Advanced Contrast Training

A few weeks ago I brought up French Contrast training and how it could be applied to The Tire Iron. This week I will be making a more advanced variation which can be used for many different athletes. Athletes that want to focus on increasing their vertical jump (basketball, volleyball, and high jump) would focus on the first portion. Athletes who want to focus on increasing their speed/linear power (football, lacrosse, soccer, and sprinters) would use the horizontal portion.

The vertical focus begins with a heavy deadlift for 3 reps, (the third rep should be hard but always leave about 1 more rep in the tank) then moves into a band resisted squat jump using The Tire Iron. Finally it is finished with a regular jump (countermovement jump) to focus on increasing neural drive in the body part we want to work on (quads and calves). The linear portion begins with a heavy tire flip (focus on exploding the weight off the floor) and moves into a band resisted broad (linear) jump using The Tire Iron as its anchor point. Finally we finish with a broad jump again only this time with no band attachment. The workout is very demanding and places a lot of stress on the nervous system, so it should only be used by athletes who have more experience, and good mechanics. Start with 4 sets and work up to a maximum of 7 sets. Have fun and get strong!

Vertical Focus
A1) Heavy High Handle Position Deadlift 3 reps
A2) Band Resisted Squat Jump 3 reps
A3) Countermovement Jump 3 reps

Linear Focus
A1) Heavy Tire Flip 3 reps
A2) Band Resisted Broad Jump 3 reps
A3) Broad Jump 3 reps

Football Offseason Workout Day 2

Last week I introduced an off season workout program for football with a linear focus, today we have a little more lateral, change of direction, and jump work involved. This workout will help to prepare your for football season using just the Tire Iron and a band or two. The beginning of this workout focuses on an explosive lateral push off, which is very useful for defense as well as changing direction quickly. We then move into some jump work with band resisted jumps as well as strength work with our banded overhead press. We then continue the program with some cardio/core/power work with our sledgehammer slams, straight arm pulldowns, and side hollow holds. As was the goal with last week we want to move fast and powerfully so work on improving your speed of these exercises before you increase the weight!

A1) Band Resisted Shuffle 3x5 steps/side
A2) Lateral Bound 3x5 /side
B1) Band Resisted Jump 4x6
B2)Band Resisted OH Press 4x6/side
C1)Tire Sledgehammer Slam 3x8/side
C2)Bent Over Straight Arm Band Lat Pulldown 3x12
C3)Side Hollow Hold 3x20s/side


Danny Blumenthal CSCS

Football Offseason Workout Day 1

Last week we talked about a great conditioning workout for power athletes, today we get a little more specific and work on a generic football offseason workout. This will incorporate all the necessary movements required for the sport with very limited equipment, specifically the Tire Iron and a band attachment. This will be the first day with a linear focus, day 2 will have a little more multidirectional focus.

As you can see the beginning of the workout focuses on explosive power from the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, low back) all the muscles utilized in running as well as driving through the opponent to make or break a tackle. As always prioritize form over weight, but since the reps are low and football is a power sport your goal will be to move some heavy weights. Have fun and work hard!

A1) Heavy Tire Flip 3x4
A2) Broad Jump 3x4
B1) Tire Deadlift 4x6
B2) Weighted Push Up 4x6
C1) Tire Farmer's Carry 3x20 yards
C2) Band Row 3x12
C3) Hollow Hold on Tire 3x20 seconds

Danny Blumenthal CSCS



The Best Damn Strength and Cardio Workout (with only 1 piece of equipment)

In our last installment I went over a simple and effective way to build power for the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, and back). Today we will be going over a brutal yet effective way to get both your strength and cardio in 1 session that will last no longer than 30 minutes. We will only need one piece of equipment, your tire and Tire Iron installed. Provided you have already completed a warm up we will be doing a high intensity interval training style workout (HIIT for short).

This workout will be a full body workout with a strength focus, but it will give you all the conditioning that you would need for a power sport (football, powerlifting, olympic weightlifting, short distance track, field events, etc.). The workout will be done in a :20 on :40 off style, meaning that we will be doing our work for 20 seconds, then resting for 40 seconds. We want a high rest interval (1:2 work to rest ratio) because the exercises we will be doing are extremely demanding, and we want our body to properly recover.

1) Tire Flips

2) Farmers Carries (inside tire)

3) Push ups (hands on tire - beginners, hands on floor- intermediate, feet on tire - advanced)

4) Box Jumps on tire

5) Hollow hold with feet hooked under tire iron
Rest 60s after all rounds are complete and repeat



This is a very challenging workout, so if you are a beginner, I would start light, just using your Tire Iron, and from there as you get progressively stronger you can add weight to the Tire Iron. As far as the number of rounds, that would depend on the demands of your sport and what you need for your conditioning. For example if you were an American football player who by the 4th quarter always feels gassed, then you may want to start with 4 rounds, and progress by adding more rounds rather than more weight. However if for example we take a similar football player, and find that he can always make it through the game without getting exhausted, we may want to progress him by adding weight rather than more rounds.


The beauty of this workout is that you can make it very specific to your needs, so having a good coach who does a needs based analysis on you may be worth your time. That being said as a general recommendation I would say beginners should start with 3 rounds, intermediates start with 4 rounds, and advanced should start with 5. From there either progress by adding weight, or rounds, start slow and progress only when you can get through all rounds without stopping or sacrificing technique!


The Perfect Workout For Strength and Power

A lot of you may have those big tires laying around in your gym, and some of you may have used them for conditioning or maybe even some circuits. I am here to show you how to use it as one of your main or accessory lifts. In this workout we will be using the tire in combination with a deadlift, in order to get explosive starting power out of the posterior chain. This can be extremely helpful for any linear athlete including but not limited to: Football, Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting and Track and Field. 

For our main lift we are going to use a straight bar or trap bar deadlift, with chains or bands added. We will use about 60-70% of our 1 RM on the Deadlift variation, and add chains or bands until it is heavy but still moving FAST (meaning that it should not be a 1 RM with chains, the goal of this exercise is to lift something heavy but to still move it quickly). Our second exercise will be using the tire, preferably with the Tire Iron installed in it. (For more information about the Tire Iron click this link). We will move right over after doing anywhere from 1-3 reps on the Deadlift variation, into 1-3 explosive tire flips. 
The beauty of using these two devices together is the fact that they work different areas of the strength curve. While using the chains on the deadlift, the weight gets progressively heavier as you lift it, with the heaviest point of the deadlift being the lockout (a brutal exercise for the glutes and hamstrings). In the loaded tire flip, the heaviest part is at the bottom of the lift, and becomes lighter as you begin to create more horizontal displacement of the tire (a good strengthening exercise for the lower back). Another benefit to using the tire is the fact that there is no eccentric (or weight lowering) portion of the lift, meaning you can do more reps without getting nearly as sore. 

This would be a great exercise combination for anyone trying to work on explosive linear power. The beginner workout would look like this:
      A1) Deadlift with bands/chains 3-5 sets of 1-3 reps
      A2) Explosive loaded tire flips 3-5 sets of 1-3 reps

Another fun thing you could add to the end to make almost a french contrast style workout is adding an explosive band and then bodyweight exercise after, which would look like this:
      A1) Deadlift with bands/chains 3-5 sets of 1-3 reps
      A2) Explosive loaded tire flips 3-5 sets of 1-3 reps
      A3) Band Pull Through 3-5 sets of 1-3 reps
      A4) Broad Jump 3-5 sets of 1-3 reps

Danny Blumenthal