In episode 118 of YouTube’s “Celtic Warrior Workouts,” host Sheamus made time to hit the gym between WWE matches at the Corbin Wellness Center in Corbin, KY, where he was joined by the tag team “Alpha Academy,” comprised of Chad Gable (real name: Charles Betts) and Otis (Nikola Bogojevic). Both were accomplished Greco-Roman wrestlers before signing with WWE.
The trio’s workout took place on a Sunday, also known as leg day, to Gable, so Sheamus braved the unknown, submitting himself to the Alpha Academy’s “Karnage Quads” workout. Check it out below:
Alpha Academy’s “Karnage Quads” Workout
Gable asserted the importance of warming up the hips and lower back before this intense workout. He guided the others through stretches designed to loosen up the muscle fibers and joints. They performed bench-assisted quad stretches and warmed up the lats and core with resistance band work. Gable hit some box jumps “to get the CNS (Central Nervous System) going.”
After warming up via stretching, the exercises within this workout were as follows:
- Elevated Deadlifts — three sets, increasing the weight each time for a heavy final set
- Front Squats — 1 x 12, 1 x 10, 1 x 8 (plus a burnout set)
- Superset — Lateral Box Step-ups & Superman Plank for four rounds
Sheamus remarked about the benefits of doing deadlifts elevated, which limits the range of motion by placing the barbell on top of stacks of weight plates. This is effectively a partial deadlift, which helps each wrestler add more load and train lifting in the upper half of the concentric portion of the lift and improve their lockout.
Otis quipped that elevated deadlifts also “save your back.” This is true for many since an elevated deadlift concentrates the load closer to the hips, relieving some pressure from the spine. Gable instructed Sheamus to focus on his lats as he pulled the bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. The “Fighting Irishman” appeared to complete one set of 10 and then followed with another set. Gable advised him to cut his next set short, so he had something in the tank for his heaviest set. “I’ll probably cap it at four or five (reps) once I get to the top weight,” says the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team member.
Gable helped Sheamus protect his back further by encouraging him to lift without hunching over the bar. “Keep your form tight. You’re getting ready for that one big, top set,” Gable said. Indeed, the boys go all out in the final heart-pounding set. Impressively, Gable, who weighs around 92 kilograms (202 pounds), hit three reps at 224.5 kilograms (495 pounds). Sheamus lifted the same weight for one rep. “I think I just saw the white light,” he joked.
Modification option: Otis suffers from hip issues, so he swapped deadlifts out for seven elevated ring rows.
Gable utilizes front squats for hypertrophy, so he keeps the weight below 90 percent of his one-rep max. Gable aims for control by biasing the bulk of the load on his quads. “Try to really get as deep as you can,” he instructed with an excellent form highlighted by a super-straight back.
A little weight makes a huge difference on front squats.
Gable and Sheamus hit their last sets to failure — Gable hit 25 reps; Sheamus captured 18.
Lateral Box Step-ups & Superman Plank
“Get nice and deep with your glute here,” instructed Gable, who uses only the leg that is stepping up onto the box. This requires denying the instinct of the outside leg to create momentum. “Another important part is the negative,” added Gable, explaining that it should be slow and controlled on the step-down.
Modification option: Gable increased the difficulty of this move by holding a kettlebell in each hand.
Four rounds of a superman plank followed. They lasted one minute, then 50, 40, and 30 seconds in successive rounds.
The Finisher — Pummelling
Sheamus completed his leg extensions and bodyweight squats only to be met with a “Greco-Roman Surprise” in the form of the immovable beast that is Otis. The two engaged in pummelling — gripping each other tightly around the upper body and using their legs to push each other backward. Sheamus tried to resist in this final leg-testing set but was pushed out of bounds by Otis, proving why his nickname is “Dozer.” Sheamus fancied his chances in a rematch, so the pummelling restarted, but it ended again in his defeat.
Featured image: @wwesheamus on Instagram