Simply put, the last five minutes of your workout can be the difference between ending with a muscle bang or an ego-deflating moan.
So no matter what body part you hit at the gym, we’ve got a finisher that’ll make sure you leave nothing behind in your quest for the ultimate pump and nothing left in the tank during the final throes of your workout.
Chest: push-up drop set
This pressure drop set uses your body weight to burn every muscle fiber in your pecs. Bring each move to failure before moving on to the next, resting if necessary between rounds. Start a five-minute countdown and complete as many laps as possible.
1/ Elevated feet push-ups x max reps
Raise both feet up on a box, bench, or bed, creating a solid plank position with your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart (A). Slowly lower your chest to the floor (B) before explosively pushing back to lockout.
2/ Pushups x Max Reps
Immediately lower your feet to the ground and return to your plank position (A). Bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you press explosively.
3/ Raised Hands Pushups x Max Reps
To avoid the temptation to kneel down, place your hands on your box or bench. This will elevate the angle and make the next set slightly Easier (A). At the same pace as before, flex your elbow and lower yourself toward the box until your chest touches it (B). Restart until your elbows are locked out.
Back to: Run The Rack Rows
Start with the heaviest dumbbell you can row for 6-10 reps, perform one set on each arm, then immediately move to the next lightest set in the rack and repeat with both arms. Work your way up the rack, not resting between weights and increasing the reps (if you can) as the weight goes down. Can you complete the full set?
1/ Three point dumbbell row x left max reps and right max reps
Hold a dumbbell in your left arm and bend over at the hips, placing your right hand on a bench or box (A). With a flat back and a stiff core, shift your weight to your right hand and row the right dumbbell into your hip (B). Pause briefly, then lower the weight under control until your arm is straight. Perform as many repetitions as possible, then switch sides.
Arm: resistance band pump
Grab a resistance band and pump up your bi and tri with this high rep burn out. Perform 50 band presses, followed by 50 band bicep curls – take short breaks if necessary, but keep reducing the reps. Then perform 40 reps of each, followed by 30, then 20, and finally 10 for 300 reps of the sleeve stretch.
1. Bandaged triceps press x 50/40/30/20/10
Wrap a resistance band over a high anchor point, grab the lower half with both hands, place your elbows close to your body, and position your forearms parallel to the floor (A). Pull the band down, keeping your elbows and arms pinned, squeeze your triceps hard as you straighten your arms (B), before slowly reversing the motion until your forearms are parallel again.
2. Bandaged Biceps Curl x 50/40/30/20/10
Stand in the center of a resistance band and hold both ends at waist height (A). Keeping your arms stationary, slowly curl your hands toward your chest, squeezing your biceps hard at the top of each rep (B). Shumbly lower your arms until they are suspended and repeat.
Legs: lunge and squat
Use this high output leg burner to really finish your pins. Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in the “tumbler” position close to your chest, or just use your body weight – perform as many rounds as possible of: forward lunges, reverse lunges, and squats with elevated feet. Start with one rep of each (one rep on each leg for lunges), then immediately start round two with two reps of each, then three reps, then four, etc. Climb as high as possible on the ladder in five minutes, then hobble towards the locker room.
1. Alternate forward lunge x 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…etc.
Stand up straight (A). Keeping the chest up at all times, step forward with one leg, bending the knee until the back knee touches the floor (B). Stand up explosively, pause and repeat with the other leg.
2. Alternate reverse lunge x 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…etc.
Stand up straight (A). Keeping your chest up, step back with one leg, bending the front knee until the back knee touches the floor (B). Stand up explosively, pause and repeat with the other leg.
3. Goblet Cyclist Squats x 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…etc.
Raise your heels onto a weight plate or block, keeping your feet within 6 inches of each other, heels close together. Hold your dumbbell close to your chest. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor (A). Stand explosively, stopping just short of locking your legs to keep tension on the quads (B). Repeat.
Shoulders: Banded 21’s
Grab that resistance band again and pump up those deltoids with a shoulder-burning remix of a classic biceps protocol. Perform the full ’21’ protocol, 3 times, resting as much as needed between rounds to recover.
1. Band Side Raise 21’s x 3 turns
Place both feet in a light resistance band, gripping the top, with tension, at waist height (A). Pull the band up, sideways, until your hands reach shoulder height (B). Perform 7 reps in this manner, followed by 7 reps, perform only the top half of the movement, and finally 7 reps of the bottom half.