100 Hardcore Reps, Health Nazis, and Back Crushers

TAGS: Back Crushers, programs that work, make a wish, Steve Pulcinella, health, kenny patterson, Jo Jordan

100 Hardcore Reps

by Jo Jordan
From 2009 Holiday Tips: Training Insanity 

The worst workout I have ever done and will never do again occurred while I was attending Troy State University in Alabama. Back then I was really into bodybuilding. I was like most guys that are young and impressionable, as was my roommate, Tony.

He had recently read an article in a bodybuilding magazine about 100-rep sets and that they could shock your body into new and amazing growth never before seen in this universe!!! Somehow he talked me and our other two training partners into doing this. Seeing as how it was leg day, Tony chose the hack squat as the exercise we would use. The article only called for one exercise. I am very thankful it was only one.

We let Tony go first since it was his idea, and we threw one 45 pound plate on each side. He cruised through the first 40 or so, but slowed significantly after that. He finally finished after five minutes, and then it was my turn. I was not looking forward to this, since Tony was now lying face down on the floor moaning. I was not going to back out, and wanted to show them that I was “hardcore,” so I started off fast and banged out 30 and then started to wonder what the hell I was doing and what this going to accomplish.

At 50 reps, I was pretty much squatting down, sitting there for 10 seconds and then pushing up. It took me around 10 minutes to finish the set, but I did get all 100. I rolled off the hack squat and stared at the ceiling for a couple of minutes trying to catch my breath.
That’s when breakfast decided to work itself back up. I crawled to my knees, pulled myself up and stumbled to the bathroom, where I proceeded to puke out things I didn’t even remember eating. After several minutes of this and a few more dry heaves, I came out to find that the third guy had only done 50 and quit and that the last guy had decided to pass altogether. Pussies.

I made it out to the car and managed to press the pedal hard enough to make it home. I ate dinner after sitting for an hour, and barely made it off the couch to do that! I took a couple of Tylenol pills and went to bed.

Eight hours later, my alarm would alert me that I had class in 45 minutes, which was normally an ample amount of time for me to get ready. Well, that morning was quite different. I was able to knock the clock off the nightstand in order to turn it off, but was in too much pain to get out of bed. I missed all of my classes that day. Finally, by the afternoon, I was able to stand the pain and burning in my legs to get to the bathroom and then the kitchen to eat. After that, it was to the couch and nothing more for the rest of the day.

My legs were sore for four days and I was miserable. My roommate was in the same condition, so we made a pact to never do that stupid shit again since it just wasn’t worth what small amount of stupendous muscle growth or shock the “experts” claimed it would provide. Plus, that was the last time I let him decide what I was going to do for training. Dumbass!


Back Crushers

By Steve Pulcinella
from 2009 Holiday Tips: Training Insanity

I would say the most gut-busting, brutal thing I ever did during a training session happened early in my strongman career. In 1993, I did a contest in Toronto, Canada, where one of the events was to walk with an Olympic barbell and plates across the back - like a squat. This was back in the day before the sport became standardized and they didn’t have the super yoke event yet.

You are given three attempts to walk fifteen feet with the most weight. I devised a way to train for it at the gym. I would simply get inside the power rack, put the spotting bars up high, so it was just under the bar, and walk back and forth the few steps inside the power rack until I couldn’t hold the weight anymore. Each week leading up to the contest, I would add more and more weight.


My very last training session before the contest, I was to do 1075 pounds, and had one of my partners time me with a stopwatch. I told him, “Don’t let me give up no matter what.” I remember taking this massive weight onto my back and just wearing a power belt and an old pair of marathon knee wraps and starting to walk forward and back. The pressure was almost unbearable, and I remember almost grinding my teeth to powder.

My partner called out ten second intervals and I just blocked out the pain as best I could. The weight was bearing down on me harder and harder and my steps began to get shorter and finally impossible. After I couldn’t walk anymore I just stood there with the weight crushing down on me more and more, and screaming. Finally, my back gave out and I crashed down with the weight. The time on the stopwatch said 1:17! The pain I felt for the next few days was something I would never forget. I also remember thinking if some son-of-a-bitch is out there doing something stupider than what I just put myself through, he deserves to beat me! Thank God that event was a one time thing because, I knew the day I did it that I would never put myself through that hell again.



Health Nazi

By Kenny Patterson
from 2009 Holiday Tips: Training Insanity

One workout I hope to never have to do again:

In September of 2007, I finally decided to hang up the wrist wraps, power belt and squat suit and call it a career. There were new opportunities on the horizon and the UPA was just being born. What would I do now to keep my competitive fire burning? The answer? Spend my time in the gym getting into the best shape of my life. I thought, “How hard could this be?” I have been training since I was 14 years old, squatted almost 900 pounds, totaled over 2200 pounds and benched over 700 pounds for the last 10 years.
I had no idea what was in store for me.

I called a longtime friend and former powerlifting training partner, Joe McCoy. Joe had been training for fat loss and to be in shape for about the last nine years. This guy was not only a freak when he was powerlifting, but now he is a cardio and fitness freak. He only has one speed - faster than everyone else.

It just so happens that my first workout on my “Road to Health” was a leg workout. I had no idea that training without hundreds of pounds on your back could be so damaging to my ego. Joe had me doing every type of lunge, superset, pop-squat and any other leg workout that popped into his head. By the end of the workout, I couldn’t really walk and what I had for lunch decided it wanted to revisit me. By the end of the workout I looked like I had fought a war. I couldn’t walk and had puked more than once.

When I looked at Joe, the only thing he said to me was, “You ready for cardio?” Are you f*cking kidding me? The guy just ran me into the ground and now he wants to do 30 minutes of cardio? However, there was no way I wasn’t going to do it, so I sucked it up and made it through.
I was in more pain from this workout than any other I had ever done in my life. I had to soak in the tub, eat Vicodin like they were coming from a Pez dispenser, and walk like I had something stuck in my ass for a week.

The reason I’ll never do this workout again? I’ll never let myself get that out of shape!

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