Old School Workouts To Develop
Granite Hard Abdominals
By Zach Even-Esh
started a long time ago. Back in the day, often referred
to as the “Golden Era”, there were gyms underneath bars,
taverns, in basements, backyards and in warehouses.
Nothing but barbells, dumbbells, benches, gymnastic
rings and other gymnastic type apparatuses covered the
There was no such thing as fancy or pretty training back
then. Training was kept simple and results were big in
The physiques were all very rugged,
and having powerful, chiseled abdominals was a side effect
from the heavy strength training performed.
These abs of steel did NOT come from tons of specific
Workouts were performed as full body
or split into upper and lower body workouts. Plenty of
Olympic lifting was done, heavy overhead work, heavy pulls
It wasn’t odd for these hard core lifters to curl 90 or 100
lb dumbbells for reps, perform 1 arm overhead presses with a
150 lb dumbbell or to deadlift over 500 lbs.
These men of might didn’t worry
about isolation movements, instead, they performed heavy
compound movements such as heavy barbell cheat curls, heavy
power cleans and heavy overhead pressing.
||The heavy work
forced their abdominals to contract super intensely,
much harder than any abdominal crunch you have ever
Gymnastics training and body mastery was a regular part
of their training because these men not only wanted to
look strong, but also wanted to be able to perform and
show off how skilled they really were!
How fancy is your gym? Do you get the results you want
in your training? Do you keep on getting faster,
stronger and more muscular while carving your body into
a granite hard masterpiece? Is your training fun or do
you feel the staleness and boredom creeping in every
time you train?
Underground training adds a unique
twist to your overall program. You feel like a kid again.
You feel just as excited as you did the first time you
picked up a weight! Let’s take a look at how you can easily
incorporate some Underground training into your overall
In this example we will use a full body workout. The warm up
method is up to you. For the most part, we incorporate
bands, bodyweight calisthenics, mobility and any dynamic
flexibility work we need to address during the warm up.
1) Barbell Clean and Press – nothing fancy here. Get a
barbell and clean it from the floor and push press it
overhead. Warm up and build up to 2 or 3 heavy sets of 2 – 5
reps. Sets aren’t written in stone here so train according
to your level of preparedness. This is a full body lift so
attack it hard!
2) Reverse grip bent over barbell rows – these are great for
grip work as well as the pulling muscles and lower back.
Your reps will vary according to how much weight you load
the bar with. On average shoot for 4 x of 5 – 10 reps.
3) Reverse lunge using a sandbag – we call these zercher
lunges. Hold the bag with both hands underneath (this forces
the upper body to work in addition to the lower body). 3 – 4
sets x 8 – 10 reps per leg.
|4) Push Up
variations – don’t go sissy on me here, choose a tough
push up variation and crank out some hard sets and reps
here. Try three of the below variations, perform each
variation for 1 set and maximal reps
:• push ups with a sandbag on your back (keep body
rigid, no sagging at the core)
• hand stand push ups
• suspended ring push ups
• feet elevated push ups
• band push ups (loop a mini band behind your back)
• med ball push ups / all variations here
5) Finish off your workout with a
circuit of ab work for 1 0r 2 sets, and some quick arm work.
• Power wheel roll outs x 10 reps
• Russian kettlebell get up – sit up x 5 reps each arm
• Leg raises while upright on dip bars x 10 reps
Perform 2 fast rounds of barbell cheat curls and lying
dumbbell extensions. 6 – 8 reps per set will work perfect
for this quick finisher.
There you have it. A simple, yet effective full body workout
that can be done using inexpensive tools: barbells, sandbags
and your own bodyweight. You won’t be able to train like
this in your commercial gym.
It’s going to require the creation of your own Underground
training compound. Round up your buddies and get a move on
to create your own gym. The movement of Underground gyms are
popping up all over the world, NOT just in the USA. What are
you waiting for?
Until the next time,
Train smart and train hard!
Yours in strength,
Zach Even – Esh
About The Author
Zach Even-Esh has been involved in strength training, wrestling and other combat sports for over 16 years. During this time Zach obtained a BA in Health & Physical Education and an MA in Health Education. Zach was part of the first group in the world to become an IYCA Youth Conditioning Specialist.
Zach is an acclaimed speaker and author, having presented at Ryan Lee's Boot Camp, Perform Better Seminars and at numerous wrestling clubs through out NJ. Zach is the author of the Underground strength training book, The Gladiator Training Manual, he is a regular writer for TapouT Magazine and Men's Fitness Magazine.
Training combat athletes is a passion for Zach & he only allows the most dedicated athletes to participate in his programs. His clientele consists of high school & college athletes, MMA fighters, Military & Law Enforcement personnel. Some of these individuals have dominated national competition in their sport!
Visit Zach online at:
www.UndergroundStrengthManual.com and find out more about UNDERGROUND training methods - such as Kettlebells, Logs, Kegs, Odd Objects, Ropes, Sandbags, Sledgehammers, Sleds, Stones, Tires - even Cars, and be sure to grab your FREE Underground Strength Course at www.UndergroundCombatTraining.Com and see how Zach uses innovative training methods to develop granite hard bodies that are as strong as they look!