There’s a lot of fancy programs out there these days, some good, most terrible. Some based on solid science and experience of those who know what they are talking about and have the creds to do so, some based on fantasy and “bro science.”

Nothing, regardless of the program, replaces hard work. A well thought out program will balance the variables of loading, volume, etc, etc. Some of my thoughts on that, as well as other authors thoughts on the topic, can be found here on the BrinkZone, so I will not rehash that here.

As a general rule, I think simple is best. Some times the most effective programs, are the simplest programs. People think complex = more effective. Most of the time, it just = more complex, while the guy who just plugs away on hard work doing squats, deads, etc, is making the real progress in strength, muscle mass, and so forth.

Of course, it depends on your goals. Different goals require different training methodology, and that’s a given. OK, back to why I’m posting this blog.

In my opinion, regardless of the program or the goals, one should also understand being strong/staying strong, is also important. Obviously, various factors like age, injuries, goals, experience levels, and so forth, all have to be taken into account, but bottom line is, within the context of those factors, it’s important to attempt to be strong. There’s no place in life where one can be too strong.

For me, once in a while, I like to do multiple sets of something close to a 1 rep max (1RM), on some ‘best bang for the buck’ movement (and squats always fit that bill!) and throw in something else I know to be highly productive/complimentary, which for this workout was heavy sled dragging and Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs).

This down and dirty back to basics “get err done” leg workout goes like so:

• 5X1 squats using approx 90-951RM (after fully warming up!). I took a full 4-5 mins between sets here.

• Sled drag:  75ft forward, 75ft reverse x 3 (using max weight you can do all three “sets” with…)

• RDLs, 4X5 using approx 80-85% 1RM

Sorry, I didn’t film the RDLs. If you look them up on the ‘net, you will see they look something between a standard deadlift and a straight leg deadlift.

That’s it. Might sound simple, but it’s a tough workout. Try it, it will get you back in touch with your inner gym rat.

Note One: Form. Is my squat form text book perfect? No, but under true 90-100% 1RM loads, it’s probably not going to be. Experienced trainers know where and when less than perfect form is acceptable, and there’s acceptable form under high loads, and unacceptable form under high loads. Knowing the difference, comes with time and experience.

Note Two: If you are not doing sled dragging, you should be! I consider it the most under utilized lower body exercise going. Forward is hard, reverse is brutal. According to the Elite Fitness site, the benefits of sled dragging is:

•  GPP Work
•  Injury Rehabilitation
•  Strength Training
•  Prehabilitation
•  Increased Work Capacity
•  Hypertrophy
•  Starting Strength
•  Acceleration Strength
•  Strength Endurance

More info on drag sleds here.

Note Three: in case you’re wondering, not all the plates on the bar are 45s. Total weight was 425lbs. Not the type of numbers I could hit “back in the day” and I wont be winning any PL meets with it, but all things considered, it’s OK with me.  With some wraps, thicker belt, and going just parallel, I might be able to hit 500, but I don’t care much about numbers anymore, just training effects. I don’t train specifically for 1RM strength either, even though I think training close to your 1RM once in a while is a good idea!

  1. Brad Turk 13 years ago

    Will, nice work. I agree, “… nothing replaces hard work…” and “… I am more concerned with the training effects…” also. Old guys rule!

  2. Chris 13 years ago

    Paragraph 4 one is a while should be once in a while
    NOTE 1 Experienced trainers no where and when shoud be Know.
    Them spell cherckers suck, and I am sure after I attempt this workout I wilk be saying getting old sucks

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago

      Fixed, I hope….

  3. George 13 years ago

    Damn! 425 is heavy in anyones book! much better than my 1RM….

  4. Irishdeerhunter 13 years ago

    Very helpful watching your technique in squatting for hand position on the bar, position of the bar on your back, feet distance apart & depth in the squat. Nice video Will!

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago


  5. Jim Gallagher 13 years ago

    It is great to see another 50 plus gym rat still pushing respectable weights. Stay strong!

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago

      50+??? I’m 45, and look dang good for 45! 🙂
      But thanx for the thought!

  6. Sumi 13 years ago

    Will! You squat like a champ! Fun vid to watch. Makes me wanna do one too!

  7. ron tompkins 13 years ago

    very intense man

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