Hello Hormesis

This training session was inspired by Maestro Nassim Taleb. I’m not sure how he programs his training, but word on the Twittersphere is he likes deadlifts, pressing, pull-ups, and a 5×10 format. I’ve combined these for a little Saturday fun, plus added some bonus burnout sets to really test the antifragility of my body. For the 5×10, pick a weight sufficiently heavy that you’ll struggle (‘fight’) the last rep on each set. For the bonus round, pick a much lighter weight, aiming for a killer 15-20 reps.

  • Deadlifts: 5 sets of 10 reps.
  • Overhead Press: 5 sets of 10 reps.
  • Pull-Ups: 5 sets of 10 reps. Unless you’re really good at pull-ups, you’ll need lots of rest between sets to hit 10 clean reps. Remember, full extension.
  • Bonus: Deadlifts (40% 1RM), OHP (40% 1RM), Pull-Ups, all done AMRAP (as many reps as possible)


Decrease Difficulty

  • Reduce number of sets for deadlifts (i.e. from 5 to 4).
  • Use band or chair-assist for pull-ups.

Increase Difficulty

  • Perform loaded pull-ups.
  • Utilize more difficult variations (i.e. wide grip pull-up).