Adding the Finishing Touch to Your Workout

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So you completed your workout, you’re a little out of breath, but you got a little gas left in the tank. This is perfect time for a “finisher.” A finisher is a quick metabolic, high intensity workout that puts that finishing touch on a workout. It can be done with intervals, it can be done with carries, it can be done with cardio, really anything to tax the body. This is basically a total ass kicker at the tail end of a workout. I have 5 great finishers you can add to your arsenal with video demonstrations.

Typically when we program in finishers we want to keep in mind what we just did for our workout. We try to pick movements that we have yet to do in the workout. For example, if it was a upper body strength day, I would make the finisher more lower body or cardio based. The same applies if it was a lower body strength day, I would make it upper body dominant. Finishers are primarily cardio based, but at a very high intensity. So, this is something that is done on a strength training or lifting day, not a day you already have done some form of cardio. So, without furtherado here are five of my favorite finishers.

1. Hill Sprints: It is always great to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. A great way to challenge up the usual running is by doing hill sprints. Although more taxing cardio wise, they are actually better for you. Each step you are already leaned forward, and because your putting your foot down in front of you on the hill, it a shorter stride, reducing the risk for injury. If you don’t have a hill, a treadmill is a distant second choice. Even if you can’t get access to any hills, regular sprinting is great too, just start off slowly if you’ve never done it before. Try something like 8–10 25yd sprints with a minute rest between each

2. Jump Rope Challenge: Jumping rope is hands down one of the best cardio exercises you can do. I love finishing up with a great jump rope session to end a workout. I like 30 seconds on, and 30 seconds off. So get as many jumps as you can in 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds. See if you can last 10 minutes.

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3. Sled Push Challenge: This may require some open space, as most of these do. However, summer is right around the corner and a lot of this can be done outside if you don’t have the space indoors. If you don’t have a sled, you can push a metal plate on the ground. Or, take a rubber plate and wrap it in a towel, it will slide great on a hardwood floor. I like doing 25 yard pushes, followed by 30 seconds of rest. See if you can do 8 rounds of that. You can do it for light fast sprints (like in the video below), or you can pile up the weight and drive those legs hard.

4. Farmers Carry Challenge: These are an incredible finisher that will light up your core, put your grip to the test, and leave you trying to catch your breath. You can do this with dumbbeels, barbells, kettlebells, and more. Check out the first video, it is one of my favories. The trap bar finisher is a 25 yard carry, but every 5 yards you stop and do 3 reps of a deadlift. For a more thorough explanation of farmers carries, and a lot of demonstrations, check out the second video.

5. Medicine Ball Burpee Challenge: If your lucky you have an area of turf or open area in your gym. Ideally something about 20yards long. If not, take this bad boy outside. Check out Sam demonstrating this great finisher on our 20yard turf. I would recommend 3–4 round of this, with 30–60 seconds of rest in-​​between each.

So those are five great finishers to add to the end of your workouts. If you got a little gas left in the tank after a lifting sesssion, try adding one of these in. There are dozens of other ones, but this should be a great start for all of you.

For more videos like these, and other cool stuff be sure to check out my Facebook Page!

I also highly recommend Renegade Cardio. Jason Ferruggia is a down to earth strength coach from New Jersey. He produces incredible results, and has some awesome products. Check out Renegade Cardio for more cardio ideas, finishers, and other things to get you ripped, without becoming bored.

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Doug Spurling

Doug is President of Spurling Training Systems, located in Kennebunk, Maine. He graduated from University of New England with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Exercise Science. He has several years of experience as both a personal trainer for general fitness and a strength and conditioning coach for athletes. His certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) include Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT).

Doug began his fitness experience as a personal trainer at a private fitness facility while in college. While there, he worked with everything from absolute beginners to elite athletes, elderly and pre-teen populations and everything in between. After college, Doug worked closely with top Division I schools, developing strength and conditioning programs for their athletes. He continues to work with University of New England, assisting in undergraduate courses as well as training the varsity athletes.

Doug also authors his own online blog where he shares his knowledge of and passion for fitness, sports, and nutrition. You can find more about him, Spurling Training Systems, his blog, subscribe to his newsletter, and get his free ebook by heading over to his website.