Gilligan’s Island Workout Plan

What is the Gilligan’s Island Workout Plan?

In case you don’t remember, Gilligan’s Island was a sitcom featuring a seven completely unprepared people who suddenly got stranded on a deserted island. They spent most of every episode trying unsuccessfully to escape the island. I think random thoughts and I started thinking about the show and wondering what I’d do if I were stranded on a deserted island?

How would I train?

(Note that I won’t entertain the idea of whether or not I would train. That goes without saying.) That depends on what I have available. Are there trees with branches? If no, I’mGilligan's Island workout Phil Bennett doing a get up with a log going to get good at swimming. If yes, I just took care of back day and started my plan for how to get off this here island.  Besides raft building, here’s my three month plan for what to do between growing my beard and looking for protein rich food sources.

Find Three Heavy Things

Newsflash to everyone not involved with MovNat: Barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells have not always been with us. I believe that farming accelerated the development of strength because not only did it require lots of strength to do (it’s even got exercises named after it: farmer’s walks, farmer’s carries etc.) but the act of plowing a field uncovers rocks.  Those rocks need to be moved out of the way.  That takes strength. So in many fields around the world, there stood fields with rocks that were hard to move and it became a test of manhood to be able to move said rocks. I would copy that behavior and find three heavy objects.

  • Object one: Something I could lift ten times but no more than that.
  • Object two: Something I could lift five times but no more than that.
  • Object three: Something I could pick up once or twice but no more than that.
leopards in trees are one reason the Gilligans Island Workout plan is a good idea

It pays to be in shape in case this is your island companion

The Training Plan
  • Every day I’d do pull ups on that tree branch I mentioned; never training to failure but always doing multiple submaximal sets throughout the day.
  • Three days a week, I’d lift object two and carry it ten to twenty feet. Put it down. Rest until my breathing slowed down and carry it back where I started. Rest until I got my breath back and repeat. Probably do the whole process three to five times.
  • On days that I didn’t play with object two, I’d carry object one 500ft, probably by going fifty feet back and forth ten times resting as I needed to.
  • Once a month, I’d try to pick up object three as many times as I could.

I wouldn’t do any running as I’m assuming that I’d get enough cardio searching for food and carrying it back to camp.

By the end of three months, I’m betting that I’d:
  • Have an amazing beard
  • Know seventeen ways to cook fish
  • Be able to carry object three the distance I used to be only able to manage with object two.

You may not be stranded on a deserted island, but what I just told you incidentally serves as an excellent way to start your home gym lifestyle and will serve as a great way to add variety to your training even after you’ve bought a ton of the latest bells and whistles.

About the author

John Greaves III is a writer based in North Georgia with nearly two decades of experience in training at home. A former amateur kickboxing champion, John now competes recreationally in powerlifting. He takes a physical culture approach to training; believing that strength and health need not be mutually exclusive. In addition to his nonfiction work, John has written two fiction books, A Different Kind of Giant and A Little Lesson in Manners that are available on