The most satisfying workouts are a challenge of your mental strength as much as your physical fitness. In the moment that a session starts to really suck (your sixth sprint interval out of ten, say, or burpees at any point) your will to carry on exponentially multiplies the satisfaction you feel upon completion. That positive groundswell of feeling makes you ever more willing to push when the suck of the next workout kicks in. It's how you get fitter of mind as well as body.
Scott Britton, MH Elite coach, master of mindset and the founder of Battle Cancer, delights in taking himself to the physical and psychological edge. And, as you may have gathered by now, he has written an exclusive SQUAD workout that will push you towards the very same ledge.
"I call this one 'Quads & Minds'," says Scott. "It pushes your legs – the lunges the ground-t0-overhead and even the deadlift. But it's going to be tough on your grip and even harder on your mind. When that barbell is on the floor, you won't want to pick it up again. But overriding that feeling, grabbing hold and getting stuck into the next round is what it's all about."
Set a countdown for 25 mins and get through as many rounds and reps as possible. The suggested weight for this workout is 40kg but scale up or down depending on your personal level of fitness. If in doubt, go lighter. The first handful of rounds might feel easy but 25 minutes is a long time and things will get real for your legs and grip before too long.
Get a handle on things with Scott's tips, then watch him demo the workout before finding the full description below.
Instead of just breaking it up constantly, I want to challenge you to do the deadlifts, straight into the ground-t0-overhead and then to pop the bar over your head onto your back and go straight into the lunges. Then rest and go again. That way you can focus on full rounds, rather than counting reps over the 25 minutes.
GRIP & RIP
Grip is really important for this workout, especially with the challenge of holding onto the bar for each entire round without dropping it. The key to saving your forearms is not 'death-gripping' the bar constantly. Where you can, give your grip a break mid-movement to save yourself the agony!
You are going to get a serious pump in your legs on the lunges but also the ground-to-overhead if you're being explosive with them. One thing you can do, believe it or not, is to do a few air squats while you're resting between rounds. I know this sounds like I'm asking you to do extra work but it's a good way to flush out the lactic acid that will be building up in your legs.
The main area that a lot of people might find hard is the front rack and overhead positions, particularly if you don't do a lot of Olympic lifting. A full, comfortable front rack is something that takes time, so rather than trying to hold it in a full handed grip (which is going to really fry your forearms) think about trying to get the bar as far back into your fingers as possible. Perhaps also move your thumb behind the bar, too, as that can get your triceps and lats more mobile.
1) Deadlift x 5
Start with feet under the bar and your shins almost touching it. Bend at your hips and knees and grip the bar with an overhand grip, hands just beyond shoulder width (A). With your back flat and core braced, pull your torso up and thrust your hips forward to stand up (B). Keep as close to your body as you can,
2) Ground-to-overhead x 5
Stand with with your feet under the bar. The bar should be over your laces, rather than against your shin (A). Keeping a flat back and straight arms, smoothly pull the bar up off the ground, past your knees and towards your hip crease. Now simultaneously and forcefully open your hips and shrug with you shoulders to propel the bar upwards, catching it on the front of your shoulders in a slightly squat (B). Now fully extend your legs to push the barbell directly overhead (C).
3) Walking lunge x 25 ft
Start with the barbell across the back of your shoulders, standing straight and feet shoulder-width apart (A). Keeping your head up and back straight, take a step forward with one foot, bending until your back knee just touches the ground (B). Bring your back foot back under the bar and then step forward with that one. Keep alternating to 'walk' forwards.
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