This is part two of an interview with Obstacle Course Racer Beverly Provost. If you missed part one, find it here: http://www.losestubbornfat.com/articles/2014/10/beverly-provost-getting-wicked-lean-by-being-super-strong-and-fit.html
JH: What's an average workout look like?
The warmup is a 6 way barbell complex with 95lbs:
6 reps of each: Deadlift --> Bent Rows (back parallel to the floor) --> Hang Clean --> Front Squat --> Back Squat --> Pushups
(repeated four times)
Then the workout:
2x5 Wall Squat
2x5 Goblet Squat
2x20m Walking Lunge
2x10 Lunge onto 10" Box
2x10 Split Squat (5 each side)
2x10 Overhead Split Squat (5 each side) @ 15# dumbbells
Work up to a heavy Deadlift:
135# x 5
185# x 3
225# x 1
then 10-20# increases x 1 rep
until training max for the day
5x5 Deadlift @ 70% of 1 rep max
3x10 Straight Leg Deadlift @ 85-135#
Max sit and reach reps in 5 minutes
100-200 yard farmer's carry with 2 50# dumbbells
Cool Down: 2-3 mile run
JH: You said "for every hour you train you spend an hour on recovery" — what does that recovery time look like?
BP: I spend a LOT of time in compression gear (at least an hour a day) I foam roll or stretch every day. I plan recovery runs in my week and after a serious race or really intense workout ice bath/Epsom salt bath. Also take naps whenever possible
JH: So you feel like compression makes a big difference?
BP: It does. Helps with water on my joints, increased circulation and reduced muscle lactation.
JH: That's a pretty savage workout! Tell me about the max sit and reach reps in 5 minutes - is that like a zillion v-ups? Is it mobility? What's going on there?
The reach helps with flexibility but also gets more into the middle core. I do about 110in 300sec. That's about the only ab specific work I do. On arm days it's rollouts or feet to hands.
We always have one part of the workout that is times rather than prescribed reps.
JH: Also - the total work volume is pretty high. How did you guys build up to that over time?
Started with lower weight and half as much volume. Over the past 6 months we've really reved up the volume and weights. Spent a LOT of time with KB swings too. I mean a LOT (lol).
JH: Is there anything else you can say about building up to that level of volume per workout?
BP: When I started workouts were all about form to prepare me for volume. The 6 way BB complex was an entire workout for me with 65lbs in the beginning. It was a very structured increase over time adding heavier loads and longer workouts.
JH: Does it ever compete for time/energy with your running?
It does. I have to prioritize based on what I have coming up. Races I run more to prepare for. Photo shoots and shows I still run but much less distance and more focus on "vanity work" in the gym.
When you were doing half as much volume and less weight, did that feel like a lot at the time?
It did! We joked about coach ring crazy and wanting to kill us. Then he would send us our next step in programming and it was a whole new level of death. To quote Jason though "you will not give up like lesser men"
From Jason Manous, about building up Beverly's volume of work:
Jason Manous: Since her strength wasn't where it needed to be, we worked on a strength focus and started getting her base strength up and would add volume work gradually over the course of time. Not coincidentally the stronger she got the more volume she was able to perform.
At the outset, the volume was pretty low and her cardio-respratory volume was kind of low too. Lots of time on the rower.
Initially, the lifting/running had to be done separately but as she adapted to the greater volume, she would typically run in the a.m. and lift around noon-2 p.m.
Since we were strength focused at the beginning, we kept the running volume low when it hit the same day as the lifting. Now, however, she can bang it out pretty well on both ends
I have to say that I prioritize recovery...not to be confused with rest. Active recovery..run/ride/row or something along those lines either that or bodyweight work.
The philosophy I usually espouse is that you add fitness over time... It's what you do every day.
Again, huge thanks to Beverly for doing the interview. Massive thanks to her strength coach Jason Manous for filling in some of the details and putting us in contact. Amazing pictures by Luis X. Battistini.
You can catch Beverly at:
You can catch Luis X. Battistini at:
What I really wanted to you get from this part of the interview was what an average workout day actually looks like. AND that it took her a looooooong time to build up to it.
I want you guys to really get in touch with that fitness gains seem really slow in the short term, but really fast in the long term.
Social media seduces us with 30 day challenges and The Biggest Loser promises to grind people into shape in record time...
...On the other hand, in reality, it's amazing what happens if you stack up six months or a year of focused effort.
All told, Beverly and Jason worked toegether on strength and strength endurance for about 18 months. Ultimately, I want to leave you with that you can do completely extraordinary things with your fitness if you have a good program, build up volume/weight slowly, and you stay consistent.
by Josh Hillis