Charles Poliquin’s Nausea Leg Routine


In 2018 the strength and conditioning community lost one of the most creative, and controversial, coaches of recent memory, Charles Poliquin. Known primarily for his work with Olympic athletes, Poliqun’s training methods and philosophies were often times at the cutting edge of the field. This is not to say that Poliquin was not without his quirks – and indeed many criticised his approach to the body’s hormones – but rather that Poliquin was an individual unafraid of trying the new, weird and wonderful.

As something of a warning, I have to state that I was, and am, a great admirer of Poliquin’s training systems, having been trained under them for several years. Today’s short post looks at one of Poliquin’s simplest, but undoubtedly cruelest, training programs – the ‘nausea leg routine.’

Named for very obvious reasons, this workout is designed to truly push the trainee. Created as an inversion of Arthur Jones‘ pre-exhaustion techniques, the Nausea workout begins with the most demanding exercises and gets progressively easier (at least in terms of the neurological demands).

Why I love this workout is that it encapsulates so much of Poliquin’s broader training philosophies. First and foremost there is an emphasis on hard work and intensity throughout the workout. This, as Poliquin repeatedly pointed out, was not something one did half-assed.

Second, there is an appreciation of temp in this workout. At other points Poliquin recommended long eccentric and concentric tempos, making a lift feel like it was never going to end. Here a more moderate tempo is used which ensures control throughout the entire workout.

Finally Poliquin’s workout varies in intensity. You begin relatively easy and it gets progressively harder. Is it the perfect workout? Far from it. Is it fun and demanding? Absolutely. So next time you’re in the mood for something new, why not pay homage to the ‘strength sensei’ and try it out.

  • A1- Front Squats: 1 set of 4-6 reps, using a 32X0 tempo. Rest 10 seconds, move on to A-2
  • A2- Barbell Hack Squats: 1 set of 6 to 8 reps, using a 5010 tempo, rest 10 seconds, move to A-2
  • A3- 45-Degree Leg Presses: 1 set of 12 to 15 reps, using a 2010 tempo. Rest 3 minutes, repeat the cycle 4 more times

Let us know how you get on in the comments below. As always … Happy Lifting!


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