If you’re looking for PX90 or Beachbody, this ain’t it.  No spandex during the workout itself, no perfectly-timed, post-workout whey protein parfait following.  You won’t ever see this type of a workout packaged in a pretty, well-produced DVD offering because, really, who the hell is going to actually do something like farmers walks?  And more to the point, how are you supposed to make a farmers walk…er…exciting?  Well, hell if I know, and G** damned if I care.  Excitement I’ll find elsewhere; in the gym and on the track I’m looking for results, pure and simple.

First off, a nice, sweat-breaking warm-up; then the fun began:

Three rounds of the following.  I didn’t bring a stopwatch, but this would be a good one to try to repeat for improved time.  Roughly 20 minutes worth of work, if I gauged the wall clock correctly.

Framers Walk: A pair of 120lb DBs x approximately 180 yds.  Stop for re-grip as necessary (straight-leg deadlift to set weights down and on recovery/resumption).

Thrusters (Via bastardized use of the hack squat machine): 330 x 6; each rep as explosive as possible.  Imagined “press-putting” the sled for distance. That kind of explosive.

(Edit 2/20/10: here is a link to the Alantis equipment site.  Click on “Power Squat” from the left column listing of equipment.)

Cable “Samson” Flyes: 60lbs x 10 reps, each rep explosive.

Three rounds of that, and I was pretty much blistered.  Noted that the hack machine sled results in an approximate 10-degree-off-perpendicular, end-of-range angle.  Perfect for thrusters.  My next effort will be to re-engineer this thing specifically for thrusters — handles instead of shoulder padding, an ever-so-slight, up-angled deck.  Something similar to this idea.  I’ve got some very specific ideas about such a device.  There are a very few machine-based movements that I think transfer well to the “playing field” — this is one of them.

“Samson” flyes look a little something like this clip, though I perform the movement in a much more dynamic fashion, with a little bit of hip kick to get the motion started from the bottom-out position.  Imagine having two tough-shelled coconuts that you’re trying to crack open at the top of the movement.  Of course, I don’t slam my fists together, but you get the idea.  Adjust the weight properly so that the intent to move the weight fast will result in close proximity fists, but no busted knuckles.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeU8X2fSfrM&feature=related]

9 COMMENTS

    • Hmm . . . just realizing you said “hack squat” machine, not Smith machine. Ok, that’s at about a 45-degree angle at my gym, 330 might be a little less gruesome at at that angle. Have to go try it . . .

      • This machine happens to be about 10 degrees off perpendicular at the top of the movement. Perfect for thrusters – think of the angle taken when heaving a shot-put.

  1. Do you think you could post a video to your YouTube channel showing just how you are doing thrusters on a hack-squat machine? I would really like to try some, but looking at the h.s. device in the gym I belong to, I don’t get an intuitive sense of how to do them using such a machine. Thank you.

    • Here is a link to the Alantis equipment site. Click on “Power Squat” from the left column listing of equipment.

      I would love to shoot some clips of the various odd exercises that I do. Trying to find a camera person to hit the gym at the last minute (and always at a time that sane person would consider “way f’n too early”, is tough. One day, though 🙂

      • Oh, yeah, I’m familiar with that kind of machine! A now-defunct Olympus Gym location that I frequented some years ago had one.

        I’m guessing that in order to do thrusters, you stand on the footplate facing the back pad, and put your hands on the protruding shoulder pads so that only your hands and feet (and not your shoulders) are in contact with the machine?

        My current gym has one of those sled-type hack-squat machines; I’m not sure it’s quite as adaptable for thrusters, but I’ll give it some more thought when I go over there later today.

        Thank you very much for your fast response, btw!

        WRT videos, I actually came across your site because I was trying to beam a friend with back problems some info on lower-body exercises that can serve as alternatives to the more spine-loading exercises such as barbell squats, and Google sent me to your YouTube vids on Russian lunges. They were very helpful to him.

        • Actually, I lower the sled to the safety catch, and begin the movement from there – while standing on the ground. At first glance, you’d think your shins would bang-up against the foot plate, but they won’t – even when you lean hard into the movement. I wouldn’t exclude barbell thrusters for these, but it is a nice variation of the movement.

          I’m glad your bud found the Russian Lunges helpful. I that eventually things will work out so that I can put up some more clips.

          • We’ve got this Precor/Icarian deal at my gym:

            http://www.precor.com/comm/en/str-pl/pl603

            It’s got a lovely sliding action for doing hack squats, but is none too adaptable for thrusters, as I sadly discovered.

            But no worries. Guess I’ll just keep doing my thrusters at home using a held-by-the-horns-in-the-goblet-squat-position kettlebell, with a weight vest/weight belt combo on my torso to add an extra measure of challenge to the squat portion of the exercise.

            The k’bell feels good to me in the goblet position, which is nice b/c tendinitis in my elbows and shoulders makes doing thrusters with a barbell or pair of dumbbells awkward and uncomfortable for me these days.

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