January 30, 2021//Aldrich Elementary//AO- The Oracle//Approx. 33 degrees Fahrenheit//
Pax: Vandelay (Respect), Two-Step, Room Service, Slow Pitch, Thor, Waterboy, Davinci (Respect Respect), Kenny G (Respect), Retweet, Patton (Respect), Cutting Edge, Mufasa, Yodel, Hard Hat, Tonight Show, Biff, Khakis (Respect), Tater Tot, Chuckie, Convoy, Pantyhose, Pothole, Wario, Relish, Wait Time, Roadhouse, Chiclets, Ketchup,
After we had so much snow and ice during the week YHC was worried that we wouldn’t have a good place to do this workout and arrived a good 30 minutes early to scope out different workout spots. Behind the school was too snowy and the playground area between the baseball hoops was too slick. That left the West Dodge Medical Plaza parking lots. This facility takes really good care of their pavement and there were quite a few workable spots, but after venturing out into quite a few quadrants and many practice jump-tucks I found what I thought was a perfect spot in one of the northwest parking lots (jump-tucks factored heavily into this workout so I had to make sure we could do them). This location also seemed to block out the noise from Dodge Street pretty well.
Warm O’ Rama
YHC announced that this weekend (Sunday, January 31st, specifically) was the world’s greatest sporting event, the WWE Royal Rumble. I then gave the rules of the Royal Rumble, which are beautiful in their simplicity. Two men begin in the ring by themselves with the goal to eliminate their opponent by tossing him over the top rope in a manner that causes BOTH of their feet to touch the ground outside the ring. 28 additional wrestlers continue to enter the ring in 2-minute increments. Wrestlers are constantly being eliminated as new wrestlers are added, but the event continues until there is one very last man standing and that man receives a title shot at WrestleMania (which is typically held late March or early April).
In pro wrestling, it’s important to know the difference between a Battle Royal and a Royal Rumble. In a Battle Royal, all of the wrestlers start in the ring all at once right from the beginning, whereas the Royal Rumble is far superior in my opinion because it creates a sense of anticipation with the countdown clock and the constant possibility of incoming mystery entrants. But I digress.
I explained that this particular beatdown would be inspired by the Royal Rumble and that we would be doing a sequence of exercises inspired by 30 different pro wrestlers which we would perform in 1:00 minute increments in order to simulate new wrestlers entering the Rumble. We then jogged across the street to the West Dodge Medical Plaza parking lot. I was carrying a large speaker to play my jams and to run the timer. I was moving pretty slow because I didn’t want to slip and fall on the ice. There was a group of guys running much faster and they got out ahead of me and tried to take a wrong turn and run to the wrong area of the parking lot. But I yelled at them and they figured it out. Moral of the story – just because the Q may be slow doesn’t mean you can ignore his directions. That short jog was our entire warm o’rama. YHC knew he was going to be in a battle against the clock and that he needed every second hecould muster.
The Thang: The Royal Rumble
I explained the basic framework in a little more detail. I had a tabata timer set to alternate between a 60-second exercise countdown and a 20-second recovery countdown. The plan was for me to explain each upcoming exercise during the 20-second recovery period, which would have been a pretty good plan for someone in better shape who was also really good at giving concise directions. After providing that explanation, I started my playlist of pro wrestler theme songs with the Shawn Michaels “Sexy Boy” song and the 2021 F3Omaha Royal Rumble was underway.
Entrant #1 – Shawn Michaels (“The Heartbreak Kid”) – We performed Big One side lunges in cadence while making the classic Shawn Michaels flexing pose (pictured below). 60 seconds is a long time to do Big One side lunges, so I also instructed the Pax how to stomp your leg 3 times (to “warm up the band”) and then throw a Shawn Michaels superkick. We mixed in some superkicks in between the Big Ones just for fun.
Entrant #2 – Ravishing Rick Rude – We performed imperial walkers in cadence, but did a suggestive hip wiggle and yelled “Rude Awakening” in unison after completing each rep.
Entrant #3 – The Big Show – We performed Big Show chokeslams, which is a one-armed Sun God in cadence, followed by a dramatic Bobbie Hurley. The point here is to mimic the motion of grabbing your opponent by the throat and then choke slamming him down to the ground. The Sun God portion is counted in cadence and then on the Bobbie Hurley downward motion everyone yells “Choke Slam” in unison.
Entrant #4 – Degeneration X – Instead of Side Straddle Hops, we performed “Side Straddle Chops”. These are jumping jacks in cadence except you make a crotch-chopping motion with your arms instead of a jumping-jack motion.
Entrant #5 – Lex Luger – Leg Luger’s finishing move was the Torture Rack, where we would lift an opponent over his shoulders and violently shake him around (see below). To simulate this move we did Cherry Pickers in-cadence with a (deep) air squat performed after every completed rep.
Entrant #6 – John Cena – John Cena’s signature taunt is to waive his hand in front of his face and say “You can’t see me” before executing one of his finishing moves (he has several). In his honor, we performed Alternating Shoulder Taps in cadence, but after each rep we balanced on one hand and did the John Cena face wave with the other while saying “You can’t see me” in unison.
Entrant #7 – Rowdy Roddy Piper – We did something called “Rowdy Roddy Parkers”. On all fours, we started with a groinerin cadence, followed by a right leg Peter Parker in cadence, followed by a left leg Peter Parker in cadence. Restart with the groiner and then rinse and repeat for 1 minute. [Side Note A – this is when YHC started getting wheezy and began to privately question whether 20 seconds would be enough recovery time between exercises]
Entrant #8 – Stone Cold Steve Austin – The Texas Rattlesnake himself. YHC showed the Pax how to administer a Stone ColdStunner. Step 1 – flip your opponent the double birds. Step 2 – kick your opponent in the gut. Step 3 – do the Stunner. Then we followed each stunner with a Turkish Getup to return to a standing position. Rinse and repeat for 1 minute – as many reps (stunners) as possible on your own cadence.
Entrant #9 – The Iron Sheik – Instead of Monkey H**pers we did Camel Huggers (performed the same as a Money H**per, except instead of grabbing your ankles you hold your hands a little higher and simulate that you are trying to submit your opponent in the Iron Sheik’s Camel Clutch). Performed in cadence.
Entrant #10 – THE UNDERTAKER – We performed Deadman Situps, which are the same as a Big Boy Situp, except your arms remain flat at your sides for the entire rep. Also, instead of performing on “Up”, I shouted “DONG” for each rep to recreatethe sound of the gong that goes off whenever the Undertaker decides to surprise someone by turning off all of the lights unexpectedly and then magically appearing in the middle of the ring when the lights come back on (he does this often).
Entrant #11 – Diamond Dallas Paige – We did diamond merkinsfor 60 seconds straight in tribute to his Diamond Cutter finishing move. [Side Note B – Diamond merkins for 60 seconds was way too long. YHC dropped to his knees very early during this exercise and then really struggled to get the reps out after about the 30-second mark. I am dumb. Do not ask for my help when sequencing workouts or figuring out how long is an appropriate amount of time to perform specific exercises]
Entrant #12 – Vader – I explained that Vader was my personal favorite pro wrestler ever. You might remember him as an absolute giant fat guy who wore a red jock strap over his head(pictured below). But he was mobile and he had an impressive arsenal of top rope moves. One of his finishers was a Vader Bomb, where he would climb to the top turnbuckle and then do a backwards splash (basically, a belly flop) onto his opponent. To recreate a Vader Bomb we did a 2 exercise combo of a jump tuck followed by a burpee. AMRAP on your own for 60 seconds.
Entrant #13 – Yokozuna – Yokozuna’s gimmick was that he was a sumo wrestler. So we did sumo squats. [Side Note C – I botched the counting here. Somehow I counted these in a way that was neither “On up” nor “in cadence”. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing though.]
Entrant #14 – Tugboat – Tugboat is named after a boat. So we did rowboat situps in cadence, which are gas-pumper situps, except you make a rowing motion with your upper body and pretend that you are rowing a canoe. Not a strong correlation to Tugboat, I will admit, but then again we’re not exactly well stocked with boat-themed exercises.
Entrant #15 – Ultimate Warrior – The Ultimate Warrior was known for many things, which included violently shaking the ring ropes and going crazy. To pretend that we were shaking the ropes and summoning the power of The Warrior, we did another combo exercise – 1 pickle pusher in cadence (after which, we all yelled “Ultimate”) followed by 1 tempo merkin in cadence (after which we all yelled “Warrior”). Performed for 60 seconds.
Entrant #16 – Jumping Jim Brunzell – Jim Brunzell was the master of the dropkick. To simulate a dropkick, we did a combo exercise with 1 jump tuck followed by 1 gas pumper situp in cadence. Seems like a dumb exercise when you type it out, but I remember that these were really hard.
Entrant #17 – Jake the Snake – Oh man, Jake the Snake was cool. He carried around a burlap sack with a giant snake named Damien. After he defeated his opponent (usually with a DDT) he would take Damien out of the sack and let Damien slither around over his opponent’s unconscious body. Then one day a big fat pro wrestler named Earthquake sat on Damien’s bag, which killed him. Anyways, a copperhead is a kind of rattlesnake so we did Copperhead Squats in cadence for 60 seconds [Side Note D – This was when I should have been smart enough to ask some of the other PAX to count out cadence during the exercises to give my lungs some time to recover. Unfortunately, I was not smart enough to do that so this was when I started adding very generous extra pauses to the recovery count-down timer in order to try and catch my breath]
Pictured – Jake and Damien in better days:
Pictured – Earthquake squashing Damien (RIP):
Entrant #18 – Brutus the Barber Beefcake – I have a Brutus the Barber Beefcake t-shirt and whenever I wear it my kids ask me who he was. I try to explain that his gimmick was that he came to the ring with a giant pair of garden shears and that if he beat his opponent then he would cut their hair off with those garden sheers. My kids asked me once what happened when he wrestled someone who already had short hair. Looking back, I realize it was awfully convenient how almost every opponent he ever wrestled was a total jabroney with really long hair. My kids also asked me if his opponent got to cut Brutus’s hair if Brutus lost, and that never happened. Seems pretty unfair and also hypocritical in hindsight, because he really wasn’t very good at pro wrestling. Anyways, we did scissor kicks in cadence for 60 seconds.
Entrant #19 – Rock & Roll Express – The Rock & Roll Express were a tag team. While neither of them were physically impressive, Ricky Morton (below, on the left) was by far themost inferior member. He would flop around every match and get absolutely destroyed by whoever their opponents were. Meanwhile, his teammate Robert Gibson (below, on the right)would stand in the corner and wave his arm around trying to make himself available to relieve Ricky. They were good guys, so no matter how bad Ricky Morton was getting beaten up Robert Gibson absolutely would not enter the ring to assist unless he was properly tagged in. The Rock & Roll Express had honor. So Ricky Morton would just get beat up the entire match and every time he almost made it to the corner to tag in Robert Gibson the bad guys would pull him away at the last second. Finally, at the crescendo of the match, Ricky Morton would eventually get to the corner and mange to barely tag in Robert Gibson and the crowd would go wild (this is called the “hot tag” in pro wrestling parlance). Robert Gibson would come in as a house on fire, completely fresh and then the tides would turn. It was the same story every time, but that’s okay because it was a damn good story. After I tried to explain the concept of a Rock & Roll Express hot tag, we did Hot Tag Merkins for 60 seconds. A Hot Tag Merkin is like a regular merkin except at the top of the rep you balance on one hand and reach the other hand out to dramatically tag in an imaginary tag team partner while shouting the phrase “Hot Tag” in unison with your exercise buddies.
Entrant #20 – Ric Flair – Instead of Bonnie Blairs, we did “Bonnie Flairs” to honor The Nature Boy. A Bonnie Flair is a Bonnie Blair performed in cadence, except you add a big dose of styling and profiling with your upper body and after each rep you lean back and yell “WHOOOOOO”. So the cadence is 1-2-3-WHOOOOOO, then you rinse and repeat for 60 seconds.
Entrant #21 – Macho Man Randy Savage – We performed Oh Yeahs – 30 seconds on the right arm, 30 seconds on the left arm. Performed in cadence with the group saying “Oh Yeaaaaaaaaah” together in their best Macho Man voice after each rep.
Entrant # 22 – Daniel Bryan – Daniel Bryan’s finishing move is a running high knee (see below). So we did one rep of high knees in cadence followed by one jump tuck. Rinse and repeat that combo in order for 60 seconds.
Entrant #23 – Jimmy Supafly Snuka – We performed SupaflyMerkins. This is a hand release merkin, except when you reach the hand release part of the rep you elevate your upper body and your legs in order to strike the “superman” pose. Meant to mimic Jimmy Snuka’s supafly splash off the top rope.
Entrant #24 – The Big Bossman – Big Bossman’s finishing move was a Sidewalk Slam. So we did burpees, which really are not very similar to a Sidewalk Slam, but we were exercising on concrete which is kind of like a sidewalk. AMRAP on your own for 60 seconds.
Entrant #25 – Nikolai Volkoff – Nikolai Volkoff was part of the long lineage of bad guy wrestlers who were presented as bad simply because they were foreign. In his case, he was Russian. But this formula was used time and time again with all sorts of nationalities (Iran – Iron Sheik, Russia – Nikolai Volkoff,,Canada – The Mountie, etc.). We did Russian Twist Lunges, counted as 1 leg = 1 rep with a Russian Twist motion after each lunge.
Entrant #26 – Hulk Hogan – Hulk Hogan’s theme song was “Real American” so we did “I am a Real American” Hammers in cadence for 60 seconds.
Entrant #27 – Sergeant Slaughter – A lot of people forget this, but Sergeant Slaughter turned into a bad guy during the Gulf War and pledged his allegiance to Iraq together with the Iron Sheik and Col. Mustafa. He was eventually defeated by Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania 7. One of pro wrestling’s most regrettable storylines in my opinion, and there have been some real doozies as far as regretability is concerned. But once again I digress. We did Ranger Merkins for 60 seconds. YHC dropped to his knees around the 5th rep and began imposing very lengthy pauses between reps around rep 8 (give or take?). Don’t betray your country and don’t ask your friends to try and do Ranger Merkins for 60 straight seconds.
Entrant #28 – Chris Jericho – One of Chris Jericho’s finishing moves was called a Codebreaker, which consisted of him jumping in the air, grabbing his opponent and then pulling his opponent down onto his knees (pictured below). We mimicked this motion with a jump tuck followed by a LBC situp in cadence – we repeated this 2 exercise combo for 60 seconds.
Entrant #29 – The Rock – The Rock’s finishing move was The People’s Elbow. So we did The People’s Elbow Planks. 30 second elbow side plank on one elbow, followed by a 30 second elbow side plank on the other elbow.
Entrant #30 – Randy Orton – Randy Orton’s finishing move is the RKO (pictured below), which is basically the exact same move as Diamond Dallas Paige’s Diamond Cutter (See Entrant #11, above). HOWEVER, the thing that distinguishes the RKO from the Diamond Cutter is the fact that Randy Orton is the master of delivering the RKO at unexpected moments, which prompts the announces to say “RKO FROM OUTTA NOWHERE.” He’s also typically a bad guy, so he will run in and interfere in other wrestlers’ matches and deliver a RKO to one or more wrestlers in the ring and then the announcers say “RKO FROM OUTTA NOWHERE.” Whereas sophisticated people would find this to be predictable and derivative, pro wrestling fans absolutely love it because it brings us simpletons great joy to anticipate what the announcers are going to say and then join along with them in saying it when Randy Orton hits that RKO. If he’s introduced in a match or interview scenario, itbecomes a real Checkov’s RKO scenario where the audience is just waiting for him to deliver an RKO and they will be really disappointed if he doesn’t. “RKO FROM OUTTA NOWHERE.” It’s just fun to say. To share this joy with the PAX, I asked them to settle into a deep air squat and hold that air squat until I said those magic words “RKO OUTTA NOWHERE”, at which point we all did a jump tuck and then settled back into that deep air squat upon landing. Rinse and repeat with me saying “RKO OUTTA NOWHERE” at varying intervals for a 60-second duration.
[Side Note E – Whelp, with 60-second exercise intervals and 20-second recovery intervals, this should have taken us up to about 6:40 am. However, YHC got a little short-winded with his recovery and had to pause the recovery clock many times and then I also got long-winded with my pro wrestling stories and move explanations. My clock watch that it was now 6:48 which means that I added about 8 extra minutes either wheezing or talking about pro-wrestling. Not sure if this was a challenging workout for the PAX, but I personally was exhausted. In the end, I regret nothing.]
At this time I told the Pax to pretend that 27 wrestlers had been eliminated and that we were fast forwarding to the last 3 wrestlers in the Royal Rumble.
3rd-To-Last-Elimination – Ravishing Rick Rude – We did Rude Awakening Imperial Walkers for another 60 seconds because I just think it’s really fun to do his hip wiggle.
2nd-To-Last-Elimination – Vader – 60 seconds of Vader Bombs AMRAP on your own.
Last Man Standing And Your Royal Rumble Winner – Hulk Hogan – At this time YHC called “OMAHA” and we performed “I am a Real American” hammers Rancid-style sitting in a circle.
Being perilously close to the 7:00 am handover, I kept my COT very short. Harkening back to my introduction, I reiterated that the Royal Rumble rules require that a contestant must be thrown over the top rope and that both of his feet must touch the floor in order for him to be eliminated. If the wrestler goes out through the middle ropes, then he’s not eliminated. If a wrestler goes out over the top rope but he manages to save himself with only one foot touching the floor, then he’s not eliminated. That is a metaphor for life, in a way. No matter how bad things might get, if you’re still above ground with a pulse then you’re still in Life’s Royal Rumble. So don’t give up. Thanks to everyone for doing this incredibly dumb workout with me. Happy weekend everyone!