Apocalypse Training, Part #2- Training for a Post-Nuclear Wasteland and the Robopocalypse - Chaos and Pain
Apocalypse Training, Part #2- Training for a Post-Nuclear Wasteland and the Robopocalypse

Apocalypse Training, Part #2- Training for a Post-Nuclear Wasteland and the Robopocalypse

Posted by Jamie Lewis on 30 Jul 2018

The apocalypse is gonna be too dope.

In the first installment of this series published ages ago in a land far, far away, we examined the manner in which one should train for two apocalyptic scenarios- a slow apocalypse and a zombie apocalypse. The reasoning behind this was fairly simple, in that such an exercise illustrates the manner in which one would go about structuring their own training based on the event for which they are preparing and their current level of preparedness. The application, then, is to learn how to figure out how best to train for a given sport, couched in the kind of awesome insanity that leads wild-eyed psychopaths to dig bunkers in their backyard filled with rations, guns and Bibles, and others to slightly more rationally store combat hatchet and knife-laden bug-out bags in their basements (yeah, I fall into the latter category). What you'll find is that there is a fairly wide gap between people who think that training should necessarily be sport specific and those who think that general strength is sufficient to improve performance. Personally, I have never trained with my specificity for anything, be it football, wrestling, mma, powerlifting, or odd lifting/strongman, and I have not suffered for it in the slightest. Strength is strength- there is no such goddamned animal as "functional strength" because all strength is necessarily functional.

Determining how to a train for a given activity is pretty simple- you determine what will lend itself best to the activity by examining the activity in detail, then identify training methods or movements that aid in the development of those physical attributes. When doing this, however, you need to examine your own strengths and weaknesses as well, so that you construct the program to reinforce your strength while bringing up your weaknesses. If you have to do it Madden-style and just rate yourself out of 100, by all means go for it and be sure to share with the Internet, because if there is anything more in vogue than Excel spreadsheets these days, it's offering the world reasons why you cannot do something before you attempt it to forestall the shame of failure.

I'm actually going do one of these for an upcoming article on the best strength athlete of all time, I think.

When determining if and how your training is going to change for a given activity, be it participating an extremely abusive (yet consensual) gangbang, trying out for the USA Rugby Sevens team, or switching from Crossfit to strongman, it helps to consider both the the strengths you must display for that activity, and also your personal strength- and fitness-oriented weaknesses. For the latter, we're looking at movements, planes of movement, strength endurance requirements, and cardio requirements that you can add into a program built around raw, violent strength. That's right- barbarous, all-in, cataclysmic, soul-crushing, face-smashing strength will always be the crux of a strength program, because it's a goddamned strength program. Anyone who tells you they don't need to be brutally strong for any sport is 1) not an athlete, 2) certainly never going to be strong, and 3) a goddamned retard.

With all of that in mind, we will move onto my other two favorite apocalyptic scenarios- the Robopocalypse, for which i have been preparing since I was a kid after reading a bunch of old Magnus: Robot Fighter comics, and a Nuclear Apocalypse, which was an eminent threat as a kid (fun fact- according to Robert Heinlein, all of the old malls have bomb shelters beneath them that were simply designed to collapse in upon the inhabitants to obviate the need for burial... rather than shelter the inhabitants so they could fight in a counterattack against the Russians. Because Murica!)

Nuclear Apocalypse

The specter of nuclear annihilation and irradiated wastelands filled with pustulent mutants driven mad with hunger and cancer since HG Wells first wrote about atomic weapons in The World Set Free. While the roaming bands of cancer-covered mutants dripping noisome ichor likely will never be the plague they are in the nuclear apocalypse flicks of the 1980s, a post apocalyptic wasteland is still a looming threat as Russia unveils new nukes and we are overrun with idiotic flag-waving chickenhawks in the American government. As such, we've got to examine what we need to do to be prepared when one of the gibbering retards in charge of a nuclear button finally pushes the goddamned thing because YOLO, and maybe they can get a post-apocalyptic reality show out of it.

For more on nuclear apocalypse scenarios, see: The War After Armageddon, Metro 2033, Damnation Alley, 2000 AD, Six String Samurai.

With the nuclear apocalypse looming, here are the things I think we need to focus on to ensure Chaos and Pain dominates the atom-blasted, radioactive wasteland we currently face:

  • Imposing Physique. If post apocalyptic films have taught me anything, it's that being physically imposing is a primary survival trait in the apocalypse. Whether it's Mean Machine Angel in Judge Dredd, Rictus Erectus in Fury Road, The Humongous in The Road Warrior, Blaster in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Roddy Piper in Hell Comes to Frogtown, or Fred Williamson in The New Barbarians, being jacked is always to your advantage. As the Luciferian adage goes, "the strong rule the weak and the clever rule the strong," so by extension people those of us who are clever and strong are going to rule the apocalypse with an iron fist. An imposing physique will deter raiders and inspire confidence in anyone you're trying to lead or order around, so it's important you look like a bad mofo.
  • Strength. Like an imposing physique, immense physical strength will cow people who are weak and fearful, and you can easily enslave them to do your bidding. Additionally, that strength will pay dividends in personal security and in the rebuilding process. Being the strongest person in a community will likely make you both one of the most feared and one of the most valuable, which adheres to Machiavelli's suggestion in The Prince, "From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both: but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved."
  • Muscular Endurance. Muscular endurance is certainly a useful trait in any apocalypse, but frankly it is more a trait of a conquered laborer than the warlord of a dawning post-nuclear polity. Initially, however, muscular endurance will be useful for scrapping and scavenging, and for fighting, but its development is definitely a secondary consideration to maximal strength.

The Chernobyl mutants seem pretty tame- insofar as i know this kid has yet to taste human flesh.

The Nuclear Armageddon Contingency Program

Because the man in charge of the largest nuclear arsenal in the world seems to have confused threats of nuclear war with fake punching your kid brother in the backseat of the car, the threat of nuclear war is more real than it's been since the USSR was run by similarly pompous idiots. As such, it might soon become necessary to fight off mutants, plague carriers, and whatever government agency the US government sends to put us in internment camps for our own "safekeeping". With these threats looming, it'd behoove us all to train at least six times a week if you can drag yourself away from Facebook to stop crying about who said what mean thing to whom first and just get ready to unscrew your situation when someone in charge decides to mash that button in a feat of colossal stupidity.

Day 1

AM

{Reverse Grip Pushdowns- 10x10-20 supersetted with

{Pushdowns- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]

{Reverse Grip Cable Curls- 10x10-20 supersetted with

{Cable Curls- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]

PM

Partial Front Squats (off the pins)- 10x2 with a ten second hold at the top of each rep [2-3 min rest between sets]

Unilateral Calf Raise- 10x10 (for quick bursts of speed, the ability to get up an incline quickly, jumping, etc) [1 min rest]

Klokov Press- 8x5 [2 min rest]

Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP

Day 2

AM

Stone Loading- AMRAP ~185lb stone in 30 minutes (high rep)

PM

Pendlay Row (very explosively)- 10x3 [2-3 min rest between sets]

Hammer Strength/Machine Row- 6x4 [2 min rest]

Cable Row- 5x6-20 using a variety of handles [2 min rest]

Wrist Roller/Forearm Work- 10 sets [1 min rest]

Day 3

AM

{Reverse Grip Pushdowns- 10x10-20 supersetted with

{Pushdowns- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]

{Reverse Grip Cable Curls- 10x10-20 supersetted with

{Cable Curls- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]

PM

Bench Press- 10x3 [3 min rest]

Hammer Strength/Machine Chest Press-5x10 [90 sec rest]

Military Press- Work up to a max single, then 10x2 90%1RM [2 min rest]

Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP [1 min rest]

Day 4

AM

Stone Loading- AMRAP ~185lb stone in 30 minutes (high rep)

PM

Stiff Leg High Pull- 12x2 [3 min rest]

Hammer Strength/Machine Row- 6x4 [2 min rest]

Weighted Pullups- 6x3 [2 min rest]

Wrist Roller/Forearm Work- 10 sets [1 min rest]

Day 5

AM

Rest

PM

Skullcrushers- 6x4-10 (working up to a very heavy set of four, bouncing the bar off the bench above your head rather than touching to your forehead) [2 min rest]

{Reverse Grip Pushdowns- 10x10-20 supersetted with

{Pushdowns- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]

Hammer Curls-6x4-10 (working up to a very heavy set of four) [2 min rest]

{Reverse Grip Cable Curls- 10x10-20 supersetted with

{Cable Curls- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]

Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP [1 min rest]

Day 6

AM

Rest

PM

Partial Back Squats/Partial Front Squats/Yoke/Conan's Wheel

Log Continental and Press/Axle Continental and Press

Close Grip Bench Press/Close Grip Axle Press/Axle Floor Press

Day 7

Off

Robopocalypse

It's entirely possible you don't think that autonomous robots will never attempt to murder us. The reason you think that is because you're an idiot. Nevertheless, I have actually thought this issue through, at great length, because pontificating upon fantastical end-of-days scenarios is one of my favorite things to do. And a robopocalypse is not difficult to imagine when Google and Amazon are developing advanced AIs, the ATLAS robot developed by Boston Dynamics can trail run and DARPA has developed a robot hilariously named EATR that can refuel itself on plant and animal matter. Put those three things together and we're mere days away from getting hunted to the ends of the earth by sentient, robotic corpse-gobbling traceurs.

For more on this, see: Magnus: Robot Fighter, Robopocalypse, Gog, the Terminator franchise, Chopping Mall, Hardware, Class of 1999, and for fist-fighting robots, Richard Matheson's short story Steel (which was the source for a badass Twilight Zone episode and was then turned into a garbage children's movie starring Hugh Jackman).

As the specter of the robopocalypse looms, it stands to reason we might want to be prepared. Having read tons of Magnus: Robot Fighter back issues I found at a flea market as a kid, I feel as though I am now an authority on battling our future robot overlords.  Here's what i think our focus needs to be:

  • Shaolin Iron Body Training / Muay Thai Body Conditioning / Filipino Body Conditioning / Systema- Call me a lunatic (you'd be correct), but the very first thing I think anyone should do with the overthrow of humanity by machines on the horizon is prepare their body to receive a beating. Shaolin monks have a method they've developed that allows them to take beatings generally reserved for cervices and retarded women in Louisiana without any damage at all. That would allow us to attack robots with nothing but a solid set of tactical gloves on if need be and possibly survive. Similarly, Thai and Filipino body conditioning enable fighters in those disciplines to strike hard targets with little pain, which is going to be essential for your battles with Google death bots and the like.
  • Iron Fist Training- Even with tactical gloves on, punching a robot is gonna seriously suck. Better that we harden the crap out of our hands with Iron Fist training or something similar to strengthen and fuse the bones in our hands than get one solid robot kill and then die because we're trying to fight with shattered hands.
  • Punching Power/Kicking Power- Frankly, I despise losing fights, so if I am going to be fighting metal monsters, I intend to hit hard enough to hurt them. This means insanely intense, explosive super strength. To hell with doing reps- explosive strength between one and three reps is the kind of strength that will develop truly cataclysmic striking force.

The Magnus: Robot Fighter Training Routine

Yeah, yeah, I know- if we are reduced to having to fistfight Amazon's drone warriors we are likely all screwed harder than the Celts in the siege of Numantia, and like those Celts we're all going to die badly. Given that I would rather go down swinging rather than bitching about the automatonic armageddon on Twitter and the the fact that this is just a fun intellectual exercise, I'm structuring my training this way. I'm sure at least half of you would rather spend your time learning code so you can hack the robots and force them to do you bidding, but you're gonna need someone to keep their metallic appendages off your scrawny ass while you're attempting to decipher what will likely prove to be an unhackable AI legacy code we didn't even know existed, and since I'd rather be burned alive than go back to coding, I'll stick with training to brawl robots.

Day 1

AM

Si Bi Quan training (this is the training that wore down the concrete floor in the Shaolin Temple. The force of the stomp actually strengthens both the bones and internal organs, which prevents damage and injury when struck).

Iron Fist training

PM

Viking Press- 6x3, 5x2, 5x1 [2-3 min rest]

Klokov Press- 4x2 [2 min rest]

Speed Bench- 10x3 (75% 1RM- 3 sets close grip, 3 medium grip, 3 wide) [30 second rests]

Skullcrusher- 8x3 (bouncing the bar off the bench above your head rather than touching to your forehead) [2 min rest]

Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP

Day 2

AM

Iron Shirt training

Systema training

PM

Partial Front Squats (off the pins)- 10x2 with a ten second hold at the top of each rep [2-3 min rest between sets]

Unilateral Calf Raise- 10x10 (for quick bursts of speed, the ability to get up an incline quickly, jumping, etc) [1 min rest]

Pendlay Row (very explosively)- 10x3 [2-3 min rest between sets]

Hammer Strength/Machine Row- 4x3 [2 min rest]

Hammer Curl- 10x3 [2 min rest]

Wrist Roller/Forearm Work- 10 sets [1 min rest]

Day 3

AM

Si Bi Quan training

Iron Fist training

PM

Bench Press- 10x3 [3 min rest]

Viking Press- 10x1 [3 min rest]

Hammer Strength/Machine Chest Press-5x5 [90 sec rest]

Circus Dumbbell Press/ One Arm DB Press- 6x2 [2 min rest]

Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP [1 min rest]

Day 4

AM

Iron Shirt training

Systema training

PM

Stiff Leg High Pull- 12x2 [3 min rest]

Zercher Squats (off the pins)- 6x2 with a ten second hold at the top of each rep [2-3 min rest between sets]

Unilateral Calf Raise- 5x5 [1 min rest]

Wrist Roller/Forearm Work- 10 sets [1 min rest]

Day 5

AM

Si Bi Quan training

Iron Fist training

PM

Close Grip Bench Press- 12x2 [3 min rest]

Strict Military Press- 5x3, 3x2, 3x1 [3 min rest]

Skullcrushers- 5 sets of 21s

Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP [1 min rest]

Day 6

AM

Iron Shirt training

Systema training

PM

Rack Pulls (knee height)- 12x2 [3 min rest]

Shrugs (off high pins)- 6x3 (you should barely be moving the goddamned bar on the third one, or using a crazy amount of body English) [3 min rest]

Reverse Grip Curls (straight bar)- 5x5 [2 min rest]

Wrist Roller/Forearm Work- 10 sets [1 min rest]

Day 7

Off

And there you have it- two training systems unique to the situation for which you're preparing, based upon theunique needs each situation has. In spite of their uniqueness, however, there is no need for "sport specific" bullcrap, because the movements associated with that nonsense are just window dressing trainers use to entice people to adopt their training program. Even for strength sports (other than Olympic lifting, which is a skill sport), as I showed when I broke the all-time WR in powerlifting, there is not much need for specificity- simply being massively strong is enough. Directing your training to maximize the strength you'll need across planes of movement is generally enough to dominate your opposition, be they radioactive mutant scorpions, incestuous, cannibalistic mountain men, killer robots, zombies, or just some wuss who's on his fifth iteration of Sheiko Jr.

Crush those who oppose. Annihilation of the opposition is what we do.