Two Single Leg Challenges

Posted on by Ben Bruno

Today I want to share two different Bulgarian split squat workouts that I’ve been using. I’ve been taking a break from doing super heavy Bulgarian split squats and instead have been doing different things to get a good training effect with lighter loads.

Both are good when you’re short on time or when you’re feeling a little beat up but still want to get a good leg workout.

1. 100 Rep Bulgarian Split Squat Challenge

This one is very simple but very difficult. Like the name suggests, you do 100 Bulgarian split squats—50 per leg. The goal is to get to where you can do all 50 reps on each leg in continuous fashion without having to take your back foot off the bench and/or take excessive breaks without taking too much time between legs.

A lot of times when people do challenges like this, form goes out the window and it just becomes a race against the clock. Don’t do that. Good form still matters. Use a full range of motion and keep the reps controlled.

After testing this challenge a bunch of times, I’ve figured out that if you do all 100 reps in continuous fashion and take about 10 seconds between legs, it comes out to just under three minutes, so from that, I’ve set the goal of being about to complete the challenge in under three minutes. If you finish much under that, I’d question your form.

At first, 100 reps may be too much, so modify the challenge to meet your current level and build up to 100 reps over time. Once you can complete 100 reps unbroken, try adding a little weight.

Here is a video of me completing the challenge with a 30 pound weighted vest.

I’ve been using this challenge as a finisher on lower body days or on upper body days when I’m looking to get a little extra work for my legs.

If you jump right into 100 reps without building up it’ll make you sore, but if you build up appropriately it really won’t, though it’ll certainly burn like crazy while you’re doing it. It’s a great challenge to test both your body and your mind.

2. 10 Minute Bulgarian Split Squat Challenge

Here you do 10 reps on the minute for 10 minutes, alternating between legs from set to set. So it ends up being five sets of 10 on each leg. It comes about to about 20-25 seconds on and 35-40 seconds off.

It might not seem that hard on paper, but trust me, it’s a real toughie. At the end of 10 minutes my t-shirt always looks like a jumped in the shower fully clothed.

As a point of reference, right now I can do about 250 pounds for 10 reps for one set when I’m fresh, but my best weight for this challenge is 150 pounds. My goal is to complete it with my bodyweight (185 pounds). When I do this challenge, it’s usually my entire leg workout for the day, as I’m spent afterwards. This makes it great one when you’re short on time.

Again, form matters, so don’t get sloppy.

If you’re loading the exercise beyond your own bodyweight, hold dumbbells at your sides and put the dumbbells down between sets to give your grip a break.

Give these challenges a try and let me know what you think. Have fun!

Landmine Single Leg RDL/Reverse Lunge Combo

Posted on by Ben Bruno

I want to share a cool landmine exercise variation that I’ve been using more recently with some of my clients that I think you’ll like.

It’s a single leg RDL/reverse lunge combo. Do one single leg RDL, then one reverse, then another single leg RDL, then another reverse, yada yada yada for however many reps you’re trying to do. Like this:

This isn’t my idea. I first tried out this exercise combo after my friend Eric Cressey shared it three years ago in this article when he showed it using dumbbells. I liked it then, but in the past few years I’ve grown partial to using the landmine for single leg RDLs and it’s become my favorite way to perform the exercise. And I like it a lot for reverse lunges too, especially when you’re looking to target the glutes a little more.

This is a great combo with the landmine because most people will use just about the same weight for landmine single leg RDLs and landmine reverse lunges, so one exercise doesn’t really suffer for the sake of the other.

You won’t need a ton of weight to make this really challenging, and some of my clients use just the empty bar. Once you get the hang of it though, don’t be afraid to load it up a little bit. I’ve been using about 75 pounds on the bar and it’s downright brutal.

This combo will smoke your glutes and hamstrings, especially when you focus on taking a nice big step back on the reverse lunge, which is how I generally coach it.

Give it a shot, and remember to subscribe to my You Tube page for more exercise demos.


2 Landmine Single Leg RDL/ Row Combos

Posted on by Ben Bruno

Today’s blog post is going to be short but I want to share two cool exercises with you that I think you might really like. Both combine the landmine single leg RDL, my favorite version of the single leg RDL which I first introduced HERE about two years ago, and the landmine row.

1. Single Leg Landmine Rows

Stand perpendicular the landmine with the bar in your inside hand. Whichever hand is the bar is in, extend that leg back as you do a single leg RDL, so the outside leg is the working leg. Hold the bottom position of a single leg RDL as you perform single arm rows. The key is to keep your torso and hips steady as you row.

I’ve tried similar versions of this exercise using kettlebells, cables, and barbells, and why those are all okay, this feels much better to me.

2. Landmine Single Leg RDL/Row Combo

This is similar to the first exercise, only here you’re doing a single leg RDL on every rep.

Stand perpendicular to the landmine with the bar in your inside hand. Whichever hand is the bar is in, extend that leg back as you do a single leg RDL, so the outside leg is the working leg. Once you’re in the bottom position of the single leg RDL, perform a row, making sure to keep your torso and hips steady as you do. After you’ve completed the row, return back to the starting position by performing the concentric portion of the single leg RDL and then repeat for the desired reps.

With both exercise variations, you won’t be able to handle as much weight as you would for regular supported landmine rows or regular landmine single leg RDLs without the row, so take that into account. They’re both great for hip and core stability though, so treat it as more of a stability exercise than a strength exercise in your programming. You’ll feel your glutes working leg crazy. The latter version also works great near the end of a workout done lighter for more of a metabolic effect.

I could say more about why I like these exercises, but a) I have to run to work now and b) you probably wouldn’t read my rationale anyway. Just try them out for yourself and let me know what you think. I like them and so far the feedback from my clients has been really good, so hope you like em’ too.

Remember also to subscribe to my You Tube page for more exercise demos.

Great Training Resource

Posted on by Ben Bruno

I don’t have time to put together my weekly Good Reads anymore, but I still try to make it a point to share good training information when it becomes available.

With that in mind, my good friends Eric Cressey and Mike Reinold just released a great new product called Function Stability Training for the Upper Body. From the name, you can probably guess what it’s about.

Both Eric and Mike are two guys that I have a ton of respect for and try to learn from. That’s not just hollow words either. A few years ago when I tweaked my shoulder, Eric was the first guy I called. He took a look at it and helped me out and had to back to full speed in a jiff. Last summer I also referred two of my clients with shoulder problems to go see Mike because she’s a wiz with shoulder stuff and knows far more about all things shoulders than I do. Both clients saw great results.

So these two are definitely guys you want to learn from. If you interested in the new product, you can read more about it and check it out HERE.

It’s on sale for the rest of the week, so take advantage while the price is a steal.


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