Barbells, kettlebells and dumbbells - which bells will you be jingling in your workout today?! Check out this awesome training session straight from Strength & Conditioning Coach, Joe Bauer, who has put together this tough workout for the festive season:
About the workout
This is a workout that will give you exactly what you put into it. And like any other workout, you must keep form as your top priority at all times. With the proper form you will gain strength, endurance, and increased confidence from this workout.
How to properly execute the workout
You will want to make sure you have warmed up completely before starting this workout (see below for my warmup). Once warm, and with the appropriate weights ready for the workout, you'll start a running clock and perform 3 rounds as fast as you can.
- Warm up
- Run 400m
- 20 air squats
- 20 push-ups
- 20 walking lunges
- 20 arm circles forward
- 20 arm circles backward
- 3x10 reps deadlift working weight up to workout weight
- 2x10 reps dumbbell thrusters working weight up to workout weight
- 3x10 bench press working up to workout weight
- 2x10 kettlebell goblet squats working up to workout weight
With each exercise please make sure to follow the guidelines for a complete rep.
Deadlift - barbell starts on the ground and finishes with knees and hips completely locked out (extended) at the top.
Dumbbell thrusters - with dumbbells at shoulder level you must squat down until your hip crease drops below the top of your knee, and them completely lock out (extend) your knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows thrusting the dumbbells over head as vertical as possible.
Barbell bench press - remove barbell from rack. From there each rep is completed by lowering the barbell until it touches your chest, and then extending your elbows completely to finish the rep with barbell back in starting position.
- Kettlebell goblet squats - lift one kettlebell to chest height with elbows flexed, and in a secure position where it will stay for the duration of the movement. From there you will squat down until your hip crease is below the top of your knee, and then return to a standing position with knees and hips locked out (extended).
The benefits of each individual exercise
Each of the exercises in this workout carry a number of benefits...
The deadlift works the majority of your muscles with an extreme bias for the glutes, hamstrings, lower back (erectors), upper back (lats, traps, and everything else in the upper back), core/abs, quads, and arms. This is why the deadlift is one of the best total body movements out there, period.
The thruster is like the squats evil stepbrother. You have all of the benefits of the squat, such as... Improved strength and look of: glutes, quads, hamstrings, core/abs, and lower back. PLUS the thruster adds the shoulders (delts and traps), and the triceps. The thruster is a powerhouse exercise that most people are too scared to do. :-)
Bench press - It's not that often that you'll see a bench press in a Crossfit style workout, but the bench press adds so much to not only your chest... Well it does build a great chest, but it also adds boatloads of strength to not only your transverse pressing strength (bench press), it also greatly improves your frontal pressing strength as well (shoulder press, push press, etc). So if you have a bench press station, let's load err up!
The kettlebell goblet squat is a tricky guy. It gives you all the benefits of the squat (glutes, quads, hammies, core/abs, and lower back), plus you have to stabilize the kettlebell at your chest which adds your biceps and shoulders into the equation. It also front loads your body which will allow you to lean back farther in the bottom of your squat and attack the quads a little more, and makes it easier to get that deeper squat.
This workout is designed to be heavy, and have relatively high reps per set. This will challenge you physically and mentally. You'll have to work to your end range, and make sure you don't let your form waiver during the process.
If you are confident in your form, the weights that you choose should be heavy enough that you only get 1-2 rounds unbroken. Meaning that you will need to stop and rest in the middle of a set on the second or third round of the workout.
Because of the high rep range and potential duration of the workout, you will see cardiovascular benefits from this workout, but also legit strength benefits from the heavy weight that you should have to break up into multiple sets to reach each 20 rep segment.
Things to watch out for as fatigue sets in, form tips etc
The BIGGEST thing you'll want to pay attention to during this workout is... Core stability AKA keeping a neutral spine (flat back). You will feel your back want to flex/round at some point during the deadlifts, and possibly the goblet squats. When you feel this, it's time for a short rest. Do not pick the weight back up until you are able to keep your core/back in check. And if you are not able to completely stabilize your core/back during the workout, the workout is over for you.
Live to fight another day. You will get the most out of this workout if...
You are properly hydrated, and have been eating and sleeping properly over the last few days.
This is not the workout for you if you're feeling tired and overtrained. It will just make you feel worse.
Listen to your body. Always!