We kicked off a 6-week challenge in the gym last month: “STRONG! The Challenge”.

The Team H.A.M. Open Series involved a ton of conditioning work, and we decided it would be appropriate to spend a few weeks focusing a little more heavily on strength. Our programming is ALWAYS focused on strength, but we wanted to up the ante a bit.

The programing during this challenge has been geared towards increasing our athletes’ Forged Total. The Forged Total consists of the total pounds lifted between an athlete’s 1RM strict overhead press, 1RM front squat, and 1RM deadlift.  It’s our go-to yardstick for measuring increases in strength.

This week’s Thursday Throwdown is a perfect example of the type of programming we’ve got going on during this challenge.


For the first set up we have a little twist on a traditional contrast set. We’re pairing a power movement (front squat) with an explosive movement (broad jump). This is the perfect setup if you’re looking to increase power “out of the hole” in your squats or Olympic lifts.

This portion of the workout was a double dose of explosive training.

For the front squats we held a 3 second pause at the bottom of each rep. This forces you to be incredibly stable in the bottom position and generate explosive power to stand the weight back up quickly.

Performing a heavy lift and immediately following it up with an unweighted explosive movement (following a similar movement pattern) helps develop explosiveness in a way that is second to none. It’s all about the post-activation potentiation (nerd terms, look it up). This is where the broad jumps came into play. The reps don’t have to be high for the explosive movement; they just need to be EXPLOSIVE.

We use contrast sets regularly to help our athletes increase in the big lifts and become more explosive in general.

We had to switch the second part of the workout up a bit due to the crazy Nebraska weather. We swapped out the shuttle sprints with 400m, 300m, 200m, and 100m rows. This DEFINITELY made the workout worse than it originally was.


With this type of workout the goal is to control your heart rate as well as you can, and just frickin’ battle through it. Single arm dumbbell thrusters are tough on their own, and doing them with a jacked up heart rate makes them that much worse.

As we’ve been doing for the whole month of May, we finished off with some MAX’d for Murph bonus work to get people ready to crush the Murph Challenge ina couple weeks!

Give this one a shot and post up your score in the comments below!

Earn it!