Underground Strength & Odd Objects 1 x Week | Channeling my Inner Dr. Ken Leistner


I was listening to a recent podcast with my friend, John Welbourn. In his podcast he discussed once a week training with his BJJ athletes doing "Density Training".

Density Training is what Coach Ethan Reeve began doing in the 70s where he would perform exercises back to back for time. For example, his collegiate daily program was 10 rounds of Power Cleans with his bodyweight supersetted with chin ups / pull ups. All performed in 20 minutes or less.

Underground Strength began over 20 years when I was heavily influenced by the strongman and odd object training I saw some Coaches implementing. Men like Dr. Ken Leistner and the early 80s World's Strongest Man Competitions.

I viewed this as "NO Rules Training", hence the word Underground. 

Seeing Dr. Ken and his athletes lifting anything and everything (kegs, stones, cannon balls, old missiles, etc) inspired me. I wanted to feel powerful and strong, something I struggled to achieve due to my early days of pretty boy bodybuilding.

I like the idea of training 1 x week with non traditional methods. This would include any of the following:

  • FatBells & Kettlebells
  • Tires
  • Sandbags
  • Stones
  • Thick Bars
  • Junkyard Scrap Metal (I have lifted radiators, heavy pipes, etc)

See the video below of the radiator lift!

This is also a great way to challenge combat athletes in the off season.

Get them outdoors and train in groups. Use relay races with carries, sleds, tire flips, etc.

Warning: For men over 35 and those with poor mobility, stay away from the tire flip. Also, perform Deadlifts with a double overhand grip. Learn how to use a hook grip on traditional bars.

Before allowing tire flips, build up through the following exercises:

Squats of ALL Types: Front Squat, Box Squat, Back Squat and Zercher Squats

Trap Bar Deadlift

Pull Ups

Back Extensions

Hanging Leg Raise

Dead Bugs and Side Planks

Build tremendous leg and back strength along with trunk stability. 

Once a week in the off season, implement a day of Underground Strength.

For men who are Training for Life, I suggest the same. Especially those who are first responders, military, tactical and LEOs.

You can find these programs, training courses and videos inside our Underground Strength Academy or with my online team, Gladiator STRONG. 

Live The Code 365,


The Underground Strength System 

Details HERE

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