As a fitness person, athlete or whomever, if you're interested in getting in the sickest shape of your life in the shortest time, then I have the answer for you're the MBG 15/15 workout! This workout has been a mainstay at my Monkey Bar Gym since I developed it 10 years ago, it is the #1 way to increase power/endurance out there as it is completely quantifiable and progressive each week to higher and harder levels. I've used this workout with all my high level athletes and all our MBG students all over the world with amazing results: UFC fighters, NBA players, NFL players, X-games supercross competitors, always with the same results: amazing power/endurance! Off the charts in fact; they got leaner, stronger, more powerful and extremely confident in what they could now do! To put it simply: it works. It works so well that many people in the kettlebell world took the MBG 15/15 workout and put it through the paces only to find out and solidify what I said: it is the #1 way to increase Power/ Endurance! I promise you, if you want ultimate strength, power, endurance and off the charts physical and mental confidence: do the MBG 15/15 workout, you can thank me later!
How I thought this workout up is a story in itself. While training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Rickson Gracie in Los Angeles, I was in great shape, but when preparing for the International Championships, I wanted to be in the best shape possible and I felt I could improve my power/endurance (overall conditioning) even more. My buddies at Ricksons and I trained for the tournament as if we were fighting with high intensity interval training (HIIT) as it was known back in the early 90's.
We mixed a lot of full body exercises into a circuit and did about 20 reps of each, going through the circuit as fast as possible. It worked and our team and I did great; we individually medaled and as a team we won the Championship! Since this kind of training worked so well and prepared me for one of my best days as an athlete, I never forgot how we all got to this high level. So when I moved back to my hometown, Madison, Wisconsin, I wanted to keep that same type of workout intensity and I came up with what I believe is the single best 10 minute workout you can do for total body power, strength, and stamina: PERIOD! I named it the Monkey Bar Gym (MBG) 15/15 Workout.
Perfecting the MBG 15/15 Workout came about when I opened my Monkey Bar Gymnasium in January 2001, simply by thinking about one of the greatest fitness performers of all time, Jack Lalanne, and then training like he did. This was shortly after 9/11 and we had decided to do a charity event for 9/11 victims by doing 1,000 push ups in under an hour to raise money. I'd read that Jack did 1,000 push ups in 23 minutes! So, while training for this high level achievement, I had to figure out how he paced himself in order to do this, and that's when I came upon the 15/15 method. Even though I didn't beat Jack LaLanne's amazing time, I did do 1,000 push ups in 40 minutes and realized this method works great not only for pure strength/endurance like this workout, but could be used for all variations of workouts!
This is how the MBG 15/15 Workout was born, a very simple, yet very high level in how it works; you work for 15 seconds and rest for 15 seconds, repeat for set time desired, 5, 10, 20, 40 minutes or mix it up like quarters of a game: do a 8 minute set, rest 5 minutes and repeat a different 8 minute set, etc. To get my 1,000 pushups in 40 minutes, I alternated reps of 12 and 13 push ups a set, equaling 25 reps a minute. The MBG 15/15 Workout works so well at increasing power, strength, and stamina that I have incorporated it with all forms of exercise: Chin Ups, Kips Ups, Box Jumps & Swings, Cleans & Presses, Tire Drills, Sandbags; heck, there are so many things that you can do with this workout that it's a joke!
One of my favorite MBG 15/15 Workouts is the Kettlebell Clean & Press for 10 minutes. What I love about this (other than that it's a kick ass workout), is that I'm able to add up the poundage I've lifted! My first PR was Double Cleaning and Pressing 24kg's (106lbs) overhead 100 times equaling 10,600lbs.
My goal was to beat that total...so instead of going for more reps, I thought I would just go heavier. This is partly due to some motivation from one of my trainers, Joe Gorshe. He did 87 reps in 10 minutes with the 24kg's for a total lifting of 9,222 lbs. I was motivated to set a really strong mark, so I grabbed the 32kg's, (I really wanted to make a strong mark!) and decided that I was going to get 80 reps in 10 minutes.
It started out good and hard doing sets of 4, but at about minute 3 or 4, it started to hit me! I stayed focused, I had to or I'd crash and burn, this was pure mental strength to NOT quit, just keep pushing through the pain. It hurt a lot, but the next thing I knew I had only 3 minutes left, 6 sets of 4 (24 little reps left!), and I did it! It was a big accomplishment and I was very happy with hitting 80 reps. It made me see how easy it was to progress this workout to really high levels. At the Monkey Bar Gym, we set the stability and strength levels for this workout to hit 100 reps in the 10 minutes (women 100 with the 16kgs, men 100 with the 24kgs). If you're looking for power, once you've hit 100 reps, go heavier!
Here is how the MBG 15/15 works:
A: Choose your method: kettlebells, d-balls, push ups & chin ups, 24" box jumps and kettlebell swings, etc.
B: Set your clock for 15/15 for 10 minutes. We have Pro timers at the Monkey Bar Gym and use Gymboss timers.
C: Warm up until you've got a good sweat with a specific warm up of Cleans, Presses and all other types of warm up drills.
D: Decide if you're going for pure power/endurance using your max load for sets of 1-3 per set for 20 to 60 totals; or go medium-heavy with sets of 4-5 for the Cleans & Presses per set, or going for endurance with sets of 7-8 per set for the 40 minute version of the MBG 15/15 doing Kettlebell Snatches (16kg for women and 24kg for men). On this one, your goal is sets of 8 for the whole 40 minutes. Two of Monkey Bar Gym trainers, Jessica Rucker and Casey Rivers, became the first women in the country to make it for the 40 minutes using a 16kg, despite their hands ripping at minute 30! Two tough ladies no doubt!
E: Start the clock and begin.
F: DO NOT HIT FAILURE on your first couple of sets! You'll crash and burn!
G: Match that same amount of reps every set until the 10 minutes is up, even if it means going over the 15 second mark.
Do your first set from 0-15 seconds on the timer; rest from the 15-30 second marks, and do your second set starting at the 30 second mark, resting from the 45-60 second marks. Repeat this scenario, hitting all your reps in 10 minutes. Then each week repeat this workout, do your best to beat your previous reps!
I know that if you're reading this, you like a challenge too! So here is my personal best:
32kg Cleans & Presses (10 minutes of 15/15): 20 sets of 4 = 80 Cleans & Presses (PR) in 10 minutes! This is 11,200 lbs lifted in 10 minutes, I beat my previous by 1,554 pounds! For women: 20kgs x 80 reps by Dusty Mattison of the MBG Madison is the #1 score!!
Other MBG 15/15 variations and scores to shoot for:
- Handstand Push Ups and Kip Ups: 40 HSPUs and 100 Kip Ups
- Push ups & Jungle Gym XT 90 degree chin ups: 100 push ups and 100 chins
- 24â€ box jumps & 50% bw swing: 80 box jumps and 80 swings
- Snatch: sets of 8 for 40 minutes, men 24kg, women 16kg
- 60 yard shuttles for 4 minutes within the 15 seconds on/off (SUPER HARD!!:)
We do lots of variations of the MBG 15/15 workout, you can do one exercise as I first started with, just push ups or kettlebell cleans and presses, do two exercises push ups and chin ups, or 3 or 4 exercises, even put in straight-up conditioning drills too (i.e. jump rope, burpees, sprints, etc).
This workout will put you in amazing shape, increase your reps each week, and can eventually help you bump up the load when you get to over 80 reps in 10 minutes. For women, there are two MBG trainers who are closing in on 100 reps with the 20kgs! They are about 135lbs each! Awesome!
|Jon Hinds is the owner and founder of the Monkey Bar Gym. After focusing on the basics, the Monkey Bar Gym challenges its members to increase their skill level to achieve the ultimate performance in strength, speed and stamina. The result of this skills-based training offers all members the chance to achieve success in life and in any sport imaginable. Find out more at www.MonkeyBarGym.com|
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