The pullup is one of the most effective exercises for building a v-shaped torso. Unfortunately, the move isn't easy. That's why you see only the fittest men cranking out rep after rep of the old-school exercise. "The pullup is a true test of upper-body strength and endurance," says Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., author of The IMPACT! Body Plan. "It targets your lats, traps, core, and biceps all at once."

How do you stack up? Find out with this back-shredding, shoulder-sculpting, arm-pumping pullup challenge. Durkin completed 33 pullups. What was your score? Let us know in the comments below.

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(Did you know doing pullups every day could increase your overall fitness? In fact, it’s one of the 16 Life-Changing Strategies you should try, today!)

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It's summertime, which means you can expose your arms almost anywhere, anytime. "If your arms are chiseled, people will assume the rest of you is ripped, too," says Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., author of The IMPACT! Body Plan. Before you head out this weekend, pump up your biceps and triceps with this 100-rep arm-expanding fitness test. Are you up for the challenge? You have nothing to lose but the room in your sleeves.

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DO THIS: Perform 50 reps of each exercise as quickly as you can. You don't have to do all 50 reps of the biceps curl or the triceps kickback in a row-you might do 10 biceps curls, move on to the triceps kickbacks, do another 10 biceps curls, and so on. Use a pair of 25-pound dumbbells for the curls and a pair of 15-pound dumbbells for the kickbacks.

Ready to try it? Watch the video above to see how to perform the challenge. Durkin completed 100 reps in 4 minutes and 45 seconds . What was your time? Let us know in the comments below.

Shake up YOUR workout with these 25 New Ways to Build Your Biceps.

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If you loved the training sequence in Rocky IV, this is the workout for you. Rocky went old school in the Russian wilderness as he pulled sleds and chopped trees. You replicate some of those techniques without having to schlep to Siberia.

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Ramp up your running routine. Speedy intervals improve your performance whether you do them uphill or on level ground, finds a new study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

To pit the two approaches head to head, researchers recruited 32 participants -- who ran regularly but didn't do speed work -- and divided them into three groups. One group continued its regular training routine, while the other two did two steady runs plus two interval workouts per week.

(For more must-have tips from the pros, read these 13 Things Serious Runners Wish You Knew.)

Those running hills turned their treadmill incline up to 10 percent and did 10 to 14 30-second sprints. The others followed an approach used in previous studies and training plans, running intervals on a treadmill set to a 1-percent incline at a speed and distance determined by a test of their fitness. That way, the intensity level of their intervals matched those running on the incline.

After six weeks, researchers found that people who ran hill and level-ground intervals improved by several measures, including top speed and the amount of time they could sustain it. Meanwhile, runners who stuck to their regular schedule (sans intervals) saw no gains, despite spending more than twice as much time exercising.

(Want top training advice for your first big race? Check out The 101 Best Running Tips Ever.)

Interestingly, those running flat intervals improved slightly more than those huffing and puffing at an incline -- but that difference may not mean much, says study author Derek Ferley, Ph.D., C.S.C.S. Why? The way his formulas worked out, flat runners ended up running fast about twice as long each week as those running hills.

The bottom line: While any speed work will help your performance, hill training gives you a great workout in a relatively short period of time, Ferley says. The incline instantly turns up the intensity, and you don't have to run as fast to net similar gains. Even more: Hills likely strengthen muscles and improve running economy -- your ability to use oxygen more efficiently while running, says Ferley.

If you've reached a plateau, consider swapping an easy run for a hill routine. Warm up with a jog, then find a grassy hill or crank up the treadmill to an incline between 5 and 10 percent. Sprint at the fastest speed you can sustain for 30 seconds (but not longer), then rest until your heart slows down again. Start with six repetitions and build up to 12. Or do this: The Best Interval Workout You’ve Never Tried.

Whatever your goal, find your perfect training plan at the Men’s Health Running Center.

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Combining exercises in certain sequences can give you maximum results. Two to consider are burpees and tire flips. These two routines will hit muscles throughout the body while also cranking up your heart rate and building your endurance.

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In any obstacle course you attempt, you'll most likely need to carry a heavy object or scale a tall wall. Upper body and core strength are crucial for completing these grueling challenges. No matter whether you're built like McLovin or Arnold Schwarzanegger, there are ways for you to bulk up and strengthen your core.

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Infomercials are right about one thing: Exercise gear can transform your workout -- and your body. But unlike the products you see peddled on late-night television, medicine balls never goes out of style. One of our favorite med-ball moves: the high-knee lift. "The explosive exercise improves your coordination because it requires total-body balance and mobility," says David Jack, C.S.C.S., owner of ActivPrayer in Phoenix, Arizona and creator of 30 Days to Ripped. See, when you're moving at top speed, you need body control. This drill forces you to keep your core stable and your hips level, key factors in changing directions at any moment and staying upright when you should have fallen. Add it to your routine for a better-performing, more athletic-looking body.

Ready to give it a shot? Watch the video below to see how to perform the med-ball high-knee lift with perfect form.

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PLUS: Rev up your body's fat-burning machine in 8 weeks! Check out The Metabolism Advantage Plan.

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Just about every obstacle-course race has some type of balance beam. One of the keys to crossing it without falling is knowing how to angle your foot. Check out the technique as well as the best way to approach running on trails and other uneven surfaces.

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The level of nostalgia might depend on the kind of experience you had back in gym class or the playground, but you can make climbing ropes and monkey bars a crucial part of your fitness routine. And if you're interested in competing in an obstacle-course race, these are mandatory exercises because just about every event has some variation of these challenges. Here's the smart way to tackle them:

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The popularity of challenging fitness competitions such as mud runs continues to grow. But before you jump in, make sure that your training regimen addresses the specific demands found in these events. It's great to work out, but it's even better to work out in a practical and efficient way. Here are some exercises that will get you headed in the right direction:

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