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Sometimes, our fans can teach us a thing or two, which is why each week Muscle & Fitness will be selecting a Bad-Ass Workout of the Week, submitted by one of our highly knowledgeable readers. Then our training experts will explain why they're so bad-ass, how how to make them badder; and what training style they work for.
This week, Dan Trink, Director of Training at Peak Performance in NYC, has some things to say about this routine from our Facebook fan Peter Valentine. Let us know what you think, and show off your own workout at email@example.com. If we think it's worthy, we'll post it on the Muscle & Fitness website.
1. Deadlift – 225 lbs. x 8 reps, 275 lbs. x 6 reps, 325 lbs. x 4 reps, 400 lbs. x 4 reps
2. 500-lb. Tire Flip – 12 flips
3. 25-lb. Sledgehammer Slam – 20 slams
4. One-Arm Dumbbell Snatch – 60 lbs. x 8 reps/arm, 80 lbs. x 5 reps/arm, 100 lbs. x 4 reps/arm, 100 lbs. x 4 reps/arm
5. Burpees – 20
1. Tuck Jumps
2. Battle Ropes
3. Sled Push (w/ 45-lb. plate)
4. Squat Hold on Balance Board (second and third round done with eyes closed)
5. 30-lb. Medicine Ball Slams
Well let’s start with the fact that you have two lower body days per week. Which means you train legs. Which means you're ahead of 70 percent of the guys who go to the gym and claim they "train legs by running for 30 minutes on the treadmill" (which may be the least bad-ass thing anyone could ever say). I like that you are prioritizing strength over volume in the big lifts such as deads and snatches by keeping the reps low and the weights high. You are then balancing that out by getting in some higher rep work with the modified strongman movements such as sledgehammer slams, sled pushes and tire flips. And if you're training with equipment that can be found in a junk yard, there’s a good chance your training is bad-ass.
I think you get could get a better training effect by keeping the big lifts out of the circuit and focusing on them at the start of your program. So alternate between sets of the deadlifts and snatches, resting between each set. You’ll get more out of those lifts that way. Then get after it by driving metabolic demands through the roof with your burpees, med ball slams and battling ropes circuits. I’d lose the squat holds on the balance board altogether as they are neither a strength nor metabolic exercise. If you really love them, put them in your warm-up to activate your nervous system. Finally, "never doing the same workout twice" will definitely lead to muscle confusion, which means your muscles will never get better at any of the lifts. Design a program, progress that program for a number of weeks, then move on to something else.
If you are into variety, high metabolic demands and like to shop for gym equipment at your local hardware store and car parts shop, this is certainly the program for you. If you enjoy a more methodical, systematic approach to training I’d say the parts are all here, they just need to be organized and progressed more effectively.
Dan Trink, CSCS, is a strength coach, personal trainer, fitness writer and nutritional consultant. He is also the Director of Training at Peak Performance in NYC. You can find out more about Dan at www.trinkfitness.com or on Facebook at www.faceboook/trinkfitness.