Featured WODs from Travis Graves & American Parkour Academy


Every weekday American Parkour Academy (APK) posts a new W.O.D. (Workout Of the Day), featuring agility, strength, balance, power, endurance, and speed enhancing drills and exercises that are directly or indirectly useful in Parkour and Freerunning and designed to keep you at the top of your game.

Check out these three favorite American Parkour Workout of the Days, created by Travis Graves, Program Director and Head Trainer for American Parkour Academies.

APK WOD 8/21/12: conditioning-focused with parkour elements 

  1. APK Warm-Up 2

  2. Run for 5 minutes at an easy pace

  3. Do 15 Safety Vaults on each side

  4. Run for 5 minutes at a medium pace

  5. Do 10 Safety Vaults on each side

  6. Run for 5 minutes at a fast pace

  7. Do 7 Safety vaults on each side

  8. Rest 4 minutes and repeat.

Be careful not to lose good, safe form in the safety vault; so take a slow pace, even walking, if necessary.

APK WOD 9/20/12: focused on building strength for a specific skill

  1.  APK Warm-Up 3

  2. Climb-Up Conditioning: A powerful climb-up is the hallmark of a strong traceur. Use these exercises to improve the pushing portion of your climb-up. Choose a variation that allows 5 reps with full range of motion and good form.

  3. Perform 8 sets of 5 reps, with 1:30 rest between sets.

    • Beginner: Triceps dips are an easy upper body exercise that can be done just about anywhere. Especially good for those who have yet to develop the strength needed for dips and push ups, triceps dips are a good supplement exercise for training strength and flexibility in the arms and shoulders.

    • Intermediate: The wall dip is an upper body exercise related to movements such as vaults and the second half of a muscle up or climb up. The wall dip builds pushing strength needed for generating power in a vault or a climb up.

    • Advanced: Reverse wall dips are an easy upper body exercise that can be done just about anywhere. In addition to providing strength for certain specific movements like lazy and dash vaults, reverse wall dips are a good supplement exercise for training strength and flexibility in the arms and shoulders.

    • Very Advanced: Once you are able to perform more than 15-20 regular wall dips, it is time to start thinking about new ways to develop your dip strength. The one arm wall dip is a great way to further increase your pushing strength without the use of weights. Begin by drilling the negative one arm dip and progress accordingly. The coordination of this exercise can be tricky, but keep working hard and you will achieve this great exercise! 


APK WOD 9/6/12: Parkour Run

This is a medium-short run, adding some elements of parkour movement along the way. Go for a light jog, trying to emphasize efficient form. This time, when you see a wall, vault it or climb it, when you see a rock or fallen long, jump to it or run along it, when you see a police car do a giant front flip over it... nevermind! It's important to be safe with this drill, don't do anything big (even if you've done it before, you'll be in a different state) don't do anything that even looks a little bit sketchy.  The point is not to do a lot of parkour moves, but rather to cover a lot of space and see how a bit of parkour movement affects your pace. Only do parkour moves every few minutes, not constantly. Aim for about 20-25 minutes total.

Ready to try a Parkour class? Read more about American Parkour Academies from Mark Toorock and find a class near you on GoRecess today! 

 About Travis Graves

Travis discovered parkour in 2006 and immediately began training and researching every aspect of the art. Coming from an elite-level ice-hockey background, Travis started with a good base of physical fitness and a mentality of hard work. In 2006, Travis found himself in a teaching role after co-founding the country's first officially-recognized parkour club at a major university, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Through over two years of near-daily teaching, Travis honed a skill set that would afford him the opportunity to move to Washington, DC to teach at Primal Fitness and head up their parkour program. Now a full-time parkour practitioner and teacher, Travis works daily to improve the community and his own skills.


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  • That's me rolling in the picture! Great WODS, Travis Graves is the man! American Parkour Certified Instructor: Michael Bernier www.facebook.com/TicTacMaster

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