The Push-Pull Massacre
This grueling challenge is a true test of high-end conditioning
Illustration by Adria Fruitós
With a timer running, perform 12 sets of barbell deadlifts and Olympic plate thrusters, alternating the exercises in an inverse rep scheme. Start with 12 deadlifts and one thruster, and then decrease your deadlifts and increase your thrusters by one rep each set until your last set is a single deadlift and 12 thrusters. Perform three burpees at the top of each minute until you complete the workout.
TIP: The goal for this workout is output rather than the load itself. Choose a weight that you can move rather quickly and allows you to complete each set without stopping to rest.
DEADLIFT: Stand over a loaded barbell in a shoulder-width stance, with the bar running over the arches of your feet. Grasp the barbell (overhand or mixed grip) and set your hips underneath your shoulders. Maintain a tall torso as you squeeze your shoulder blades tight and contract your abs. With your head in a neutral position (look at the floor four to 5 feet in front of you), pull the weight off the floor by driving with the hips while maintaining that tall torso and natural curve in the spine.
THRUSTER: Holding an Olympic plate at chest level, squat down until both elbows touch the inside of your thighs. Explode from the bottom of the squat and press the plate overhead. Be sure both elbows are fully extended at the top.
BURPEE: Squat down and place your hands on the floor. Kick your feet out behind you so that you are in a pushup position. Perform a full pushup (chest touches the floor) and come to the top. Jump your feet back to your hands and stand up. Jump your feet 6 inches off the floor and clap your hands overhead. That’s one rep.
• Load the barbell with 55 to 65 percent of your deadlift 1RM (check out this article to learn how to calculate your one-rep max).
• Use either a 25-pound, 35-pound or 45-pound Olympic weight plate for the thrusters.
• Burpees are performed “dead man style,” with your body going all the way down to the floor and then a 6-inch hop at the top.
Less than 15 minutes: Beast mode
Less than 18 minutes: Impressive
Less than 21 minutes: Solid
Less than 24 minutes: Meh…
Over 24 minutes: You need help — work on improving overall conditioning, leg drive and burpee technique.
FOR TIME: Alternate deadlifts and plate thrusters in an inverse rep scheme (12 deadlifts, 1 thruster, 11 deadlifts, 2 thrusters, etc.) At the top of each minute, perform three burpees and then continue with the deadlifts and thrusters. Log your total time.
Mike Salazar is the owner and head trainer at Evo Fitness in Chicago.
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