Winter is Coming – 10 Tough Workouts to Build Strength and Test Toughness

It’s about that time of the year where you have to put on your sweatpants over your sport shorts, a thick pullover over your shirt and a woolen hat just to get into the car. With the cold starting to set in, you should add some new workouts into your programming and kit yourself out in gear that is specially designed to help you train in the freezing months. If you don’t have the chance to spend December in Australia, here is how to train to build strength and toughness during the coldest part of the year.


It takes dedication to get to the gym or Box in the morning for an early session, but even more so when it’s cold, wet and dark outside. But the winter months can be the perfect time to work on these elements of your fitness precisely because of these reasons.

Making yourself train whatever the weather and avoiding all excuses will help you to become a much tougher, more disciplined and fitter athlete by the time Spring rolls around again.

Nike HyperWarm Seated Male Athlete
Train hard whatever conditions you face


When your muscles are cold they are porous and injury-prone. When warm they are flexible and strong. A quality warm up is even more important if it is cold outside.

No matter what time of year it is, the quality of your warm up will often become a reflection of the quality of your workout. In the autumn and winter months, take additional time and make sure that your heart rate is sufficiently elevated in order to get the blood flowing into your outer extremities.

Nike Pro HyperWarm clothing for Women and Men will speed up the process of warming up and help to preserve the heat your body creates once you are warm and ready to go. Specially designed for cold weather, it will help to improve your performances and provide breathable warmth with the following features.

  • Breathable fabric
  • Capacity to wick sweat away from the body
  • Built in insulation

The breathability and sweat wicking technology work in close conjunction in the HyperWarm range. Often when running or working out outside in the colder months, you can feel too cold at the beginning, yet too warm half way through the workout or run. Wearing breathable garments can be highly useful because it allows your body to adjust accordingly.

Sara in training

Tough workouts will make you sweat, despite the cold conditions. If you then let the sweat dampen your skin and clothes whilst you cool down, it can lead to cold and sickness. This is why it is important to make use of this sweat wicking technology.


At a time when most people are turning down the intensity and getting ready to fatten up for Christmas, you are dialing your training up a notch. Despite the dark nights, you are taking things forwards. Now is the perfect time to implement strongman exercises into your training, improve weightlifting skills or build up that much needed power for those muscle ups.

These 10 workouts are designed to be tough and hard, and we know you wouldn’t want it any other way. Staying warm in a cold Box is also especially important, as many are unheated. Time to get stuck into these 10 punishing WODs.


Every 2:00 x 20:00 (10 rounds)

  • 1 squat clean and jerk 125/90kg
  • 3 strict muscle ups (scale to 6 strict pull ups)
  • 5 burpee box jump overs 24/20 inch


7 rounds each for time:

  • 4 power snatch 60kg
  • 8 bar muscle ups (scale with C2B)
  • 12 burpees

Dynamic stretching


3 rounds:

  • 5x Strict Weighted Pull-ups (find a weight where the last rep is close to failure)
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Max UB 2s Eccentric Strict Pull-ups
  • Rest 3:00 btw rounds


This is a simple workout. Choose a 3, 5 or 10km distance, pick a scenic route then go and run it. If you can, get out into the hills and countryside and enjoy the fresh cold air. If you are out on the hills, warm clothing is absolutely essential. Additionally, gloves and a hood can also be a good idea to keep you warm. Nike HyperWarm training tights and tops are also an effective base layer for colder conditions as well.

Use base layers to keep warm 


2 total rounds of:

  • 5x rope climbs
  • 8x bench press 100kg
  • 12x 10kg weighted pull-ups
  • 15x 4″ deficit HSPU

Rest 2:00

  • 5x rope climbs
  • 8x bench press 100kg
  • 12x 10 weighted pull-ups
  • 15x 4″ deficit HSPU

Rest 4:00 between the 2 total rounds.


5 rounds for time of:

  • 12 deadlifts
  • 9 hang power cleans
  • 6 push jerks

Men use 90kg. Women use 60kg

With this workout you need stable and supportive footwear for the lifting.


The Nike Zoom Train Command ensures snug support for your feet whilst lifting and training. I found the shoe reliable and responsive for workouts involving higher rep barbell movements (such as thrusters) and exercises that require quick, explosive movements such as bar facing burpees. I would recommend switching to your Romaleos though when working on heavier lifts.

The distinctive styles of The Nike Zoom Train Command 

Flywire cables are woven into the forefoot and a TPU wrap at the midfoot ensures your feet stay locked in, especially during lateral movements. The flywire cables are embedded within the fabric itself and work directly with the laces to provide snug and stable support.


This workout is perfect if you are feeling brave and want to get out of your comfort zone! You will need to find a decent lake, river or sea in order to do this properly. Alternatively a lido or other kind of outdoor swimming pool can work well too.

Make sure that you enter the water slowly, and if you don’t feel confident then stay within your depth (so you can touch your feet down if necessary) and swim with your head above the water.

Even if you are a confident swimmer, don’t underestimate the effect that the cold water can have on your body. Using a tow float is a good way to keep things safe, just in case you experience any difficulties. Swim for as long as you can. Make sure that you have warm clothes to change into after your swim as well.

10, 10, 10 AMRAP

10 Minute AMRAP (Alternating Movements)

  • 2 rope climbs
  • 100ft handstand walk (or 100 sec handstand hold)
  • Rest 5 Min

10 Minute AMRAP (Alt. Movements)

  • 7-5-3 pull up/CTB/bar MU
  • 50 double unders

Rest 5 Minutes

10 Minute AMRAP (Alt. Movements)

  • 20 GHD
  • 30 push ups

HyperWarm tights constructed from breathable material


Work to a 1RM of the following combination (don’t drop the weights)

  • 2 x deadlifts with farmers handles
  • 50ft farmers carry with handles
  • 2 x deadlifts with farmers handles


3 rounds:

  • Deadlift 8 reps 1.5 bodyweight
  • Rest 45 seconds
  • Single-arm dumbbell shoulder press 8 reps each arm
  • Rest 45 seconds
  • Strict Toes to Bar x 8-10 reps
  • Rest 45 seconds

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