The Punishing Protocol - A Volume Hypertrophy Workout Finisher

The Punishing Protocol - A Volume Hypertrophy Workout Finisher

Quick one for you today…

I wanted to share this “fun” punishing protocol with you today to use as either a quick standalone session or as an hypertrophy, volume-based finisher for after your regular session.

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However you choose to use it, the principle is as follows.

  • Determine a time frame.
  • Pick two exercises.
  • Give yourself a rep total.

Let’s look at each a little more.

Time Frame

The time frame is dependent upon when and how you’re using the protocol. If it’s a standalone session, my suggestion is 20 or 30 minutes. If it is to be used as a finisher, my suggestion then would be 10, 15 or 20 minutes.


When it comes to the exercises you want one to be a big, compound-esque movement and the second should be a complimentary isolation type movement. Think deadlifts paired with hamstring curls or bench press and tricep pushdowns.

The other option is to pair a heavy weighted exercise with a similar bodyweight movement. Think bent-over rows and bodyweight rows.

Rep Total

The rep total is a goal you’re setting yourself for the bigger of the two exercises you’ve chosen. Don’t sandbag yourself on this one, but do set a realistic rep total for the time frame you’ve allotted. I personally like a minimum of 100.

The Fun Part

Now here comes the fun part. You will now have your exercises, your time frame, and your rep total.

Your goal is to get the reps done in the time frame you’ve allotted for yourself. You may break the sets and reps down however you would like to. But, every time you “rest”, you’ll now have to perform a set of the second exercise. For this, you can set your own rep per set, but I like 10% of the first exercise.

So, if you set yourself 100 reps in the bench press, every rest you take, you’ll perform 10 tricep pushdowns.

Makes sense right?

The Interesting Part

Here is why I like this punishing protocol so much. You’ll have to think about how you want to get the reps done.

Do you want to try to bust through the reps as quickly as possible to avoid the additional work in the “rest” periods or do you find a rhythm and accept the volume that faces?

Do you want to stand there with a barbell on your back for 50 continuous grimacing reps, or work through systematic sets of five knowing you have squat jumps as a “punishment” every time you put the barbell down?

It’s completely up to you…

Some Suggestions for This Protocol

Option I –
  • Time Frame: 20 minutes
  • Main Exercise: Chin-up x 100
  • “Rest” Period Punishment: Thick grip dumbbell curl x 10
Option II –
  • Time Frame: 10 minutes
  • Main Exercise: Bench Press x 50
  • “Rest” period Punishment: Heavy tricep pushdown x 5
Option III –
  • Time Frame: 15 minutes
  • Main Exercise: Front Squat x 100 (barbell / kettlebell / sandbag)
  • “Rest” period Punishment: Squat jump x 10
Option IV –
  • Time Frame: 20 minutes
  • Main Exercise: Pendlay row x 100
  • “Rest” period Punishment: Fat grip dumbbell row x 10 each arm
Option V –
  • Time Frame: 20 minutes
  • Main Exercise: Weighted dips x 100
  • “Rest” period Punishment: Unweighted dips x 10

Closing Thoughts

Are you going to give this a go? Yes?

Well, then I commend you. It’s certainly not easy, but it is horrendously enjoyable. And hey, the volume and work you’re putting in will stimulate muscle growth while ramping your heart rate and testing that mental fortitude of yours – all the good stuff.

You’re not going to try it?

Then, I’m still happy for you, move on and find something you do like.

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