By: Adam Stoyanoff MS, CSCS
I’ve always enjoyed literature that discusses what hard work entails. Brooks Kubik did a great job discussing what hard work is in his book Dinosaur Training. Arthur Jones and his understudy Ellington Darden wrote hundreds of pieces on the value of training with a high degree of intensity. Dr. Ken Liestner has given us hundreds of articles and some great videos demonstrating some damn hard work. These are only a few of the experts that have provided a body of work that describes hard work and some hard exercises.
Obviously the barbell squat, chin up, and overhead press can be made into hard exercises. However, after having an idea of what hard work is the audience is often left with questions about what other crazy hard exercises are out there.
Jim Kielbaso’s latest book, World’s Hardest Exercises has taken care of anyone who has longed for some tough ass exercises that have the potential to leave you on your knees. Jim took years of experience and some help from his colleagues to put together a great addition to any strength and conditioning library.
First, the exercises aren’t for everyone and they aren’t for any training scenario. As a coach, you’ll have to make educated decisions about how to implement these exercises, if you choose to. Don’t take an untrained individual and do plate sprints for a half-hour. As a trainee performing the exercises, don’t be an idiot and hurt yourself.
I enjoy that you can take these exercises and use them for many purposes. Some of the exercises you can implement in a “challenge” type work-out with multiple athletes. Other exercises are appropriate for a “finisher” type exercise at the end of a workout. If you’re a real hard-ass you can take some of these exercises and use them as “warm-ups.”
The book contains more than 70 exercises with full descriptions and pictures. It won’t leave you hanging; Jim did a great job at thoroughly explaining to the reader how to do the exercises. You don’t get meaningless directions like, “Press the weight up, lower it under control and go until you cannot perform any more reps.” Jim includes many key coaching points for each exercise and allows the reader to form a complete picture on how to perform it and, of course, he includes some good humor.
Jim did a great job paying attention to which exercises should be included in this book. You’re not going to find “Stand on Bosu Ball and chat about little Bobby’s day at school” as an exercise. You will find a 3 X 3 metabolic workout though, that will put you on your ass. I should know.
Take the time to pick this book up. Don’t let it just sit around though, get it, read it, and practice it. If you don’t love performing the hard work, you’ll at least find it entertaining putting some other poor sap through it.
You can get this book by visiting www.WorldsHardestExercises.com and see comments several other top strength coaches have already made about it.
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