The Short & Sh*tty Workout W/ Spud

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  • By Marc "Spud" Bartley
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The short and shitty cardio session was developed over many years of trial and error. The goal was always to make the session as minimal as possible but at the same time elicit enough cardio to increase training volume both on a heavy and repetition based lifting. The plus is it is good cardio for the ole ticker.

I have dragged A LOT of sled and pushed A LOT of prowler over the years along with plenty of farmers walk, yoke, chain draggin’ You name it, I have used it somehow. Most of the effort was strictly to suit less fatty needs after my powerlifting career ended. During my powerlifting early days, it was used to increase my training volume but we utilized this excessively early on and although I was in great shape and my GPP (general physical preparedness) was fantastic, my strength levels did not move in unison with the GPP increase .

I abandoned that high level of GPP for many years, gained a lot of weight and got pretty strong. The problem then arose that I ran out of gas about 2/3 of the meet. So, I missed a lot of lifts based on an empty tank. To resolve my depleted GPP, I added prowler pushing in two days a week, one heavy and one light day. These two days completely changed my strength and recovery. Instead of being gassed, I had my best meet ever and felt like I could have done another meet altogether that day.

Since then I have twisted up hundreds of variations looking for even better magic. For example, last summer and into the fall a bit, I pushed the prowler 56 miles. Think Conan pushing that wheel although I didn’t get huge. But Yes 56 miles! During that time, I focused on shorter more intense sessions and becoming more efficient by maximizing diaphragm breathing and cutting the time down and utilizing shorter pushes.

The goal is always to be stronger in whatever capacity you are striving for. I am always thinking to improve my best meet ever when they sessions evolve. Not competing anymore I also look for avenues to improve training volume period. So the short and shitty is just that.

Time: 10 mins long


* Partner up with someone you like competing against. Make sure they aren’t too much stronger then you though. If you just hate yourself the most you can go it alone.

* You need: ropes, sled to drag, farmers walk, barbell with swing set straps preferably (makes it much harder) for zercher walks.

* Pick weights that are roughly 40 to 50% of a maximum effort for each exercise. Start with less if you are unsure. It maybe, a situation where you also pick a very light weight you can do safely at first. You want it to be 30 to 45 seconds down and back.

* Have all apparatuses ready to go. Hook ropes around something to keep it in place.

* The course is around 16 to 20 yards long. So down and back is twice that.

* One person does ropes, one does an implement down and back. The ropes are basic two arm slams or whatever you like as long as it is violent and hard and nonstop until the other person returns. Got carried away, just slam nonstop. Then switch.

* Next switch, first person grabs next implement while other does ropes and so on.

* The goal is for each person to go through all three implements at least once during the 10 mins.

The goal is 10 minutes straight. The ropes are recovery work from the implements so don’t kill yourself on these (unless you want to, but it will defeat the purpose of active rest and recovery). If you complete all three movements and your ropes before the 10 mins is up, simply start over until time is done.

Cardio is what cardio does.


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