Grindstone: Power Athelete's solution to training on a time budget


There are no shortcuts to the body you want. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. And John Welbourn - 10 year NFL pro - would know. Power Athlete's GRINDSTONE is the result of his strength and conditioning experience, a program that will push you to your limit. And the body you want. It is designed for the boardroom warrior, recent parent and anyone in need of a flexible training schedule. Don't be fooled by the convenience Grindstone offers, this is a program that will push you to your limit. And help you earn the body you want.

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The Grindstone delivers five training days each week affords you the opportunity to plan, and adapt, your workout schedule around what life throws at you. Your training week will consist of two mandatory days, two recommended days and an optional day. Your two mandatory days must be completed each week before considering any of the two recommended days. You should be able to fit in your two recommended days when convenient, unless you are on a plane or in the office with your polished Allen Edmond's firmly planted on the throat of corporate America.

This is not a program for the guy who wants a flexible training schedule because of those vital impromptu mock NFL drafts in May.

Time is your life, and the world's most valuable commodity. Let Grindstone help you take control of your workout schedule, and get you the strong and powerful body that you deserve.

Welcome to Grindstone – Time to Grind.


Sample Training Days

We have 5's for the front squat and deficit pulls: if you have some other bars like a SSB or cambered bar you can work them in for the cycle. And if your shoulders are a mess from the rack position thing about adding some wrist straps to the bar to help with range of motion.

Strict Pull Ups - 3 x MAX
I want three sets max reps. Grab the pull up bar about the width that you hold the barbell on a back squat. Grab it with thumbs "in" and around the bar. Always start each with shoulders elevated. Retract and depress your shoulders, then pull your body up as high as possible. Lower down slow and controlled. Keep toes forward and ankles dorsiflexed... build good habits!

Standing Teapot - 3 x 20
10 right and 10 left. Standing with the heels shoulder distance apart and toes forward, pick up KB in one hand and set good posture. Locking the hips in place, lead the KB down the leg in a straight line by laterally flexing the entire spine in the direction of the weight, neck included. Go laterally as far as the spine can move through the frontal plane. No twisting of the spine or shift of the hips.

Alternating Contralateral Dead Bugs - 2 x 1:00
Ankles dorsiflexed. Knees fully extended, quads locked. Establish as close to 90 degree hip flexion as possible, heels towards the ceiling. Actively paint the spine from the base of the skull to the tailbone across the ground. Drive belly button down towards the ground maximizing trunk activation. Keep chin tucked to elongate cervical spine. While maintaining elbow and knee extension, lower opposite arm and leg towards the ground in a slow and controlled manner. Protect home position by driving elevated heel towards the ceiling, the elevated arm towards the ground, and painting the spine from neck to tailbone across the ground. Return to home position, and repeat with opposite side.

Front Squat - 5 x 5
We are back to rocking the 5 rep maxes; I want you take 5 sets to work up to a heavy 5 reps. I want speed or the grind, so take that with a grain of salt. Establish a solid front rack position, let that bar rest on your shoulders and FINGER TIPS! If you try to palm the bar, you're going to explode your wrists. Set up feet outside shoulder width apart, with TOES FORWARD. Sit your hips back and drive your elbows up, and shoot for below parallel. Stand the bar up as fast as you can!

Deficit Deadlift - 3 x 10
We are working reps on the deficit deadlifts. Pull for an elevated position 3-4" off the ground for heavy 10 reps. Set up a elevate platform at instructed height. Establish foot position under the barbell so that shins are almost touching bar. Feet under hips in a jumping position. Establish a grip outside legs. Generate as much tension on the bar as possible without lifting it by sitting hips up and back, and trying to bend the bar around your shins. Keeping hips and knees back, pull the bar past your knees and through your pockets as violently as possible. Avoid hook grip, or alternate grip as long as possible to train grip strength
We have some fun conditioning programmed for today. Make sure you get full extension on each movement and work at your own pace as this is a AMSAP (as many sets as possible) workout, so you can auto-regulate. There is a 15 minute time cap for this workout. Start with 6 reps of back squats with 185 pounds, then shin hops and push ups.
Back Squat - 6 reps @ 185lbs
6 Reps doesn't seem like a lot, but this is going to get spicey after a few round. I want you to focus on maintaining a good athletic position, and keeping speed out of the bottom.

Shin Hops - 6 reps
You know the drill here. Hip drive is essential to the success of the Shin Hop. Be violent with that hip drive, and land in our good athletic position.

Kneeling Close Clapping Push Ups - 20 reps
I want you kneeling so you can keep your push up fast, and dynamic. If you start to slow down or get sloppy I want you to stop and take a few breaths before you next cluster of reps. Keep it fast.
Today is all about creating an aerobic base on which to build. I have a few options programmed. Select one and get to work.
Option 1 - Assault Bike Circuit
Goal is to max the total cals for the sets 2-4. Start with a 5 minute warm up around 45 RPM. For the second block push the RPM to 50 for 10 minutes. Then push it up to 55 RPM for 10 minutes and then for the final block an RPM of 60 is needed for 10 minutes. Finish with a 5 minute cool down.

Option 2 - 30 Min Walk
Walk for 30 minutes with a 50 pound weighted vest.

Option 3 - Row 5k
Strap yourself into that C2, and row a 5k. It's up to you if you're going to take a suicide pace. Is today a good day to die?


About the Training
Session Duration: 25-70 minutes
Training Goal: Increased strength, aerobic capacity, and improved body composition
Author: John Welbourn
Required Membership: Must Subscribe through Train Heroic

Grindstone is delivered by TrainHeroic, a best in class app that delivers training, demo videos, and workout tracking to your fingertips.

Through TrainHeroic, you can compare your progress and best lifts to others following Grindstone.

You will also have direct access PAHQ Coaches and other athletes in the community through the training feed.


Other Benefits:
*Flex Scheduling: You are provided with 2 Mandatory Days, 2 Recommended Days, and 1 Optional day. You must schedule and complete your 2 Mandatory days within the week before considering completion of your Recommended or Optional days.
*Every day includes training narratives from John Welbourn to help guide you through training
*Every movement is linked to video movement demo
*Download TrainHeroic's iOS / Android app for the BEST user experience! Search "TrainHeroic" in the App Store / Google Play store.

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Minimum Equipment List:
Squat Rack
Dumb Bells
Bumper Plates
Jump Stretch Bands
Air Bike / Rower / Stationary Bike / or similar

Recommended Equipment:
Assault-Bike, Concept 2 Rower, Air-dyne
Slam Ball
Prowler / Sled

Don't have a piece of equipment? Our forums contain a movement substitution and DIY equipment guides for this program!


Common Questions

How do the Mandatory, Recommended and Optional days work?

It's all about planning. Most people have some idea what their week is going to look like. You need to commit up to 70 minutes TWO DAYS PER WEEK to complete your Mandatory days. These days can be back to back, or spread through the week. Then you will fit in your Recommended days next where ever you can. If you can only do a portion of it, that will work too. Last is the Optional day. Get in whatever work you can whenever you can. Something is better than nothing; GET IT!

There are multiple cycles, should I start from the beginning?

No. Jump into the current cycle. The programming is designed to accommodate that.

Woah woah woah, I just jumped in, I don't know my "percentages"! What should I do?

Don't worry about it. Grindstone is based on a "daily matrix" so all percentages are based off of some rep max completed that day.

I'm on the road and have time to train, but I can't access full equipment. What should I do?

The best thing to do is hit up the Grindstone forums on for training and substitution recommendations.

Shit, I thought I had 70 minutes for my Mandatory day but now I'm short on time! What should I do?

Cut any prep work or iso-stability in half and make sure you get your heavy compound lifts like Squats, Presses, or Deadlifts in for that day. Later in the day, or even in the week, if you can make up any training from your Mandatory day, do it.

Is there a contract?

Your subscription is month to month, and you change it at any time.

Where can I find answer to questions you haven't listed here?

Head to the contact page, and submit your question.


Athlete Reviews

Grindstone is my program. I share the same background as many in the Grindstone community. Married with four children, CEO of one of the nations largest park systems, and at 44 years old, I've realized that I can not and NEED not, compete at the CF elite level. My competition is myself. I've progressed like so many others in the Power Athlete Nation from CrossFit, to CF Football and finally to Field Strong. Grindstone feels like it was built for me. More time with my family and less time feeling like an excuse maker after another wod missed or Non-RX. But Grindstone is no joke. Come look at our leaderboard and you will see that. If you love to lift heavy, run fast and better yourself as an athlete then give Grindstone a shot.

January 8, 2016  

Last month I met John at PAHQ and told him that Grindstone had changed my life. That wasn't BS, it was truth.

Grindstone is a tremendous program; I've been following it for 6 months. Prior to that it was Field Strong for ~15 months (I think I missed 4 training days that entire time).

Here is what I've learned: I'm 37, married with 4 children. I'm not a professional athlete. Training 90-120 minutes every day on Field Strong was good times. It was fun...but my paycheck doesn't depend on my strength. My relationship with my children doesn't depend on my 5k row time. Date night with my hot wife is more important to me than power cleans...yet being agile, strong, and skilled is important to me. Being better conditioned than my teenage son is a bragging point, as is being faster than him in a foot race.

So Grindstone is what I needed. I'm still making strength gains and conditioning is just as good as it was. 90 minutes of training every day reached the law of diminishing returns for me. Killing it was killing other aspects of my life.

Anybody on the fence should give Grindstone a shot. The flexibility means I can travel for 3-4 days and still complete all the workouts. This is the best PA program for those who don't depend on athleticism for a paycheck.

January 5, 2016  

Switching to the Grindstone program after a year on Field Strong (and crossfit for the previous 5 years) was the best thing I have done since starting training. My goals were to maintain and build my strength and base conditioning while transitioning my career and welcoming my first child. Grindstone allows me to keep making progress while allowing more than enough time to play and spend time with my family. Getting jacked and powerful with minimal time in the gym is the basis of the program. The description of the program is spot on – it’s not meant for those making excuses but those that can’t spend 3 hours working out each day because they need to provide for a growing family.

Grindstone is lifting heavy, staying fast and healthy when life feels more like being in a hurricane.

January 5, 2016