Black Friday Conditioning Workout | Get Fit For The Shopping Spree Of The Year!

Black Friday Workouts

Love it or hate it, this year Black Friday falls on Friday 24 November 2017. Are you ready mentally and physically?

A bit of trivia for you: the title ‘Black Friday’ was first recorded in 1966 by Earl Apfelbaum, a dealer in rare stamps. It comes from the name the Philadelphia Police Dept gave to the first Friday after America’s Thanksgiving and was by no means meant in an endearing way. The Philly police so called it because of the sheer volume of people that hit the shops to make the most of the post-Thanksgiving sales. The mayhem spawned in-store bedlam, traffic jams and violence.

Over the years commercial businesses have, unsurprisingly, wanted to get away from this pretty glib moniker. Though improved measures for safety and crowd control have been implemented, the intensity and eagerness of shoppers after a good deal haven’t diminished.

If you can’t beat them, join them. Then again, by keeping in shape, maybe you could beat them to the check-out. What exercises could help give you the edge in a Black Friday rush?

Upper Body Strength

It’ll be all about pushing and pulling heavy loads. At least, even if it’s not heavy goods you’re after you’ll be prepared with these:

  • Lat pull down. 3 sets of 10 reps.
  • Shoulder press. 3 sets of 10 reps.
  • Standing row. 3 sets of 10 reps.
  • Bench press: 3 sets of 10 reps.

Aim for a moderate to high weight. Better yet, look up the weight of the item you’ll be buying. Looking for a hi-fi or TV? Double it and bench.

Core Strength

You’ll need a solid foundation to keep you on your feet when you move through the crowds and reach for top shelves. That means a strong core. While this gets more of a workout than you might realise for most leg-focussed and standing lifts, it doesn’t hurt to add a few abs-centric exercises into the mix to give you a stomach strong enough for Black Friday.

Weighted twists. These can be done standing or sitting on the floor with your legs out. Using a medicinal ball, kettlebell, whatever you can hold for a bit of added weight, twist with a skiing motion from side to side. 3 sets of 15 reps.

Roman chair extensions. These are essentially the opposite of a sit-up and will help you reaching for those top shelves. Beginning in a curled position, facing down with your legs secured, extend your back to straighten up. 3 sets of 15 reps.

Front squats. Alright, so these perhaps fall under leg exercises as much as abs, but these will prepare your core for squatting with a heavy item. Perform with a bar across the front of your shoulders or with a kettlebell held at your front. 3 sets of 10 reps.

Leg Strength

You’ll need to stand your ground, and for that you’ll need strong legs. Considering the movements you’ll be doing to lift a heavy box from up high or from the floor, your best preparation will be:
Dead lifts: 3 sets of 8 reps of a moderate weight.

Squats: 3 sets of 8 of a moderate weight.


A trek around the shops can be gruelling at the best of times, but Black Friday means there’s an added competitive element to it. You need to have the cardio and conditioning to keep you going from the door to the checkout.

Low intensity jog. Save this for an active rest day when you can’t muster anything more intense. Aim for a longer amount of time and a slower speed.

HIIT. High intensity interval training will prep you for the sudden bursts and fast paces when it’s time to get moving. You can do this with any medium of cardio vascular exercise that allows you to alter your pace. Take running as the example: sprint full-pelt for 40 seconds and then jog at a lower intensity for one minute. Repeat for eight minutes.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Nutrition. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. Find out more about Faye's experience here:

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