The "Basics" Workout

The "Basics" Workout

Looking better, feeling better, and increasing your athletic performance begins with this old school workout.

I was offered a Director of Operations position at the oldest operating gym in America (Union), and when I stopped by, I fell in love immediately. It’s a no-nonsense type of place that reeks of sweat and partially rusted steel. What was most encouraging though was the type of lifting taking place. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of members were playing with weights like a fish out of water, but a good portion were performing rack deadlifts, board pressing, and functional training. I figure, with a little TLC and that already-existent training approach, I can turn this place into something special.

Sure the gym doesn’t have multiple Kinesis Walls, swiss balls in every color, and endless stacks of plush white towels, but its limitations have forced us to get back to the basics. And after some tinkering with programming, I’ve settled on an old school workout that myself, and other members of the U, have seen great results with. What follows is a sample from it:

Jump Rope – 3 x 200 rotations
Split Jacks – 3 x 10
Broad Jumps – 3 x 5
Single-leg Lunge Jumps – 3 x 10

RDL - Overhead Press - BB Bicep Curl -10-8-6-4
Going up in weight each time or you can stay at a lower weight and perform higher reps for warm-ups and activation

Compound Movements:
Snatch from Floor or Steps – 3 x 5
Overhead Squat (elevated heels if necessary) – 5 x 5 (Heavy)
BB Reverse Lunges – 3 x 8

Upper Body Superset:
Pullups – 5 x failure
Dips – 5 x failure

Core Work:
Barbell Roll-outs 3 x 10
Lying elevated leg extensions to fetal position 3 x 30
Dip position leg lifts 3 x 12-15

I guarantee that, if you use this template 4 times per week for 10-12 weeks, you will build muscle, gain strength, and look a helluva on and off the field. Whether you’re an athlete or just want to avoid putting on the winter weight, give this old school mix a go, and let me know, come winter when you’ve finished your first training cycle, how it feels to dunk with women hanging off of your traps.

Brendan McKee's picture

About the Author

Brendan “Bonesaw” McKee has been training individuals since 2004 and is a graduate of Amherst College where he was Captain of the Lord Jeff football team. Over his career he earned all-conference and all-region honors in addition to getting the nickname Bonesaw for his bone-jarring hits and savage antics in the weight room and on campus. After school Brendan played football professionally in Vienna, Austria for the Danube Dragons. He also aided in the implementation of the strength and conditioning programs that the Dragons continue to use today. Today Brendan serves as a mentor and coach at InnerCity Weightlifting in Boston where kids who are at risk for gang related activities are trained in Olympic lifts to improve their athletic performance, tutored, and taught to say no to violence and yes to opportunity. Before InnerCity Bonesaw worked with individuals from Athletes Performance, Poliquin Performance Centers, Cressey Performance, and Hayes Sports Performance. Brendan is also the owner of MFD Training, “Manus Fortis Ducerit,” Lead with a Strong Hand.