The Hurts So Good Workout

Hurts So Good

The Hurts So Good Workout

This is the workout that hurts so good.  Have you ever heard the song Hurts So Good by John Mellencamp?  That’s where we’re at here.  This workout hurts so good.  It sucks, it’s hard and it pushes you.

Here’s the workout first – then I will break it down for you.

  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 50 yard hill sprints:  4 rounds (rest two minutes)

In a circuit / 4 rounds:

  • Barbarian Squats x 12
  • Pull Ups x 12
  • Kettlebell Swings x 12
  • Dips x 12

GOAL:  Get this work done in under 25 minutes.


:30 Seconds of Battle Ropes + :30 seconds of Atomic Push Ups – 4 rounds with 15 seconds to rest between drills.

The Workout That Hurts So Good

OK, so if you haven’t moved on to a less challenging workout and you’re still reading, congratulations and thank you for sticking around!  The main purpose of this workout is mental toughness.  You’ll probably wind up scorching some fat and packing on some muscle if you eat right but the end result and main purpose is resilience and mental toughness.

Warm Up

The 100 Jumping Jacks are to get the blood pumping and break a light sweat.  If you need to do a little more to get going, go for it.  But also, feel free to save your strength because…  well, you’ll need it.


Next, you’ll need a hill.  About 50 yards of steep ass hill.  If that’s not available to you then a high incline treadmill will work.  It’s intervals.  4 rounds.  If you’re doing the treadmill, sprint hard for 10-20 for seconds and rest for 30-40 seconds.  The purpose of this is to get fatigued but not smoked…  Out of breath but not out of gas.

The Actual Workout

  • Start with 12 Barbarian Squats. 

This drill is done with a mace bell.  I get my mace bells from Onnit.  Currently I’m doing this workout with a 20 pound mace bell.  I like this squat variation because it is beyond compound.  The whole body is involved here.  Here’s an example of The Barbarian Squat from Onnit Academy.  Now, if you don’t have a mace bell, I’d suggest either get one (LOL!) or do an overhead squat variation of some sort.  You want a squat variation that involves movement of the entire body.

  • 12 Pull Ups. 

As soon as you finish your Barbarian Squats, it’s time to move to the pull up bar and knock off 12 of these.  Now if you’re like me and 4 sets of 12 pull ups in not your current reality, it’s not a problem.  Do as many as you can stopping one rep shy of failure, take a VERY short breather, shake it out and then get back on the bar until you hit 12.  Remember, this is about mental toughness.  I’m good for about 8 right now before I have to drop.  I then use an assist band for the remaining 4.  You can use a spotter or if you’re at the gym, an assist machine.  Bottom line is 12 pull ups.  Get the reps in.

  • 12 Kettlebells Swings. 

This needs to be 12 crisp, clean Hardstyle Swings with a heavy kettlebell.  Select a bell that you could probably get 15 reps with (but barely) and 18 reps are just out of the question.  At the moment, I’m working with a 40kg bell.  Double bells are OK too as long as your form is on point.

  • 12 Dips.

These are a favorite of mine.  I’ve always loved doing dips.  I fell in love with dips when I used to g workout at the old Muscle Beach in Santa Monica or at the weight pit in Venice.  You want to take the same approach as with the pull up.  You need 12.  No more, no less.  12.  So if you need to add weight please do so, if you need an assist to get to 12, please do so.  I’m in the middle right now with a weighted dip.  I’m dangling a 12kg bell from a weight belt for about 8 reps then drop the bell for 4.

Once you’ve accomplished these four drills, take a breather (1 – 2 minutes) and then repeat.  The goal is to finish all the work in 25 minutes or less.  You can do little things to push yourself or challenge yourself to keep pushing.  Considering I’m an Armchair UFC Fighter, I like to set up workouts around 5 minutes on and 1 minute off.  The pull ups take up the most time as that is my weakest link in the whole chain.  By round 4, I’m finishing these 4 drills right at the last couple seconds and sucking wind.

Once you’ve knocked out the 4 rounds, it’s time to put the icing on the cake…  Take a couple minutes, no more than 5.

Finisher / Smoker

As if you weren’t already wrecked, the last stage of this routine will be 30 seconds of battle ropes followed by 30 seconds of atomic push ups.  I’ll post videos of each drill but obviously, you’ll need some battle ropes and some kind of suspension device.  Pick your rope drill and hammer down for 30 seconds.  Take 15 seconds to get over to your suspension device and the get down with your atomic push ups for 30 seconds.  4 rounds of that and you’re done!

NOTE:  If you’re sans ropes and suspension pick two drills that work the whole body, are explosive and stress the core.

Battle Ropes Drills:

Atomic Push Ups (they suck)

Final Thoughts

So this routine can be done 2-3 times per week.  Currently that’s what I’m doing plus I’m running with varying levels of distance 2-3 times per week.  By now I’m sure you understand why I’m calling it the hurts so good workout.  Remember, at Rich Man’s Gym we are training the body, mind and the spirit here.  Use this workout to strengthen and condition all three.  Looking good without your clothes on is only one part of this equation.  Can you push forward when you want to quit?  Will you over ride your desire for comfort?  Will you earn your body, own your mind and unleash the power in your spirit?