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Monday, September 10, 2012

Train Like a Wayne: Day 1

And so it begins. Recently there was a posting online of some Batman workouts that were, to put it mildly, intimidating. I'm sure the batman from the New 52 and the incarnations since the mid 90's might have been able to perform such a grueling and painstakingly focused training regimen, but I'm not sure there are too many Olypmic athletes who could keep up three a days like that.

So, here it is, my modded and currently practicing version of "Train Like a Wayne."

DISCLAIMER: Although I am a certified instructor, I would never recommend someone trying any lift they are either uncomfortable or not confident in. Ever. Form comes first in every aspect of exercise; otherwise you are rolling the dice with some debilitating bodily injury. The first thing you should exercise in any program is caution. That doesn't mean don't push yourself; it just means that you should try and be aware of your actual limits. Not what your mind doesn't want to do (often times that is just being lazy or weak) but what your body can't do. With that said, I hope you enjoy.

For the strength training I'll be implementing Wendler's 5/3/1 training method. Here is a link to the breakdown on T-Nation. ( I can't speak more highly of this program, as the gains might be slow, but they are assured. I haven't met or trained with someone yet who uses this routine that hasn't seen concrete gains. Those will be the heavy lifts for the day. Followed by a circuit designed to not only use the muscle groups you're already using, but get the next set warm for the next day. This is a method we've been experimenting with for about 5 months now that we call "transitional circuit prepping."

Since this is the first of the blog posts there will be a lot of explanation here.

In this program there will also be a focus on fight training. Now, without me or someone else there to guide you this part will be a bit tricky. For those of you with any kind of fight background you'll probably know how to program yourself for a conditioning set. For those of you without anyway I'll delve deeper into what you should do on the specific "fight" days.

We'll also take a survey-ish view on important tactics and topics that one would need to educate themselves on in order to become the man, himself. For now, here is day one:

Day 1:

Week 1 of the 5/3/1 percentages on DEADLIFT

Followed by three rounds of 155lbs POWER CLEANS, 6 PUSH UPS, 9 AIR SQUATS. Take a minute break, then do this round-set two more times. You'll end up doing nine rounds total, with a minute break between a three-set.

So it looks like (3 POWER CLEAN, 6 PUSH UPS, 9 AIR SQUATS,3 POWER CLEAN, 6 PUSH UPS, 9 AIR SQUATS, 3 POWER CLEAN, 6 PUSH UPS, 9 AIR SQUATS, minute break) three times.

If you don't know how to power clean, that's okay. Substitute it with high reps of burpees or box jumps (at least 20 reps per round). What you're looking for here is explosive movement. I'll explain why a little further down the page.

So that covers the morning, after work/whatever (at least four hours after preferably) go for a run. I'm tacking a 5k onto this for myself. You can adjust this however you'd like, but make sure it's challenging and you keep a pace that you'd be proud of given your level of activity. Remember, this is just day 1.

STRETCH! -- Seriously, this is uncomfortable for a lot of folks, but it's very important. Just do it right after you run. Try to pick four/five stretches that you can hold in a slightly tense position for at least 30 seconds each. No joke, yoga is fantastic for this. Again, don't do any kind of stretch that you are guessing at. You CAN hurt yourself stretching.

And that's day 1. Now to explain why we're doing these lifts.

As one of my cert trainers described, "The Deadlift, is God's lift." I'm not sure I'd go that far, but it is an extremely valuable lift that, when done properly, works the entire body in a functional and healthy manner. Many people are afraid of this lift because of the myths on how it damages the lower back. Is there risk for it? Sure, just like there is risk in any activity you do. Deadlifting is actually healthy for your lower back when done correctly. The muscle groups in the legs that are worked are important for explosive movements. Being a Batman fan, I don't think I really need to explain the importance of explosiveness when you're fighting people with your feet and hands.

The power cleans work off of this explosive movement (as do the burpees or box jumps), and get your muscles conditioned to moving quickly and powerfully. Deadlifts are made to be done slowly, so they build the strength needed for those kinds of movements, but the power clean is the actual practice of it. The push ups and air squats are there because I believe those are good exercises to be good at no matter what you're trying to accomplish. If you're bad at them then that means you need to do more of them. Conquer your fear of physical discomfort as Batman conquered his fear of bats, criminals, and death. Face it head on, and train like a Wayne.

So as not to look like that guy above for too long when you don your cape and cowl, I'm going to quickly address some basic nutritional rules. If you are trying to LOSE weight go with something like the Zone or Paleo diet. Meat, veggies, and healthy carbs are important. Skip the bread, pasta, rices, cheeses, and all that other stuff that is pretty amazing tasting. That sounds like it will suck. Well guess what; it will. You either want to make a change in your life or you don't. If you are trying to GAIN weight try to get 1gram of protein a day for whatever you want your target weight to be. If you want to be 200lbs eat 200g of protein. This is though, and can be costly. However, if you really want it stop giving yourself excuses as to why you can't do something better. This is a mindset I think of often after reading this online one time:

"If Batman can protect an entire city by himself, I can (insert issue to overcome here)."

For the final breakdown, here is your workout set for day one. Sorry if this was long winded, I just want to make sure I'm getting as much useful information here as possible. And if you don't know how to do any of the lifts being described, don't worry. You can either go learn (which I would highly, highly recommend) or substitute it with a high rep body weight exercise:

Day 1: Batman Version:

5/3/1 week one set of deadlifts at calculated percentages.

Three Rounds of three sub-sets of 3 Power cleans, 6 push ups, 9 air squats, minute rest.

Later, run (for me it's a 5k -- don't sell yourself short on this)

Stretch, eat well, and rest.

Day 1: Robin Version:

Go into an air squat. If you don't know how to do this properly youtube some videos, there are, literally, hundreds of videos that can show you how to do this correctly. For this exercise, lower yourself into the squat position and hold it for 30 seconds. Come up, shake out the legs, and then get into the plank position (the up-part of a push up) and hold that for 30 seconds. Do this 20 times for each workout. That comes to 10 minutes of isometrics. Don't like it? Learn to deadlift, it's good for you I promise.

Same circuit as before, but substitute burpees (at least 20 per set) instead of power cleans.

Run a distance you are comfortable with at a pace you can handle. This is an impact exercise so don't over do what you're capable of with your weight/level of fitness.

I've done my sets for today, and I feel pretty good so far. Shoulders are tight from the Olympic lifting, but all in all it's a good sore. I'll probably stretch again before bed. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy following the daily updates.


  1. my wrist is pretty jacked up from carpal tunnel, so I don't think I can pull off the power clean. So I'll need to do the burpees. For the deadlift I don't understand the 5/3/1... is it 5 deadlifts for 3 sets? I'll let you know my results!

    1. also have messed up wrists. sets me back a lot :/
      as for the 5/3/1 read up on the link he posted. it is explained in its entirety