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How do those "finishers" work for you?

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  • How do those "finishers" work for you?

    Someone suggested I do these "finisher" things after lifting weights. 5-7 minutes of some high intensity stuff. I have no idea if I do it right (are you supposed to rest, because I just blast through the whole thing without rest). I have no idea if it "works" or what exactly it's supposed to do. Supposedly it "turns on" my metabolism. I don't feel any more turned on and if anything I feel a little "turned off" because instead of feeling energized I feel spent. So anyway, if you do finishers, how do you do them? What things do you do during them? Have they "worked" and what have they done for you?
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  • #2
    Finishers are, for the most part, arbitrary add-ons to sessions that trainers employ to make their clients feel like they've gotten their monies worth. High intensity exercise is great, but ending each session with a finisher is just plain dumb.
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    • #3
      I don't do them. I think the theory is that you are supposed to wear yourself out or go to failure every workout, but that's not sustainable. Every Monday I go for a long run with some other people, and they all feel compelled to sprint the last 200 yards, after 30-40 minutes of running. If you're going for an aerobic workout, why add the anaerobic?

      If you are trying to stress your muscles so they can rebuild and get stronger, going to failure or exhaustion is going to require more resources for your body to recover. If you are taking enough rest time and giving your body enough food, it shouldn't be too much of an issue, but I guess I don't see the point. If you are trying for strength, why add the endurance work? That last bit to failure just makes it hurt more later; I'm not convinced it helps make you stronger. Trying to have multiple goals in a workout doesn't seem all that effective for what I'm doing.

      If you really want to go to failure, I'd spend a bit of time reading Body By Science. Their whole program is based off of this, combined with adequate recovery time. I have no desire to do this program, but I learned a lot about recovery from it.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Coach Palfrey View Post
        Finishers are, for the most part, arbitrary add-ons to sessions that trainers employ to make their clients feel like they've gotten their monies worth. High intensity exercise is great, but ending each session with a finisher is just plain dumb.
        Why is it dumb? I did not pay for the advice by the way. Do finishers cause harm?
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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        • #5
          I assume he thinks its dumb because he doesnt do it.

          I dont do it either, but I dont see anything dumb or wrong about it. HIT does rev up your metabolism.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
            Why is it dumb? I did not pay for the advice by the way. Do finishers cause harm?
            Dumb or not, think about what you are trying to accomplish, then see if they actually help you towards your goals. If they aren't helping, why bother? If the best you get is, "well, it doesn't hurt," then why bother? Do the things that are important for your goals, and you can't have all the goals at once.

            I would say that you should look very specifically about what your goals are, and see if those "finisher" exercises are actually going to improve your progress in a noticeable way. If I recall correctly, you're a beginning lifter, so there's probably not much that is going to help you beyond the standard big compound lifts, unless you have very specific goals for your sport skills, or doing a certain number of pullups or something.

            If you are doing strength training, do strength training. If you are doing intervals, do intervals. If you are doing endurance work, do endurance work.

            The concept of "finisher" exercises sounds like bodybuilder bro-science. If it's not, I'd love to see something that explains how it helps. Even if it does help, the question then becomes, "Does it help YOU?" Every beginning strength program I've seen seems to recommend sticking with the big lifts, and adding a few extras only if you can recover properly AND it helps with some other goal.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
              If you are doing strength training, do strength training. If you are doing intervals, do intervals. If you are doing endurance work, do endurance work.

              l.
              I disagree. You can do all at one if you really want to, and your goal is is to be an all around monster. That's basically what crossfit is. When your done your workout and our tired, push yourself and do two last intervals. Next time you play (insert sport here) in the last two mins of the game you could be that much better. It's about pushing yourself mentally and physically. I use to finish with a 1.5 mile sprint and I almost always improved. Not only did I improve but I ran it a lot faster than most people would ever be able to run it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                Why is it dumb? I did not pay for the advice by the way. Do finishers cause harm?
                Finishers are generally employed by people to literally finish off their workouts - suggesting that the quality or intensity of the actual workout wasn't sufficient. I'm certainly not against HIT but just think that everything should be used in the right context.

                Incidentally, I wasn't calling you dumb.
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                The Complete Guide To Sandbag Training
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kingofturtles View Post
                  I assume he thinks its dumb because he doesnt do it.

                  I dont do it either, but I dont see anything dumb or wrong about it. HIT does rev up your metabolism.
                  A finisher and HIT are not interchangeable terms. This is a contextual issue.
                  Sandbag Training For MMA & Combat Sports
                  Sandbag Training Guide on Kindle
                  The Complete Guide To Sandbag Training
                  Brute Force Sandbags
                  www.facebook.com/sandbagfitness
                  http://fitedia.com/ - Health and Fitness eBooks, video, audio and workshops

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                    Someone suggested I do these "finisher" things after lifting weights. 5-7 minutes of some high intensity stuff. I have no idea if I do it right (are you supposed to rest, because I just blast through the whole thing without rest). I have no idea if it "works" or what exactly it's supposed to do. Supposedly it "turns on" my metabolism. I don't feel any more turned on and if anything I feel a little "turned off" because instead of feeling energized I feel spent. So anyway, if you do finishers, how do you do them? What things do you do during them? Have they "worked" and what have they done for you?
                    I thought you were doing Starting Strength. There's no "finishers" in Starting Strength. Appropriate accessory work is addressed clearly. Why don't you stick to one program for a while and stop trying to add things and tweak every detail?
                    The Champagne of Beards

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                      I thought you were doing Starting Strength. There's no "finishers" in Starting Strength. Appropriate accessory work is addressed clearly. Why don't you stick to one program for a while and stop trying to add things and tweak every detail?
                      +1 If you feel like doing more work after doing a SS workout, then as Rip would say YNDTP.

                      But really, if you feel like doing something after a SS workout, add pull-ups, dips, planks, etc.
                      If I just said LOL, I lied. Do or do not. There is no try.

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                      • #12
                        We do a 3 minute finisher once a week at the gym. Usually it is burpees. Basically, we get a minute break after the workout and then do as many burpees as possible in the 3 minutes. I can do 51, I have to do little breaks to catch my breath. Others can do more, some only push themselves a little. I pay a lot for my gym, so I get my monies worth. I would not want to do a finisher every day, or for 5-7 min since we do high intensity. However, I like it as a gage to see how I have improved. When I started at the gym, I could barely do the burpees properly 5-10 times much less do 50+. I figure anytime I push myself and improve, I am that much closer to fabulous.
                        Primal since 4/7/2012

                        Starting weight 140
                        Current weigh 126

                        www.jenniferglobensky.blogspot.com

                        Jennifer

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                        • #13
                          The finisher was suggested to me by one of the Starting Strength coaches on the Starting Strength forum. I am not the target demographic for Starting Strength so I am NDTP by design on purpose. Even Rip himself told me that the program is not for me. The coach that suggested the finishers wrote this:

                          Transition to high-intensity conditioning after your lifting workouts. Do a 5-7 min workout that absolutely slays you. Do that a couple times a week. This will ignite your metabolism without destroying your body.

                          Ditch the long slow cardio unless you need it to train for something specific - it isn't good at anything you're trying to accomplish. It's pro-inflammatory, pro-cortisol producing, actually INCREASES your appetite, and in conjunction with lifting can wreak permanent havoc on your adrenal system. Once you do that, you will never be happy with your body composition again.

                          High intensity workout examples:

                          1. sprinting (6-10 reps of 100 yd sprints at max speed)

                          2. prowler work (again, sprinting - not slow grinding pushes)

                          3. upper-body circuit

                          Four rounds, without rest, of 3 or 4 exercises:

                          10 pushups
                          10 dips or ring rows or whatever
                          10 dumbbell snatches
                          :60 planks or 15 situps

                          4. Lower body circuit

                          Four rounds, without rest, of 3-4 exercises, such as:

                          Bodyweight lunges, 5-10 per leg
                          10 Glute-ham raises
                          10 kettlebell squats
                          60-second planks
                          I don't see much change in myself since doing this, but I kinda like it. It makes me feel like I'm more closely adhering to the Primal Blueprint Fitness ideal of lifting heavy, doing some high-impact sprinting stuff, some walking (which I do as a matter of course), play (for me that's hiking) etc.

                          So yes, I'm not doing the Starting Strength program but I was curious about whether the metabolic claims above had any merit.
                          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                          • #14
                            Finishers

                            Many top level trainers recommend finishers (Alwyn Cosgrove, Nick Tumminelo to name two). They are great additions for conditioning and possible fat loss. I do them and find them to be quite effective, not to mention the way they make you feel. Please note, HIT and HIIT are two different things. Finishers are HIIT. Like everything else try it for 30 days and see if they work for you. You will never know unless YOU try. In fitness and nutrition the little things that can make a big difference are best judged by your experience and not by the opinions of others on an internet forum. By the way they are not dumb and to suggest such is well ...dumb.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                              The finisher was suggested to me by one of the Starting Strength coaches on the Starting Strength forum. I am not the target demographic for Starting Strength so I am NDTP by design on purpose. Even Rip himself told me that the program is not for me. The coach that suggested the finishers wrote this:



                              I don't see much change in myself since doing this, but I kinda like it. It makes me feel like I'm more closely adhering to the Primal Blueprint Fitness ideal of lifting heavy, doing some high-impact sprinting stuff, some walking (which I do as a matter of course), play (for me that's hiking) etc.

                              So yes, I'm not doing the Starting Strength program but I was curious about whether the metabolic claims above had any merit.
                              Yes, there's very strong evidence that HIIT promotes long-lived metabolic increases. (It's covered in PB Law # 5: Sprint once in a while)

                              I'm not going to argue with a SS certified coach, but I think Mark Sisson recommends once every 7-10 days.
                              The Champagne of Beards

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