Posted 10 September 2014 by Alex Stewart

Hardcore Training Part 1:

The 15 to 1 Method


Hardcore Training Part 1: The 15 to 1 Method

Training Method 1: 15-1

This method of training is very deceiving. From your very first workout when you first hear about what is involved you will say to yourself “that doesn’t sound too bad” but once you begin and the reps start to add up you will soon see that you’re in for a killer workout.

The beauty about the 15-1 training method is there are an endless amount of workouts you can construct. Though I have found that depending on fitness level and or goals, there are some guidelines that you should look at when constructing a workout to make sure you are getting the most out of your workouts.

I am first going to start off on the very simple explanation of the training style, then I will break down some different approaches to it to help you reach your particular goal.  For each 15-1 workout you will need to pick 2 exercises, for example purposes we will refer to ours as Exercise A and Exercise B. You can start with either of the exercises but once you pick a certain exercise to start with you need to make sure that you alternate back and forth between each and don’t switch up the order. There is supposed to be no rest between sets or exercise. This is a continuous set of reps until the entire workout is finished. If you do fail at any particular time in the workout and can’t perform any more reps without a rest please note the time in the workout that this happened and use this as a guide to help you judge your progress into the future. If you happen to be using weight with that particular exercise in which you failed, lower the weight to be able to finish when you perform this workout in the future. The goal is to always finish the entire workout.

Now here is the lay out the workout:

  Exercise A Exercise B
Set 1 15 Reps 1 Rep
Set 2 14 Reps 2 Reps
Set 3 13 Reps 3 Reps
Set 4 12 Reps 4 Reps
Set 5 11 Reps 5 Reps
Set 6 10 Reps 6 Reps
Set 7 9 Reps 7 Reps
Set 8 8 Reps 8 Reps
Set 9 7 Reps 9 Reps
Set 10 6 Reps 10 Reps
Set 11 5 Reps 11 Reps
Set 12 4 Reps 12 Reps
Set 13 3 Reps 13 Reps
Set 14 2 Reps 14 Reps
Set 15 1 Rep 15 Reps


As you can see the basis to this workout is that you start with higher reps of one exercise, and as you progress through the workout you do less of one exercise and more of another.  This progression as I mentioned earlier is very deceiving, as initially the reps and sets don’t seem overly tough but as the reps add up from set to set the body fatigues very quickly and you are in for a GREAT workout.

When constructing a workout in this style here are some notes you want to consider -

Though this is called the 15-1 training method I usually advise beginners to start with a 10-1 approach. Progress to the 12-1 before going right into the 15-1 approach with any combination. As I mentioned the key to this training style is finishing the workout. Make sure that you are timing your workouts as well. If you start with the 10-1 and when done you are not fatigued much at all then move right into the 12-1 approach. If you do find yourself somewhat fatigued from the 10-1 continue to do this method until you can finish the workout 30-60 seconds quicker than your first go at it. At this time you are ready to progress on to the 12-1 approach. Keep those same guidelines before progressing to the 15-1 approach as well.

Now that you have the layout of the rep and set scheme the fun starts... Selecting the form of exercises you will do. In the beginning I mentioned that you can choose basically any exercise you want for this approach. I have found that selecting an upper body exercise and lower body is most effective for beginner trainers…This allows for more intensity and overall body muscle stimulation because of the rest that the upper body gets when performing the lower body exercise and visa versa. As you become more fit including both lower body exercises and or both upper body exercises as the premise to the workout will only increase the intensity of the workout. Please note, only advanced trainers should attempt to perform this training style with 2 upper body exercises that work primarily the same muscle group. For example Pull-up and Dumbbell Rows...Both of these exercise workout your back…With the considerable amount of reps that is involved in this exercise program, you will need to be an advanced trainer to be able to bring the intensity and finish the workout if you set it up like this. With that being said here are some of my favorite combinations for all levels of training:


  • Push-Ups and Crunches
  • Push-Ups and Bodyweight Squats
  • Push-Ups and Bodyweight Lunges
  • Dumbbell Rows and Crunches
  • Dumbbell Rows and Bodyweight Squats
  • Dumbbell Rows and Bodyweight Lunges
  • Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Presses and Crunches
  • Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Presses and Bodyweight Squats
  • Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Presses and Bodyweight Lunges

Intermediate Workout

  • Push-Ups and Dumbbell Rows
  • Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Presses and Dumbbell Rows
  • Dumbbell Standing Curls and Standing Dumbbell Tricep Kick Backs
  • Push-Ups and Dumbbell Squats
  • Dumbbell Rows and Dumbbell Squats
  • Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Presses and Dumbbell Squats

Advanced Workout

  • Burpees and Dumbbell Snatches
  • Burpees and Dumbbell Squats
  • Burpees and Dumbbell Squat Presses
  • Burpees and Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Presses
  • Burpees and Dumbbell Rows

There you have it, a complete break down on the 15-1 style of training. This is the perfect exercise program for at home or on the go trainers and in a short amount of time you will be able to get some great workouts and see amazing results.

Hardcore training - Intro

Hardcore training - Part 2

Hardcore training - Part 3

Written by Alex Stewart:


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