Strength Training

Changing The Game – PART 2: Triple H Peaks for Wrestlemania!

Triple H enters the ring at Wrestlemania 28
6’3″ 256 lbs., 7.2% bodyfat and in the best shape of his life…
@ 42 years young!


In Part 1 of this article series, I discussed some major changes that were made to Triple H’s former training style. Hopefully it provided everyone with a general idea of how Triple H’s training now differs and the rationale behind the changes. Now that everyone has somewhat of an idea behind my general training philosophy (as it pertains to Triple H); it’s time to reveal Triple H’s pre-Wrestlemania programming. This article will provide you with an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the exact workouts performed by Triple H during the week leading up to Wrestlemania XXVIII!


Not for Everyone…

I wanted to provide somewhat of a “disclaimer” before unveiling Triple H’s weekly plan. First of all – when reading this article – please keep in mind that I’ve been working with Triple H for almost two years. The training week that you’re about to read is not easy…and it’s certainly not for everyone! (No two people respond exactly the same to the same stimulus.) This “pre-Wrestlemania” training cycle was the culmination of two years of rehabbing, overcoming imbalances, improving soft tissue quality, mastering the techniques of special exercises and progressive increases in strength, power and work capacity. In other words, Triple H worked his ass off in order to build the foundation necessary to perform these workouts. Simply put; if you’re an “average Joe”…DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! 

NOTE: You’ll notice that Wednesday represents “Day 1” in this program. This is not a typo. We start our training week on Wednesday because it’s Triple H’s first full day home after being on the road for the filming of WWE’s TV shows – ‘Monday Night RAW’ and ‘SMACKDOWN’!





WEDNESDAY (morning):
“Tempo” Prowler Sprints w/ active recovery


Purpose = Increase energy levels after traveling / Serves as “primer” for the intense PM workout / General Conditioning

The Workout

Push prowler for 30 yards at 75% intensity. Once you reach the 30 yard mark, perform 10 push-ups. Rest 20-30 seconds. Push prowler back to starting point, then perform 10 band pull-aparts. Rest 20-30 seconds. Repeat this process for 15-20 minutes. 

WEDNESDAY (night):
Max-Effort Upper Body Strength Training


Purpose = Improve Upper Body Strength / Increase Neural Drive / Muscle-Building



SMR w/ Lax Ball & Foam Roller (upper back/lats/pecs)
Sleeper Stretch x 20sec each arm
Supine on Foam Roller “Snow Angels” (palms up) x 10
Kneeling Side-to-side Pec Stretch x 5 each side
Lying “Y-Handcuffs” x 10
Push-up Plus x 15
Mini Band Face Pull + External Rotation x 10
Underhand Mini Band Pull-aparts x 15
Mini Band “Shoulder Dislocations” x 10
Lat Stretch x 20sec. each side
3-Way Shoulder “Drop-Catch” Neural Activation Series x 5 reps each way


The Workout

1. 3-Board Bench Press: *5 sets of 3 reps
*Last 2 sets were performed with 102% of bench press 1RM. 

2A. Weighted Push-ups, neutral hand positioning (80lbs. chain on back): 15, 15, Max Reps

2B. Underhand Mini Band Pull-aparts: 35, 35, 30

3A. Bent-over DB Rows (heavy): 3 x 8 each arm

3B. Jungle Gym Face Pull + External Rotation: 3 x 12

4A. Single Arm Dumbell Shrugs (non-working hand behind back): 3 x 8, hold each contraction for 2sec.

4B. Side-Lying Lateral Raise on Incline Bench (w/ Fat Gripz): 3 x 12 each arm

5. *Heavy Sledgehammer Tire Chops: 4 x 8 each side
*These are performed with a custom-made 35lb. sledgehammer.



THURSDAY (morning)

Purpose = Increase Upper Body Power / Aerobic & Anaerobic Conditioning

The Workout

Hit punch mits using various combinations for five, 5-minute rounds. Rest 60 seconds between each round.

THURSDAY (night)
Dynamic-Effort Lower Body Strength Training


Purpose = Improve Lower Body Strength & Power / Increase Neural Drive / Muscle-Building / Balance & Dynamic Flexibility


SMR w/ Foam Roller – IT Band, Quads, Adductors, Calves
SMR w/ Lax Ball – Piriformis/Glutes
Seated Piriformis/Glute Stretch
Cossack Squats (slide technique w/ hand support) x 5 each side
Squat to Stand x 10
Rollovers into V-sits x 10
Bent-knee Iron Cross x 5 each side
Quadruped Knee Circles x 10 fwd, 10bwd
Mountain Climbers x 20
Groiners x 5 (Hold last rep for 10sec.)
Rear Foot Elevated Hip Flexor Stretch
Standing (weighted) calf/achilles stretch
Leg Swings x 10 front/back, 10 side-to-side
TKE’s w/ band: 3 x 15 each leg
Box Jumps x 5-10


The Workout

1A. Barbell Box Squats: 6 sets of 3 w/ 80% 1RM

1B. Box Jumps: 6 sets of 3-5 jumps

[The pairing of exercises “1A” & “1B” is referred to as Transfer Training. With this training method, we’re attempting to “excite” the Fast-Twitch, Type IIB muscle fibers (with the heavy squats) and then “transfer” this heightened state into a synchronized activity (jumping). This results in higher, more explosive jumps due to a phenomenon referred to as Post-Activation Potentiation. When performed correctly, this technique results in major increases in power. I incorporated this method into Triple H’s program during the final 3 weeks of preparation in order to peak for Wrestlemania.]

*Speaking of increased Power; check out the pic below. Have you ever seen someone pick up the Undertaker completely off the ground while locked in his “Gates of Hell” submission hold?…

Now you have Wink

Insane display of POWER!
(FYI, The Undertaker is 6’10” 300lbs!)


2. Barbell Bulgarian Split Squats (chain-suspended weight): 3 x 8 each leg 


3A. Barbell Hip Thrusts (*feet ABducted & externally rotated): 3 x 10

3B. Core Statics – Lateral Shuffles (anti-rotation): 3 x 5 each way



FRIDAY (night)

Boxing & Restoration

Purpose = Increase Upper Body Power / Aerobic & Anaerobic Conditioning / Speed up recovery and cut down on soreness in preparation of weekend workouts

The Workout(s)

-Hit punch mits using various combinations for five, 5-minute rounds. Rest 60 seconds between each round.

-90 minutes of Fascial Stretch Therapy and Active Release Technique.


Upper Body Strength Training


Purpose = Strength / Hypertrophy / Aesthetics


The Workout

*Same warm-up as Wednesday.

1. Blackburns (on floor), 4 positions: 15sec. iso-hold each position, holding 5lb. plates (2 sets)

2. Swiss Bar “6/6/6” Press: 2 work sets 

3A. Cable Crossover: 5 x 8-12
3B. Jungle Gym Rear Delt Flyes: 5 x 10-12

4. 3-Way “Shoulder Shocker”3 x 24 (8 reps each exercise)

5. “Gun Show”: Perform 4 ‘giant sets’ of the below exercises with no rest b/t sets. (100 total reps of each exercise)
A. Green Band Triceps Pushdowns x 25
B. Empty Barbell Curls x 25
C. Seated EZ Bar Wrist Extensions x 25

6. Hand Walking on Foam Roller (Core, anti-extension): 2 x 5


Strongman Training


Purpose = Bridge the Gap from traditional weight room strength to “in-ring”, functional strength / Anaerobic Conditioning

*Perform Lower Body Warm-up, then conclude with 2×15 Push-up Plus, 2×15 Band-Pull-aparts, 1×10 Band “Shoulder Dislocations”.

The Workout

Pre-Workout Neural Activation – Medicine Ball Scoop Toss for height: 2 x 5 throws (15lb. ball)

1. Timed 500lb. Tire Flips: 4 x 5 flips (as fast as possible)

2. Zig-Zag Farmers Walks (175lbs. in each hand): 3 x 50 yards

3. Heavy Prowler Push/Sprint: 10 x 10 yards

4. Seated Hand-over-Hand Sled Pull (w/ 30-foot rope): 3 sets

5. Battle Ropes (various moves): 30sec. on, 30sec. off. 3X

*Finished by performing Stability Ball “Stir the Pot” Planks (forearms on ball, feet elevated on tire) and crunches. 2 supersets of 20 reps each.


MONDAY – TV/Travel Day

Optional “Hotel” Band Workout

Purpose = Improve ‘weak points’ and speed recovery while on the road with a quick/practical workout.

The Workout

If Triple H wakes up feeling sore and/or “tight”, he performs the following workout in order to increase blood flow. He always feels better after performing this “extra” workout while on the road:

Mini Band Pull-aparts = 100 total
Light Band Biceps Curls = 100 total
Light Band Triceps Pushdowns = 100 total
Ground-based Abdominal Circuit (crunches, reverse crunches, moving side planks)
Lower Body Mobility



TUESDAY – TV/Travel Day

Day Off




  • NUTRITION – Triple H’s strength, conditioning and single-digit bodyfat percentage would not be possible without his attention to detail regarding his nutrition. Even with his insane work and travel schedule, you will be hard-pressed to ever find Triple H cheating on his diet while at work or on the road. He has been working with renowned nutrition specialist, Dave Palumbo, for many years and it shows in his strength, energy levels and physique! Anyone who is familiar with Dave Palumbo knows that he’s a big believer in the Keto Diet. If you think it’s impossible to perform at a high level while on this diet you’re sorely mistaken. Triple H is living proof that this type of diet can be applicable to athletes. (Dave and Triple H will be addressing this topic in an interview and/or article very soon!) 


  • CONSISTENCY / DEDICATION – I may be the guy that designs Triple H’s workouts, but a good workout “on paper” doesn’t mean sh*t unless the person performing the workout believes in it and consistently gives it 100%! I can tell you first-hand that you won’t find a more dedicated person than Triple H. It would be very easy for a guy like him to make excuses, miss workouts, cheat on his diet, etc. But, instead of finding excuses, he finds a way to get the job done! Most people would be shocked to hear that we train at 10:00pm until midnight most of the time…they also aren’t aware of the painful injuries that Triple H has sustained during his legendary career…and I’m sure they have no clue that Triple H only gets 1-2 hours of sleep most nights when traveling. For example, here’s an ‘inside look’ at Triple H’s Wednesday schedule: Arrive home from filming SMACKDOWN around 4:00am >> Take a “nap” for about an hour (if he’s lucky) >> Wake up around 6:00am in order to spend time with his kids before he leaves for work >> Head to the office early so he can get his first workout in >> Work a minimum of an 8-10 hour day at the office >> Rush home to put his kids to bed >> Perform a max-effort upper body lifting session while the rest of the world is sleepingPlease remember Triple H’s schedule next time you convince yourself that you “don’t have enough time” to workout and get in shape. I can go on and on about Triple H’s “less-than-optimal” schedule and injury history, but my point is this: Instead of complaining, Triple H adapts and perseveres through adversity — always finding a way to get the job done! THAT’S why he’s successful, and THAT’S a major reason why this program produced the results it did. 
Think BIG, believe BIG, act BIG, and the results will be BIG!




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HARD:CORE DVD: Revolutionary Core Training! Over 260 exercises!


Please leave me your feedback and/or questions regarding this article in the comments section below. (I will address the most commonly asked questions in an upcoming ASK JOE blog post.)

-Joe DeFranco, Founder | Owner
DeFranco’s Training Systems, LLC 






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