“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
Muhammad Ali

Today you are doing the Muhammad Ali Circuit. It consists of a mobility-based warm up, nine exercises and a cool down stretch. Every warrior circuit has its own theme and vibe. The Muhammed Ali circuit will help you burn fat, increase tone, develop upper and lower body power, loosen up tight hip flexors (as you probably sit a lot), and will improve punching endurance and some key boxing strikes.

Muhammed Ali was a legend in the boxing world. Aside from his magnetic charisma, he was known for his quick hands and footwork, a great jab and dedication to his fitness and craft. He is your training partner today. So clear some space, get your tunes on (there are curated Spotify playlists for each warrior circuit) and get going! Every rep is an opportunity to prove to yourself (and me) that you are serious about getting fit and making changes.

If this is the first time you have done NUK SOO™, please pick the ‘Professional Level’ throughout the first 90 days.

Professional Expert Master
BJJ Hip Thrust2 sets of 20 3 sets of 301 set of 100 reps
Reach Punches1 minute2 minutes3 minutes
Plyo Presses3 sets of 12 reps3 sets of 25 reps 1 set of 100 reps
Step-n-Stretch20 reps40 reps50 reps
Rotating Split Squats2 sets of 20 reps3 sets of 30 reps1 set of 100 reps
Wushu Lunges2 sets of 20 reps3 sets of 30 reps1 set of 100 reps
Ninja Crawls1 minute2 minutes3 minutes
Boxing Combo One3 sets of 20 reps3 sets of 30 reps1 set of 100 reps
Air Running2 minutes4 minutes 8 minutes


Warm Up

Please follow the warm up, scanning for tight muscles, tight tendons and tight nerves. Basically, if something feels bit sore then stop and stretch it before continuing on with the warm up. I would also advise you do this in a warm environment, so crank up heating or start with extra layers. A warmer body always responds better to flexibility and mobility drills.


BJJ Hip Thrust

Warrior Benefits: This move makes you a better athlete as it helps to teach your core, glutes, hips and lower back to work how they are designed to – in sequence with one and other. When you jump, run and kick these muscles (known collectively as your posterior chain), should always work together! Unfortunately, modern day living means there is often a bit of a disconnect. The more perfected BJJ Hip Thrusts you do, the more you remind your body how to move together in the right way which is my aim.

Beauty Benefits: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Hip Thrusts warm up and ‘activate’ the posterior chain, thus they indirectly help to tone and firm glutes and the back of the legs. In time, with this exercise you will achieve a more lifted butt and a stronger core.

Also, as you will see in the bonus video, the typical floor hip thrust is very similar to a mount scape move from the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).

Starting Position: Lie on your back and slide your feet towards you, so your knees are up. Bring your arms up as if to protect your face like a boxer, with your elbows pointing down towards your hips.

Technique: Drive your heels into the floor as your push your hips upwards. Hold for a second at the top, making sure you are not hyperextending your back. Tense the glutes and abs and then lower yourself to floor and repeat. Breathe out as you extend and breathe in when you return back to the start position.

Pro Tip: Driving your heals into the floor as you thrust up helps fully activate your posterior chain. As an experiment, try driving your toes into the floor and you will feel the quads (front of legs) working more instead. This isn’t dangerous, it just means you’re missing out on the full potential of the exercise! Western life makes our quads dominant so this exercise is designed to be a solution to years of sitting down by ‘evening your body out’, so the details matter!

As mentioned in the intro, if this is your first time doing NUK SOO™ pick the Professional Level.

Professional 2 sets of 20 reps
Expert: 3 sets of 30 reps
Master: 1 set of 100*

Inter-set rest: 30 to 60 seconds
*no rests allowed.

Please do NUK SOO™ exercises as shown and explained. However, if you want to modify the moves due to injury or for the sheer hell of it, here are my ideas.

Easier: Slow down the hip thrusting movement to 50% of the normal speed.

Harder: Add in a resistance band to just above your knees. As you do the movement slightly push out against the resistance. This will engage your glute medius more and make each rep harder.


Reach Punches

Warrior Benefits: This is a classic warm-up drill taken from boxing which works the cardiovascular and muscular system. When these two systems work at the same time, they mentally come together as well and you work harder! A great conditioning move, it is one that will test and improve mental toughness as your muscles and lungs will get equally knackered!

Beauty Benefits: You will burn fat and as your body fat lowers, you will see more definition around your abdominals and oblique’s.

Starting Position: Lie on your back and slide your feet in so your knees are in the air. Lift your head and the back of your shoulders about one inch off the floor. You may want to use a mat or sit on a cushion for comfort.

Technique: Sit up and extend your left clenched fist to the ceiling and always breathe out as you punch. Let your body naturally rotate as you reach as high as you can. Return to the start position and repeat the action with the right arm. For each punch aim for the same spot.

Pro Tip: Imagine you are punching upwards towards a real target each time. The smaller the imaginary target, the more your mind will focus.

Professional: 1 minute
Expert: 2 minutes
Master: 3 minutes

No resting is permitted with this one!

Easier: Place 2 or 3 pillows behind the upper back so you have a smaller range of movement per rep.

Harder: Hold a light weight in your hands. If the weight compromises your speed then don’t use one, or use a lighter one as this exercise is focusing on developing upper body speed.


Plyo Presses

Warrior Benefits: You will develop stronger wrists, pectoral major, triceps and anterior deltoid (front of shoulder) strength and increase your general ‘pushing power’. From throwing or hitting a ball further, to throwing a punch quicker, the more ‘pushing’ power you have, the more useful, athletic and badass your body will be.

Beauty Benefits: You will burn fat and achieve greater definition around the pecs, back of arms and shoulders. Also as your abs work hard, in time (if your body fat is low enough), you will see increased firmness.

Starting Position: Begin in a press up position on your knees.

Technique: Lower your chest to the floor, then push up quickly and clap your hands before landing back in the start position. Always breathe out on every push-up/clap. Keep the abs tense to keep upper body flat, thus maintaining good form.

Pro Tip: The human body is very intelligent as it has ways to reduce pain and reserve energy, so as you get tired the arms will want to flap out wide so the pecs can help. The more your elbows are tucked in, the more your arms and shoulders will take over from the pecs. As the pecs are relatively big muscles, this makes the movement feel harder and will make your triceps and shoulders develop quicker. Be aware of this and decide whether you are going to give in to what your body thinks is best, or push through (being careful to maintain strict form).

Professional: 3 sets of 12 reps
Expert: 3 sets of 25 reps
Master: 1 set of 100 reps*

Inter-set rest: 45 seconds
*No rest. Should be continuous.

Easier: Place your hands on a bench or secure surface.

Harder: Have your knees off the floor at all times. This will add considerable weight to each repetition and make it a lot harder on all the muscles, particularly the abs and core.



Warrior Benefits: This move opens out the hips and stretches your hips flexors, and your kicking strength will improve. In the world of martial arts kicks are long-range weapons and no amount of smart techniques can undo terrible flexibility. As we get older, we get tighter, so this drill is particularly useful to those of you that don’t stretch much. With less tightness in this area you will also reduce your chance of injury when you run, cycle and trek.

Beauty Benefits: This exercise has a mild fat burning and a leg toning effect. It is prescribed here more for functional flexibility than for looks which is equally important for health and fitness.

Starting Position: Start in a press up position with your hands under the shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.

Technique: Stick your hips up in the air and step the left foot off the floor and land it outside of the left hand. Then push your hips down towards the floor to maximise the stretch (this should feel good). Step back and repeat the full movement with right foot. Keep on alternating sides.

Pro Tip: The longer the stride/step, the better it is. I would recommend building up the angle though as it takes time for tendons to relax and get used to new movements. Aim for 80% of your maximum distance on the first rep and then try to keep going 1cm further than you did on the last rep.

Professional: 20 reps
Expert: 40 reps
Professional: 50 reps

Quality of movement and fluidity is key. Please don’t rush through this important movement. Aside from the benefits discussed, it is here to help your upper body recover and to prepare for subsequent exercises.

Easier: Do smaller strides

Harder: Land your feet in front of the hands


Rotating Split Squats

Warrior Benefits: Aside from burning excess fat, you develop lower body power and endurance. You will also build rotational strength-endurance and total body coordination.

Beauty Benefits: This complex and multi-planal movement will burn fat, tone up your trunk, legs and glutes.

Starting Position: Start in standing lunge position, left leg forward, right leg back. Outstretch your arms and clasp your hands. Twist your arms to your right side horizontally and face forward.

Technique: Jump in the air and rotate arms to your left side and land with the right foot forward and the left foot back. Immediately jump back switching your arms and feet as you go. Do this continuously.

Pro Tip: If you find this tricky then just practice! Do 10 reps without the arms. Then do 10 reps just using your arms. Your brain will then have understood the different components so you’ll find it easier to do the whole movement correctly. The mind and body will improve co-ordination if it’s tested, so the harder you find a move, the more you should practice it and you will develop. If you find this move too easy please look at modification.

Professional: 2 sets of 20 reps
Expert: 3 set of 30 reps
Master: 1 set of 100 reps

Inter-set rest: 30-45 seconds only

Easier: Do small jumps and rest for 2 seconds to compose yourself after each rep.

Harder: Close one eye. This makes it hard to judge distances and puts more stress on your body to balance. Closing both eyes is the hardest version as you are forced to ‘feel’ good balance rather than relying on your eyes. Doing this move with your eyes shut is full-on ninja, so do try it when your bored one day!


Wushu Lunges

Warrior Benefits: Having legs with greater endurance and strength is always useful! Lunges also have the added benefits of being unilateral (as in you do movements one limb a time), as opposed to squats which are bilateral. The advantage of this is that it’s more functional for real life and it evens out potential muscle imbalances. The arm and hand position serves as a tendon stretch for the arms. Chinese Martial Arts put a lot of emphasis on stretching and strengthening tendons as the style of fighting requires great ‘internal’ strength. In a society where we focus so much on external strength, it’s important to explore the opposite both physiologically and psychologically.

Beauty Benefits: Wushu Lunges will tone and firm your lower body.

Starting Position: Stand upright with arms and palms out stretched horizontally with your fingers pointing up. Keep the tension in your arms so you maintain a stretch in the tendons and nerves running through your arms.

Technique: Step backward with your right foot so you go into a reverse lunge position. Maintain an upright posture and engage your core. Now push back off the floor and drive your right knee toward your chest and then place it down on the floor. Keep this movement controlled and repeat on other side – and keep on alternating.

Pro Tip: As this works your balance, keep your eyes focused on a point 3 meters in front of you.

Professional: 2 sets of 20 reps
Expert: 3 sets of 30 reps
Master: 1 set of 100 reps

Inter-set rest: 45-60 seconds

Easier: Place your arms by your side and maintain fingers pointing outwards (like a penguin). You should still feel that stretch in your tendons.

Harder: Hold very light weights out to your side to build more upper body endurance.


Ninja Crawls

Warrior Benefits: Crawling is all the rage in ‘functional’ classes in recent years. However, this is no fad as we are designed to crawl. It allows the upper and lower body to work together and you’ll develop strength and endurance in your core, abs, lower back, shoulders and legs.

Beauty Benefits: Your abs, shoulders and back will become more defined.

Starting Position: Get on all fours with a flat back with your left hand and right foot forward about 4-5 inches forward. Brace your core before you get into the move.

Technique: Lift your right hand and left leg off the floor at the same time and move about 6-10 inches forward so they land at the same time. Now in a continuous movement from the last, lift the left hand and right foot up and move forward. Move a meter forward and then repeat the move backwards. Continue to move forward and backwards as quietly as you can – hence the ninja component. The stealthier you become, the more control you are developing.

Pro Tip: Look at our friends the felines. All cats big or small move with grace, fluidity and a calm purpose. Channel your inner cat as you move!

Professional: 1 minute
Expert: 2 minutes
Master: 3 minutes

Easier: When moving, do one limb at a time rather than coordinating two limbs at once.

Harder: Rest an object on your lower back. A tennis ball for movement and accuracy or even a fully grown person for a real test of strength – but please don’t do anything that will cause injury! Having an object on your back will force you to use your core more and do each step in a more mindful way.


Boxing One Combo

Warrior Benefits: Learning the basics of boxing is the first step in learning the art of combat. Once you can punch it’s easier to learn how to use the elbow and eventually weapons. Power comes from having a good base (footwork) and rotation (ability to twist through the spine into a punch). This basic shadow boxing drill will remind you how to rotate, extend the arms and also how to stay focused. The simple truth is, the more punches you do, the better you will get at them!

Beauty Benefits: Fat burning.

Starting Position: Stand in a ‘boxing ready position’ with the left foot forward and the right foot back.

Technique: There are two punches in this combination. The first is a left jab – screw your left foot into the floor and rotate the left side of the body forward and extend the arm. Breathe out through your nose as your fist fully extends forward. When your fist is 80-90% of its maximal distance away from you, focus on your right side and drive left heal into the floor (to anchor you) and screw the right foot into the floor and rotate the hips and shoulders, and fully extend your right hand. Again, breathe out sharply through your nose as you ‘throw’ the right hand. This punch is known as a right cross or straight. These two punches done back to back are often referred to as the 1-2 combination. Pause for a second after each combination and just repeat!

Pro Tip: Imagine a ping pong ball 2 feet in front of your nose. Every time you punch, imagine hitting through this ping pong ball.

Professional: 3 sets of 20 reps
Experts: 3 sets fof 30 reps
Master: 1 set of 100 reps

One full combination = 1 rep
Inter-set rest: 30 seconds

Easier: Do it in slow motion.

Harder: Shuffle forwards before striking and then shuffle backwards after the combo.

To see how to use this in a combat situation see the application video below.


Air Running

Warrior Benefits: Your lung capacity will improve. A good cardiovascular base makes life, competition and movement easier and more fun. Also, the impact is great for lower body bone health.

Beauty Benefits: Burning that fat!

Starting Position: Stand up, shoulders back with your head up.

Technique: Quite simply, jogging on the spot. Use your arms to help gain momentum. Drive your knees up to waist level and maintain evenly paced breathing.

Pro Tip: It’s easy to get lazy during this move. Keep the knees up high each time and push through the (minor) pain barrier.

Professional: 2 minutes
Expert: 4 minutes
Master: 8 minutes

No resting allowed!

Easier: Smaller steps with the feet low off the ground.

Harder: Put your arms in the air, like you just don’t care… and keep them up above your head. Aside from making the movement less fluid, this will build lactic acid in your arms. This makes it super tough for the mind and body.


Cool Down

After a workout, a cool down is the bridge between movement and stillness. Physiologically it reduces blood pooling and psychologically it will just feel good! So follow Jen as you flow from stretch to stretch. Also take this time to thank you body for doing what it had to do today!

Well done champ! You have completed the Muhammad Ali circuit.

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