Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends, probably many that you haven’t seen in a long time. It’s also about eating wonderful, traditional foods like turkey, stuffing and even pie. One thing that is often overlooked is the opportunity to create a fun group workout for everyone that is spending the holidays with you.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking… there is no way that Uncle X or Cousin Y is going to be up for any kind of exercise. But you might be surprised. Even if they just watch or do a single push up, it’s the motivation to continue after Thanksgiving that’s important. You have more influence then you might give yourself credit for when it comes to motivating others to live a healthier lifestyle. It’s also a good time for some friendly competition.

So I put together a workout that can be done by a group, is flexible for different ability levels and most of all, is fun! It’s called the Dirty Turkey Dozen. Be sure to scroll down below the photos for further instructions. After you read those you can download the Dirty Turkey Dozen workout spreadsheet here.

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This is how it works… Follow the chart set by set or column by column. Perform the first exercise, renegade rows, for 12 reps. Then you break for a cardio set which can be a 50 meter sprint, jump rope for 50 counts or even 8 burpees by jumping past the darkened rows on the chart and down to the bottom row. Pretty much anything that gets your heart rate pumping for a 30 second period of time will work. Next, you’ll come back to the top of the chart and to the next column and perform a lunge with shoulder press for 12 reps and a renegade row for 11 reps. Then you jump down again on the chart for the same cardio choice as before. The cardio never changes. For the entire workout you are moving constantly and never taking a rest. Each round of exercises you are subtracting a rep so that eventually there will only be 1 rep and then zero. That zero part is really exciting to conquer! This workout is about keeping good form but also moving in an efficient manner so that exercises become challenging as well as doable. If exercises become too difficult then you may need a short break or step down an intensity level on the exercise itself.

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Click on the workout to open a pdf file that is easier to view.

This workout will take about an hour, so if you’re short on time do only 6 exercises and you can call it the Dirty Half Turkey Dozen. The only equipment needed is dumbbells, which can be substituted with Kettlebells, Sandbags, heavy containers from your kitchen and even small children who are willing to be lifted in the air.

Let me know how you and your Thanksgiving guest go with the workout!

Happy Thanksgiving!