Do you think you're tough? Do you think you're invincible and have faced your greatest workout challenge? If those are true, congratulations – you're the woman or man. If not – or you seek another challenge – I've got something for you. It's an asskicker, provided you follow it properly.
It's my 6 x 6 Brutality Workout.
Like all workouts should be, it is simple to understand but difficult to do. In this case it is extremely difficult to do. Give it a shot and let me know your results.
How You Do It
Perform six rounds of six exercises (36 total bouts) taken to volitional muscular fatigue at approximately 10 repetitions. That is – work to the point where no more perfect repetitions are possible. Don't simply stop at ten reps if you can squeeze out a few more, safely. There should be minimal rest between exercises and rounds. The ultimate goal is to complete the entire workout using proper exercise form in the least amount of time.
Two different exercise sequences are used for the 6-exercise rounds, each consisting of two different upper body multi-joint push, upper body multi-joint pull, and multi-joint lower body exercises performed in the following order:
- Upper body push exercise A
- Upper body pull exercise A
- Lower body exercise A
- Upper body push exercise B
- Upper body pull exercise B
- Lower body exercise B
Example: Sequence 1
- Dumbbell chest press
- Seated row
- Plate-load leg press
- Machine overhead press
- Close grip pulldown
- Barbell squat
Example: Sequence 2
- Barbell incline press
- Low pulley upright row
- Romanian dead lift
- Parallel bar dips
- Plate-load bent-over row
- Dumbbell squat
The 6-exercise rounds are performed by alternating sequence 1 and sequence 2 three times each – sequence 1 > sequence 2 > sequence 1 > sequence 2 > sequence 1 > sequence 2.
Another example of a possible pair of sequences:
- Barbell standing press
- Wide grip pulldown
- Trap bar dead lift
- Machine chest press
- Dumbbell bent-over row
- Machine leg press
- Dumbbell incline press
- Chin up
- Squat machine
- Barbell bench press
- Low row
- Barbell lunge
You choose the exercises based on your equipment availability/training facility. Any free-weight, machine, or bodyweight exercise can be used provided it meets the 10-repetitions to volitional fatigue goal.
Use the attached workout recording form to document the exercises used, repetitions achieved, 6-exercise sequence time, and overall workout time. Partner timing is recommended. Start a stopwatch to begin the workout. At the conclusion of each 6-exercise round, record the watch time in the space provided, but do not stop the watch.
Your first time attempting this endeavor will require some estimation regarding the appropriate resistances to use throughout the workout. Because you will be moving quickly between exercises and experiencing extreme fatigue, the resistances used to match the proposed 10 reps at volitional muscular fatigue will require adjustments. That is, you will need to reduce the resistances that you would normally use in a less-fatigued state. This is why it is paramount to record your workout data so adjustments can be made accordingly.
One last time:
Six exercises for six rounds (36 total sets). Follow the workout recording form. Each set performed should be taken to the point of volitional muscular fatigue. The last repetition – whether it's more or less than 10 – must be brutally difficult. Be smart, use controlled lifting form, and secure a training partner to keep it safe. The rest between exercises should only be the time it takes you to move from the previous exercise to the next. If you have to gather yourself and rest, that's allowed. But remember, you're on the clock. Don't be ashamed if at some point you need to assume the fetal position to regain your composure. Again, you're on the clock, but you may need that to complete the workout.
How long should it take you to complete the 6 x 6 Brutality Workout?
- Very fit – 30 minutes or less.
- Decent shape – 30 to 40 minutes.
- In poor condition – good luck.
Remember to download your workout recording form.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.