Wondering if John Romaniello and Roger Lawsons workout program called the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout is right for you? Below is a review of the program in 8 different sections. I also give my final thoughts on the program and concept.
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout (ZAW)
John “Roman” Romaniello and Roger Lawson
The authors give this program a lot of legitimacy. Together they have been featured in Forbes, Livehacker, Livestrong, Shape, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Schwarzenegger.com, The New York Times, Fast Company, and The Huffingon Post to name a few.
Roman has produced a host of Ebooks and they have all been high quality. As a result he’s developed a great following and most of the people who buy one program for him keep coming back for more.
This is Rog’s first internet product.
Why was it made?
The program and concept was developed for two reasons. The first is timing. December 21st is when the Mayan’s predicted the World would end. And while I’m of the opinion that they just got tired of making calenders, it’s a good angle for a program seeing as the end of the launch week is the 21st. Zombies are also all the rage right now with movies like Zombieland and 28 Days Later and shows like The Walking Dead.
The second and perhaps more reasonable explanation according to Roman is, “if you took the idea of CrossFit and applied intelligent programming with a Roman twist to it, you’d have an awesome program […] I don’t want to write about workouts and programming without some sort of context”
The Zombie Survival Workout is an intelligent cross training design with a Zombie twist put on it to make it more fun. It was made to help people:
- Build strength and muscle
- Build speed
- Develop insane endurance and work capacity
- Get leaner
- Build resistance to injuries
- Jump higher and swing harder
Main and accessory components
The Zombie Survival Workout has 4 phases (+ an optional priming phase at the beginning) lasting 3 weeks each.
Phase 1 is conditioning. What I liked about this the first phase is that it doesn’t prescribe a lot of cardio in the literal sense. According to Roger Lawson, “what matters most is your ability to swing the crowdbar over and over and over again.”
Each of the phase 1 workouts includes 2 multi-joint exercises for 5 reps followed by a nasty circuit. All workouts follow an A, B, C1, C2, C3, C4 format.
Phase 2 is relative strength. Personally I’m a big fan of bodyweight training so I enjoyed this phase. Apparently the Zombie Apocalypse will destroy all comforts of living like electricity and running water. So you must have relative strength to overcome — makes perfect sense to me.
Each of these workouts start with a heavy compound movement for 3 reps followed by a density circuit done for time. The density circuits are mostly bodyweight exercises. For example inverted rows, jump squats, and pushups. The 1st week includes a 10 minute circuit which goes up to 15 minutes for week 3.
Phase 3 is absolute strength. This phase was developed for those times that you’re faced head to head with a zombie and need to crush it’s skull. That, or if you just want to be really strong.
The zombie smashing workouts for this phase start with a 5*5 protocol for a compound movement and finish with a longer and nastier density circuit. The purpose of these workouts is to help you generate a lot of power for a longer period of time.
Phase 4 is overall fitness. By this phase you should already have developed a fantastic level of zombie escaping or smashing fitness. This last 3 weeks is meant to cement in your new fitness levels.
Each workout in phase 4 starts with either 1 or two compound movement for , 5 and 10 reps (3 total sets). Following that the program changes each day but it’s generally some sort of compound circuit using a combination of weighted and bodyweight exercises. Rest is as little as possible here.
The Zombie Survival Workout also includes a set of custom workout logs, a supplement guide, a video exercise library, and a quick start checklist.
Who is it suited for?
Roman and Rog did a good job of making this program accessible for everybody. Exercisers not used to this type of training have the option to complete the priming phase before the more difficult workouts.
The program itself has a lot of variation. There is some heavy lifting on more complex movements like front squats where form should be considered. All of the heavier lifts are at the beginning of the program before nervous fatigue sets in.
Following that is the balls-to-the-wall circuit training. These are to be done all out and, even when you’re exhausted, it’d be pretty hard to hurt yourself.
I think this program is best suited for:
- Intermediate exercisers who need a change in their programming.
- Either men or women who want to be lean, fast, and strong.
- Trainers who want to add some variety to their programming for their clients. There’s lots of good ideas here both in making workouts fun and in the programming.
I don’t think this program is appropriate for complete beginners.
Has the program created real world results?
As far as I know nobody has been through this program. That’s not to say they haven’t, it just means that I don’t know anyone who has. There are a couple testimonials on the sales page from people who claim they completed the program. My guess is that they were in John Romaniellos coaching program and did the workouts.
Comparison to other established programs
The best comparison I can think of is to CrossFit. This program includes all of the good elements of a CrossFit program from the large compound movements to the focus on energy system development. It won’t over-develop any one attribute. Instead the Zombie Survival Workout is a cross-training program to bring your fitness up to a good level in all respects.
The Zombie Survival Workout is on sale for $47 for the launch week only. After that it will increase to $77.
For a 12-week program with included video library this is fantastic value. A single session with either of these guys would cost well over $100. This program translates into $0.44 a day or less than a 10th of what you would pay for a latte at Starbucks.)
The Zombie theme is a gimmick but a damn good one. Launching the product the week the world is supposed to end according to a highly publicized ancient calendar is brilliant; I wish I thought of it.
The program itself is quite good. It mixes high intensity cardio training with real world strength. Anybody who completes this program will end up faster, leaner, and stronger, and sexier overall.
The Zombie theme is fun and makes the workout fun to read and talk about. The sales page along is an enjoyable read, I suggest you grab a copy if you’re looking for a workout of if you’re a personal trainer looking for some inspiration in making your programs fun and engaging.
Grab your copy and start smashing Zombies now ==> The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout