Thursday, 27 January 2011

5 ways to f*ck youself up in under 5 minutes!

Hi all,

If you hadn't noticed, i've returned to a more witty/gritty style of writing. I'm swearing more and trying to inject the humour back into my blogs as i feel this is what people respond to best.... and it's showing in the blog hits over the past month. Many thanks to my new clients and readers who are sharing on facebook with thier friends and thanks to those who are leaving comments on posts that are in my archive (please keep doing that, it really helps spread the word). I think there are a few really good blogs from last year that you may want to check out... no pressure, honest.

Read my f*cking archive and comment douche-bag.

Seriously... Please, please leave comments. This is my only real feedback I get from people other than my PT clients (who i get to talk to each week).

Onto today's blog...
Why do i want you to f*ck yourself up in 5 minutes?

It's not that i'm against steady state cardio, i'm all for it as part of a balanced exercise program. Its just i think people do far too much of it at the expense of other great forms of exercise. The 'finishers' in this blog will ensure that you can add a cardio element to your sessions without spending too much extra time at the gym, exercising away all that muscle you work so hard to build! They can also be used as quick-fire sessions, so from now on there is really no excuses not to train because "you have no time". If you dont have 5-10 minutes each day to exercise then you really need to look at how you spend your time each day, nobody is that busy!

You will notice I have put a heading under each challenge called "Don't say it;s easy if...". This is for all the people I meet who declare that the sessions I design or challenges we set here are 'easy'. The reality of this situation is that these people (lets call them gym-jokers) do not do any of exerices properly or with enough effort, so therefore  they are always 'easy'.

Example: We have been doing my new 6 week training plan and the sessions have been kick-ass, really tough - enjoyable - but tough. When i asked one guy who was doing the same sessions in another gym, he said they felt easy. Obviously that pissed me off enough to write this in my blog. Again the reality was this person performing barbell clean and presses @ 20lbs when our training group is at 45kg (about 95lbs). Just a thought before anyone thinks this shit is 'easy'.

Poor weight selection and bad technique often go hand in hand

The 'In'famous 5

1. 500m row (best time)

Why? This is a real test of all-around gym conditioning. It will test strength and stamina. It will reveal your weak points. It will test your lactic threshold and pain tolerance. Why not test yourself? Warning: Expect not to be able to do anything in the gym after a 100% effort row.

How? Set the distance for 500m and row as quick as you can.

Dont say it's easy if... you have it on a level lower than 8 or you can't break 2 minutes (female) or you can't break 1.35 minutes (male)

I couldn't stand up properly for 10 minutes after my 500m best time

2. Farmers walk and Bear crawl (superset)

Why? Because its a brutal combination that will make every other gym member jealous of the fact you are doing things that look a lot cooler and tougher than they are. Expect to fall over or stop during one of the bear crawl sets.

How? Find a stretch of floor 20m minimum and pick a set of DB's that are heavy. Whats heavy? We have been working on bodyweight divided by 3 for base level DB selection. For example:

78kg athlete (divided by 3) = 26kg. The minimum DB's they should use are 26's.

Bear in mind we have guys using well above this weight, it's just a good starting place. Pick up anything you think you can handle! We quite like the 40's at the moment. 3 sets in 5 minutes is good going.

Don't say its easy if... You cant lift your base level DB's (detailed above) or you don't walk at least 40m (2x20m) per set.

The Cardio and Strength benefits of FW will carry over to nearly every other exercise you do 

3. 1000m row (best time)

Why? Don't ask. Maybe because your Daddy never loved you?

How? See 500m row above and times by 2.

Don't say its easy if... You can't break 4.30 (female) or 3.40 (male). Expect a very lonely feeling when you are tired with 600m to go!

Daddy wasn't there for Austin - Probably the reason he loves the 1000m row?

4. Tabata (anything)

Why? If your in the fitness industry and you haven't heard of Tabata training, you're probably not in the fitness industry. Type 'Tabata' in google search and read up yourself. It's a brutal, short and intense interval sequence that helped the Japanese speed skating team win multiple gold medals in Seoul 1988. Studies have shown it increases aeribic and anaerobic conditioning

How? 1 round of Tabata training = 20 seconds maximum effort follwed by 10 seconds rest (30 seconds)

A full Tabata session last 8 rounds = 4 minutes.

Don't be fooled by the length of time. If you haven't dont htis before, it's a real bastard. Expect to hit your lactic threshold at round 3 with 5 remaining. I love the pain/reward dilemma of this system. Yes it hurts like f*ck! but yes it's only 4 minutes.

Don't say its easy if... You do not hit every 20 second blast "balls to the wall" style. Real tabata's are often not finished! Try the rower if you really hate yourself.

RCC member, Eman Jeddy, Post-Tabata

5. The RCC 4 minute finisher "Carnage"

Why? Because we are a horrible lot here and spend most of our time trying to figure out ways to test people's body, mind and spirit. Very often we are called names, we don't really mind. This test is no exception.

How? 4 minutes, 4 moves, no rest.

Perform 1 minute of each with no rest:

1. Jumping Jacks
2. DB Thrusters (6-10kg DB's) - deep squat into shoulder press
3. Long jump/Burpee
4. Bear crawls (forward and backward)

Don't say its easy if... Just don't say its easy, because its not! Expect to fall over and curse the nearest person to you. The Long Jump/Burpee (for some reason) seems to be the hardest thing we have created/done in the gym. Enjoy!


I hate the word "beasting" (military term for ragging out people with excessive exercises and no real plan). I think those trainers who "beast" clients represent the lower levels of expertise in the fitness industry. The key to program design is to manage stress not purposely accumulate it through excessive punishing of clients. Think about it... Give anyone 50 burpees, 50 squats, 50 push ups, etc and they will get tired/injured quickly. If my clients' goal is to get fit, i will use the whole hour to achieve that, not a quick fire 15 minutes and laugh as they throw up in the nearest bin! All that shows me is the lack of knowledge the trainer has, not the quality.

The finishers provided above are 'short-duration' challenges for those people who are fit and ready for them.  We always place these 'challenges' at the end of a structured strength program and would never give these to anyone who was not at that level of fitness. Its very important to keep challenging yourself in the gym, it keeps you coming back for more and ultimately improving.

Try some of these out at the end of your sessions and let me know how you did? Especially the rowing times. Our current records in the gym are:

500m   - 1:26.9
1000m - 3:19.6
2000m - 7:23.2 (very beatable)

These are falling fast so get your times in! (Picture evidence recommended)

Please share below with FB friends, clients, etc. if you like this. I will be posting 3-4 blogs in quick succession over the next week or so, so look out for them.

Thanks for reading :)


  1. nathan you very well know if there is anyone who can do the challanges you put its me,well i will be more than happy for any one to join me on those crazy workouts written above,5 mins and u will be screaming for your mommy

  2. hmmm i need to know about this tabata thing!!


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