Tough Workouts and Exercises From Strength Coach’s Workout Log

There are always a few workouts and exercises that stand out during the week.  Below are ours from last week.  Once you read through the article, think of ways that you can alter the workouts and/or exercises to your liking in terms of equipment, capabilities and so on.


Perform the following 3 exercises back to back with no rest.

Dumbbell Hang Clean x 1 (We used 40lbs, adjust as needed)

Dumbbell Front Squat x 1 (40lbs)

Dumbbell Press x 1 (40lbs)

= 1 Round

Perform as many rounds as you can in 60 seconds.

Rest for 60 seconds.

Continue in this manner for 5 minutes.

Work 60 seconds/Rest 60 seconds.

Watch for not going down to parallel on the Dumbbell Front Squat, not pushing the Dumbbells all of the way up on the Dumbbell Press.

How many rounds did you get? Our goal was 30 rounds in 5 minutes.



We did this drill after having done Bench presses, ring push ups, parallel bar push ups and medicine ball push ups. I considered this an “active rest” drill. Headstands require balance, coordination, athleticism, flexibility and strength. Our shoulders were already toast from all of the upper body work.

The goal was to hold the headstand for up to a minute. I’ve been practicing headstands for a while and have worked up to a minute plus. It feels great to be flexible, feel more athletic and try new things. If you choose to try this emphasize the importance of CONCENTRATION and FOCUS. Give yourself LOTS of room, close your eyes and focus. Ultimately, my goal this summer is to walk on my hands.




This is pure brutal athleticism for grown ups.  Most 6 year old’s and up can do this with no problem though :).   I’ve done this exercise (knees to feet) in my bootcamps many, many times BUT I added the extra goal of a 20″ box to jump up onto. I’ve never done this double move.

Do 6 of these, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Rest as needed in between sets. Do step ups if needed as you become fatigued. If you’re at the park, you can do knees to feet followed by feet to park bench (make sure it’s solid – we have concrete benches). This is a VERY advanced move so if you are not ready for this, you can do knees to feet, followed by a squat jump. Work up to the advanced movement. Once it becomes easy, increase the height of the box up to 24″ or 30″ and/or add dumbbells in each hand or wear a weighted vest.



How many can you get in 30 seconds? The record was 9 reps.

Pick up a heavy dumbbell with your right hand (we used 90lbs) and place it on top of the box. With your left hand unload the dumbbell and place it on the ground. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds.

Focus on leg strength, grip strength and beware of overusing the lower back. The weight should be heavy enough to make it challenging. No 20lb dumbbells allowed! For women, a 50lb dumbbell or 53lb kettlebell should work nicely. For men, a 90lb dumbbell was medium heavy but honestly, I’d like to use a 110lb dumbbell next time. I want my guys to be really straining, grunting and groaning to get that weight up onto that box.

The other idea that I’ll play with is to raise the height of the box by placing a couple of 45lb bumper plates on top of the box to make it several inches taller.



Marching/Skipping With Straight Arm Hold x 30/30 seconds

Kick Overs x 30/30 seconds

Triceps Kickbacks x 30/30 seconds

Mountain Climbers x 30/30 seconds

Sledgehammer Plank x 30 seconds

= 1 Round

Repeat x 3 rounds for a 13 1/2 minute killer workout.


With this workout, you’ll work your shoulders, triceps, and core. You’ll need flexibility for the kick overs and tons of cardio endurance for the marching/skipping combo and the mountain climbers. Using a sledgehammer for mountain climbers presents an odd angle that will hit your core in a different way.

If there was any skepticism before hand about getting a great workout with a sledgehammer, there is absolutely no skepticism afterwords. Most people find it too difficult to compete 3 rounds of the above without having to stop and rest. The triceps kickbacks and sledgehammer plank exercises are non cardio exercises which are designed to be built in rest stations. But apparently, it’s not enough rest. And this is only level 1 of the sledgehammer workout.

Have a great week!



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