Finishers That Will Finish You

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Anyone familiar with the video game Mortal Kombat will appreciate the slight reference to it in the title of today’s post.

Finish him.”1

Today’s guest post from Cressey Sports Performance coach and Strength Camp Coordinator, George Kalantzis, showcases some “killer” finishers that you can use at the end of your workout to add some extra conditioning or make you hate life.  Whatever floats your boat.


46688753 - fit people working out in weights room at the gym

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You want to be shredded and understand that you need to train hard to get results. For many a great way to help expedite the process is to add high intensity short duration workouts to your training regimen.

What is A Finisher And How Do You Use Them?

A finisher is simply a short burst of high intensity training performed at the end of a workout that will drastically improve your conditioning levels and bring out that six pack. The cool thing about finishers is that you can use pretty much anything from your own bodyweight, to ropes, sleds, and barbells.

The sky is the limit when it comes to finishers.

When Do I Use Finishers?

For someone who is training 3x per week, full body routines, you could add those at the end of your workout for maximum fat burning effects. For those that prefer the traditional upper/lower split 4-5x’s a week, the type of finisher you would add depends on the amount of volume during your session.

For example, if you are lifting heavier earlier in the week, it would be wise to challenge your body in the same way so that your workout does not interfere with recovery. And on days that you have decided to take it lighter, maybe you could add in that extra finisher.

Lets say I squatted heavy on Monday, I would follow the workout with some 400 meter repeats for best results, and maybe towards the end of the week I would choose to do something less hellish like a slow intensity cardio based session.

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Everyone is going to be different and ultimately it is going to depend on your fitness level, the amount of time you have available, any other external stressors that you may have going on within your life.

The following workouts are designed to be finishers at the end of a workout and should last 5-10 minutes depending on your conditioning level.

You could also use them as an extra conditioning day during the week or when strapped for time. These circuits will be sure to jack up your heart rate and send your metabolism into overdrive.

Finisher City

1) Dumbbell Shoulder Carry/Renegade Rows

Grab a pair of dumbbells and choose wisely. This is a great circuit that can be used as pre-work to fire up the core and shoulders or as a finisher.


2) Kettlebell Complex Finisher

The KB finisher is probably one of my favorites to use in my own workouts and with clients. It really challenges your endurance and strength in one and is fun because you switch between three different exercises to prevent boredom.


3) Battle Rope Core Crusher

When you think about getting shredded, there is no better tool than the battle ropes. The cool thing about ropes is that you can pretty much take them anywhere from outside to inside, and they are so versatile that anything can go. Check out this core crusher . Be warned, it is not as easy as it looks, and 20-30 seconds of work can typically get the job done.


4) Sprints

What good would finisher be without sprinting? Sprint intervals have been shown to increase testosterone levels and prevent decline it’s decline so what are you waiting for?

Here is some of my sprint favorite to use:

  • 400 meter sprints for best time at least 90 second rest in between

Sprint for 15 seconds light job for 45 seconds Repeat 4-5x’s, increasing the number of rounds every week as you progress. This number is not set in stone, and any shorter interval bursts with a minimum a 2:1 rest to work ratio will do the trick.

Very tough : Want to really challenge your endurance and jack up your heart rate? Try 800 meter sprints, but you have been warned, these are not easy!


If you want to get shredded, will most likely help. They require a tremendous amount of effort but will be sure to boost your testosterone levels while elevating your fat loss levels. Use them at the end of the workout or during your off days for maximum results.

About the Author

George began his time at Cressey Sports Performance as an intern in the fall of 2013, and returned in 2014 as CSP’s Group Fitness Coordinator, overseeing all Strength Camp coaching and programming responsibilities.

George is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and was awarded an honorary discharge after eight years of service. He possesses an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University and is currently attending massage school to become a licensed massage therapist.

Outside of CSP, George maintains a fitness-related blog that can be found at

He and his wife Shawna reside in Manchester, NH.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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