“Ultimate Survivor Alaska” Fitness Regimen

How Sean Burch Trained For the Nat Geo TV Show

“Ultimate Survivor Alaska” Fitness Regimen - How Sean Burch Trained For the Nat Geo TV Show
This has been a difficult winter for a good portion of the country, but don’t tell Sean Burch that. The contestant on “Ultimate Survivor Alaska” (Sundays at 10 PM EST on the National Geographic Channel) doesn’t want to hear your crying about shoveling a few inches of snow. No, the endurance athlete has bigger fish to fry.

“We are dropped off at an insertion point in Alaska and given 60 hours to make it to the extraction point,” explains Burch, 43. “If you don’t make it in time, you’re eliminated from the show. The team that wins the most expeditions out of 11) are declared (the) winners.

“No cash award to the victors, just pride and honor for achieving and surviving as the best in their field,” he continues. “No GPS, only one pound of beans and rice per person and you are allowed whatever gear you can fit in your rucksack.”

To get prepared for the vigorous and daunting task ahead, Burch did the following:

“Ultimate Survivor Alaska” Fitness Regimen - How Sean Burch Trained For the Nat Geo TV ShowFlying Heli – In a standing position and hold the medicine ball at hip level. Squat down, then jump while moving the medicine ball in a big circle clockwise. Then switch and go counterclockwise for set number of reps.

Leopard – Get into a pushup position and perform a pushup; as you rise from the pushup extend right leg out to the side focusing on complete extension of the leg without locking out your knee; Back to pushup position and perform a pushup. As you rise from a pushup extend left leg out to the left side focusing on complete extension but not locking out the knee. Return to pushup position and repeat all for set reps.

Kayak Squat & Skull – Hold a dumbbell in each hand by either side of your body; squat down and row each dumbbell together once in a rowing motion; stand back up and repeat working both sides of the body.

The “X” – Using dumbbells of moderate weight and get into a crouched position (all the way down) with dumbbell on the floor on either side of you. Spring out into an X position holding the dumbbells without locking out your elbows. Immediately return to crouched position and repeat for # of reps.

Bear Crawls to Fingertip Pushups – Running on all fours with your hips staying low. Follow with doing 4 reps of pushups on your fingertips. Repeat for a set time or reps

Traveling Rock Climbers left-to-right – Get into pushup position. Keep your upper body fixed, then bring your right knee to your chest and then straighten it again; left knee to chest and then straighten it again; right foot straight out to 3 o’clock and back again; left foot straight out to 9 o’clock and back again. Do this in a staccato, bouncy rhythm moving from side-to side from left to right for 10 yards, repeat back to other side 10 yards.

Viper – Hold 2 dumbbells at your chest; in one fluid motion, squat, roll onto your back, moving the dumbbells over your back, move the dumbbells above your head and back to your chest, rollup and then jump straight up bringing dumbbells over head…repeat for set number of reps.



Sean Burch is a six-time world record holder, a personal, group and MMA instructor for 25 years to Olympic and professional athletes and government officials, the creator of the lifestyle wellness program HyperFitness Living and author of the book HyperFitness.


• World Record: Fastest Crossing of Nepal (Completed via Himalaya range): 49 days, 6 hours, 8 minutes
• World Record: Fastest Winter Ascent of Mt. Fuji, Japan: 4:05:42
• World Record: 63 Summits of Unclimbed Peaks in 23 Days, Solo, Tibet
• Guinness World Record: Fastest Ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro: 5:28:48
• Guinness World Record: Fastest Time for Northern Most Marathon (First Marathon and wearing snowshoes)
• First Place: North Pole Marathon
• Mt. Everest (29,035ft): Summit, Solo
• Guinness World Record: Jump Rope at Altitude – 26,181ft.
• USA Record Speed Ascent, Aconcagua (22,841ft.): Solo, Argentina, Highest Peak in Southern and Western Hemisphere
• First in World: 14 1st Ascents, 2 Solo 1st Ascents – Previously Unmapped and Unexplored Mountain Areas within Arctic Circle in East Greenland
• Shishapangma (26,552ft.): Summit, 13th Highest Mountain in the World, Tibet

Please see more about the show at http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/ultimate-survival-alaska/

Joe Pietaro

Online Editor-in-Chief, Fitness RX For Men

Contributing Editor, Muscular Development

Co-host, FitnessRX Radio