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The I-Really-Want-to Get-Strong-No-Matter-What Workout

The founder of Underground Strength Gym, Zach Even-Esh, will use any means necessary to make gains.

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Zack Evan Esh
Zack Evan Esh

A decade ago, Zach Even-Esh was asked to describe his training philosophy. A devotee of odd-implement training, including sand-bags and tractor tires, he said, “If it produces results, I use it.” It wasn’t a popular answer then, but he’s now known as a man ahead of his time.

“Remember, in 2004, people would say, ‘I’m only a kettlebell lifter,’ or ‘I’m only a strongman.’ I said, ‘I’m not going to discriminate if it works.’” The Underground Method involves constantly varied mini cycles with an emphasis on mentally grueling workouts.

“You want some perfect scientific program? Science happens in a perfect world, and there’s nothing perfect about an athlete’s life. Train the mind, not just the muscles.”

Top 3 Tips

Go Out

Don’t do gym workouts exclusively. Train outdoors once a week, such as doing a park run with tree pullups and stone carries.

Stick With the Lift

If you plateau on a lift, do 2–3 heavy sets, decrease weight by 50 percent ,and do 3 speed sets of 2 reps, then 3 sets of 10–15 reps.

Get Focused

Get training partners. If you can’t, find things, such as music, that motivate you to lift heavier and kick ass in the gym.

Routine

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The Underground Method

Do 1A–1C as a circuit and 3A and 3B as a superset.

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 7

Trap-Bar Deadlift

Equipment
Trap Bar
Sets
5
Reps
3-5
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 7

Walking Kettlebell Lunge

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
10 (Each Leg)
Rest
--
Hold the kettlebells in the rack position (at the collarbones) and do walking lunges.
Exercise 5 of 7

Dumbbell Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 6 of 7

Band Pull-Apart

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Do 15 overhand and 15 underhand band pull-aparts.
Exercise 7 of 7

Prowler Sprint

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
100 ft.
Rest
--
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