Gladiator is an intense 4-week, strength-focused training cycle built around the Barbell Complex. Gladiator also includes endurance, work capacity and chassis integrity programming, but Gladiator’s primary focus is strength.
This is a 4 week, 5x Day/Week training cycle. Week 4 of the plan is an unload/taper week.
The Barbell Complex is a complex of six exercises, six reps each, completed in succession, without putting the barbell down. The Barbell Complex is choreographed in a way such the barbell begins in front of the body with the dead lift, and finishes behind the neck with the back squat. Again, 6 reps of each exercise are completed before moving onto the next exercise:
1x Barbell Complex =
6x Dead Lift
6x Bent Over Row
6x Hang Power Clean
6x Front Squat
6x Push Press
6x Back Squat
At heavier loads, the Barbell Complex is very intense and can include being under the barbell upwards of 90 seconds. It challenges not only strength, but also work capacity, grip strength, and especially, mental fitness. For Prep Athletes, the Barbell Complex is not only a great strength-building tool, but each effort also gives the athlete multiple reps of practice with squat, press, clean and hinge movements. In this way it is a great barbell technique training tool.
Work hard to complete the complex without setting the barbell down. The push presses are the “crux” of the complex – the hardest, most challenging part. Don’t linger. I coach my athletes to sprint through the dead lifts, bent over rows, hang power cleans and front squats in order to get to the push presses as quickly as possible. Don’t linger!
In this cycle on SESSION 1, you’ll work up to your max load for a full barbell complex, and then this load will be used to determine your barbell complex loading throughout the rest of the training plan. In this way Gladiator automatically “scales” to each individual athlete’s incoming strength level, and continues to push him/her through the entire program.
On Week 4, you’ll re-asses your max Barbell Complex load.
Watch the video below to see two Lab Rats fighting through their max load barbell complex.
Gladiator deploys one work capacity event, a gym-based multi-mode event involving hinge lifts and prone to sprints. You’ll train work capacity once per week.
Gladiator trains chassis integrity 2 days/week, on the strength days. One day you’ll complete ARE Circuits which deploy an Anti-Rotation, Rotation, and Extension core strength exercise. One day/week you’ll train a Low Back Circuit which trains 3 extension exercises in the same circuit.
Gladiator deploys a 3-mile run assessment, and then moderate-paced 4-5 mile runs through the rest of the cycle.
- Monday: Strength, Chassis Integrity (ARE Circuit)
- Tuesday: Endurance (3-mile run assessment or 4-5 mile moderate-paced run)
- Wednesday: Strength, Work Capacity
- Thursday: Endurance (4-5 mile moderate-paced run)
- Friday: Strength, Chassis Integrity (Low Back Circuit)