On most days you head to the gym and ‘do the right thing’. You take out your training log, follow the reps and sets, add a little more weight than last week and walk out the door feeling pretty darn good about yourself. Other days, you’re not quite ‘feeling it’ and you spend less time squatting and more time chatting up the hot chick in the squat rack. Hey, it happens.
Then there are some days you just walk into the gym feeling extra pumped and super focused. Sure you could bang out your regularly scheduled training program. Hell, the way you’re feeling you could probably hit a couple of PR’s. But, today, you’re same-old training program just won’t do. You want to tackle something tough. You want a challenge. You want to train so hard that you crawl out of the gym.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help. Each week we’ll give you a tough, one-off workout that you can try when you are looking for the ultimate training challenge of just feel like you need a break from your regular routine. But be warned, this training program will leave you totally CRUSHED.
Let’s start with getting our terminology straight. A workout “ladder” involves a rep scheme that increases or decreases by a certain amount each set (for example, set 1 = 2 reps, set 2 = 4 reps, set 3 = 6 reps). A “circuit” requires two or more exercises performed back-to-back usually with minimal or no rest between movements. This workout combines both of these protocols into one hellacious test of will and work capacity.
Start with one rep of the Hang Power Snatch, then two reps of the Chin-Up, then three reps of the Kettlebell Swing. Once complete, go back and perform two reps of the Hang Power Snatch, 4 reps of the Chin-Up and 6 reps of the Kettlebell Swing. Continue to perform the circuit in this fashion by adding one rep per circuit to the Snatch, two reps per circuit to the Chin-Up and 3 reps per circuit to the Swing (so the third circuit would be 3 Snatches, 6 Chins and 9 Swings).
You have 12 minutes to get in as many total reps as possible. Keep in mind that you cannot cherry pick which exercises you want to do. You must go in order and complete all reps of each exercise in each circuit before you can move up the ladder. Feel free to rest as needed between sets, reps and circuits.
As far as weight goes, choose a moderate load for the Hang Power Snatch (50-60% of 1RM) and anywhere between a 44-pound and 70-pound kettlebell for the swings. If you do not have the technique to Power Snatch, substitute a Barbell Back Squat instead.
See next page for the workout.
Perform the circuit below for as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes. Note that you are increasing the reps by one per set for the Hang Power Snatch, 2 reps per set for the Chin-Up and 3 reps per set for the Kettlebell Swing. Rest as needed but keep in mind the goal is to get as many reps as possible in the 12 minutes.
1. Hang Power Snatch
Begin with 1 rep then increase by 1 rep each set (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.)
Begin with 2 reps then add 2 reps each set (2, 4, 6, 8, etc.)
3. Kettlebell Swing
Begin with 3 reps and add 3 reps each set (3, 6, 9, 12, etc.)
Dan Trink is a personal trainer, strength coach and nutritional consultant based in New York City. To find out more about Dan visit www.trinkfitness.com