T Nation

Sledgehammer Training on Off Days?

Do you think that 15min of sledgehammer training on non gym days will tax my CNS too much?

Is this subjective?

i dont think so, i do an hour of cardio or lots of sprints on my off days and it seems to help, i would say though after make sure u stretch ive found that if i stretch after im less sore the next day

This depends,

are you on juice??? if yes, i’d say maybe (see below).

if not,

and you are able to “successfully” incorporate sledgehammer work into your “Off Days” my question is:

are you REALLY giving your max effort on your “On Days”

i defer to two examples. Ben Johnson and Dorian Yates.
Two very different athletes. Except that both were very powerful for their size. Both were the best at what they did. Both were very scientific about their approach to their sport. And both used juice.

Also BOTH found that EVEN on juice their performance improved only when they properly spaced out their training. And then really busted their asses during their short sessions.

Johnson found on the juice he could max sprint everyday BUT his times didn’t improve until he back’d off with what they called “tempo days” (running at an easy pace for more distance) sort of like what we’d call cardio. It was for recovery purposes, not training. Then on his max days his sprint times improved to the point where they are only now being broken, 20 years later.

I assume your aware of Yate’s methods. In and out of the gym ASAP (with hell in between)and plenty of rest before hitting the same muscle group again.

And these guys had liquid help.

maybe incorporate the hammer work into your On Days.

if you feel frisky enough to hammer on your off days, the question you have to ask yourself is, are you taxing your system to the max in the gym during your On Days.


That makes sense Bramble. So do you think I should do it before the weight training or after?

I want to do some kind of activity on off days though, how about some light rowing?

What are you training for? how many off days a week?

I’m training for strength.

3x full body a week. (heavy day, light day, medium day.)

Work it in slowly increasing your GPP if your only training 3x a week you should be fine doing it at least once a week till your body gets use to it.

duck_dodger23’s question was important.

You answered that your training for strength.

Its really stupid for me to just critique because anyone can say “your doin it wrong” and “here is what you should be doing” blah blah blah

but here are just a couple of stupid thoughts.

You say your training for strength, however two thirds of your workouts are “medium and light”. whats up with that.

two thirds are medium and light. think about that.

light is great if its speed oriented, as Louis Simmons at Westside Barbell teaches.

Medium is what? do you want to have a medium life, a medium looking wife, would you hire someone who told you they’d give you a medium effort if they get the job?
Medium lifting means you stimulate neither fast or slow twitch fibers to any useful extent. theres no point there.

I’m not much of a full body workout guy, unless of course your olympic lifting, in which case i can just shut up. Those guys rock. but i don’t think two thirds of their workouts are medium and light.

i currently do DoggCrapp style training by Dante Trudel. It is only 3 days a week and it kicks my ass. Its a half body per workout,max lift each workout, and there is no way in hell i’d make it through two weeks if i tried to hammer on my off days. Google “DoggCrapp training” or Dante Trudel for more detail.

If strength and 3x fullbody are what you want, why not max a different lift or two each workout and speed train the rest. That way your body gets to handle heavy weights in short spurts 3x aweek instead of 1x a week.

i need to shut up now


Well I worded that wrong I guess.

Medium day is 5x5, heavy day uses triples and light day uses 4x5 with less weight than medium day.

It’s intermediate Bill Star 5x5…and it beats the shit out of me. Hence my original question.

I’m doing his program for a few months and if the gains are good I’ll continue, if not I’ll try something new.


i apologize. Bill Starr programs rock.

If your not on juice i’d say leave the hammer alone. But do something on the off days thats gets the blood flowing but doesn’t tax your CNS (your original question eh?)or puts any demands on the muscles (i hate saying cardio). This aids recovery, improved circulation so the muscles can clean out the stuff you tore-up, and get repair materials in.
Yates use to go for long brisk walks. Sounds too simple. But the guy must of known something. And it was at a time when everybody said double split six-day a week is the only way to win the Oly.

Of course what the hell.
You do some science and let folks here know what happens. Put in a kick ass week with no hammering and record all the lifts. Then hammer on the off-days for 3 or 4 weeks and see where the lift numbers go.

The pounds and reps will answer your question and they will not lie. i’d like to know too if your numbers go up or down. Just make sure your honest with yourself.

Thats what i love about DoggCrapp. A founding principle is either the reps or the pounds go up for each exercise at each workout, or you are forced to change that exercise. So if you like a particular exercise you keep pushing the limits so you don’t have to change it. Its kind of a play on some of Louis Simmons principles.

good luck!!!


It’s experimenting time!

GPP work on ‘off’ days helps me feel better and recover faster.

I don’t see how 15 min of sledging would overtax the CNS, or even remotely impair it.

You do realize there are people who do construction work for a job, right?

Funny thing happened today.

I don’t have a tire so I just go hammer dirt on a trail. Today while I was hammering, a woman in her early 20s was walking her dog and happened upon my trail. I wasn’t wearing a shirt, was covered in sweat and was beating the shit out of the ground. She stared at me for about 10 seconds and then just turned around and went back to where she came from.

Must have freaked her out lol.