The Garage Gym Warrior
by Travis Stoetzel
Finding yourself short on time when it comes to getting in a solid training session?
As a husband, new dad, and owner of multiple businesses, I can tell you all about it first hand.
With time being so precious, it can be tough to find a good hour or so to set aside to devote to hitting up an intense training session, but it's all about making it a PRIORITY.
Everyone is “busy” but it’s the hard charging warriors that actually MAKE the time to train that actually get the results they want.
However, if you’re looking to maximize the effort you put into your training, just fitting in any type of workout here or there isn’t going to be the answer.
The big trend that’s been hitting the fitness world as of late has been that of “HIIT” workouts or short, circuit style training sessions. These are noting new, but they’ve come back with a vengeance as of late and are certainly becoming more mainstream than ever.
When you only have 30 minutes or less to train, these types of fast hitting sessions are perfect. While these HIIT style workouts are great for shredding off body fat and getting you into awesome overall condition, a few things these “HIIT” style workouts miss out on is that of helping you get stronger and more powerful.
YES, getting lean is a good thing (especially when your main goal is to lose weight), but what about strength? What about power?
Do you want to be weak and skinny or do you want to be ripped up, powerful, and strong?
If I’m going to look good, I want to feel good and be able to perform just as well so I know which one I want to be, but it’s your call.
My guess is that you not only want to look good, but you also want to be able to perform at a high level as well.
Am I right?
Either way, in this short article I want to share with you a few of the ways I implement strength and power work into short, 24 minute or less workouts that will not only help you get leaner up (you’ll get ripped IF you follow proper nutrition protocol), but they will also help you become more explosive and stronger.
To start off, we need to think about how to organize these training sessions when we only have 30 minutes or less to train…
If your focus is to get stronger and more explosive (while also getting ripped), the #1 thing you want to do first is to start off with an explosive, POWER based movement.
The reason we start a session off with a high-speed, power-based movement is so you can make sure you’re able to move with as much speed and explosiveness as possible.
We don’t want to train power when we're fatigued and run down at the end of a workout. You'll end up moving your body or the weights SLOWLY. Train slow and you will be slow. If you’re going to train for power, you want to be able to move at 100% effort and explosiveness.
Think about it…
When you get tired, you slow down. When you slow down, the amount of overall INTENSITY you’ll be able to put into your power movements will decrease, thus resulting in less effort being put into your power movements.
It’s sort of like saying your going to do sprints, but end up doing a hard jog instead.
It’s just NOT going to yield you the same results.
Note from Zach: This sounds like common sense but I get daily e mails from people asking questions like this. I believe the overabundance of info as well as a bombardment of fads and gimmicks is confusing countless people.
So, what are some of my favorite movement to use at the beginning of a training session for speed and power development?
I prefer jumps and various forms of plyometrics, Olympic based movements using kettlebells or dumbbells such as snatches, cleans, and swings.
For example, within the sample workout I supply for you below, I start the session off with a “step vertical jump” which has progressions to it that can be used to help either increase difficulty or decrease it based off of your fitness level.
Bottom line is to move with 100% effort each rep so the overall reps used within the workout below are kept pretty low at 2 per set. If you go above that, your intensity might fall a bit.
Now, while this might seem “easy”, just note that when you’re training for pure power, your goal is NOT to absolutely destroy yourself. Just don’t don’t be so quick to think you have to breathe and gasp for air in order to get results or have a successful workout. That’s NOT the focus here.
And TRUST me, this stuff works and you’ll be gasping for air and breathing heavily when the time comes, just not at the very beginning.
So, that covers how to implement power, now let’s talk about strength …
When it comes to building up more strength, the focus is very similar to what we do with our power work in that we want your strength focused work to be done within the first part of your session for when you’re fresh. Unless you’re advanced, you’re not going to be able to lift heavy enough loads when you’re fatigued out from doing a full session.
For the strength focus, I typically follow up my power-focused work with some strength-focused work, which is an excellent 1-2 Punch.
So, instead of doing some type of interval set up, I always have a certain amount of reps selected for my movement that I’m trying to work strength with.
With the session I have for you below, the strength-focused movement I use is done with a kettlebell single arm overhead press. The reps we’ll use is kept at 5 per arm, but note that you can go lower with reps in the 4’s, 3’s, 2’s and even 1’s if desired.
Since we’re working with kettlebells, 5 is a good rep range to work strength in this specific exercise and training tool. Kettlebells are not the best tools for 1 rep max work. Sets of 5 will work great.
When you work strength, you want to think more about overall QUALITY than QUANTITY. Since you’re doing a lower amount of overall reps, you want each rep to be done as efficiently as possible. To assist in this, you’ll want your rest periods to be a bit longer so that you can give yourself a descent amount of recovery so you can go near 100% each set.
To give you a full example, I’ve got a sample workout below in full detail.
This shows you exactly how I’ve managed to implement strength, power, and conditioning focused work all into one highly effective training session that can be completed in 24 minutes or less. All you need are a few kettlebells (or dumbbells) to suit your needs.
Day 4 – “SPEED SHRED” Day – Taken from The Garage Built Body
1) 2 Reps Every 20 Secs x 3 mins
- Step Vertical Jump --> Step Tuck Jumps
***Alternate which leg is in front each rep
2A) 3 Rounds Of:
a) 1A KB / DB Strict --> Strict Bottoms Up KB Press 3 x 5 / Arm
b) 1A KB / DB Front Rack Squat 3 x 10
c) 1A KB / DB Bent Row 3 x 6-10 / Arm
***Rest ONLY as much as needed between movements and rounds in order to
maintain solid form and technique – push the pace
***(-->) Signifies PROGRESSION in movement
3A) 3 Reps Every 20 Secs x 3 mins
a) Double KB / DB Power Squat Clean x 3
4A) Death By Burpee – E.M.O.T.M.
Minute 1 – Do 8 reps
Minute 2 – Do 10 reps
Minute 3 – Do 12 reps, then 14, 16…
***Continue adding 2 reps each minute until you can’t do all the work within the
Note From Zach: These workouts look very similar to what I am doing with many of my athletes. Power and Strength focused yet we also include some short conditioning sessions. I've gone through Travis' program and because I no longer provide new training courses unless you're a member of The Underground Inner Circle, I went to one of the top guys who has gone through The USC Cert.
As a busy man myself, these workouts make you tough and provide results. They are powerful and effective, period.
If you want to see more workouts like these fast and furious training sessions that can be done even in your home gym using basic equipment, check out The Garage Built Warrior from Underground Strength Coach, Travis Stoetzel.
Each workouts takes 24 minutes or less and can be performed at your home gym or at the local commercial gym.
Just be ready to put in some HARD WORK to EARN YOUR RESULTS.
Frank DiMeo says
Excellent post, Travis!
Great article! I’ve always know that in a S&C session a power movement and 2 or 3 strength lifts made up the bulk of the lifting aspect of the session but what I’ve always been confused about and could never find the answer to it until now is when to incorporate the power movement so thank you!
Here’s how my sessions would look like
1. Power movement – KB Snatch/Swing/Box Jumps/Sled Push, etc
2a. Squat/Deadlift/Bench or Overhead Press
2b. Body weight movement – Pull-ups/Dips/Push-ups/RFESS/Pistol Squats, etc
3. Core Work
I’ve incorporate body weight movements as I’m currently focussing and building more body weight strength to compliment the gymnastics strength training i’ve just taken on