The Awakened Warrior Unleashed…

By Terry Grant

When life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.” – Morihei Ueshiba


“Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment.”

– Morihei Ueshiba

Every man must balance the paradox that is the mystery of life and death. One must choose his own purpose in life and train to refine the body and the mind. He must train, so that one day, he may achieve his full potential. Each of us must follow his own path…and so… I continue mine.

Here’s the program and the path that I’ve been following:

=====>>> The Path of the Awakened Warrior <<<======

This is the program I’ve been using since January and have been getting great results. So, naturally, I’d like to share it with you in hopes that you can make the same or better progress.

Here I plan to outline the basics of the program and explain how you can customize my program for yourself. Over the next several weeks I’ll continue to explain it in more depth and breakdown the details so that you can see, first hand, how I’ve set things up. I want to talk training, nutrition, supplements, recovery. Everything!… but first…

A BASIC OVERVIEW OF THE PROGRAM

This year, I’ve been experimenting with only two strength trainingdays a week, versus doing three days per week like I did last year. My goal is to see if I can avoid over-training by recovering more completely and still make good muscular gains with only two days of training.

Three days can definitely be effective, especially if you have good recovery ability or an increased work capacity.  This is the preferred frequency that many coaches advise and still abide by. Still, I’ve decided to experiment with two days per week based on my own recovery needs and the desire to incorporate some different types of “hybrid training” into the mix.

I’ve found that most ectomorphs can benefit from the “less is more” philosophy! And so far it’s been working for me.

At the beginning of the year I weighed in at about 158.4lbs and last night I tipped the scale at 170.2lbs. I’ve gained over 10 pounds since January and I’m looking forward to even greater results over the next several months.

STRENGTH TRAINING:

;)

My main focus is to gain size and strength for the first 4-5 months.I started this January with ONLY the strength training and fasted walking in the morning. I’ve just started to do some of the trail running and hill sprinting that the program calls for. These things I will gradually incorporate over the next few months. In this way, I will be doing higher levels of conditioning to become ripped, lean and muscular by summer time (when the living’s easy! 

The program below is the same template I’ve been using, however I’ve made a few modifications to increase its effectiveness and fine tune some of the details. It’s sort of an evolving program that starts easy, while allowing you to gradually increase the progressive overload over time. I’ll show you how to do that in the subsequent months.

The strength training portion is centered on one of the major compound lifts. I’ve been doing Deadlifts with a Super Deadlift Bar(or trap bar) and then Front Squats on my other day.  I’m using a 5-8 rep range like Jason Ferruggia recommends.

This is your main one-two punch designed to stimulate your whole body and create a surging release of testosterone and growth hormone to force your body into growth mode. This bilateral lift is then followed by some single-leg (unilateral) work in the 10-15 rep range to maintain joint mobility and flexibility while also hitting some of the smaller stabilizer muscles.

BODY WEIGHT/ RING TRAINING:

For the upper body, I’m incorporating body weight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, inverted rows, dips, chin-ups and handstand push-ups. As my strength builds on the body weight exercises, I will progress into gymnastics-like ring training by performing these same exercises on the Olympic Rings. This makes them more difficult by calling all of the stabilizer muscles into action.

For example you should start with basic floor push-ups and master those before progressing to Push-ups on the rings. Eventually, you’ll perform Push-ups on the rings with a weighted vest.

For another example, start with Handstand holds for time, then do some negatives and finally work your way to doing full Handstand Push-ups over time.

:(

Then when you’re a bad-ass you do Handstand Push-ups on the rings!!!… and NO I cannot even come close to doing these… YET!  


CORE TRAINING:

All of our power comes from our core and the center of our being. Martial artists have known this for centuries and in Japan they call this your Hara. Your Hara is your center of gravity and the place where Ki (life energy) is stored and harnessed.

Channeling this energy is important for developing explosive, powerful punches and kicks and ripping up massive weights off the ground. Plus, a tight six-pack can help you in many other pursuits (if ya know what I’m talkin’ bout!) Knowing this, I’ve included a couple of awesome exercises to functionally train your core.

These exercise selections were inspired by Mike Robertson’s 21st Century Core Training articles. Mike studied the works of back expert Dr. Stuart McGill and learned that crunches, sit-ups and these type of “flexion” exercises can cause injury leading to back pain or worse… spinal disc herniations.

Although, this new knowledge has been around for a few years now, many people are unaware and are still doing hundreds of crunches and spinal flexion movements each day!!!

This is NOT good for you… so please stop doing crunches and sit ups!!! There is a better way:

Mike and other well educated coaches have realized that the muscles of your core (which include your abs, obliques, spinal erectors and several other muscles) have the unique job of stabilizing and protecting the spine from excessive extension, rotation, and lateral flexion. I’ve included exercises that specifically train to prevent this based on his recommendations.

HYBRID FINISHER:

For a nice, happy ending to the workout I throw in a Hybrid Finisher of your choice ranging from Heavy bag work to Sledgehammer training to Tire Flips. This is a great way to finish you off by challenging yourself mentally and physically.

After you’re done with your weight training you’ll select a finisher and do several timed rounds to increase your work capacity and mental toughness.

I like doing punches and kicks on my 6 foot heavy bag (Thai bag.) Other times I grab a sledgehammer and strike a tire.

There’s a wide range of things you can do here such as intervals with a jump rope, do some hill sprints or a some box jumps, shadow box, tire flips, complexes, burpees, heavy carries or farmer’s walks. The list is endless and only limited by your imagination!

CONDITIONING:

Tuesday and Saturday are the main conditioning days within The Awakened Warrior Workout. I plan to ease my way into the conditioning by starting with 1 mile trail runs for two months and then increasing to 2 mile trail runs for the next two months. Finally I’ll work up to 3 mile runs over a total period of six months. This will allow me to keep my conditioning to a minimum initially so I can focus on building mass in the early months.

Then when it’s time to lean out for summer, I’ll increase the conditioning training to help burn off any fat and prepare me for the Warrior’s Dash. A day of hill sprints, car pushes, heavy carries, or sled work may replace the trail runs from time to time to change things up and increase the intensity…. and besides I just like this type of gladiator training!

NOW FINALLY… here’s the program :

THE AWAKENED WARRIOR WORKOUT

MONDAY: Strength Training

WARM-UP (15-20 minutes):

1. Foam Rolling (back and lower body)
2. Static Stretching (glutes, hip flexors, calves, etc.)
3. Dynamic Mobility exercises (jumping jacks, hip circles, arm circles, squat to stand, etc.)
4. Write down my daily exercises and plan in my exercise journal
5. Crank on some tunes and do 1-3 minutes of Jumping rope.

WARRIOR TRAINING:

1. Trap Bar Deadlifts 
4-6 escalating warm-up sets starting with the empty bar
2 heavy work sets for 5-8 reps
1 back off set for 5-8 reps

2. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats
1-2 sets of 8-15 reps (hold dumbbells once body weight is easy)

3-a. Handstand Holds/Negatives/Push-ups
2-3 escalating warm-up sets starting easy
1-3 sets of (30 second holds) or 5-10 reps

3-b. Pull-ups (with or without assistance)
2-3 escalating warm-up sets starting easy
1-3 sets of 5-10 reps (add weight once body weight is easy)

4-a. Stability Ball Jacknives
1-3 sets of 8-15 reps (start w/ 1 set and increase reps and sets over time)

4-b. Pallof Press w/ band
1-3 sets of 30 second holds (start w/ 1 set and increase time held and sets over time)

HYBRID FINISHER:

5. Heavy Bag workout (kick boxing)*
5-10 rounds on the Thai bag (30-60+ seconds rounds by 30-60 seconds rest) You can set it up however you want.

*Can substitute Sledgehammers/Burpees/Jump Rope/ Tire Flips/ Shadow Boxing/ Sprinting/ Sled Drags/ or your favorite conditioner.

TUESDAY: Conditioning

Foam rolling, mobility exercises
Trail run (1-3 miles) OR Car Pushes (5-10 rounds)
Static stretching

*Note: If necessary skip the conditioning and use this as another recovery day. You may need it!

WEDNESDAY: Recovery

Off Day (foam rolling, mobility exercises and stretching)
Ice packs on sore muscles if necessary
And a dip in the Hot tub.. yeah BOY!!!

THURSDAY: Strength Training

WARM-UP (15-20 minutes):

1. Foam Rolling (back and lower body)
2. Static Stretching (glutes, hip flexors, calves, etc.)
3. Dynamic Mobility exercises (jumping jacks, hip circles, arm circles, squat to stand, etc.)
4. Write down my daily exercises and plan in my exercise journal
5. Crank on some tunes and do 1-3 minutes of Jumping rope.

WARRIOR TRAINING:

1. Front Squats 
4-6 escalating warm-up sets starting with the empty bar
2 heavy work sets for 5-8 reps
1 back off set for 5-8 reps

2. Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
1-2 sets of 8-15 reps (hold dumbbells once body weight is easy)

3-a. Push-ups on the floor or rings
2-3 escalating warm-up sets starting easy
1-3 sets of (30 second holds) or 5-10+ reps

3-b. Inverted Rows on bar or rings
2-3 escalating warm-up sets starting easy
1-3 sets of 5-10+ reps (add weight once body weight is easy)

4-a. Ab Wheel Rollouts
1-3 sets of 8-15 reps (start w/ 1 set and increase reps and sets over time)

4-b. Suitcase Carry (hold one heavy dumbbell and walk)
1-3 sets of 30 second walks each side (start w/ 1 set and increase length and sets over time)

HYBRID FINISHER:

5. Heavy Bag workout (kick boxing)*
5-10 rounds on the bag (30-60 seconds rounds by 30-60 seconds rest)

*Can substitute Sledgehammers/Burpees/Jump Rope/ Tire Flips/ Shadow Boxing/ Sprinting/ Sled Drags/ or your favorite conditioner.

FRIDAY: Recovery

Off Day (foam rolling, mobility exercises and stretching)
Ice Packs on sore muscles if necessary
And a dip in the Hot tub.. this is the life!!!

SATURDAY: Conditioning

Foam rolling, mobility exercises
Either Trail Run (1-3 miles) OR Hill Sprints (5-10 Sprints)
Static stretching

*Note: If necessary skip the conditioning and use this as another recovery day. You may need it!

SUNDAY: Recovery

Off Day (foam rolling, mobility exercises and stretching)
Ice packs on sore muscles if necessary

Some Tips to Follow:

1. Always do a proper warm-up as outlined above. Trust me!
2. Limit your conditioning at first or even cut out the Tuesday and Saturday workouts if you’re still not gaining muscle.
3. As you begin the program start with the lower end of the sets and reps, add additional sets and reps as you get stronger and the weeks roll on.
4. Take a deload week every 4th week. In other words, one week a month you should just do some light workouts to let your joints and body recover fully.
5. Never train to failure. Always leave 2-3 reps in the tank, especially on Squats and Deadlifts.
6. Strive for good workouts, done consistently over time (don’t kill yourself on day 1 and quit)
7. Less can be more, if you feel you need to drop the Hybrid Finisher one day,have no reservation in doing so!
8. Listen to your body and work with it. It is your friend, so treat it with respect!
9. Make sure to eat a TON of food on your workout day and the day after to speed growth and recovery.
10. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep minimum or you’re wasting your time.

In Conclusion…

I hope that gives you an understanding of how an ectomorph can use Hybrid Training to build lean muscle and become more athletic.

Heck, if you train like a TRUE WARRIOR, the ladies will be fighting over you really soon!!!! Well, maybe try working on your personality a little bit too. You’re starting to bore me and I don’t even know you!

;)

Just kiddin’ BIG guy.  

Now don’t worry… I know I just threw a lot at you and if you’ve read this far you may have some questions about the program. I plan on explaining things in more detail in follow up posts. If you do  have questions, just ask them in the comment section below and I’ll give some short answers until I can explain things more fully.

Thanks man,

BrandonA FEW THINGS TO MENTION:My main focus is to gain size and strength for the first 4-5 months. I started in January and haven’t done any of the trail running or hill sprinting yet. These things I will start to gradually incorporate over the next few months so that I become ripped, lean and muscular by summer time. My plan is to start with 1 mile trail runs and then gradually work up to 3 mile trail runs over the next 6 months. This will allow me to build muscle while keeping my conditioning to a minimum until it’s time to lean outfor summer, at which time I will begin to increase my conditioning training to burn fat and to prepare for the Warrior’s Dash race (more on that later.)

Related posts:

  1. Welcome To The Awakened Warrior Blog
  2. The Path of the Awakened Warriors

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