Extra Fox – A blog by Christopher Taylor

Mixing Rippetoe and Ferris in the weight room

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on April 14, 2011

As a soccer player, one of my greatest strengths when I was younger was my speed. As my top speed declined in my 30’s, I started to get frustrated and decided I would need to take some steps to slow the decline. After doing some research and consulting with my wife, who has a degree in physical education, I decided that weight training was needed.

I had a couple of false starts until a friend of mine introduced me to “Starting Strength” by Mark Rippetoe. I followed the Rippetoe method as closely as possible and made great progress. The added strength translated into huge improvements in my performance on the soccer field.

Recently, I kept hearing a lot of buzz about “4-Hour Body” by Timothy Ferris. All within about two weeks, I read about it in Men’s Journal, read of few chapters at Barnes & Nobel, overheard two guys in my office building elevator talking about it (one of them was just getting started on the “Occam’s Protocol”) and then I found out another of my colleagues had tried the “Slow Carb” diet from the book. I had to go read it.

The workout that interested me most from 4HB was from the “Effortless Superhuman” chapter. This workout was designed by a collegiate track coach to build strength for his runners while using the minimum of training effort and also keeping them ready to compete. What attracted me to this workout was how much it had in common with Rippetoe and how minimalistic it was.

My new training regimen takes elements from both Rippetoe and Ferris. I adopted the warm up, set and rep prescription from “Superhuman” and applied the three main workouts from Rippetoe to create a workout that I think will be absolutely killer for my purposes.

The Workout

1. Over-and-unders

  • 1 set of 6 reps, no more than 5 minutes

2. Back squats

  • 1 set of 2-3 @ 95% 1RM
  • 1 set of 5 @ 85% 1RM
  • within one minute, 7 18-inch box jumps
  • rest 5 minutes from plyometrics to next set

3. Overhead press

  • 1 set of 2-3 @ 95% 1RM
  • 1 set of 5 @ 85% 1RM
  • within one minute, 4 12-inch box push ups
  • rest 5 minutes from plyometrics to next set

4. Deadlift

  • 1 set of 2-3 @ 95% 1RM
  • 1 set of 5 @ 85% 1RM
  • within one minute, 7 18-inch box jumps
  • rest 5 minutes from plyometrics to next set

5. Torture Twist

  • 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps (30 seconds between sets)
  • Start with 3 sets x 3 reps of 3 seconds on each side. Increase to 5 sets of 3 second holds, then increase time, one second at a time, up to a max of 15 second holds for 5 sets (each set = 3 holds per side).

That’s it. The whole workout takes from 30 to 45 minutes and should be done three days a week.