The Warrior Workout At Rich Man’s Gym

Warrior Workout at Rich Man's Gym

The Warrior Workout at Rich Man’s Gym has been inspired by the many warriors I admire.  Whether you’re a Peaceful Warrior, a Naked Warrior,a Weekend Warrior, or a Warrior on a diet, this workout routine you’re about to meet was designed to give you a warrior workout.  A warrior workout should build strength, conditioning and mental fortitude.  All attributes needed by a warrior.  In The Warrior Diet, by Ori Hoffmekler, Ori introduces us to CFT or Controlled Fatigue Training.  The title is pretty self explanatory.  UFC anouncer, Mike Goldberg says when a fight goes all 3 or 5 rounds that “they go the distance.”  Can you?  Go the distance that is?  Challenging thought.  Rest easy though because this won’t be about you going 5 rounds in the UFC, fighting Persians at the Hot Gates or spilling blood upon the sand with Sparticus and Crixus.

It will be however about you reaching a higher lever each time you train.  You training to be a better you.  This warrior workout is about fighting.  Fighting the urge to give up too early, to push yourself, to strengthen your body, mind and spirit.  Whatever battle ground you find yourself in, from daily life to Afghanistan, the fight will start and finish in your own mind.

Training like a warrior develops strength of character, heart and discipline that bleeds into every area of life.

Inspired by the many warriors I admire, here is your piece of the action…


  • Jump Rope – 3 rounds – 3 minutes of work with 30 seconds of rest.  Don’t worry if you suck.  If that means you spend 3 minutes of trying to jump rope verses 3 minutes of actually jumping rope, don’t worry, the scale will eventually turn in your favor.  Just keep at and never give up.  Period.
  • Joint Mobility Drills.  Spend a few minutes (5-10) loosing up the joints.  Personally I follow Super Joints by Pavel Tsatsouline.


  • CIRCUIT ONE – The Gut Check:  4 rounds at 3 minutes of work with 1 minute of rest
  • Double Kettlebell Clean and Press (heavy) 6 reps
  • Double Kettlebell Clean and Press (kind of heavy) 6 reps
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise (manageable) 6 reps
  • Dumbbell Front Raise (manageable) 6 reps
  • Dumbbell Bent Over Lateral Raise (manageable) 6 reps

The deal with Circuit One.  Pick your first set weight based on a pair of heavy bells you know you can get 6 reps with.  Second set will be the next bells down.  For me, it’s the 24 kg KB first and 16 kg’s second because that’s what’s in the garage.  Then grab a pair of dumbbells you can manage without compromising form or risking injury to stabilizer muscles like the rotator cuff.   Perform the first Clean and Press.  Do 6 reps.  Immediately go to the lighter bells for another 6 reps of Clean and Press.  Then get the dumbbells and do your laterals.  6 to the side, 6 to the front, 6 to the rear.  You got 3 minutes to get the work done.   Then you get a minute to rest.  Now if you can finish in under 3, that means you get more rest time, but if it takes more than 3, you need to reduce some weight somewhere.  If you can do it in 2 minutes or less, you need more weight or need to slow down and make sure your form is tight, not sloppy.  This is 20 minutes.  Get through it.  Maintain excellent form and control no matter how fatigued you’re getting.  Monitor your breath and perform each rep from a place of strength.

After those 4 rounds, it’s time to Swing!

  • CIRCUIT TWO – The Ego Tamer:  4 rounds at 3 minutes of work and 1 minute of rest
  • 2-Hand Kettlebell Swings (heavy) 12 reps
  • 2-Hand Kettlebell Swings (kind of heavy) 12 reps
  • 2 Hand Kettlebell Swings (fairly heavy) 12 reps
  • 2 Hand Kettlebell Swings (a little heavy) 12 reps

The deal with Circuit Two.  Damn near 50 reps in 3 minutes!  Can you hack it?  4 times that is.  I call this the ego tamer because if you let your ego pick the weights, you’ll never finish.  Pick 4 bells in descending order that you know you can manage.  Consider this, we’re training our warrior spirit here, a Roman Gladius weighs about 3 pounds and a Scutum was about 20 pounds.  Just think with that when selecting the bells you’re going to use for this 20 minute battle royal.  So, set the time, put on the correct music and get to it.  12 very clean crisp hard style swings if you please.  Then proceed to the next bell down and repeat.  Two more sets of descending sets and bells, please, then rest for one minute.  Sorry, that’s all you get.  Remember the sooner you finish, the longer you rest…  but oh wait, you need to be able to get all 48 reps done in 3 minutes or less and you gassed out at the 3rd bell and was barely able to get two swings in before the Gymboss timed you out.  You’ve got a choice now.  Either go again and see what you can do in the second round or grab a lighter bell.  Up to you, but remember, this was called the ego tamer for a reason.  Bottom line here is you’re going to have to push yourself through this and you’ll need to be stronger and smarter then your ego first then the little voice that says you can’t go on, it’s too hard.

So with that said, please make the following commitments:  #1.  Be Safe  #2.  Don’t be stupid, use sound judgement, an injury won’t serve you.  #3.  Practice excellent form even in the worst of your fatigue.  #4.  Finish the job.  #5.  Finish Stronger.

Be willing to use less weight to get the work done and then add weight as you get stronger.  This is you training the body, mind and spirit remember.  Know your limits so you can push them.


Every good battle has an aftermath, a time of rest and recuperation.   Picture King Leonidas eating an apple as they clear the field and prepare for the next day.

Hanging Leg Raises would be good here and some light stretching will make for an effective cool down.  Invest 10 minutes in this for a better more speedy recovery.  Remember to eat right and eat well.  Use food for fuel and recovery.  Do not let food use you for self medication.


Proud but never satisfied

The walk of a warrior, proud but never satisfied

You will want to do this workout once then the second time you do it should be as soon as you feel you’ve recovered enough to do it again.  Perhaps you’ll need two days off in the beginning but eventually you should settle in to doing this every other day.  A fair goal, especially with limited weight selection is you get to a place of where you can do it 5 times a week.

I will through in one twist however!  One day, do the presses first, as outlined here, but on the next day your train, do the swings first then the presses.  Rotate these circuits to create variety and challenge your muscles differently.

Work this routine for 6 weeks and see what happens.  Follow it and push hard.

“How come this Warrior Workout doesn’t have any pull ups?”   Fair question.  Not a lot of pull up bars in Sparta really…  but hey, flexibility of body and mind are important, so on your off days and if your pull up bar seems to be getting lonely, feel free to do a couple pull up ladders as a form of active recovery and not as a workout.  Practice strength (kipping will get you no where) with the pull ups and use them to inspire you for the next session.  You should see some big changes in the mirror and your back will get plenty of work from this routine as is.

Even if you never step in the ring or on the battle field, The Warrior Workout you will have forged the walk of a warrior.