fantastically miserable free weight challenges

So what's going on at the notworld-famous Bonny Lane Club? Here is the deal.

Heavy dead lifts, chin-ups, 20-rep squats and the like are still standard fare. We also get creative with brutal and effective challenges that are generally consistent with our fitness goals (peak power, strength/endurance with mental and physical resiliency).

We want it to be ridiculous in a few regards, but with an eye on safety. These tests are relatively safe for intermediate to more advance weight trainees.

These are not the kind of things to put yourself through every week or even every month. You do these to see how "in-shape" you are as a strength athlete. A thick, out-of-shape strongman (or woman) will score fairly poorly. Likewise, an aeroboholic or beginner will not likely be able to do even one rep with decent form.

Consider that your disclaimer.

These tests also make for a brief, effective, and brutal workout when you're pressed for time.


This test has been modeled after the 75-foot rope climb of American Ninja Warrior. The goal is to climb a 25 foot rope three times in under 30 seconds. The clock ticks only during the climb. Once the athlete reaches the top of the climb, the time pauses for the descent and 5-second rest interval between climbs, since coming down off the rope *really* taxes the grippers. The scaled division is to complete the test for time using your legs, and the Rx (pronounced "realx") test is to perform the rope climbs without use of the legs.

Most athletes will initially not be able to complete all three climbs with our without use of their legs. But le me know how it goes.


The Battery is dead lifting as many reps as possible within the duration of this old-school Metallica song. Load the bar to bodyweight (scaled) or 1.5 X bodyweight (realx), and alternate getting mentally prepared and nervous during the interlude. Begin the test when the drums and guitar crash in at the 38-second mark, and deadlift until the song is complete. You MUST release the bar and stand fully erect between reps so that each rep is in effect a "single." The standard test is with the conventional deadlift but use whatever you're accustomed to.

Smashing through the boundaries
lunacy has found me
cannot stop the battery.

Why Battery? Well, listen to the lyrics. And the music is like getting punched in the face for 4 minutes. So I think it's fitting. The best scored for scaled is currently 65 reps and realx is 57.

The Devil

For this test, pull a standard flat bench into the squat rack and load the bar to your bodyweight. The scaled and realx division are one! Fret during the 15-second fiddle interlude and begin your reps with Mr. Daniels starts singing. You are to perform squats -box style- with full lock out at the top and -softly- tapping, no bouncing, your butt to the bench to achieve standard depth.

Oh, and every time you rack the weight to rest subtracts five of your precious reps! Hey, I wanted to give extra incentive for keeping the weight up for the duration of the test!

I tried this for the first time today and scored 57 reps. I took the strategy of slow and steady and managed to not rack the weight. Near the end I definitely felt like the 200 lbs was beginning to suffocate me. This test is more difficult than Battery because you have a penalty for resting unless you rest while under load. Which is not really rest.

I'm setting a goal of 70 reps. Surely I can do more if I don't perform other leg work prior to this test. Plus, I'm building my squat legs up after having some time away, and I could pace better. This was my first time so I did not recall the song well and what to expect. Below is an actual photo of me at about 2:44 when you think things are wrapping up and you make a final push then realize the song IS NOT ENDING.
Image result for noooo meme

Strategy may be a factor here. I may try banging out 40 hard and fast reps, resting a minute, then trying to bang out 35 more (that would be a -5 for a total score of 70).

Okay. The line is drawn in the sand. GO and let me know what you think! Side effects of merely trying these include being fit and awesome.

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