You're not looking for the easy way out.
Athletes, and that includes lifters, are going to try to find things that are harder and more difficult. That’s because you know it’s the only way to improve, get stronger, and reach your goals.
If this describes you then keep reading because I have a challenge for you. Before I start laying this out I want to make it very clear.
This is NOT something you should try to do every week. This is NOT a regular workout plan. This is a high volume shocking method that will push your body to the limit with the goal of forcing the body to recover, improve, and prepare for something like this to happen again.
The 50,000 Pound Challenge
For those of you who may not understand this off the bat, I’m not talking lifting 50,000 pounds at once. The goal is based on total volume training.
We’ll use the bench press as an example. If you do 100 pounds for 20 reps then you would multiply 100 x 20 which is 2,000. That means you lifted 2,000 pounds total. If you did a second set then that would be another 2,000 so now you’ve done 4,000 pounds. You would follow this protocol with every set you do until you get to 50,000 pounds in total volume.
For those of you that use kilos instead of pounds, take the number of pounds and divide it by 2.2 to determine the kilos. In kilos it would be 22,727.3 kilos total for one workout. That’s a serious workout and you might already be coming up with strategies on how you think you’re going to outsmart this and knock it out with no problem.
There are some rules for this challenge and you should make sure to understand these before you hit the weights because your plan will likely change.
- You have one hour to train and you must do a five minute warm up so you can fully prepare for this workout. That means you only have 55 minutes to get to 50,000 pounds. You can warmup however you like but if you use weights during this five minute period they don’t count. So chit chat is going to cost you. Focus on the task at hand and nothing else.
- You can only focus on one body part. That means chest, back, shoulders, legs (quads + hams + calves), or arms (bis + tris).
- Free weight and bodyweight exercises ONLY. Thought you’d go to the leg press and bang out a bunch of heavy sets, didn’t you? Those won’t cut it. Even plate loaded machines are out. You can only use barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, or your bodyweight. Bodyweight assistant machines don’t count either. If you weigh 150 pounds and do 20 dips, that’s 3,000 pounds of volume. Of course you can add resistance via weighted vests or plates hanging from a belt or chains. Count this extra weight plus your bodyweight. If you choose to use dumbbells then remember to count both dumbbells.
- You can only rest up to 60 seconds between sets. If you want to rest less that’s fine but you must get back to work within one minute. Remember the goal is to push yourself and you are on the clock. Take a breath, sip your BCAAs or water, stretch, and go.
- You have to do a minimum of five exercises. Banging out set after set on one exercise doesn’t help. You should focus on tacking this workout by hitting the muscles from as many angles as possible.
- It’s not a rule but it’s a good idea to do this with a partner. He or she can help you change weight faster so you can focus on resting with the time you have between sets. Also it will be more fun and motivating to have someone do it with you. You can probably knock out a couple of reps with your partner pushing you and obviously every rep will count in a workout like this.
- If you do use a partner, he or she should provide NO assistance. If your partner has to touch you or the bar to help, that rep doesn’t count. Even if you hear, “all you, all you”. No contact or it doesn’t count.
- If you want to make sure you get in as many reps as possible, use drop sets and rest-pause sets to help push yourself. You might fail with 100 pounds, but why quit if you can do 60?
- I emphasize again that this is NOT a regular workout. Don’t try to do this every workout. Don’t even try this more than once a week period. If you do it with back, don’t think you can do it with chest. Wait at least a week to try it with another bodypart and don’t bother trying it again with the bodypart you did use it on for at least a month.
So you might be wondering how you can do this. Below is a sample workout I did that helped me do it. I was sore after this but it was a great workout. I weighed 240 at the time of this workout and due to the pressure of the clock I actually rested 45 seconds between sets, but I probably could’ve rest a little longer because I did it in 52 minutes after my warm up.
|Flat Barbell Bench Press||135||20||2700|
|Flat Barbell Bench Press||185||20||3700|
|Flat Barbell Bench Press||225||15||3375|
|Flat Barbell Bench Press||275||6||1650|
|Flat Barbell Bench Press (Drop Set)||315, 225, 135||4, 6, 10||3960|
|Incline Dumbbell Press||50s||20||2000|
|Incline Dumbbell Press||60s||20||2400|
|Incline Dumbbell Press||100s||12||2400|
|Incline Dumbbell Press||100s||10||2000|
|Flat Dumbbell Fly||40s||20||1600|
|Flat Dumbbell Fly||50s||15||1500|
|Flat Dumbbell Fly (Drop Set)||60s, 40s||8, 8||1680|
|Dips (Rest Pause)||BW (240) + 20lb Vest||12, 5, 3||5200|
|Decline Barbell Press||135||20||2700|
|Decline Barbell Press||185||12||2220|
|Total Volume||51, 085|
Workout Survival Guide
Obivously nutrition is paramount here. Here are some guidelines for nutrition and recovery that will help support this killer workout.
Make sure you get a good meal in with at least 30 grams of protein and 50 grams of slow digesting carbs an hour or so before you train. Also if you do cardio in the morning and train in the evening, skip the cardio. You’ll need all the energy you can get.
30 minutes before you train, take a pre-workout supplement and follow that with water. Hydration is important and the nutrients in your pre-workout supplement will play a factor in your performance.
Related: 8 Easy & Convenient Pre-Workout Meals
At the very least you should drink water but I actually suggest taking in at least 10 grams of BCAAs throughout your workout. They will be crucial not only during the training but after when you’re recovering from the 50K onslaught you’re taking on.
Don’t just take something after you train, have it at the gym with you so you can start recovering the moment the workout is over. I recommend 5 grams of creatine as well as at least 5 grams of glutamine. A shake that has at least 25 grams of protein would be beneficial as well. Within an hour of the workout, eat another meal with at least 30 grams of protein and 50 grams of carbs as well as some healthy fats.
You might want to do cardio after the weights but your heart rate will be up already and you’ll feel challenged aerobically during this workout. Trust me. Skip it today and go home. I would suggest taking the next day off but you know your body. If you think you can train the next day, do it.
That Which Doesn't Kill You
So what do you think? You up for this? It is a tough challenge but I think you can do it.
Give it a shot and if you’re able to do it, share the workout you did in the comments section. I want to see how you did it and congratulate you on your accomplishment!
I have been doing high volume workouts for some time, totalling anywhere between 25000 kg to 40000 kg, with most of them in the 33000 kg range. My idea is to accumulate 100k kg per week, while not going beyond 30000 kg too often. So far the body has been holding up well, but I am wondering if I am not setting my rest days at optimal capacity by worrying too much about maximizing cumulative weekly volume. Thought?