T Nation

INSANE workout

ok i want to hear about it. your hardest, most insane workout you can remember. you know, the one after reading arnolds bio where your puked and couldnt walk for a week. the one where you saw all the stars in our galaxy but you were inside. the stupid WAAAAY overtraining one you did before picking up t-mag.

The most insane workout I ever did was actually a job. I used to work in a lumber mill. Imagine, if you will, every day, pulling boards ranging from 1 to 2 inches thick and from 4 to 16 feet long off of a chain at waist height and sorting them into packages for pick up. I drank 2 gallons of water every day and urinated only after I got home. I saw three guys, in the course of one summer, quit on their first day, and none of them made it to lunch. Although the military guys probably have me beat, this one kicked my ass.

Some of the toughest workouts I’ve done were some of Coach Davies’ Renegade Training. The first few sessions of all-out Renegade Training left me feeling like I was going to die. Other than that, I’ve had some grueling leg workouts back in the day with some very huge training partners that liked to do heavy squats, leg press, leg extensions and lunges in the same workout. Talk about a puker!

JC, what’s up? How about you tell us your story? You sound like you know from experience. I don’t think that I can remember ever doing that-MM2 was one of the mags that got me into working out. I do however recall after some brutally hard workouts (perhaps taken after Skip la Cour- remember, “I will redefine absolute failure…” that’s what he said before each set) where I went throught the pain threashold on all but one of my sets, going home, being horse (from yelling), and running a low grade temp. Yea, and that’s from something like an 8 set workout, of 4-6 reps.

On my 1st day of my roofing job last summer, I had to pack around 5000lbs, 100lbs at a time. That was 100lbs rolls, 30 on each pallet & I moved 5 pallets by hand. It took me about 4hrs. I was pretty sore the next day. My toughest gym workout was probably GVT. That’ll probably change in a month though when I start a breathing squat cycle.

Demo, that sounds crazy - almost fun =) Great functional training. You would’ve been in pretty handy shape as a result?

I used to bench press four times a week, usually the cliched 3x10, and always to failure. I never worked my legs. Rarely worked my back. Come to think of it, my arms and shoulders were neglected too. If only I spent as much time working my entire body as I did my chest…

Leg day training with a hangover. Yup. That was pretty memorable.

I’ve got another work story. I work at a seafood company in Louisiana which my dad owns (My dad was harder on me than the workers). There would be boats with around 2000-3000 pounds of mullet(type of fish). YOu would have to get in there and shovel the mullet into a conveyer around shoulder height. After you finished with that boat there would be 10 more waiting behind that one. Really kill your back. We would probably buy 500,000 pounds of mullet a day(open 24 hours). We also buy tuna off boats. Some boats come in with over 150 tuna in the ranges of 40-200 pounds. YOu would have to lift them off the ground to chest high to box them up. Sometimes we box up 300 tuna a day. After they are boxed up it adds another 50 pound with the ice. Would have to stack on pallets over my head with the help of someone. I would still lift weights after though. I ain’t no sissy.

This is an easy one. Anyone remember the old Cybergenics Phase I routine with all the drop sets/positive and negative failure and all that good stuff? Absolutely brutal. I can’t believe I paid $100 for that crap back in the day. Interestingly enough, I wonder if that old routine would be good w. a Mag-10 cycle?

I’ll have to ditto Patricia on the hangover leg day. I think I was still drunk when I went to the gym. my training partner made me go that day, s I washed down 2 rippd fuel with a double esspresso(I know how stupid that was), went to the gym and actually had a decent squatting session(not by my current standards though). At the time we finished legs with a 300 foot farmers walk with a trap bar and I think I got about half way through and literally passed out on the parking lot for like 30 seconds. When I went home I started drinking my post workout shake and after about 2 sips I puked all over the kitchen floor. I spent the next 2 hours bent over the toilet heaving. All that straining made my abs sore for like 2 days!

From recent memory - a quad workout I did about a month ago:
squats: 185 x 20, 205 x 20, 225 x 20 (225 was my weight for about 12 at the time)
After the squats, I decided to try the Arthur Jones triset of leg press, leg extension, and squats, performed to failure (including failure on partial reps), and done IMMEDIATELY after each other…
Leg press (machine): 400 (stack) x 22 + about 6 partials, followed immediately by
Leg Extension : 50 x 12 + about 4 partials, followed immediately by
Squats: 135 x 10 + about 3 partials.
Might not seem too hardcore, but try it (with the 3 sets of squats as “warmups”)…my quads were sore for about 4 days afterwards and I had to walk around the gym for about 10 minutes just to get the feeling back in my legs.

I used to do drop sets with forced reps on each mini set within the dropset. I’d go from doing 4 forced reps with my 1RM and drop 10-20 pounds at a time doing three or four forced reps at each interval untill I failed on an empty bar (or reached 50 reps). Then I’d immediately load the bar to my initial weight and do negatives.
Id rest a couple of minutes then I’d do it again. Id do that for 5 more exercises for each body part!
Thats 2 mega sets (I would call them) for 5 exercises per body part. I would do two body parts per day 6 or 7 days a week.

Summer of '97 I lived on the North Side of Chicago – Wriggleyville. Worked out at Quads (Ed Coan’s gym). Every Friday was squat day. For 10 weeks I would perform 5 sets of squats. I would push so hard that I inevitable puked either after the 4th or 5th set every Friday for 10 weeks straight (I used to note the word “puke” in my workout log and the records indicate I never failed to do so during that period). If I puked after the fourth set, I would rest 10-20 minutes for my stomach to settle then punch out the 5th set and sometimes puke again. After that I would do 5 sets of leg presses, 5 sets of hack squats and 5 sets of leg extensions all with equal zeal. There was a long staircase that I had to walk down to get out. I handles those stairs like a 90 year old cripple. I couldn’t step off a sidewalk without nearly buckling. I usually had to stop and rest during the 4 or 5 block walk home.

Sure I overtrained, and was completely fried by the end of the Summer, but Fridays was the day I looked forward to the most. It was an event. It was a way to prove my ability to withstand pain and discomfort and to push myself further than most would dare and then go even further time and again. All the gym regulars would wait for my inevitable Mt. Vesuvius impression and cheer me on. My nick-name became “Squats”. I have learned much since those early days and have only squatted to the point of vomitting handful of times since then, but I still look back on those days with a smile in my heart.

Doing deadlifts each saturday morning with a mate, after we had been on huge drinking sessions the night before -suprissingly these workouts were some of my most focused I’ve ever had. while going for my Royal Marines entry test - run six miles in full wet kit across some serious rough terrain followed by having to carry a cut down telegraph pole between a couple of us (you had to carry the pole a mile in under 7 minutes). We finished in 7mins 4 secs, so we had to run 4 miles back to camp - some of the hardest stuff i’ve done especially because you only had a few hours sleep the night before

Well all these work stories reminds me of my days as a laborer for an excavation company. One week we were grading out the inside of an underground parking garage. It had about 10-15 small rooms that needed 6" to a foot if dirt to bring the floor to grade, well we didn’t get to it before the block walls were up so there was only a regular doorway way to get at it. Sooo I would go in a room with my shovel and lantern cause there were no lights yet. And some one would pile dirt up to the top of the doorway so i couldn’t escape and i hade to shovel my way out, that took 3 11 hour days. Or jackhammering all day with a 90 pound hammer really kills the traps. Another favorite was when me and another guy had to dig a footing by hand in hard clay. it was 30 feet long by 5 feet wide and five feet deep. we knocked that out in 4 hours. I’ve got a ton more but you get the idea.

hardest workout. well all of our quad days are killer. but one workout stands out in my mind. when i was 16 (5’6, 130) i started lifting at a gym strictly for BBing. i saw what the big boys were doing, and imitated them. for 90 mins, i did a giant set of squats, leg press, and hack. i puked after about 45, and dry heaved again after i was done, and had to call my dad to pick me up b/c i couldnt push down on the clutch. stupid stupid. i think that was the same year i started using the “nice shoes wanna fuck” pick-up line on girls. (and the only action i got was a slap.)

oh yeah i forgot one. last thursday, i started a modified EDT workout. on quad day, i have two 20 minute sessings of squat/donkey calf, and narrow stance leg press/leg press calf. after i finished the 40 minutes, i could make it up the stairs for about 10. saw some pretty stars though.

20 reps squats barely completed, then 5 burpees, 10 db cleans, 40 jumping jacks, (20 lbs drop for squats) repeat 4 times, except no lb diffrence from 3rd to last squat set.((NO REST))
Then 25 deep squat vertical jumps, followed by 12 100 lb sandbag lifts to chest(touch bag to floor, but no break), then 50 “speed punches” esentially throwing short uppercuts as fast as possible, then 20 pushups. 30 secs rest, repeat 4 times…
for some reason this we went way beyond our noraml renegade type pain for this one… worst wo weve ever done, clobbers any 100 football running we did or any rugby game played… I think we all had the mindset of not quiting no matter what, which we usually have, but the wo usually isnt like this. It doesnt sound bad but try it some time.

Then there was the time in the spring of '94 that I made a 20 mile hump carrying 80 lbs of gear up and down the hills of Camp Pendleton, with a broken foot… in black flag conditions… I shit you not!

Brutal crit the day after crashing in a road race in Rosalia, WA. I had road rash on one arm and the opposite leg. Had to use an arm and leg warmer to hold the bandages on. The best part was winning the crit because my team blocked so well. The worst part was teh 5 hour drive home after.