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5-Day Thruster Challenge: Fitness During COVID-19 Lockdown

Jeff Grant Thruster Challenge

We are stronger together!

I’ve launched a new series of short fitness challenges for anyone out there in lockdown, self-quarantine, imposed-quarantine, socially-distanced apartment living, hiding from kids / partner / boss / pets / Zoom conference participants, etc. These challenges are designed to get you moving throughout the day and to foster more connection and a stronger sense of virtual community.

Whether this is your only fitness activity during these days or just a side challenge on top of a robust training program you’re following, I encourage you to join my challenges and share some support for others along the way. Each challenge is five days or shorter in duration, with different levels offered to suit a diverse group of participants. Each challenge also has a send-some-good-vibes focus — a suggested group of people we think of and send energy to while doing the challenge.

In case you missed, check out the 5-day Air Squat Challenge and 4-Day Plank Challenge, both of which you can start any time. Next up: Thrusters!

5-Day Thrusters Challenge

Ready for a tough challenge? How many thrusters can you do in 5 days?

Here’s my challenge for you … pick a level and make it happen:

  • Level 1: 125 thrusters
  • Level 2: 250 thrusters
  • Level 3: 500+ thrusters

You pick the appropriate weight for your fitness and goals, and you can change it as you wish. Set a goal to do anywhere from 25 to 100+ thrusters a day. Level 1 is doable for just about anyone capable of doing a squat. Just break it into a few sets spread throughout the day and go light. Level 2 and Level 3 are tough, but within reach if you are working out regularly. 

Thrusters Jeff Grant

What do I thrust?

You can do Thrusters with ANYTHING you want in your hands: barbell, dumbbells, candlestick holders, kettlebells, a child — or a couple of them, rucksack, suitcase, skis, etc.

I encourage you to experiment with as many different objects as possible. Mix it up!

New to thrusters? Check out this excellent video demo using a barbell, as well as my demo & intro video from 2012. The base of the movement is the Squat, so here’s my Air Squat demo video for reference as well. Btw, you don’t have to use a barbell — more info on that below!

Have fun with it!

For this 5-day thruster challenge, you can make all kinds of variations to add variety and fun. Recruit your family, whoever you are hunkering down with, or the folks you can see having breakfast on the balcony across from yours. There are lots of ways to do this as well. Sure, once a day you could do a big set and be done with it for the day. Or you can set a timer and do 5-10 reps an hour. Or… you could integrate thrusters into micro workouts for each day.

Here are some workout ideas with thrusters:

  • 12-8-5 reps of thrusters + push-ups
  • 21-15-9 reps of thrusters + flutter kicks
  • 3 rounds of 9 thrusters + 12 walking lunge steps
  • Tabata thrusters (8x20sec thrusters with 10sec rest breaks)
Thrusters in Malawi

Send some vibes!

While we are doing thrusters, let’s send some good vibes to the hard-working people with jobs at warehouses, who are packing and shipping all the food, toilet paper and other products being ordered online these days. This is hard work, with no option for work-from-home, skipping the commute, or staying away from others. Many thanks to everyone showing up for warehouse and logistics work!

How to Join

Just ask to join this closed Facebook Group — for support and accountability. The support group on Facebook brings friendly and supportive people together from around the world. Once you’re in, feel free to add any friends who want to join. It’s not required that you post on the group, or even join it in the first place. It’s more fun and motivational in a community though! By the way, this whole thing is FREE — just good people coming together to support each other. You can start this challenge ANY DAY you want. The best day though is TODAY!

Helpful Tools & Ideas

Reminder and Accountability Apps: I use the iPhone app called Productive to remind me and keep accountable during our challenges. There are others as well. These apps are excellent for accountability.


May I join late? What is the deadline? You may join any time you want.

How do I join if I’m not on Facebook? Just say I’m in out loud 3 times, and you’ll be in! If you want to connect the dots and receive a virtual high-five, feel free to also drop me a note at [email protected] or say hi on other social media channels (links in footer).

May I join the challenge, but start my own Facebook group for my gym, club, friends or community? Sure. I’d love to see you in the global group, so how about both? I hope you join us!

Stay fit, stay strong for yourself and those you love. We’re going to get through this together, starting with these 4 days of planks!

— Coach Jeff

  Jeff Grant in 2012 Thruster Challenge

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