Tired of your current workout programme but still looking to make big gains? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Then get off whatever bench you’re always using, and get ready to fire up your entire body. What you’re about to sign up for is an intense 3-day full body workout. It’ll get you ripped, and by that I mean it’ll strip away those last bits of fat you’ve been struggling with but add lean muscle at the same time.

I put this custom workout together after years of doing various training programmes. I’d done full 3-4 month programmes at a time ranging from your traditional bulk-up gym moves (bench press, rows, curls, etc) and your various lifts (all forms of squats and deadlifts). Most of my time was bound to the weight area, but after years of being ‘locked up’ I decided I needed to try something else and after being introduced to Frank Medrano’s videos I gave calisthenics a try – and I must say I loved it. It was a different type of fatigue. After every session my entire body would be destroyed. And while I did see improvements in my body and performance, I knew in the back of my mind that I was still lacking the essential strength sessions that only squats and deadlifts can bring to the table. So it was then that I sat down and devised a workout of my own. One that incorporated all the aspects of what I found to be successful. And so ‘Beast-Mode’ was born.

About Beast-Mode

1. First off, Beast-Mode is not a beginner’s workout. It is quite advanced wrt the difficulty of moves used as well as the cardiac intensity. I’m a big believer in constantly pushing yourself. So for the most part, the workout utilizes supersets of 2 or 3 exercises. You will constantly push your muscles as well as your aerobic and anaerobic systems (i.e. the key to the toned and muscular body you’re working for). At each ‘superset station’ I will give a timeline to work towards so you can see how you’re faring.

2. Beast-Mode has been checked and approved by qualified personal trainer, James White, owner of Roarke Gyms.

3. Although certain muscle groups are focused on, each day is a full body day consisting of a quick but heart-rate boosting warm-up, a strength component, various plyometrics and muscle group-targeted moves, core training supersets, advanced calisthenics (body-weight exercises) and it always ends with a ‘finisher’. I am a huge believer in Calisthenics. It’s fun, different, challenging, you don’t have to be gym-bound and if you really educate yourself on the subject you can definitely still achieve the hypertrophy needed for muscle growth.

4. For those not ‘in the know’, 3 killer moves in calisthenics are the Human Flag, Muscle-Ups and Handstand Pushups, so I have incorporated certain exercises into Beast-Mode that will help in you eventually being able to perform these.

5. You will notice that there is no ‘legs day’ with Beast-Mode. The reason being that ‘everyday should be legs day’. The leg muscles are our largest muscle group and therefore working them early in the strength portion of the workout will benefit the results of the rest of the day’s work. Why? Because working them releases more growth hormone and testosterone into your body – and these 2 ingredients are essential for muscle growth. Also, if you’ve ever gone for your 1RM with squats and deadlifts you’ll agree that they work more than just your legs.

6. And lastly, you don’t need any of these new functional gyms that are popping up all over the show to do this programme. Your commercial gym will do just fine. This workout was shot at my local gym, so a big thanks to the Cape Town Virgin Active in Long Street for the location.

It’s Go Time!

Below are the workout plans for each of the 3 days. Ideally perform them with a day’s break inbetween. I do it on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with mobility, stretching and ab days thrown in on the Tuesday and Thursday. Saturday and Sunday is for resting.

Beast-Mode Workout Card – Download the printable PDF for easy use in gym.

BEAST-MODE DAY 1

(Click the name of each move to see how the exercise is performed)

1. Sprint Row: 1km Time Trial

2. Deadlift

3A. Clap-Pushup
3B. Wide-arm Pullup

4A. Weighted Decline Pushup w/ Sandbag
4B. Pistol Squat

5A. Sprinter’s Crunch
5B. Dead Bug
5C. Side-Plank Combo

6A. Handstand Hold
6B. Dip w/ Planche Tuck
6C. Boxing – Heavy Bag

BEAST-MODE DAY 2

1A. Plyo Press-Kick
1B. Jump Lunge

2. Front Squat

3A. Chinups w/ Crunch
3B. Dragon Flag

4A. Handstand/Pike Pushup
4B. Knees-To-Elbows
4C. Wall Sit

5A. Crossbody Curl
5B. Farmer’s Walk

6. Treadmill Interval Sprint

BEAST-MODE DAY 3

1. Skipping

2A. Concave/L-Sit Pullup
2B. Sumo Burpee Broad Jump
2C. Human Flag

3A. Lateral & Front Shoulder Raise Combo
3B. TRX Inverted Row
3C. Single-Leg Deadlift w/ Sandbag

4A. TRX Pike
4B. Toes-To-Bar
4C. Knee-Tuck Raises

5. Madman Sandbag Combo

All photographs by Casey Crafford