View Full Version : Brutal Training Power Circuit

James Evans
04-11-2007, 09:30 AM
The barbell complex talk over on the KB/DB thread reminded me of something over at Brutal Training (www.brutaltraining.com).

I like a hell of a lot of the items over there. I think some of it is toss. One writer I have the utmost respect for though is Andrew Read. Quite an angry man.

Anyway, Andrew's Power Circuit in the Joy & Fierceness section smashed me.

Ignoring the tedious warm up with a swiss ball (I've not tooling around with something that takes longer than one of Josh Hollis' clients doing '300' - just warm up the way you always do) here we go:

Iron Cross
DB Swings
The Bear Complex
Upright Rows
Bentover Rows
Military Press
Good Mornings
Dynamic Lunges
Thruster with bar behind neck
Pull Ups
Push Ups

The Iron Cross is a squat exercise. Hold dbs out to your sides like a crucifix, as you squat bring your arms out to the front of your body.

The Bear is a power clean, front thruster, back thruster, back to deck complex.

For the lunges hold dbs down at your sides and aim to get air as you switch legs. I hate these. In fact I hate most of this.

Everything is done for 8 reps except the push ups which are as many reps as possible. Rest for 60 seconds between circuits. Andrew suggests the fitter you are then make the rest more active, 60 seconds of skipping or for total studs 60 seconds of burpees. Repeat for 6 whole circuits.

Weight wise I used 6.5kg dbs for the Iron Cross and the lunges, a 16.5kg db for the swings and a 30kg BB for the rest. And I utterly sucked. 2 circuits is all I could manage and I was crushed. Slinging in a complex like the Bear at exercise 3 (in fact including it at all) is the act of an utter melonfarmer.

Read would suggest using the same weight for a few weeks and then building up to something like this on the bar:

Circuit 1 - 30kg Circuit 2 - 35kg Circuit 3 - 40kg Circuit 4 - 40kg Circuit 5 - 35kg Circuit 6 - 30kg

If you want to read up for yourself it was Joy & Fierceness No. 5. The website is Flash driven and not the friendliest.

I must get around to revisiting this...

Have fun.

Josh Whiting
04-11-2007, 11:18 AM
That looks absolutely hideous.

Dave Van Skike
04-11-2007, 02:01 PM

Whoever developed this has deep seated emotional problesm for which they should seek professional help. Distance yourself from them...quickly.

James Evans
04-12-2007, 07:29 AM
Josh, Dave,

Why is it that other, 'normal' people look at the above and have your reactions and I just think 'well the Bear could be tricky and I won't enjoy the pull ups but that doesn't look too bad'?

I note that there has been 105 views of this post so I guess the other 103 are in your camp too.

Steve Shafley
04-12-2007, 07:31 AM
I look at it and think "Why?"

I could put someone on a circuit with less than half those exercises and have them on the floor just as quickly, if not moreso.

James Evans
04-12-2007, 07:34 AM

I'm with you on that. I don't really get the point either.

R. Alan Hester
04-12-2007, 07:40 AM
I read some where that you should not have more exercises in a complex than you can remeber when you are about to passout, I think the above would be challenging, but I think it, as Steve noted, has too many.

James Evans
04-12-2007, 07:57 AM
Ok Alan, on that level here is what I understand to be the Rufus Complex:

All exercises performed for 5 reps with empty bar

Clean from above knee
Clean from knee level
Clean from below knee level
Military Press
Front squat
Front lunge (bar in across front of shoulders)
Push Press
Back squat
Good Morning
Push Press behind neck-Snatch Grip
Bent-over Row
Muscle snatch
Snatch from above knee
Snatch from knee level
Snatch from Below knee level

That's a lot of exercises. I know that Michael Rutherford is a big fan but he was rather tight lipped on the subject when he refered to it recently because I believe it features in his second DB dvd. Therefore not sure how he uses it.

I've employed it as a warm up.

What do you think? Too many? I have to have it written on the wall so I can track where I'm at.

Steve Shafley
04-12-2007, 08:01 AM
There are certain exercise combinations that are more likely to produce nausea as well, due to changing positions and different areas gravity will tend to pool blood.

The 1 arm thruster + push-up combination is one that really messes with me, due to the "stiffness" you need to have to do push-ups, and the fact that after you do the thrusters, you're breathing hard.

It takes about 3 sets to do it for me, but almost like clockwork, sometime after the 4th or 5th circuit, I start resisting the technicolor yawn.

Add a sandbag bearhug uphill run for fun.

R. Alan Hester
04-12-2007, 08:12 AM
Yes, he has a rufus complex on his DB Moves vol II DVD, but I cannot remeber all of the steps sitting here in my office. The reason I like to avoid long ones, is becuse I train outside as much as possible and hate having to stop and look at a notecard or some such.

I am not saying that the long complexes are not good, but why does one need to have three different variations on a clean and snatch, all of which have a combined 4inch different range of motion? Maybe it is my personal preference, who knows?

Steve Shafley
04-12-2007, 08:14 AM
Who knows, really? I've found in most cases simple is better. Circuits with a logical flow work better too.

That Brutal Training site has a lot of stuff on it. I think I'll spend some time going through it, but, holy crap, that flash stuff is just kind of hard to work with on the other side.

Some of the "Joy and Fierceness" stuff on the squat and DL isn't all that good.

Dave Van Skike
04-12-2007, 09:55 AM
In all honesty I jest. It looks fun enough. But....anything that carries on about the badassery and overall hoorah bullshit, I'm out. That's not badass, that's vanity.

The circuit looks interesting enough, a shade complex for my tastes. The wacko behind it has some real self esteem issues. Tongue in cheek of course, pip pip cheerio and all that. :)

Josh, Dave,

Why is it that other, 'normal' people look at the above and have your reactions and I just think 'well the Bear could be tricky and I won't enjoy the pull ups but that doesn't look too bad'?

I note that there has been 105 views of this post so I guess the other 103 are in your camp too.

Steve Shafley
04-12-2007, 10:30 AM
As I go through the website, I really just get the feeling they are trying too hard.

Josh Whiting
04-12-2007, 11:11 AM
I think that sometimes complex can be good, especially if your involved in anything that involves thinking when knackered or with heightened adrenalin.

I agree with Steve though if you just want to work hard simple is probably better.

The site is a bit odd.

James Evans
04-13-2007, 03:35 AM
The whole new age psychology quoting dead Japanese swordsmen eco warrior bullshit while shouting 'we train really hard' irritates me.

Most of them are volley ball players and golfers.

Get real.

But I like Andrew Read. And he actually goes against a lot of the philosophy of the site and the whole 'What is brutal?' nonsense. Some parkour kid was saying that he thought that it was vital to train outside rain or shine 12 months of the year because it improved him as a person and meant his training was 'real'. Read observed that hardship was going to war, why should training have to be so unpleasant. I think that is on the same lines as Dave's 'Darfur is brutal' comment which I agree with.

Steve Shafley
04-13-2007, 05:19 AM
There's some good and some doof in every website.

The "new age" slant towards cancer care is really treading an iffy line. I would seriously love it if fasting and detox and bizarre cures cured cancer, but they don't.

I had to laugh at the loads of fitness ball stuff on there. Will Heffernan, an Australian S&C specialist who's living in Ireland and working the the Irish Institute of Sport, commented that his peers in Australia were nutso about the fitness ball, and he also commented that is was probably because they were cheap to ship there.