The Arrow Workout

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Sorry, what?  Hi!  Yeah, so The Arrow is in ridiculously good shape.  That’s kind of a given.  It’s difficult to go out and play superhero without being in ridiculously good shape.   The Arrow is strong, fast, agile, and able to hold his own in combat against just about anyone (provided they aren’t all juiced up on Mirakuru).  As such, we’re going to need a serious workout plan to build such a body.

Remember, though, if you’re looking to build that superhero physique, you’re going to need to take care of your diet, first!  As usual, you want to take a look at Macros and You! as well as The Fighter Diet to cover all your bases.  Make sure before every workout you go through my Warm Up Routine to make sure your body is ready for this strenuous routine.  Additionally, part of being agile is maintaining flexibility and range of motion, so make sure you finish every workout with my Cool Down Stretching Routine.  Also, I’d definitely recommend taking up some additional mobility work like yoga or dancing (yes, dancing).

So, without further ado, here is The Arrow Workout Program.

Note: This workout, is split into four tiers in order to easily plug into the RPG Fitness workout system.

Equipment Required:

Power Rack/Squat Rack, barbell, and weight plates (optional)
Bench (a couple cinder blocks work as well)
Pull Up Bar
Salmon Ladder (only for the highest levels – tutorial on construction coming soon!)


Level 1 (Beginner):
5×5 Dumbbell Bench Presses (start at a low weight – 15-20 lbs per dumbbell is usually a good starting point if you’ve never lifted before)
5×5 Dumbbell Rows (same weight guidelines as above – 15-20 lbs to start out)
5×5 Overhead Dumbbell Press (same weight guidelines as above, can even go a bit lower if you want)
5×5 Bodyweight Squats
5×5 Bodyweight Lunges
5×15-20 second Planks

Level 2 (Intermediate):
5×5 Pull Ups (chair assisted if necessary)
5×5 Dumbbell Bench Presses (increase your weight by 2-5 lbs for each hand whenever you feel comfortable doing so)
5×5 Dumbbell Rows (same increase rate as above)
5×5 Overhead Dumbbell Press (same increase rate as above)
5×5 Goblet Squats (Start with 20-30 lbs, work your way up)
5×5 Dumbbell Lunges (10 lbs each hand to start, work your way up)
OR skip the squats and lunges, and do The Big Ups Workout.
5×25-30 second Planks

Level 3 (Advanced):
5×5-10 Pull Ups (start working on your power in these – go up as fast as you can – just make sure you still get full range of motion)
5×5 Dumbbell Bench Presses (guys should be shooting for 40-60 lbs dumbbells at this point, gals should be hitting 35-50 lbs)
5×5 Dumbbell Rows (same weight goals as above)
5×5 Overhead Dumbbell Press (guys 30-45 lbs, gals 20-40 lbs)
5×5 Goblet Squats (up around 80-100 lbs by now)
5×5 Dumbbell Lunges (guys 35-50 lbs per hand, gals 25-40 lbs)
OR skip the squats and lunges, and do The Big Ups Workout.
5×25-30 second Planks
5×10-20 second L-Hangs

Level 4 (Arrow):
5×2-5 Salmon Ladder Climbs (assuming five “rungs” on your salmon ladder – if you don’t have a salmon ladder handy, do clap pull ups instead)
5×5 Dumbbell Bench Presses (guys should be shooting for 65-90 lbs dumbbells at this point, gals should be hitting 55-80 lbs)
5×5 Dumbbell Rows (same weight goals as above)
5×5 Overhead Dumbbell Press (guys 50-75 lbs, gals 45-60 lbs)
5×5 Goblet Squats (up around 100+ lbs by now)
5×5 Dumbbell Lunges (guys 55-75 lbs per hand, gals 45-65 lbs)
OR skip the squats and lunges, and do The Big Ups Workout.
5×15-20 second Front Levers (start with a tuck, work your way up)
5×5-10 Toes-To-Bar (can start with Knees to Bar)

Strength Notes:

Okay, first off, unlike most of the programs I write up, this is NOT a circuit program.  This means you do all your sets of one exercise before moving on to the next one.  Rest 1-2 minutes between sets, and 1-2 minutes between different exercises.  The strength program is designed to build all the muscles you need to be an efficient archer (hence the rows and pull ups), as well as create a very strong, functional combat physique.  The reason I used dumbbells instead of a barbell is because I feel it utilizes your stabilizer muscles more, building more “total body” strength.  This is not a powerlifting program, this is a fighting program.  I would definitely consider switching to the Big Ups program for your legs, if you have the resources available to you.  It will take a bit more time and be a bit harder on your body at first, but you’ll see better results overall.

This is a very serious workout regimen, especially at the upper levels.  Remember to rest well, and listen to your body.


Level 1 (Beginner):
Walk 20-30 minutes

Level 2 (Intermediate):
Jog 20-30 minutes
Finish with 4 ten second sprints (sprint as fast as you can for ten seconds, rest 30-45 seconds, repeat)

Level 3 (Advanced):
Run 20-30 minutes (you’re going for distance now – shoot for at least 3 miles in 30 minutes)
Finish with 6 ten second sprints (same format as above)

Level 4 (Arrow):
Run 20-30 minutes over varied terrain (increase the incline if you’re on a treadmill, hit up some trails or hills if you’re running outdoors – still going for speed here)
Finish with 6 ten second hill sprints (same format as before, just up a steep hill)

Cardio Notes:

So, here’s the deal: this cardio schedule is build for good overall cardiovascular health, as well as anaerobic conditioning with your sprints at the end.  HOWEVER, you’re also going to be subbing in the Sheik Agility Workout in between your regular cardio sessions.  Oliver’s fitness and agility are very similar to Sheik’s, so it’s a pretty natural match.  You’ll see how this works in the…

Workout Schedule

Day 1: Strength
Day 2: Cardio
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Strength
Day 5: Sheik Agility Workout
Day 6: Strength/Cardio
Day 7: Rest

Schedule Notes:

Alrighty, so as I stated before, this is a pretty serious regimen, especially at the upper levels, so don’t be afraid to throw an extra rest day in there at first.  On day 6, you’re going to alternate strength and cardio training every other week, so one week do strength, and the next week do cardio.  If you’re first starting out, this is the ideal day to drop if you need an extra rest day.  Finally, once you’re starting to hit the Advanced/Arrow levels, feel free to do an “active rest day” instead of just doing nothing.  Active rest days are low-level cardio (level 1 or 2), or something else like yoga, dancing, etc.  Nothing to overtax yourself, just a way to stay active.

As always, make sure you listen to your body, and take it easy when you need to.  It’s better to lose a few days to rest than it is to lose a few months to injury.

That’s is for The Arrow Workout!  Hopefully I’ve given you something solid to work on, hahaha.  I’ll see you again on Monday.  Until then, live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome.

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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13 thoughts on “The Arrow Workout

  1. Pingback: Character Spotlight: The Arrow | Be a Game Character

    • DaRatmastah says:

      I haven’t seen anything on this…if anything, a goblet squat with proper form can help to rehab and strengthen knees. What’s your source, if I may ask? Did a cursory google search but nothing turned up.

      • Josh says:

        It isnt a reliable source, but someone said that going below 90 degrees would be bad for the knee joint. Others told him otherwise, so I’m guessing that it wasn’t true, but I just wanted to check with you. Thanks for answering.

        • DaRatmastah says:

          Incorrect, however, whoever told you this can’t be blamed too much for the misinformation as this is a common misconception, and does have some exceptions to the rule. Squatting below 90 degrees is fine and even beneficial IF you have the ankle flexion necessary for it. Basically, squat as low as you can while still keeping your feet flat on the floor. You should never allow your heels to lift off the ground when squatting. Also, you should be driving THROUGH the heels when you stand up after squatting low.

          • Josh says:

            Thank you for answering. I was worried because my left knee sometimes makes popping noises and I thought it might make it worse. thanks.

          • DaRatmastah says:

            Popping is not inherently bad if you’re not feeling discomfort along with it (usually.) If you’re concerned, it never hurts to talk to a physical therapist or and orthopedist. Personally, I have very loose tendons in my knees, so my kneecaps don’t track very well and my knees pop like crazy when I squat. My physical therapist said as long as there isn’t any pain along with the popping, it’s okay. Squats have definitely helped me with the issue, as well.

    • DaRatmastah says:

      Just for better individual muscle focus on the dumbbell stuff. You can do it as a circuit workout if you’d like!

  2. Jonathon says:

    I just started on the arrow workout, and was wondering if these particular exercises were enough to strengthen my biceps? Are there any additional ones I could add or will this work well enough?

    • DaRatmastah says:

      It will work your biceps pretty well, buy I don’t know, what do you need strong biceps for? Some particular activity? I might be able to better gauge whether or not you need additional work if I knew what your goal was.

      • Jonathon says:

        I don’t need them to be stronger for a specific reason. Just wanted to make sure all my arm muscles were getting enough work done.
        Thanks for replying.

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