Fat Loss Strength Uncategorized

Finish sessions stronger

Jack Lovett is a strength and conditioning specialist and the owner of Spartan Performance. He is a two-time British natural strongman champion and world natural strongman competitor. He is based in Consett, County Durham.

Concluding your workout with strongman-style finishers is a sure fire way to blitz body fat, build muscle, enhance full-body conditioning and develop mental toughness. Not only that, they are an incredibly fun and rewarding challenge to test yourself.

A word of warning: although the following drills are fantastically effective finishers, there is always an inherent risk when training with odd or new objects. If not suitably prepared, such risks can easily outweigh the benefits. I strongly recommend that you perfect a safe lifting technique for all the drills, under experienced instruction and on suitable equipment only. Train smart and safe at all times. Your body will thank you for it.

Tyre flip
Why This is an effective full-body blaster, because flips develop your posterior chain as well as enhance leg drive, flexibility, endurance and explosive strength, all whilst teaching you to lower your body down then explode up. Not all tyres are equal so to ensure a safe lifting position and suitable load, and ensure your tyre is ideally 20”-22” thick. Thinner tyres encourage a ‘sumo deadlift’ lifting position, also known as the ‘biceps tearing’ position. At Spartan Performance our entry level tyre for male athletes is 300kg and 20” thick. If your gym doesn’t have the kit do barbell power cleans.

How to do it
•  Do 30 seconds of continuous flips, counting the reps as you go
•  Rest 90 seconds between sets
•  Do a total of three to four sets
•  The total number of reps is now your target to beat next time

Log clean and press
Why A head-to-toe challenge with increased core musculature recruitment because of the thickness of the log. It’s less technique-dependent than the Olympic clean and press so there’s a shorter learning curve. Consider not wearing a lifting belt during this exercise and let the awkward nature of the object really test your core stability. If your gym doesn’t have the kit do barbell or dumbbell clean and presses.

How to do it
•  Clean and press for time
•  Do six to eight sets of 15 seconds each
•  Rest 90 to 120 seconds between sets

Farmer’s walk
Why A full-body blast that is fantastic for improving muscular endurance, anaerobic capacity, grip strength, vastus medialis (VMO) strength, ankle strength, as well as upper back, trap and core strength. Do not cup the handles and secure a strong grip with the thumb wrapped firmly around the forefinger. If your gym doesn’t have the kit do trap bar or dumbbell walks. If your gym does not have the space, then perform holds for time.

How to do it
•  Do three maximum distance carries
•  Rest 120 seconds between sets
•  The target is to achieve 100m with bodyweight (Credit to Dan John for this)

Atlas stones
Why Loading Atlas stones is an outstanding way to develop hip extension, explosive starting strength – simply in getting them off the ground – as well as developing tremendous crushing strength in your arms, all whilst engaging your erectors, lats, rhomboids, shoulders and pecs. If your gym doesn’t have the kit do sandbag or heavy dumbbell or kettlebell lifts.

How to do it
•  Load an Atlas Stone over a yoke with the bar set at chest height
•  Lift four to six loads over the yoke
•  Rest 75 to 90 seconds
•  Repeat for five sets

Ultimate combination
Why For an even greater challenge and appreciation of strongman-style finishers, look to combine some of the above examples for a truly unique test. I use this combo with my MMA athletes to supercharge their conditioning. Only combine strongman events into one finisher when proficient on each individual event.

How to do it
•  Tyre flip x 3 reps
•  Log press (1 clean only, all presses from chest) x 6 reps
•  Farmer’s walk x 40m
•  Rest 120 to 180 seconds
•  Repeat for three to five sets