How to Do the 8-Count Bodybuilder Exercise

So named because each rep consists of eight distinct movements, the 8-count bodybuilder can definitely challenge your fitness level. Designed by the military and included in its conditioning programs, this burpee-like, body-weight exercise combines the squat, pushup and a variation of the jumping jack for a total-body workout. The 8-count bodybuilder exercise not only helps to strengthen your upper and lower body, it also challenges your cardio endurance.

How to Do the 8-Count Bodybuilder Exercise

Raise your heart rate, increase your circulation and loosen up your muscles with a 10-minute warm-up. This prepares your body for exercising and helps avoid strains and pulls.

Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart and your arms hanging comfortably by your sides -- the starting position. For the first count, bend your hips and knees, drop down into a deep squat and put your hands on the floor in front of you, shoulder-width apart.

Kick your feet backward for the second count. Extend your legs and land on your toes with your feet hip-width apart. Balance on your hands and toes, and keep your body straight to assume a plank position.

Bend your elbows and lower your body to perform the downward phase of a pushup -- count three. Stop just before your chest touches the floor, straighten your arms and push up to the plank position for count four.

Kick each foot out to the side -- the right foot to the right and the left foot to the left -- and land on your toes for count five. For count six, reverse your movement to bring your feet and legs back together to the plank position.

Return to the squat position with your hands and feet on the floor for count seven. To do this, in quick succession kick your feet forward, bend your knees and pull your legs up underneath your upper body. Push with your legs and return to the starting, standing position for count eight.

Change the technique slightly for more intensity. As you return to the starting position, add a plyometric jump. Push hard with your legs, swing your arms overhead and explode vertically. Bend your knees as you land and perform another 8-count bodybuilder. Try a star jump or a knee tuck as you return to the starting position. Jump and spread your arms and legs as wide as you can or bend and pull your knees up toward your chest.