Have you hit a plateau and are looking for a way to kick-start your fat-burning or muscle building efforts?
If so then you may have heard about workout finishers, but what are they? And more importantly what benefits will they offer?
The following article will look more closely at what this training technique is and why you should consider adding them to your usual workout routine. [toc]
What Are Workout Finishers?
Workout finishers are typically performed at the end of your main resistance training routine. They are typically a combination of interval training and resistance training and will last between 1-10 minutes.
They have been around for a few years, but have become much more popular recently, offering numerous benefits. Offering a new dynamic to your workouts, and providing faster workout results.
Workout Finishers Benefits
There are a few reasons why you should consider adding finishers to your regular workout routine, they offer the following benefits:
- Faster fat loss due to the metabolic demand
- Better conditioning
- Get a better pump just before leaving the gym
A benefit that is not often spoken about is that performing one of these finishers at the end of your normal workout can make you mentally tougher.
This is because performing them will make you feel like you have worked past your limit, that you have achieved something and that you are able to push past the pain and your limits.
Brutal Workout Finishers
These workout finishers are aimed at those looking to push past a plateau:
This finisher is simple but can be incredibly tough. Sprinting can help improve endurance and is great for building leg strength.
To perform you will need two cones or water bottles, which will be placed apart (you can choose the distance).
You will then sprint back and forth between the cones 12 times, you will be toughing each cone 6 times.
The aim is to be sprinting for around 1 minute and to then have a 3-5 minute rest to recover. I would suggest 1-3 sets.
If your gym has a prowler then make use of it as it is one of the most effective finishers available.
You can use one for all-over body conditioning, fat loss and for building your leg strength.
To perform this finisher you will need a prowler that has been filled up with your desired weight.
Next, position your body behind it with your spine and arms straight. Using your legs you should rive the prowler forward for around 50 yards as quickly as possible.
You should then rest for 30 seconds before repeating the move. I would recommend 4-6 sets of this exercise.
#3: Sled Pushes
This can be used as an alternative to the prowler.
You will need a towel to create a slippery surface. Simply place an Olympic plate on top, assume a press-up position and again drive with your legs, pushing the place across the floor for 25-40 yards.
I would suggest a 30-90 second rest between sets, and to perform 3-6 sets in total.
Kettlebells are incredibly versatile that require good focus and timing, which are both important for improving fitness and athleticism.
There are plenty of exercises to choose from. So kettlebells are a good workout finisher for beginners and for those who are at a more advanced level.
Tabata is great workout finisher exercise at home, and for those that are on their travels.
For Tabata, you can choose any exercise you want, but it must be performed back to back, with 20 seconds of activity and 10 seconds of rest.
#6: Battle Ropes
Most finishers are aimed at your lower body, while battle ropes are predominantly used for the upper body.
They are good for your overall cardio and for conditioning your shoulders.
When using battle ropes you can use them Tabata style, with your own timings. You can vary your technique too, there are plenty of variations including single arm and double arm waves.
#7: Farmers Walk
This is such a simple exercise but is a great finisher that can improve cardio and build strength.
All you have to do is grab some weight and walk. You can use a kettlebell, dumbbell, sandbag or any other piece of equipment that is comfortable to hold or carry.
#8: Heavy Bag
Using a heavy bag is a great way to improve cardio, and can improve your technique and endurance.
You can use the bag in a variety of ways. For example, you could use the same combination over and over, use it for punch-outs (constant punching) or you can pick and choose your shots, as you would a live opponent.
#9: Tyre Flip
For a tyre flip, you will need to bend at the knees, as if you were squatting. Keep your spine straight, engage your core and drive upwards, flipping the tyre.
I would recommend 10-12 tyre flips with a 30-second break. Perhaps 8-10 sets in total.
#10: Medicine Ball Slams
For this, all you have to do is lift up a medicine ball above your head and throw it down at the ground as hard as you can. Simple as that.
10-12 medicine ball slams and 8-10 sets are ideal.
Workout Finishers FAQs
Here are some questions that are often asked when talking about workout finishers:
What Equipment Is Used With Workout Finishers?
As you can see from the various examples shown on this page, the possibilities are endless.
Finishers can involve using dumbbells, stability balls, kettlebells and even your own bodyweight.
You can even substitute exercises and equipment based on your own needs and the equipment you have available to you.
Can You Use Workout Finishers As The Main Workout?
You can use them as the main workout if your time is short. I most certainly wouldn’t use them as a replacement for your usual workout routine.
These finishers are designed to enhance your main workout, not replace them.
Are Workout Finishers Suitable For All Fitness Levels?
As you are able to modify the movements and sets to suit your own ability and needs they are suitable for all fitness levels.
For those who are new to exercise, you may struggle when you first start to perform them, but with time they will become easier.
I would recommend taking longer rest periods, to use lighter weights (if they are being used), and to perform fewer reps and sets.
Should You Perform Workout Finishers Every Workout?
I would be careful not to overdo them. Maybe limit them to 1-3 a week, so that you are allowing your body to recover.
Make sure your nutrition is on point and that you are getting plenty of rest and sleep between workouts.
In Conclusion: Are Workout Finishers Necessary?
They are not necessary, however, if you are trying to lose a few extra pounds of fat then an extra minute or two of high-intensity cardio at the end of your usual workout is something I would definitely recommend.
As with any workout, you are only going to get out what you put in.
This means that to experience the full benefits of workout finishers you need to give your all and leave nothing left in the tank.
If you use workout finishers at the end of your workout then we would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment for us below using the comment form provided.