Toby Massenburg’s AfterBURN

afterburnI had to clarify in the title line that this AfterBURN is from trainer Toby Massenburg because Cathe also has an Afterburn that has been reviewed here. They are both very intense metabolic weight training workouts, but that is where the similarities end. Now, this isn’t a comparison review, so I am not going into tons of detail on how they differ but I will give the basics: Toby’s workout is longer, is high impact (Cathe’s is low impact), Toby works the core (Cathe doesn’t), Toby has no premixes and his workout isn’t chaptered (Cathe’s does/is) and Toby’s workout has a specific structure (Cathe’s has a structure, but nothing like Toby’s AfterBurn).

AfterBURN is a very challenging, advanced metabolic weight training workout. You get compound strength training, HIITs and core work and all in just over an hour. It’s a pretty awesome workout. I really enjoyed it. As usual Toby pushes you hard, but he also gives you just the right amount of recovery between exercises so you can keep going strong. I don’t know what it is about his workouts, but he almost always has the perfect recovery periods (for me) to keep me coming back strong to each exercise.

AfterBURN is set up in 8 blocks. Each block contains three 40 second HIITs (Burn phase), 2 minutes of compound strength work (Build phase) and 1 minute of core work (Blast phase)–in that order. Let me break it down some more. For the 2 minutes of strength work, the exercise will intensify/change every 30 seconds. Toby calls this the “intensity ladder.” The same thing happens during the core work–after 30 seconds it intensifies/changes. In the right hand corner of the screen you get a timer that counts down each move. Also, each time the exercise changes, the name of the new exercise appears next to the timer momentarily. In addition, the timer tells you what block you’re in and whether you are in the Burn, Build or Blast phase of that block.

Now, the first block was a little deceiving to me, especially after recently doing Patrick Goudeau‘s Hard Work Conditioning 2. There is no introduction to AfterBURN, plus I could find no reviews to give me any idea of how this workout is structured. So when the first strength exercise was a squat with overhead press, I got over ambitious on the weight selection. Then it started morphing into something much more challenging (intensity ladder) and I had to pyramid down to a lighter weight. I thought this would be like Patrick’s workout–more a metabolic strength workout than a workout that would give me “real” strength work. So I stopped being ambitious in the next few blocks–for no reason! I could have gone heavier! So my advice is to do the workout once with conservative weights (and make note of the weight you use and if you can go heavier) so that in the future you can get an even better workout.

AfterBurn is 63:30 minutes long; 4 minute warm up, 56 minute training time and 3:30 minute stretch. For this workout you need a high step (square step) at 12 inches, a mat (for core work) and dumbbells. Toby has one very heavy dumbbell, one set of heavy dumbbells and a lighter set of dumbbells. You’ll see in Build I used the word “add”; that is how it flows: you do the first exercise listed for 30 seconds then you add another exercise to the existing exercise (you still do that first exercise!) and so on so that by the final 30 seconds you are doing a pretty comprehensive compound exercise. Sometimes tho, at the one minute mark, you will change to the other side of the body; but that will be noted. In the Burn phase 3 exercises are listed; you do each for 40 seconds with a brief recovery between each.

Block 1
Burn: Jump squat, split leaps, high knees
Build: (grab 2 heavy weights) thrusters (squat into overhead press), add tricep extension at top, add alternating back lunge while holding dumbbells overhead, add dumbbell chop with each lunge
Blast: rolling side plank, add hip raises/pulses

Block 2
Burn: heisman, lateral box jumps (on 8 inch step), wide/high knee run
Build: (grab 2 heavy weights) plie deadlift (plie squats, touch dumbbells to floor), pushback high plank (plie squat into squat thrust), add renegade rows, add push ups
Blast: full sit up with body block, change body block to cross punch

Block 3
Burn: 4 mountain climbers w/ burpee, lateral skaters, pick up jacks
Build: grab heavy weights and high step at 12 inches: alternating diagonal lunge to either side of step, add step up onto step, add bicep curls during step up
Blast: 100s, layouts

Block 4
Burn: charlston step on 12 inch step, 1/4 turn on step topper (4 inches), charlston step on 12 inch step (other leg).
Build: grab 2 heavy weights and fold mat up to pad the knees: alternating kneeling step up, add overhead press at top. Stay standing at one minute mark and change to windmill and curl–30 seconds on each side.
Blast: Legs up crunch, straight leg raise and lower

Block 5
Burn: tuck jump, straddle fast feet shuffle (on 8 inch step), straddle box jump (still on 8 inch step).
Build: grab one heavy dumbbell: dumbbell swing (KB move), change to hand-to-hand swing, add stepping side-to-side as you swing, change to power swing (jack jump as you swing)
Blast: boat pose, row boat (row arms while still in boat pose)

Block 6
Burn: side-to-side lunge, cherry pickers (also called standing mountain climbers), donkey kicks on 12 inch step
Build: grab one heavy weight: squat with high pulls (to shoulder), change to high clean. Do both on other side.
Blast: plank knee to elbow (outside of body), change to knee to elbow under body

Block 7
Burn: curtsey kip (alternating curtsey lunge with kip jumps), burpee box jump (8 inch step), double leg V hops
Build: grab moderate weight: single leg deadlift, add overhead lateral raise. Repeat on other side of body
Blast: cross crunch, bicycles

Block 8:
Burn: touch down switch drivers, V hop climber with hands on 12 inch step, butt kick runs
Build: lay on mat and put heels on 12 inch step; raise hips and grab heavy weights: decline chest press, add chest fly, add 2 count pull over, add tricep extensions
Blast: supermans, swimmers


4 thoughts on “Toby Massenburg’s AfterBURN

  1. I just did this for the first time. Have to say your review is spot on! Thank you! I felt pleasantly fatigued, worked and sweaty. I loved it!


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