Unconventional full body workout

Unconventional Full Body Workout: Workout of the Month #1

February 07, 2020

Today we are presenting our first ‘Workout of the Month’, which we plan to do once a month moving forward, as a lot of our customers and readers are requesting that we put out effective unconventional workouts on a regular basis.

So, for WOM #1, we have a challenging unconventional full body workout by Scott Viala.

This Full Body Unconventional Workout will take your fitness to the next level. The workout focuses on dynamic compound movements, incorporating steel maces, kettlebells, slam balls, deadlifts and bodyweight exercises. This unconventional workout will increase your upper and lower body muscle strength and endurance, explosive power, rotational strength, core strength and stability, and aerobic, metabolic and overall conditioning. You will be engaging your entire body from the ground up (even going into the air at certain times!), with supersets that are sure to leave you winded.

If you want to kick ass at life, this is the type of workout you will want to do regularly.



Target: Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Calorie Burn, Increase Metabolic Rate
Equipment: Steel Mace, Kettlebell, Slam Ball, Hex Bar (or Barbell) and Plates
Duration: 45-50 mins

Exercise One – Steel Mace 360s

Work: 4 sets x Reps - 60sec, 60sec, 90sec, 120sec
Rest: 60-90sec

Exercise Two – Trap Bar/Med Ball/Mace

2a) Trap Bar Deadlift
2b) Jumping Med Ball Slam
2c) Steel Mace Punch Swing Curl
Work: 4 Sets x Reps - 2a) 10, 10, 8, 6 2b) 10 x 4 2c) 10 (each side) x 4
Rest: 90-120sec

Exercise Three – Kettlebell Swing/Kick Outs

3a) Kettlebell Swings
3b) Kick outs
Work: 3 Sets x Reps - 3a) 30sec 3b) 30sec
Rest- 60-90sec

Exercise Four – Steel Mace Squat/Lunge Complex - High Plank Rows

4a)Ballistic Curl Squat x Reverse Lunge x Lateral Lunge (steel mace complex)
4b) High Plank Rows
Work: 3 Sets x Reps - 4a) 60sec, 90sec, 120sec 4b) 30sec (each side)
Rest: 60sec 

unconventional workout

Who is this unconventional full body workout good for?

Whether you are into bodybuilding, powerlifting or unconventional training, this unconventional full body workout is going to be beneficial for you.

For those who train conventionally, this unconventional workout will shock your body and test your capacity for metabolic, high-intensity type training, which is a far cry from typical conventional workouts. The explosive and ballistic full body exercises and transverse plane and multiplanar exercises will put your core and rotational strength to work. This is a workout that will truly push you to the limit.

On the whole, it’s good to switch things up and try new workouts once in a while.

For those who are into unconventional training, this workout is a great example of how a professional unconventional trainer like Scott Viala puts together a workout. So, not only can you follow this workout and crush it, but you can also use this as inspiration on how to format your workouts moving forward.

All in all, if you need a change from the monotonous grind of your typical workout routine, you want to test yourself with an intense full body workout, or you simply just want a good workout to follow for your next training session, let this unconventional full body workout be the one.

The Unconventional Training Philosophy

The basis for unconventional training really comes down to a few things.

First, it relates to the training tool(s) being used. Implements like kettlebells and steel maces are considered “unconventional”, as conventional training tools, which are what the majority of the fitness world uses, are tools like dumbbells and barbells.

Second, “unconventional training” is defined by how you use training tools and equipment. Essentially, if you are doing exercises that differ from the norm, it is categorized as unconventional training (i.e. steel mace 360s and kettlebell swings). That said, a conventional training tool can become unconventional. For example, a barbell can be used unconventionally by adding a plate only on one side and performing a squat or overhead press with the offset load. 

Moreover, unconventional training generally involves multiplanar, compound movements. Most unconventional exercises are based on movement patterns, rather than isolation exercises. Unconventional training exercises are dynamic…

Ballistic exercises (throwing, swinging or jumping with weights in order to increase explosive power) are common in unconventional training, as is offset loading. Because of this, unconventional training is very popular for athletes as this type of training is great for sports performance (balance/coordination, explosive power/ability to accelerate & decelerate).

Note: Many people who do unconventional training still do conventional exercises that are proven to be super effective. You can probably guess what those are… squats, bench press, and most importantly, deadlifts. The point is, unconventional training and conventional training are not mutually exclusive. 

Third, unconventional training involves intense workouts. Just like the tools and exercises, the workout formats are also “unconventional”. So, you won’t typically find an unconventional workout with a Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIT) format (i.e. the traditional bodybuilding/powerlifting one exercise at a time using sets x reps with long rests), it will be HIIT, metabolic training, circuits, every minute on the minute, or an unconventional favorite “complexes”. The workout protocols involve keeping you moving, with shorter rest time. Because of this, unconventional training is great for conditioning, not just building muscles or losing fat, although it will do that too.

As unconventional training becomes more popular, which is surely what is happening, it will be hard to even call it “unconventional”, as by definition it is what is “not generally done”. That said, the unconventional mindset keeps people creative, trying NEW THINGS, which in turn, tests your body in new ways, helping you to continually improve your fitness, and allowing your training to never become stagnate or dare we say "normal". 

Workout of the month


Steel maces, kettlebells, Indian clubs, sandbags, battle ropes, slam balls, Bulgarian bags, tires, and sledgehammers are the most common unconventional training tools as these are very effective implements.

In any case, when it comes to unconventional training tools, you are really only limited by your creativity. Many things in this world can be used to workout. Some more effective than others, of course.

And it’s worth reiterating, conventional training free weight tools are on the table too…many times, in an unconventional way. But not only. Certain classic lifts are, well, CLASSIC...no matter if you prefer conventional or unconventional training. Exercises like pull ups and deadlifts should never be neglected, in our opinion. Of course, with deadlifts, you can do them with sandbags and kettlebells, but there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a barbell or hex bar to do some deadlifts if you want to go heavy, even if you live by the “unconventional training” philosophy.

What unconventional training really comes down to is the mentality of improving your overall fitness (balance, endurance, strength, flexibility) with the goal to improve performance, longevity, and well being. If an exercise fits that mold, then it’s good to go. If it’s a time killer, trash bag it. Aim for equipment and exercises that have a good reward-risk ratio.

unconventional training exercises


Unconventional training may sound gimmicky to some people, but the benefits are far from it…that is, if you know how to actually train, and you train hard.

Some “unconventional” stuff out there is gimmicky. They may stray from the norm, but not in a good way.

If you do unconventional training the right way and with the right equipment, here are some of the major rewards you can reap.

  1. Powerful core: Ballistic training and offset loading results in significant improvements to core strength (and balance!).
  2. Transverse Plane = Rotational/Anti-Rotational Strength: Multiplanar training, of course, includes the transverse plane. A plane of motion so often neglected in conventional training. Many unconventional training tools are designed with the transverse plane in mind (i.e. steel maces). Transverse plane = real world strength, and not in the beatdown-meaning kind of way, this is fact…you need to be able to twist and turn and accelerate and decelerate in the real world, forcefully. Moreover, this is particularly important for athletes.
  3. Improvement in all-around fitness: Unconventional training makes sure you are focusing on all four pillars of fitness - balance, flexibility, muscular endurance, and muscular strength. What does this mean? It means you are truly fit. A bonafide human athlete.

All in all, there are many benefits, from explosive power to fat loss, and you can read more about it here - Benefits of Unconventional Training

Unconventional training is not about being big and bulky, it is about being lean and muscular and strong, in every sense of the word. And for some, even more importantly, unconventional training is not boring. It helps avoid workouts becoming monotonous. It allows you to test yourself in new ways, and by that, we don’t just mean more weight.

unconventional workout for women

Can I do both unconventional and conventional training?

Absolutely! There’s no reason you need to go full unconventional OR full conventional. It’s not a situation where you need to choose one or the other. In fact, it's ideal to do the best of both.

You can do your normal conventional split and do one or two unconventional workouts a week to make sure you are well-rounded in your fitness. Or you can do unconventional training and simply incorporate the most effective, or your favorite, conventional lifts and exercises (yes, this includes bicep curls)…There are no rules. And there definitely doesn’t have to be one without the other. A combination of both conventional and unconventional training what athletes have been doing for years!

Related: Chest and Back Superset Workout - Unconventional Meets Conventional Training

What’s most important is you are enjoying working out (even if you feel like you are dying while you are doing it). This is how you stay motivated and never fall off. Have fun! Be safe! Train hard!

Why more and more people are moving towards Unconventional Training?

With the advent of the internet, people are becoming more knowledgable on health and fitness, tapping into professional trainers who put out tons of content each year. 

Pro trainers and athletes are really setting the tone. They’ve been using unconventional training methods alongside conventional training for a long time, as it is great for all-around sports performance. The general population are simply just becoming more privy. 

People can try new things and be creative, in an effective manner.

And while conventional training methods are and will always remain relevant, the combination and fusing of both methods are the present and future. With both, people can truly maximize their fitness results.

More Unconventional Training Resources:

It’s a wonderful world we live in nowadays. There’s so much we can learn, all right there at our fingertips, literally...Let us know what you think of this unconventional workout of the month in the comments below!

steel mace


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