You’ve done your foam rolling. Actually spent time warming up with movement prep. Banged out heavy sets of deadlifts. Crushed the bench press, pull-up bar and leg press machine. You even managed to fit in a few rounds of high intensity intervals on the rowing machine. All that’s left is for you to shower, grab your protein shake and head on home. But wait, if you haven’t included a “finisher” – usually a brutal one to two set single-exercise or circuit protocol – you aren’t really finished with your workout.
Finishers are great because they don’t only add volume to your training sessions (rep ranges are usually quite high in finishers) they also test your mental toughness, challenging you when you are already fatigued. Add them to your program to drive up your results and test your limits.
2-Minute Leg Press Test
While this, and any other finisher, can be performed during total body or body-part split type training, this finisher is especially effective and challenging when thrown in at the end of a leg day. Remember, finishers do not (and really should not) be complicated. At this point in the workout, you just want something simple that you can grind through.
> Set up a leg press machine with 70% of the weight you would use for 10 reps (so if you normally bang out 400lbs for 10, load up the leg press with 280lbs).
> Set a timer for two minutes and try to bang out as many reps as possible in that amount of time. Try not to stop for rest and try not to completely lock out at the top, keeping tension on your legs the entire time.
Alternative Finisher – Back Squats
No leg press in your home gym? No problem.
> Set up a squat bar with your 10RM and perform a set of 20 rep back squats. With this one you will have to take some pauses and breathes at the top (you are doubling the amount of reps you should be able to do, after all) but you should be able to get it done. As far as actually being able to walk the next day, that’s another story.
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