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27 Workout Finishers is published by Vertex Performance Systems. ALL RIGHTS
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exercise programs are suitable for everyone.
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Vertex Performance Systems 27 Workout Finishers

The use of finishers in your programs goes beyond the effectiveness of high-intensity
training. To me, there is a tremendous psychological benefit to overcoming an incredibly
challenging grand finale to your workout. It gives a client confidence, empowers them to
push harder the next time they train, and provides an extra metabolic boost to boot.
Finishers are meant to be just thata sort of grand finale to a workout. These arent meant
to be done with low intensity; on the contrary, they need to be approached with vigor,
excitement, and drive.
Not every client is ready for finishers at the end of every session. I know that there are
times where I personally would rather put my focus on the intensity of the training session
and not worry about finishers.
But a few times per week, I like to push myself to the limit and see where I can go not only
physically but also mentally to cap off a workout.
Selecting a finisher for a client is a skill that needs to be developed. You must consider the
experience level of the client, their current abilities, any restrictions they might have, and
their ability to push past a little bit of discomfort.
The perfect finisher is a blend of the right intensity, the right exercise selection, and the
right timeframe.
These finishers can be done at the end of a workout, using the lower end of the volume/
time recommendations, or as a complete workout on their own either on non-strength
training days or as a second workout for the day.
If you are using these as second or additional workouts for clients, I recommend 1-2
workouts per week. If they are done as a true finisher to cap off a workout, you can
perform them up to 4 times per week; most clients only need 2-3 to get good results.

Warning: These finishers will be addicting to some clients. They love the feeling
of accomplishment and satisfaction from wrapping up a killer strength training
session with an out-of-this-world finisher. It is your job as their coach to monitor
recovery and assess when to put these in a program.
You may also notice that many of the movements selected are relatively basic. That is
because during a finisher, the focus is on the intensity, not trying to perfect a complex
movement. I also tend to lean towards more forgiving and self-limiting movements (push
up vs push press) so that when fatigue sets in, injury risks are lower. Feel free to adapt as
needed for your clients.

Time Traveler
These finishers only require you to perform one movement or exercise. Dont let their
simplicity fool youthey are tough. Use time as your guide on these.

Perform any variety of KB or DB swings using an EMOM set up.
Option #1: Two-Handed SwingsPerform 15 Swings EMOM for 8 minutes.
Each week, you can progress by adding a minute or increasing the weight of
the KB as the 15 swings become easier.
Option #2: Single-Arm SwingsPerform 10 Single-Arm Swings on each arm
EMOM for 8 minutes. Increase weight or add time as needed to progress.
Option #3: Hand-to-HandPerform 20 total Hand-to-Hand Swings with a KB
EMOM for 8 minutes. Progress by adding time or using a heavier KB.
Option #4: The JugglerPerform 10 KB flips with a moderately heavy KB
EMOM for 8 minutes. Progress with more time, single-handed flips (switching
on the flip), or a heavier bell.

With even a little space and a bit of effort, you can crush just about any level of client
with burpees!
Option #1: Perform 5-10 burpees EMOM for 5-10 minutes. Adjust for clients
fitness level.
Option #2: Perform 50-100 burpees as fast as possible. Attempt to beat your
time each week.

KB Snatch
This is a real kick in the pants! Perform as many KB or DB snatches as possible in
10 minutes. Try this without setting the DB or KB down but only switching hands as
Be smart on this one and start out easy. Technique is a must-have as you will get
fatigued very quickly.

The Final Countdown

These finishers use ladders, pyramids, or countdowns with various movements to
bring the pain at the end of a workout.

Clean and Mean

Alternate between a double KB clean and a push up. Perform 10 reps of each, rest as
little as possible, and perform 9 reps of each.

A1) Double KB Clean - 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

A2) Push Up 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

Track the time it takes you to complete the finisher. Once you are able to complete
the entire finisher with little to no rest (less than 15s between sets), move up in weight
on the KB clean or add a more challenging push up variation.

Asses and Abs

Alternate between bodyweight prisoner squats or jump squats and plank walk-ups for
an insane finisher that lights up your butt, thighs, and abs:

A1) Squat/Jump Squat 10, 8, 6, 4, 6, 8, 10

A2) Plank Walk Up 10, 8, 6, 4, 6, 8, 10

Take a Breath
Alternate between KB Swings and a plank. The Swings are performed as a descending
ladder, but the planks remain the same. To count reps with the plank, perform 10
deep belly breaths1 breath = 1 rep.

A1) KB Swings 15, 14, 12, 11, 10

A2) Planks 10 belly breaths

Pure Brutality
This is the real deal! Alternate between KB swings and burpees. The swings are done
in a descending ladder, and the burpees are an ascending ladder.

A1) KB Swings 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

A2) Burpees 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Rope Me in
Using a battle rope, complete the following countdowns:

A1) Double Rope Slam 30, 25, 20, 15, 10

A2) KB Swing 20, 15, 10, 5, 5

Push It Home
These finishers all require the use of a sled or prowler.

Build Ups
Push a sled 20-30 yards every 60s. Start with 50lbs on the sled for women and 90lbs
for men. Each minute, add another 50 or 90lbs until you cant complete any more.

Tie a battle rope to your sled or prowler. Begin with the rope laid out straight and
connected to the sled. Have the client row the sled to them using a hand over hand
motion. Once the client pulls the sled, they will push the sled the distance of the
rope. Walk back to the end of the rope and row it back again. Perform 3-8 rounds.

Quarter Mile Killer

Set up a relay with teams of 2-4 people or have individuals race. Push a sled or
prowler 40 yards (20 yard down and back) 11 times. Women use the weight of the
sled/prowler only and men load with 50lbs. Keep track of the fastest time.
This is a bit more of a challenge if done individually. It is great for a gym record board.

Treat this like a suicide in basketball conditioning. Set up cones at intervals on the
turf or runway. If you have a 20-yard runway, you can set them up at 5, 10, 15 and 20
yards. You can have the client start at the low or high end and complete the suicide.
If you are really cruel, do a double and have them work their way up and then back
down. For example:

Start to 5 yards and back

Start to 10 yards and back

Start to 15 yards and back

Start to 20 yards and back

Start to 15 yards and back

Start to 10 yards and back

Start to 5 yards and back

Keep a bucket handy.

Carry/Push Combo
Carries and sleds are two of my favorite finisher or conditioning activities. You can use
them for getting stronger, learner, and bigger all depending on the load, time, and
For this finisher, simply pick the appropriate carry variation for your clients goal.
Farmers Carry
Suitcase Carry
Front Loaded/Racked Carry
Waiters Walk
Offset Carries
Use a variety of implements and have fun with this.
Next, pick your sled push or pull. You can push it, drag it, pull it, or play around with
different variations of crawling or different planes of movement.
Finally, pick your distance or time that you will perform each. I like to shoot for a 1:1 ratio
of carry to pull. For example you can either go for 45s each or shoot for 50 yards for each.
The finisher might look like this:

A1) Farmers Carry x 40 yards

A2) Sled Drag x 40 yards

Rest 60s and repeat 3 times.

This is a fun one that you can play with and adjust based on your clients needs.

Short Circuit
These finishers are all performed as a circuit moving from one exercise to the next
with as little rest as possible.

Perform 3-5 rounds of this circuit:

A1) Rotational MB Slam Over Right Shoulder x 10

A2) Rotational MB Slam Over Left Shoulder x 10

A3) KB Goblet Squat x 10

Rest 60-90s between sets

Rubber Legs (Leg Matrix)

Perform this 1-2 times through:

A1) Bodyweight Squat x 24

A2) Reverse Lunge x 24 (12 each)
A3) Split Jump x 24

A4) Jump Squat x 24

If you can complete this in 2 minutes, you are in incredible shape.

Summer Special
Its called this because it will light up your abs. Complete 1 time through:

A1) Mountain Climber x 30

A2) Sit Throughs x 20

A3) Plank Jacks x 10

A4) Hollow Body Hold x As long as possible

If your client can hold the Hollow Body with good form for longer than 60s, increase
reps on each of the above by 5 reps. Continue to increase reps to keep Hollow Body
hold around 60s.

Hammer Time
Complete 3-5 rounds:

A1) Sledge Hammer Slams x 20 (10 over right/10 over left)

A2) Alternating Battle Rope Small Waves x 40 (20 each side)

A3) Skater Jumps x 10 (5 right/ 5 left)

A4) T-Push Up x 10 (5 to right / 5 to left)
Rest 60-90s

Dig Out
Complete 3-5 rounds:

A1) Sandbag Shovel x 20 (10 each side)

A2) Battle Rope Jumping Jacks x 25

A3) Sandbag Plank Pull Through x 10 (5 each direction)

A4) Skip x 10

Two Faced
Complete 3-5 Rounds. For this circuit, perform the first movement with your weaker side.

A1) Single KB Front Squat x 5

A2) Single KB Front Squat x 5

A3) Single Arm Standing Band Row x 5

A4) Single Arm Standing Band Row x5

A5) Rotational Side Plank x 5

A6) Rotational Side Plank x 5

For the Rotational Side Plank, start in a good side plank position and then reach your
top hand around your body, rotating your torso and hips as one unit and reach under
your rib cage as far as possible. Return back to the start and that is your first rep.


These finishers are all performed as complexes. Use one implement and one weight
for all of the movements. Select your weight based on the movement in the series
that is your weakest.

Complete 2-4 complexes with 60-90s rest between sets:

A1) Band Front Squat x6

A2) Band Push Press x6

A3) Band Stepping High Pull x 6

A4) Band Bent Over Row x6

A5) Band Deadlift x 6

Cosgroves Evil 8
Perform this 8-exercise complex using a descending ladder rep scheme. Rest 90-120s
between sets. If you want a real challenge, rest with a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio by timing
your sets. There is no need to increase weight on this for each set. If a client cant
perform a push press due to shoulder restrictions, add a set of push ups at the end.

A1) Barbell Deadlift

A2) Barbell RDL

A3) Bent Over Row

A4) Power Clean

A5) Front Squat

A6) Push Press

A7) Back Squat

A8) Good Morning

Perform sets of this complex using the following rep scheme for each exercise:

Set 1: 6

Set 2: 4

Set 3: 3

Set 4: 2

Set 5: 1


The Sandbag Evil 8

Same concept, different tool, a bit more variety.

A1) Sandbag Rotational Deadlift

A2) Sandbag Clean

A3) Sandbag Front Loaded Squat

A4) Sandbag Rotational Press

A5) Sandbag Front Loaded Good morning/RDL

A6) Sandbag Rotational Lunge

A7) Sandbag High Pull

A8) Sandbag Stagger Stance Bent Over Row

For this finisher, use an even number on your rep scheme due to the rotational lifts
and unilateral lifts. Perform an equal number on each side, so for the Rotational
Deadlift, do 8 reps (4 per side). The sandbag allows you to make tons of adjustments
to a clients stance or plane of movement to keep this interesting.

Perform 2-4 sets of this complex with a pair of dumbbells. Rest 60-90s between sets:

A1) DB Skier Swing x 8

A2) DB Front Squat x 8

A3) DB Push Press x 8

A4) DB Reverse Lunge x 4 each leg

A5) DB Burpees x8

A6) DB Push Up to Core Row x 8


Carry, Crawl and Cry

These finishers all involve some type of carry, crawl, or a combination of the two.
They are great for groups, races, or relays.

Chomp, Chomp
Alligator Crawl with Sliders x 3 sets of as far as possible (rest as soon as form breaks)

Deadlift and Crawl

I have to hate thank Dan John for this one:

KB or BB Deadlift x 5 reps (load = 10-12RM)

Bear Crawl 20 yards

Repeat up to 5 times

Partner Up
Perform this in pairs. One partner planks or does push-ups while the other partner
performs the carry.

40-yard Farmers Carry with KBs

Plank or Push Ups (perform until partner completes the carry)

Complete for rounds or for time.

Carry Complex
This can be performed with a sandbag, dumbbells, or kettlebells. There is an
incredible amount of time under tension during this, so 1 round might be enough:

Clean x 5-8 reps (reps determined by load)

Carry 40 yards

Front Squat x 5-8 reps

Carry 40 yards

Press x 5-8 reps

Carry 40 yards

RDL/Deadlift x 5-8 reps

Carry 40 yards

Bent Over Row x5-8 reps

Rest 120-180s between rounds if you choose to do more than 1


What is VPS?
Performance drives everything else.
When developing Vertex Performance Systems, it was important to us to ensure that
performance was in the name and stayed a major focus for us at VPS.
I am dedicated to being a high performer, enhancing my performance as a husband,
friend, business owner, coach, and athlete. I use the term athlete very loosely as a
person who is always striving to be more athletic and enhance how my body performs for
whatever I might enjoy doing at the time.
Vertex Performance Systems has one focus and one purpose: Developing Excellence.
We are going to develop ourselves, and we are going to help you develop your own
excellence as a coach and trainer by providing you with cutting-edge training and
nutrition information.
We know that you are a lifelong learner. You value quality information, and you consume
it at a rapid pace. We plan on delivering!
This makes you a high performer. When you take all that information and your new
expanded knowledge base to your clients, you become the expert. You are their resource
for training and nutrition information.
We also arent so dense to think that we wont learn from you. In fact, many of our experts
who provide you cutting-edge, high quality information have been in your shoes: They
started where you are at now, and they have helped us grow by implementing their
knowledge base and coming up with new ideas, concepts, and training methods.
Our goal is to be able to provide you with a complete toolbox of resources to implement
with your clients so you can deliver incredible results and continue to refine your craft.
The best coaches in the world know who they serve best, and they are able to give those
people everything they need to succeed. We want to be your coach by providing you with
everything that you need to have incredible success with your clients.
When you have incredible success with your clients, you are now the expert!
Thank you for visiting the site, and I hope that you can dive right in and start utilizing
some of the great information and resources to start building your toolbox.
Ryan Ketchum


Ryan Ketchum Bio Page

My passion lies in helping people
change. I want to help them realize
their potential, get the body they
want, and make it perform at the level
that they want.
Every step in my professional career
has been about helping people in one
way or another realize a higher level
of success.
Lets go back to the beginning
I started in this industry almost by default.
I have been surrounded by training and fitness for most of my life. I remember going
to the gym with my dad around the age of 4 or 5 and watching him train and seeing
bodybuilders, powerlifters, and the average Joe work out in an attempt to reach their
goals. I was amazed by the guys who were getting prepared for a bodybuilding show and
equally amazed by the insane weight being lifted by powerlifters getting ready for their
Those guys were my heroes.
I grew up, like other kids, with heroes I idolized. However, I wasnt into the comic book
superheroes as much as I looked up to the likes of Arnold, Franco Columbu, Magnus
Samuelson, Bill Kazmaier, and even a few cartoons like He-Man!
Looking back, I have no doubt that these experiences as a young child built my
foundation and fascination with changing the body as I got older.
Throughout my adolescent and teenage years, I was an athletean athlete who loved
being a superstar. No doubt about it, I wanted to be the guy on the team whom everyone
looked up to and wanted to be like. I wanted to be the king of the mountain.


Fortunately for me, because of my early life experiences in the gym, I also loved the
process of getting better. I loved the off-season and the training that went with it. My time
in the gym or out on the field conditioning proved to be incredibly valuable. I learned to
enjoy the process of performance enhancement.
Through my college years, I bounced from pre-med to business and eventually fell into
the kinesiology program at Indiana University. At the time, I had no idea what I would do
with my degreewould I become a collegiate strength and conditioning coach, personal
trainer, or maybe even a physical therapist?
In 2006, I graduated from Indiana University and decided that I was going to make a run at
the Olympic Trials in the shot put. I had some success at IU on the track team, and I wasnt
quite ready to give up that dream.
So, what better way to pay for my own training and make my own schedule than start a
personal training business?
I began training athletes and regular Joes that summer and started building my business
and continued training for the Olympic Trials. After a year or so of multiple surgeries, I
decided to hang up the throwing shoes and focus on my business.
That is when I discovered my passion for transformations. I went on my own personal
journey, going from 335lbs to 220lbs in a little under 18 months. I absorbed every bit of
training and nutrition information that I could get my hands on, and I tried implementing
it all on myself before taking those principles and testing them out on clients.
The business grew, and soon
enough, I had outgrown the gym
that I was training out of and
needed to start my own facility.
That was the birth of Force
Fitness, still one of the top fitness
businesses in the country. I
partnered with my good friend Wil
Fleming to create Force Fitness, and
we rapidly built a successful training


facility that became known for helping athletes reach their full potential and creating lifechanging transformations with fitness clients.
As Force grew, so did I, and I transformed myself into a business expert. I slowly worked to
become the best business owner that I could be and take the road less travelled to learn
everything I could about marketing and sales.
Soon enough, I was working with Pat Rigsby, Nick Berry, and the Fitness Consulting Group
team as a business partner and business coach. Over the past several years, I focused on
helping hundreds, if not thousands, of fitness businesses across the country transform
their businesses and allowing them to chase their dreams.
My experiences as a business coach will only help define the rest of my career. I had the
pleasure to see behind the scenes of the top fitness business in the world, work with the
best of the best in the industry, and put on events and seminars all over the country.
I have seen what is working now, learned what the best of the best are doing with their
clients, and built relationships with those experts as well.
This all brings us to where we are today when I made a life-changing decision. I was
struggling to find my own passion and purpose. I was constantly searching for what was
next and what was going to provide me with fulfillment in my own life.
So, the logical thing to do (note the sarcasm) was to sell my fitness business to my partner
Wil Fleming, step out of a role as a business coach, and finally pursue what I loved the
I thrive on challenges and being a little uncomfortable. I needed to push myself to chase
my dreams.
This is the start of my journey to bring cutting-edge, high quality information, the same
info that I seek for my own development, to you. Not only will I be sharing my years of
experience, new concepts I am learning, and ideas on training, but I will also be working
with some of the very best in the industry to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what
they are doing as well.