| | Third Monkey – At Home Programming

Author / John

4 - 5 minute read

UPDATE: On June 6th, 2020, The Free version of Third Monkey program was discontinued. To learn more about what Third Monkey has to offer, click here.

Here’s the bottom line – Power Athlete is a company that empowers individuals across the globe with world-class coaching content, educational content, and goal oriented daily training programs. Unless you’ve built out an epic home gym, which many of our folks have, it has come to our attention that his pesky virus is leaving our people without facilities and equipment to train with.

On the morning of March 16th, after a weekend of consideration for those who are deciding to participate in social distancing and self quarantine, Power Athlete Founder and CEO, John Welbourn, decided we will be giving away free at home programming to anyone and everyone who needs training for the reasons we do; not only keep us active, but to keep us sane. We huddled around the whiteboard as the template was drawn up.

He tasked the crew with a mission – head to Home Depot and build a plan to kit out a dirt cheap home gym solution for $50 that could support the training template that we are calling Third Monkey. Here’s what we landed on.

The $50 Third Monkey Gym

This all came out to $47.95 plus tax from Home Depot. It’s worth mentioning that Home Depot offers FREE DELIVERY on orders over $45.00 in most areas. Also, if you have don’t have work glove consider picking some up. These are $5.00 for 5 pair, or maybe spend $10 on a nicer set. After filming movement demos I found out that cinder blocks will chew up your hands.

It’s worth mentioning that this kit is for someone who has absolutely no home gym equipment, and Third Monkey will be written with this equipment list in mind, and will assume you have a 8ft x 8ft space to train, space to run, a slick concrete/tile floor, and a doorway with a door. If you have a mods home gym, dumbbells and barbells, you’ll be able to substitute at your leisure when it makes sense.

The Equipment

So let’s break it down. Why Quickcrete? It’s the cheapest dried, powder based item per pound. Hauling around the bags are a decent fight, but the packaging isn’t sealed and leaves you and the area around you super dusty. We opted to invest in the 5 gallon bucket with a lid to contain the powder and keep the dust down. You could wrap these up in a contractor garbage bags and it’d be a hell of a chore to carry and haul that package around. But we opted for the buckets. They are cheaper and reusable.

Cinderblocks were a similar deal. They are less than $2 for 35-40 pounds. These will replace the dumbbell and kettlebell in many exercises, and act as surfaces to stand on, step on, and jump from / to / over.

While there are cheaper straps available, we specifically picked the Keeper Ratchet Tie Down because there’s a d-ring near the ratchet mechanism that we can use to latch bungees on. We’re going to use the straps through the top end of a closed door for some vertical and horizontal pulling, as well as the strap around a closed door, or sturdy vertical structure to hook bungees to.

Speaking of bungees, the 48in bungees (the longest option) made sense because you can always choke up if needed. The warnings indicate you should avoid stretching to double length, so to add more resistance we will pile up more bungees versus stretch out further. It might make sense to add another 4 of these. We’ll hook these to high points, mid points, and low points for arm and shoulder work.

And last but not least are the carpet samples. When turned upside down on a smooth surface like tile, wood/vinyl flooring, or smooth concrete, we can use these for slide board upper body and lower body exercises.

Third Monkey Training

The story behind Third Monkey is this; the times are interesting. There’s a sense of an apocalyptic crises. The next few weeks will be trying, but we have faith that humanity will prevail. However, it will not happen without hardship and frustration. We should be prepared physically, mentally, and spiritually to fight. There should be a mindful and deliberate approach to everything we are going to be doing, especially our daily training.

John doesn’t want to write up some monotonous bodyweight bootcamp training. He wants to give you training that he can progress and overload. Movement that is loaded so we can drive maximal gains, but with a minimal investment in equipment.

Third Monkey will do exactly that as long as you fight every day with a high level of intensity.

Hence the name: Third Monkey.

We want you to fight every day like you are the third monkey in line hoping to board Noah’s Ark; it’s starting to rain.

And you just found out that there’s only room for two.

Getting Started on Third Monkey

Give us your name and email below and we will email you programming every day. It will include prep work, strength work, conditioning and skill work, and a cool down. You’ll get movements, sets, reps, and you will also have access to a YouTube playlist for movement demos.

Reminder: The programming will be written assuming you have access to the equipment above, and household items like bath towels, doors, chairs, and a 8ft x 8ft space to train.

We are now only offering the premium version of Third Monkey on TrainHeroic, the best-in-class performance training and skill tracking app. With premium you will have access to:

  • Daily challenges and leaderboards
  • Community feed with video, emoji & gif support… gifs are VERY important
  • Daily workout tips and motivation
  • Direct messaging with Power Athlete Coaches

So let’s go, people, it’s starting to rain.

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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.


  1. Ari on March 24, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    This is great and thank you.

    Quick question, where can we find the different cool down, warm up, and sprint progressions that are programmed like “Cool Down Progression 2”. I do see “Sprint Prep Sequence 1” in the playlist but that is only one.

    • Luke Summers on April 3, 2020 at 4:09 pm

      Ari, it’s possible this was a timing issu. The list should be up to date each day.

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  3. Michael N Popadiuk on March 31, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Looking forward to starting the program. Well be ordering the equipment from the Depot and starting this coming weekend.

    • Luke Summers on April 3, 2020 at 4:09 pm

      Great! Let us know how it goes!

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