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The Absolute Athlete
2,189 athletes joined
Performance above all
4.27
(237 ratings)
Program Description

The Absolute Athlete is for those who favor performance above all. Developed by record-holding powerlifter and gymnast Hadyn Wiseman, this functional program combines powerlifting, olympic lifting, and bodyweight exercises to help athletes develop maximal strength, power, speed, agility, balance, and coordination.

This program is perfect for intermediate-level lifters and athletes. The program runs for 6 weeks, with a steady increase in intensity each week and a de-load week at the end. There are 3 sessions per week, which allows dual athletes to also train for another sport. Full guide below.

Program Overview
Level
Intermediate
Goal
Athletics, Powerbuilding, Bodyweight Fitness
Equipment
Full Gym
Program Length
7 weeks
Days Per Week
3 days
Time Per Workout
90 minutes
down_app
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
4
1 Reps
3 Reps
85%
75%
2
Dip (Weighted)
3
10 Reps
50%
3
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
10 Reps
4
Inchworm
3
10 Reps
5
Push Up
2
AMRAP
RPE 9
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
4
1 Reps
3 Reps
87.5%
77.5%
2
Dip (Weighted)
4
8 Reps
55%
3
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
8 Reps
10%
4
Inchworm
3
10 Reps
5
Push Up
2
AMRAP
RPE 9
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
4
1 Reps
3 Reps
90%
80%
2
Dip (Weighted)
5
5 Reps
60%
3
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
7 Reps
20%
4
Inchworm
3
10 Reps
5
Push Up
2
AMRAP
RPE 9
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
4
1 Reps
3 Reps
92.5%
82.5%
2
Dip (Weighted)
5
5 Reps
65%
3
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
6 Reps
30%
4
Inchworm
3
10 Reps
5
Push Up
2
AMRAP
RPE 9
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
4
1 Reps
3 Reps
95%
85%
2
Dip (Weighted)
5
4 Reps
70%
3
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
5 Reps
40%
4
Inchworm
3
10 Reps
5
Push Up
2
AMRAP
RPE 9
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
80%
2
Dip (Weighted)
5
3 Reps
75%
3
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
4 Reps
4
Inchworm
3
10 Reps
5
Push Up
2
AMRAP
RPE 9
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
60%
2
Dip (Weighted)
2
20 Reps
3
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
8 Reps
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
80%
75%
2
Power Clean
3
5 Reps
60%
3
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
8 Reps
60%
4
Box Jump
3
10 Reps
5
Pistol Squat (Weighted)
3
10 Reps
RPE 8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
82.5%
77.5%
2
Power Clean
3
5 Reps
65%
3
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
8 Reps
62.5%
4
Box Jump
3
10 Reps
5
Pistol Squat (Weighted)
3
10 Reps
RPE 8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
85%
80%
2
Power Clean
4
4 Reps
70%
3
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
8 Reps
65%
4
Box Jump
3
10 Reps
5
Pistol Squat (Weighted)
3
10 Reps
RPE 8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
87.5%
82.5%
2
Power Clean
4
3 Reps
75%
3
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
7 Reps
67.5%
4
Box Jump
3
10 Reps
5
Pistol Squat (Weighted)
3
10 Reps
RPE 8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
90%
85%
2
Power Clean
3
3 Reps
80%
3
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
70%
4
Box Jump
3
10 Reps
5
Pistol Squat (Weighted)
3
10 Reps
RPE 8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
2
1 Reps
3 Reps
75%
2
Power Clean
1
1 Reps
3
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
75%
4
Box Jump
3
10 Reps
5
Pistol Squat (Weighted)
3
10 Reps
RPE 8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
3 Reps
60%
2
Power Clean
2
5 Reps
40%
3
Bench Press (Barbell)
2
8 Reps
50%
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
5 Reps
80%
60%
2
Squat (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
65%
3
Shoulder Raise Superset
3
10-15 Reps
RPE 8
4
Sled Push/Pull
3
1 Reps
RPE 6
5
Hanging Leg Raise
2
10 Reps
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
5 Reps
82.5%
65%
2
Squat (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
67.5%
3
Shoulder Raise Superset
3
10-15 Reps
RPE 8
4
Sled Push/Pull
3
1 Reps
RPE 6
5
Hanging Leg Raise
2
10 Reps
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
85%
70%
2
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
70%
3
Shoulder Raise Superset
3
10-15 Reps
RPE 8
4
Sled Push/Pull
3
1 Reps
RPE 6
5
Hanging Leg Raise
2
10 Reps
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
87.5%
75%
2
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
72.5%
3
Shoulder Raise Superset
3
10-15 Reps
RPE 8
4
Sled Push/Pull
3
1 Reps
RPE 6
5
Hanging Leg Raise
2
10 Reps
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
90%
80%
2
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
75%
3
Shoulder Raise Superset
3
10-15 Reps
RPE 8
4
Sled Push/Pull
3
1 Reps
RPE 6
5
Hanging Leg Raise
2
10 Reps
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
1 Reps
2
Squat (Barbell)
3
4 Reps
65%
3
Dip (Weighted)
3
5 Reps
4
Shoulder Raise Superset
3
10-15 Reps
RPE 8
5
Sled Push/Pull
3
1 Reps
RPE 6
6
Hanging Leg Raise
2
10 Reps
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
3 Reps
60%
2
Squat (Barbell)
2
5 Reps
50%
3
Sled Push/Pull
3
1 Reps
RPE 6
What People Are Saying(237 ratings)
Only ratings with written feedback are displayed here.
4.27/ 5
Orlando S.Age 15, Man
8 days ago
7 weeks complete
2 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
Not the best program for strength but definitely works and I felt a lot more athletic and strong outside of SBD. Body weight stayed about the same. Also I am 15 years old and I have been trying for almost 2 years so strength gains don’t come as quickly as they used to. Before: Bench - 225lbs/102kg Squat - 290lbs/130kg Deadlift - 365lbs/165kg Power Clean - 135lbs/60kg After: Bench - 230lbs/107kg Squat - 300lbs/135kg Deadlift - 375/170kg Power Clean - 145lbs/35kg
Bradley GibbsAge 28, Man
a month ago
7 weeks complete
5 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
More than expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
Seems most of the reviews are from people who didn't bother to read the description for this program: it's for athletes. Now, I'm not an athlete... So I modified this a little and included some rehab stuff for myself and it worked great. Recommend 👍🏻

INTRODUCTION

This is a program for those who favour performance above all. When I was young I was always impressed by Olympic gymnastics, their agility and feats of strength. Without a training facility I decided I would teach myself those moves and start strength training to support them. Over 15 years later I am able to perform Olympic level gymnastics moves, hold a world record for the most flips in one minute while simultaneously competing in powerlifting at an international level. Becoming one of the strongest pound-for-pound lifters in the world. I have tried almost all of the standard programs and made many of my own which me and my friends have used. My goal has always and will always be human performance, being able to jump higher, move faster, stretch further, be stronger and be smarter.

This program is a culmination of everything I have learned over the years. Aimed at people who want to improve their general metrics and strength standards. Without doubt some of the most important strength metrics are the powerlifting and Olympic lifting movements, however I also believe there are some important bodyweight metrics as well. A functional program should address these and also aim to improve your balance, coordination, agility, speed and even flexibility. That is what this program seeks to provide. It will lay a solid foundation for any athlete.

Before attempting this program you should have experience with the fundamental powerlifting movements, you can learn these from a number of beginner programs before attempting this one.

SESSION AND PROGRAM STRUCTURE

After performing the warm up routine, each session will start with a main compound lift, building up to a top single rep. This will not necessarily be near maximal but will still be heavy enough so that the skill element is maintained. This is common at an intermediate to advanced level in powerlifting and will keep you primed for eventually testing a max. This will be followed by backdown sets on the main lift of the session to accumulate volume and build strength. Accessories will follow and all be functional, often including bodyweight exercises that may test your balance and coordination. You should finish with the cool down routine which includes stretching.

Each week the top single will increase steadily. Backdown sets will vary in volume and intensity depending on the day. The final week will include some lower volume sessions in order to recover before testing max lifts. The program lasts 6 weeks in total and should be followed by a de-load week. You can repeat the program with new maxes entered after the de-load week to continue to work towards your next milestone goals.

A NOTE ON RPE

For some exercises in this program, you will see an RPE measure, just treat this number as a difficulty score out of 10. As an example, for an RPE 8, choose a weight, number of reps, or time measure that you would consider to be 8/10 difficulty.

PROGRAM SPLIT

Squats and benchpress are performed twice per week with one day focussed on higher intensity, and another day focussed on higher volume work. The volume is performed on the days that allow for the longest rest time before the next session so that you are recovered before performing the exercise again. Deadlifts are performed once per week as these are highly taxing and will also improve as a by-product of the squat work anyway. Powercleans are performed once per week as are weighted dips and chin ups.

Program Split

Squats and benchpress are performed twice per week with one day focussed on higher intensity, and another day focussed on higher volume work. The volume is performed on the days that allow for the longest rest time before the next session so that you are recovered before performing the exercise again. Deadlifts are performed once per week as these are highly taxing and will also improve as a by-product of the squat work anyway. Powercleans are performed once per week as are weighted dips and chin ups.

Program Breakdown

Day 1

Focussed on all our upper body metrics. It includes a top single on bench to keep us primed for heavier loads and is followed by some high intensity, low volume sets. These increase weekly. Bench fatigue will not be too high from this day allowing perform higher volume with lower intensity on the next session. If you are an advanced lifter, you can increase the number of sets of bench triples accordingly.

We follow up with some medium volume on weighted dips and chin ups which will increase weekly. You can use a dip belt, weighted vest, or put a dumbbell between your feet for these. If you cannot perform a bodyweight version of these then use band assistance to help you or use a machine assisted pull up/dip station if your gym has one. Be sure to decrease assistance each week if this is the case, working toward your first unassisted rep.

Inchworms are a good test of body coordination and strength, on the final rep when walking the hands out finish with a plank hold, aiming to beat your time each week. If you cannot do these yet, then start on knees and build up to full reps over the weeks.

As a final finisher, complete two sets of push ups so you have around 3 reps left in the tank without breaking form. Make a note of the number and aim to beat it by at least 1 on the next week.

There should be one rest day following this session.

Day 2

focusses on explosiveness for the lower body including the top single on squat followed by some high intensity, low volume sets. Experienced lifters can increase the number of backdown sets as required.

Power cleans also make a feature this day, they can be performed before or after squats as preferred. If you can do them great! If not and you need to learn the technique then start very light, utilise YouTube and try to improve each week. You can also swap them out to a medicine ball throw or similar weighted jumping exercise, just make sure to increase the load

gradually each week. The program will also still work if you skip them all together however I cannot stress the benefit of this exercise enough.

Bench may seem out of place here, but it is the best day to get our volume in, giving us a full 4 days rest before the heavier day 1 comes around again. So, sets of 8 it is, increasing weekly.

The accessories here are functional and athletic. Box jumps to improve power and coordination and pistol squats to train balance and stabilisation. As you improve you can increase the height of the box jumps. For pistol squats aim for 10 (each leg) with bodyweight first, if you can do that then I recommend holding a kettlebell or weight plate out in front, this will counterbalance you somewhat and the weight can increase weekly. If you cannot perform a bodyweight pistol squat, then you can use a band to hold onto for assistance

Take two days rest following this session.

Day 3

Day 3 comes after two days rest so it can feature the harder more taxing exercises, being medium intensity deadlifts and higher volume squats. We will have 4 days rest before the next heavier day 2 squat session so this placement will give us enough lower body rest following the volume performed.

It starts with a top single on deadlifts. If you are not a powerlifter then I recommend using a trap bar deadlift for less injury risk, and better athletic carryover. Just enter your max for trap bar in the onboarding page if so. We also have backdown sets at medium intensity, to accumulate the necessary volume followed. This is followed by more volume work on squats. This will be a tough day hence having two days rest before it.

It's important to keep the shoulders healthy given the loads we want to lift on bench, dips and chin ups. Therefore, this day includes shoulder raises, you can superset lateral and front raises, aim for low weight, high rep sets to stimulate blood flow. I also recommend adding some rotator cuff work here if you have time for injury prevention.

Sled pulling/pushing is great for fitness and does not cause much fatigue, this is a functional exercise which should get the legs moving again, choose a weight and move for a distance which is around a 6/10 difficulty, mixing up pull (with harness/rope) and push as you please. If your gym does not have a track, then here is your opportunity to add an exercise of choice!

Finally, we get in our last bit of core work for the week with hanging leg raises, hang from a bar with straight arms, aim for control with each rep pulling the toes up to at least 90 degrees or further, maintain body tension, trying to keep the rest of your body still. Can also be done on the seated leg raise machine if hanging is too hard.

Take one day rest following this session.

Warm Up Routine 

Every session this warm up should be the first thing you do. All exercises should be performed in the specified order. The  only stretching to be performed should be dynamic stretching, no static or isometric stretching should be performed until  the very end of the session which is detailed in the cool down sheet. You should also perform specific warmups for each  exercise during your workout, working up to your first sets of each exercise gradually. 

Warm up routine video guide - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzh0yfvOUgA

Cool Down Stretching Routine 

This cool down will be used optionally after any given session, however it is highly recommended to improve flexibility. This is the prime opportunity to perform static stretching for example working towards front and side splits. When stretching, your body will involuntarily tense muscles to limit the range of motion. This is the body's a safety mechanism to protect itself. You should always stretch the largest muscles groups first i.e. back, lats, glutes, shoulder. This is because they allow for a  better stretch on all the smaller muscles which connect to the torso. After the large muscles are stretched you should 

Cool down routine video guide - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c35u-29naw