T Nation

Meltdown Training

I am interested in trying the meltdown training program by Don Alessi. Looking for some feedback from people who have tried it. Do your strength levels go down? Also do you incorporate any exercises for arms or calves? Those are not included in his program. I would appreciate any feedback.

Well in a sense my strength to weight ratio has improved. I can do twice the amount of chins than I could before dropping about 5 pounds. I feel my arms are getting fair amount of workouts due to the chins, dips, and push press. As far as the calves I think the rope work will provide a new stimulus they are not accustom to and should provide an appropriate targeted exercise. I’m pesonally going to try the twice daily training and lift every other day. The off days wil include the rope work and extensive ab work followed by 15 minutes of sprinting.

Ditto. My strength went up a tremendous amount on Meltdown. And it’s not really designed to work ancillary muscles in the way a more detailed program would. This is for fat loss, not muscle building.

Hey folks. Well I did Meltdown during a dieting phase, so basically everything deteriorated. I don’t think it’s the be all and end all of fatloss training. I think it helped spare some muscle while on less than maintenance calories, but fat loss wasn’t enormous even on a 25-30% calorie deficit - I feel there just needs to be a little more cardio. Perhaps I could’ve lowered the cals a little more too. All things to tweak next time. Either way, I’m not going back to Meltdown Training any time soon.

I tried it and gained muscle. Maybe from the lactic acid build up which increased GH. Don’t know. I was using it to drop fat and ended up four pounds of lean weight heavier. I’ll take what I can get.


I am I the only one that has been GAINING muscle on meltdown training?!! I am doing meltdown with the T-Dawg diet and it is f-ing amazing. I am on the last stage and I am making better gains (physically) then I have
ever made… and with no supps. This is probably because I never really did dead lifts before, and I usually only used to work out three days. I am 6’1’’ and when I started I was 16% BF and 190 pounds. Three weeks later I am 12% BF and 186 pounds. That’s loosing 7 pounds of fat and gaining 3 pounds of lean mass at the same time. I really recommend this to anybody especially if it is something that is radically different than what you have been doing.

We’ve incorporated some of the excercises from Meltdown into our own and by just doing that, have noticed our strength increasing. We will be going all out with Meltdown next month (for my contest prep) and from what I’ve seen by just taking a “taste” of this training - I can’t wait!

Yeah bro, Meltdown Training is great! I got stronger and I lost a good amount of fat in the process. Do the t-Dawg diet and the maximize fat loss stack at the Biotest store and you will see some fantastic results. I didn’t do any calves or arms because the entire workout takes care of everything.

Anyone try Meltdown while on MAG-10? A buddy of mine used this combo while upping calories slightly and ditching the cardio for the most part. He made some pretty impressive mass gains!

I’ve just started (two workouts) and it’s a fun change so far (can’t report progress yet, but I’m sore in new places and yes, it’s tough).

But my forearms were killing me, on both workouts. On day 1, it’s the pull-ups and deadlifts, while on the day 2 workout its the dumbell lunges and barbell bent-over rows – in both cases my forearms were the weak link. Does anyone else have this problem? I’m thinking of getting some straps this weekend so I don’t crap out too early on the deadlifts and lunges. Also, maybe I’ll switch to neutral grip pullups.

(I have had this problem somewhat on other routines, but I’ve always been able to get away without straps, maybe because I usually rest a lot longer between sets?)

We use these straps for our back training - they’re like wraps except they also have a metal hook for the bar. VERY helpful - especially if you’re like me and have whittle hands. We get them here from a local fitness shop - I forgot name of the company who makes them. But these things are awesome - except the only time I have to get a new pair is when they’re stolen from me (and it’s happened - bastards…).

Thanks, Patricia. I think I’ll try simple straps first, since I can pick them up anywhere, and if I need still more help I’ll track down those things you’re talking about. Also, I hope that my forearms will develop faster with all this stress, so I won’t need them over time . . .

I’ve kind’ve made up my own modified version of meltdown training based on some of it’s shortcomings. I played around with them a little and although I like what I have termed them as “death circuits” I feel as is the meltdown workouts were too short for me (only about 18 minutes…realistically you can only burn so many calories in such a short period) and doing them as outlined 4 days per week would have been too much volume on mainly the quadriceps for me. So I basically just made up my own versions and pairings of which I dedicate 20 minutes to at the end of my more traditional workouts and I do this rather than perform any cardio. Not only am I able to get my regular workouts in but the death circuits really leave me pumped up and spent. I have divided them up into predominately pushing or pulling and predominately rhythmic vs explosive movements (4 separate circuits) which I alternate performing each one only once per week to avoid overtraining. If anyone’s interested I’ll post more info.

If you want your forearms to develop more then DON’T USE STRAPS!!! I had the same problem when I did meltdown, my forearms were burning after doing my first set of pull-ups!! My forearms have always lacked, so I started training with straps, I found that while using straps your forearm progress comes to a screeching halt while the rest of your body gets stronger. I got sick of having tiny forearms so I stopped using them. And I was really tempted to using them during meltdown, but I want big forearms so I girded up my loins an did meltdown without them. Now they are stronger and larger. I know, I know it’s fun to load up the big weights and throw’em around without your forearms giving out, but I think you really have to weigh pros and cons of training with/without them.

Absolutly. I did Meltdown for 4 weeks in January, and while results were good i wasnt thrilled and switched off. I prob wont do it again till June but I would appreciate anything you could offer about what worked for you.

Kelly - I would enjoy seeing the modifications that you have come up with. BTW, I wanted to congratulate you for your articles getting posted over at Intensity. Keep up the good work. I appreciate your contributions to this board.

Did you see at the end of his last article (a couple of weeks ago), Don Alessi said he is currently working on Meltdown II. Will be interesting to see what that is.

Alright here goes. Just to give everyone an idea. The way I have it set up matches my own split fairly closely. I go through each circuit 2 or 3 times at the end of my regular workout for the day. I vary the weights and rep ranges and try to get through everything without any breaks and then take a 1.5-2 minute rest interval.

Mon- Explosive pushing front squat, burpee or vertical jump, Bench press, explosive pushup, leg raise, crunch, push press or dumbell jerk, tricep dip)

Tues- Rhythmic pulling Romanian deadlift, seated row, leg curl, pulldown, cable woodchopper, russian twist, shrug or upright row, dumbell curl

Thurs- Rhythmic pushing Hack squat, dumbell bench, dumbell lunge or overhead squat, j.m. press, cable crunch, v-up, dumbell shoulder press

Friday- explosive pulling Power clean or snatch, pullup, wrist to knee crunch, saxon side bend or turkish get up, Russian deadlift, dumbell jump shrug or medicine ball woodchopper, scott curl

I agree with you that straps do help especailly in your case patrica. But if you think you have weak forearms. Train them first do some wrist curls before using straps. because wraps, belts ect… Are really for people that have an injury or a brace. If you use straps in a pull-up or a dealfit you basiclly deactived your forearms during that lift. So if you are trying to strength it why are you using straps… Same goes for belts in squatting and Leg Press Belts hidder your core abs and lower back from getting stronger! Unless you have issues with your wrist joints,knee joints lower back I would not use anything to support it!

Just think in real life if you are rock climbing or pulling your self over a wall or deadlifting a heavy box do you have straps on?

The only straps I use are the ones for my back training. And if you saw how small my hands are, you’d understand. Also, I have never used a belt in any of my training. Have never needed to, since I have strong abs and lower back. For gods sake, I’m 5’4", 123 lbs and am deadlifting 245lbs - for reps (I also squat 265lbs - w/out a belt). As for my forearms - they are already strong. Maybe it’s due to my workouts with a heavy bag? Also I’m a martial artist and have also done some boxing training (in a boxing gym -not as much now, though). I regularly perform “knuckle” pushups on hard surfaces - trust me,I’ve got strong forearms (this helps with “punching power”). Which is also why the straps help, my forearms most likely would take away from my back training. This way, I can relax my forefinger a bit when deadlifting - I find when I grip hard via my forefingers, my forearms come into play. I don’t want that. I want to work my back.