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Gut Check Exercises

What exercises have you ever done that really were a gut check to you. Where you thought you were strong but then realized otherwise when trying to do that exercise.

I have a few:

1- Overhead squats with chains, talk about “functional”. I’d still be doing them but I really cant support barbell shit overhead right now. The unstability it provides is nuts.

2- Kneeling Jumps. Wow, and I thought I was explosive. Talk about a gut check. Turns out I have to fucking concentrate on exploding like a Shaolin Monk. First time I got smoked with the 45lb bar… Finally got the gist of it and I got up to ninety… I can do 155, But I work with like 115-125 to really focus on speed.

Holy hell, fuck power cleans that shit is crazy.

3- Anything with bands. Again, I thought I was fast shrug. Most killer is snatch pulls with bands. jesus titty fucking christ, explosion is an understandment…

Ditto on the overhead squats, and I’d say snatch grip deadlifts. First time I did 'em I blithely put on my 5RM, expected to bust out at least 4 reps and proceeded to drop the weight and rip my calluses wide open.

close stance squats Im like a little girl when I try those there is no controlling that movement for me I drop down like a brick or I cant even get to paralel

Zercher Deadlift from the floor KILLER and very humbling.


Heavy good mornings.

Squatting heavy with a buffalo bar and and chains. If you start to dump forward ever so slightly when coming up with the bar, the chains and the camber of the bar seem to magnify the effect tremendously.

That thing that gymnasts do (and a few of the regular gym rats) where you start with pull-up and end with a dip. I can’t do them- but I think they are wicked as fuck.

Ab wheel

I’m man enough to admit it.

A lot of the bodyweight stuff is very humbling, like one-arm pullups, planches,front levers, and the iron cross. I thought I was a good puller until i started training for the one-armer. Hard as fuck.

Overhead walking lunges with a sandbag swinging from each end of the bar. Produces an effect similar to the chains, only worse. Do these outside in the soft grass. You tend to fall over alsot. Now need for a really heavy bag either. 25 lb. bags will knock you down real easy. Be prepared to look stupid.


the 12" log in strongman makes me look pretty stupid…since i started with an OLY coach, cleans make me look pretty bad…muscle-ups, OH squats,

[quote]LUEshi wrote:
Ditto on the overhead squats, and I’d say snatch grip deadlifts. First time I did 'em I blithely put on my 5RM, expected to bust out at least 4 reps and proceeded to drop the weight and rip my calluses wide open.[/quote]
Fortunately I did a couple warm-ups when I first tried this lift. I got to 80% of my usual working weight and said, “Oh shit, I guess I’m not going any heavier!”

Windshield Wipers with ankle weights will f*** you up.


Ditto on the Snatch-Grip Deadlifts.

Whoops, forgot to add my own…

BB Bent Press
Saxon Bend

I’d appreciate vids or at least description of the kneeling jump (Xen) and zercher deadlift (Phill) if you guys could. Thanks.

Some killer exercises here. I second the request for a vid of properly done kneeling jumps.

Ok, in addition to anything banded,

barbell overhead bulgarian squats. Insane. Horrible. Amazing.

Oh, and Tabata anything (not really a strength thing, but definitely a gut check time).

Three words: 20…rep…squats

(suprised this one hasn’t been said)

Jefferson lifts and barbell hacksquats.

Polquin’s snatch grip deadlifts on a 4 inch platform. I could only make it up to 225 without completely ruining my form.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
Three words: 20…rep…squats

(suprised this one hasn’t been said)[/quote]

i was gonna say that, but didnt since ive only tried it once and have been too much of a pu*** to do it again

I’ll be damned if I can remember what to call it, but… set up on a GHR so your feet are anchored but your body is sideways. Holding a weight at arms length, twist down toward the ground, then back up to the ceiling. 8 reps a side with a 25lb powerball and I’m fried. I think I got this horrible, horrible exercise from the Diesel Crew.

Another one that isn’t really a “gut check”, but a “WTF, why is this so hard?” exercise is the sledge raise.

Hell, any type of sledge work (especially levering).

[quote]BB Bent Press
Saxon Bend[/quote]

Holy crap, I had almost completely forgotten about those two exercises. I’ve done both before, and loved 'em. I’ll have to start doing them again.

OT, the Continental. Like a bent press, but holding a smaller weight with the other hand.