown from 20 seconds. You are now ready to start. You will have the resistance part of your workout be on all of the ODD INTERVALS and the cardio part on all of the EVEN INTERVALS. For example, if you rolled an 8, the total training program would look like this:
1st 20 second interval: Push-ups (whatever you can do, at the level that is appropriate for you) Rest 10 seconds
2nd 20 second interval: Speed Skaters Rest 10 seconds
3rd 20 second interval: Squats (same rules as push-ups) Rest 10 seconds
4th 20 second interval: Speed Skaters Rest 10 seconds
5th 20 second interval: Push-ups Rest 10 seconds
6th 20 second interval: Speed Skaters Rest 10 seconds
7th 20 second interval: SquatsRest 10 seconds
8th 20 second interval: Speed Skaters
That’s 4 minutes and your life will never be the same. Rest 1-2 minutes. Roll the bones again to get a new cardio challenge and repeat! There are no more excuses! I know you have 4 minutes to train in your living room and get amazing results. Research has shown that Tabatas burns 9 times more calories than traditional boring cardio for 60 minutes! The key is in the timing. You must stay with the exact 20 or 10 second time frames. I actually don’t use a watch I use music instead. You can go to the WorkoutMuse website and buy music that is timed out to these intervals. You can also find Tabata timers at Itunes.
Play around with this idea. Go to your local park and do other resistance exercises like pull-ups or lunges or any of your other favorite exercises. Roll the dice twice and alternate between 2 different cardio challenges. Maybe you just do cardio on the 4th and 8th 20-second intervals and the others are divided up like this:

1st 20 second interval: Favorite upper body exercise (like shoulder press, dip or pull-up) Rest 10 seconds
2nd 20 second interval: Favorite lower body exercise (like lunge, dead-lift or step up) Rest 10 seconds
3rd 20 second interval: Favorite ab/core exercise (like plank, Russian twist or “super-man” low back extension) Rest 10 seconds
4th 20 second interval: “Roll the bones” Result Rest 10 seconds
5th 20 second interval: Repeat the upper body exercise Rest 10 seconds
6th 20 second interval: Repeat the lower body exercise Rest 10 seconds
7th 20 second interval: Repeat the ab/core exercise Rest 10 seconds
8th 20 second interval: Repeat the cardio challenge
Roll The Bones Tabatas is a great way to create infinite variety to a bodyweight training program. I look forward to hearing about your success as you “Live with Strength”.
Jason Rhymer, is the president of Rhymer Fitness. He is a Z-Health Level IV Trainer. Like all great fitness minds, Jason Rhymer has a degree in economics and has toured throughout the U.S. and Europe as a professional actor and director of a childrens’ theater. Drawing on science, faith, creativity and his personal fitness background, Jason meets the physical, spiritual and social needs of his clients. His methods and winning strategies empower athletes and all he trains to get started, stay motivated and balance working out with living the best life possible. For more training ideas read Jason’s Blog.

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