12 Quick & Easy Tips for Better Workouts

Posted by Jason Ferruggia on November 18, 2011

Even if you’re training Renegade style, on the best programs in the world, you can always make your workouts a little better.

Most Renegade workouts are written with public gym goers in mind or those with limited amounts of stuff in their basement or garage gym.

But if you have access to other stuff the training can be greatly enhanced.

With access to unlimited tools I would write many programs differently.

Here are some very important notes regarding my programs and changes you can feel free to make:

1) Sub in Trap Bar Deads for the Straight Bar

When I prescribe full range deads fro the floor you can always swap these out for a trap bar, which is what I would recommend in most cases.

High handles is my preferred option and deadlifts should never be close to failure.

Smooth, clean reps are the way to stay injury free.

The deadlift is the main exercise where submaximal training is of the utmost importance.

2) Pull From Rubber Mats Instead of Pins

Because I assume most people might not have the better option available to them I write “rack deadlifts” out of habit when in reality I recommend pulling from rubber mats or blocks instead.

That is a far safer option and much less stressful than pulling off pins (the same way that pressing off boards is safer and less stressful than pressing off pins). So if you have those use them.

*Note: This is once-in-a-blue-moon-PR-pulling-form. For most sets of deads submax, clean reps, with a neutral spine are the way to go.

Search some online fitness equipment stores and you should be able to find a place that sells small rubber mats. Buy a bunch of them or cut your own and stack the mats to do pulls from mid shin height to just above the knee.

The mats they use for horse stalls are usually cheapest.

The difference between pulling off of these rubber blocks and pins will be instantly noticeable and you won’t believe how much better your back will feel.

As a side note for home gym owners, getting squat stands instead of a power rack with some rubber mats is a cheaper option and gives you everything you need.

If you can get squat stands with a chin up bar you’re pretty much set.

3) Swap Out Chin Ups For Rope Climbs

If you have a climbing rope use that in place of chin ups from time to time. You could also sub in a modified rope climb where you start laying back on the floor for whatever type of rows are listed (See video below).

4) Finish With Wheelbarrow Walks

If you have wheelbarrow and train at home feel free to finish your workouts with some loaded wheelbarrow walks. These are basically the same as farmers walks and will build up the traps, grip and core along with total body functional strength and stability.

It’s also just some old school, manly shit to do.

5) Do Sled Rope Rows Instead

If you have a rope and a sled or prowler feel free to sub in some rope sled rows for whatever rows I have listed in the program. Rows with a two inch diameter rope will build up the forearms and biceps like almost nothing else.

6) Use Fat Gripz

If you have Fat Gripz you should use them on any press, curl or single leg lower body variation. Actually I should rephrase this.

You SHOULD have Fat Gripz.

A fat handle on the bar or dumbbell is infinitely safer for your shoulders and elbows and also eliminates the need for much direct grip or forearm work.

I personally would never recommend not training with a fat bar or fat handled dumbbells.

It’s simply not worth the injury risk. Those skinny handles are an elbow injury in the making that will creep up on you sooner or later.

8) Use The Renegade Bar Instead of a Straight Bar

If you train at home or have your own gym get yourself the Renegade Bar. It’s got thick diameter, angled handles with rotating sleeves. It’s far safer than a straight bar and the best bar you’ll ever use.


9) Use Battling Ropes as a Finisher

If you have battling ropes feel free to use them for 5-10 minutes after any workout as a finisher to any one of my programs. Do 10-20 seconds on followed by a 30-45 second rest.

10) Use Chains for Variety & to Look Tough

If you have chains you can sub them in and use them for curls or even Dumbbell military presses, incline presses or flat presses. Simply attach cable handles to them and put the Fat Gripz over them.

The added benefit is that chains make you look like a tough guy, Frank Rizzo style.

11) Train Your Neck

Neck work can always be included at the end if it’s not prescribed. No one couldn’t benefit from having a stronger neck.

Stick with 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps on the neck harness, front neck flexion and side neck flexion, 2-3 days per week. If you’re injury prone, iso holds would be a better idea.

12) Sled Work is a Must

If you own a sled feel free to add it to the end of any Renegade training program for 5-15 minutes of conditioning.

Now if you would be so kind as to share this dopeness with tons of people it would be greatly appreciated.