Honoring John Meadows Legacy | Workout – Garage Strength

Honoring John Meadows Legacy | Workout


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I Trained Like John Meadows

On April 22, 2020, I scheduled a call with John Meadows to learn about YouTube and business strategy. He had no idea who I was or what I was trying to do. John Meadows talked to me for three hours and shared insights and knowledge that would have taken me years to learn without his support. 

What's more, is that John asked for nothing in return. He didn't ask for money or promotion. John Meadows was a master in the strength world, and he cared about people. And it blew me away because he didn't have to care. I left my conversation with John with the confidence and motivation to start a YouTube channel and go full steam ahead. 

This was at the very beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. I didn't know if I would be able to pay my bills or my employees, but I knew that there was no secret sauce. John Meadows worked hard, and he believed that if I did the same, I could achieve the same level of success that he had. I am not there yet, John, but you remain steadfast in my desire to impact people in the world in the best possible way.

As a tribute to John, I did this workout to commemorate him to get swole, crush weights, and support John’s legacy.

The first exercise I did to train like John Meadows was the neutral grip pull down for three to four sets of five to ten reps. The whole goal here, based on what John wrote  The Gauntlet Program, was to get muscles activated and everything moving. The first two exercises were back based.

One Arm DB Row

honoring john meadows

The second exercise had me doing a one arm DB row. John always used straps so I used my straps. The program had me doing three to four sets of at least ten reps with a heavy dumbbell. I would let the dumbbell go all the way to the floor, both heads touching the ground, before rowing the weight back up. 

I did the one arm DB rows with a dead stop at the bottom so I could focus on being more explosive.

Meadows Row

These are more single arm style rows but done with a barbell in a landline position. People on the internet always talk about John’s workouts being completely crazy and extremely difficult. So I started with three exercises for the back. The total volume of the three exercises thus far is 12 sets for something like a total of 240 reps.

Incline Banded DB Press

John would do a chest press with a hammer press machine to get good tension on the pecs. Since we don’t have a hammer press machine, I did a banded DB incline press. I tried to do it to isolate my pecs and to not hit a lockout while doing the movement to stay under constant tension.

I have done a couple of John’s programs. John spoke to me about never wanting to own a gym because he would go bankrupt from wanting to buy everything. John’s programs like the commercial gym machines. I can relate to that feeling. I want to buy every lifting apparatus there is to train with.

I hit the banded incline db press for about four sets of eight to ten reps. On my last set I used the 100 lbs dumbbells. This movement blew my pecs up.

Decline Smith Machine Press

We have a type of Smith machine at Garage Strength but I decided to do it on our actual decline bench. Using 225 lbs, I did the movement with no lockout and basically did the reps as fast as possible in an unbroken manner. Again, I did four sets for ten reps.

At this point my chest felt PUMPED. With all the back work done early, I felt good in my chest, but by this moment in the workout I felt lit up. For my last decline press set, I put 315 lbs on the bar and went until I died. I got eight reps. 

Standing Banded Flies

I used the Garage Strength PowerLastic strength band to do this exercise. I already had a stupid pump in my chest so this just added to the pump when I just did thirty reps straight. I was on the struggle bus. John’s program calls for using a fly machine but I went with the banded standing flies.

DB Reverse Flies

Again, I did monster sets. I did four sets of twenty-five reps. The pump was real. 

Cable Curl / Tricep Pulldown

My shirt had to come off at this point because the sleeves couldn’t contain the pump. I did these two exercises for four sets a piece for ten plus reps, back to back to back to back. I went right through without stopping. On the last set of cable curls, I went to failure.


John is a legend and is still having a massive impact on everyone. Two years since John met with me and inspired us to change the business model. This workout is for John, RIP. 


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Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!

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