Bad45 offers a unique combination of bodyweight and dumbbell workouts that can be replicated anywhere, at home or on the move. The program promotes effectiveness coupled with portability, simplicity, and efficiency.
It draws inspiration from the tactical expertise of world-renowned author Scott Sonnon and it stems from the recovery protocol he personally followed after a freak training accident that put him out of action almost compromising his career.
Instead, he quickly found a way to work his way out through his bad predicament thanks to a method based on frequent but short and intense mixed bodyweight and dumbbell workouts.
Because of his knowledge of the tactical business, he found out the best way to balance frequency, intensity, and recovery to work his way up to his former levels of fitness and even exceed them.
He did so by tailoring his workouts around a few key principles that are often neglected in the typical bro-style routines of heavy lifting split routines.
He adopted a method focused on the natural response of the body to its biological functions, like the circadian rhythm, recovery, and the anabolic/catabolic responses to stimulus.
What really strikes me about this program is the importance of “timing” in the workout schedule as opposed to perfect nutrition or super-hard workouts.
According to Scott, timing is even more crucial than perfect meal planning or Hercules-like workouts. Even the best nutrition coupled with the best workouts will not yield as good results as a frequent and well-timed workout.
This is a unique aspect of the program that coupled with the other idea of TUT, Time Under Technique, not Tension, make it really stand out from the crowd.
Below you will find out what Bad45 has to offer and how it works.
Who Is This Program For?
Bad45 was designed with simplicity, effectiveness, portability, and time efficiency in mind and it does just that. If you are overworked and need a minimalist plan to get you fit and strong anywhere you are, without the hassle of bulky equipment or gym membership, then it may be a good fit.
Other similar tactical programs require tools like kettlebells, rings, clubs, parallel bars, ropes, and other paraphernalia. This one needs just a pair of dumbbells and your own body weight.
How Bad45 Works
Bad45 works by minimizing the complexities of training to make it as simple as possible a blueprint that can be replicated by anyone, anywhere.
In essence, it guides the body through its natural biomechanics and the movements it was originally designed for, rather than complicated schedules that require cumbersome weights, gear, and unpractical gym warrior bro-split routines.
However, the simplicity of the workout system is based on the very sound knowledge of the author and is not a mere simplification of exercises for the sake of it.
Bad45 is simple and effective because it makes do without the overly complicated routines of mainstream workout literature and steers you towards what your body really needs in order to get strong, athletic, muscular, flexible, and coordinated, the way nature intended.
Specifically, Scott Sonnon uses a set of principles making up the framework of the program upon which the training schedules are built:
- Variability – The workouts must be varied in order to prevent adaptation and stagnation, which means avoiding getting stuck into the same routine over and over again or over-training.
- Completeness – The workouts must target all the natural movement patterns of the body, be it in the vertical or horizontal plane or any transitional plain.
- Simplicity And Flexibility – No need for the plan to be suitable for just advanced, intermediate, or beginner trainees, it has to be adjustable to any personal fitness level.
- Durability – Bad45 training schedule is designed to help you increase resistance to stress, be it physical or mental.
- Functionality – Bad45 trains the body as a whole the way nature intended, not as body parts segments, bodybuilding style. This means full-body workouts, no bro-split routines.
- Progression – Self-explanatory to indicate a gradual increase in intensity and complexity over time.
- Recovery Ability – A very important aspect of the program that stems from the tactical background of the author. No need to annihilate your body in a single workout, bodybuilding style. What you need is brief intensity applied frequently in order to be fit and action-ready 24/7.
- Technique – Which means practicing a movement as a skill to make it better and more efficient over time. Scott Sonnon calls it “Time Under Technique”, another way to indicate practicing and becoming more efficient in a movement.
Flexibility Of Bad45 Workouts
The wide-ranging foundations of the program also mean that the workouts are as flexible as possible to accommodate any level of fitness. Scott Sonnon had the workout schedules divided into 5 different levels in a pyramid-like structure, from easiest to hardest.
- Restart – A gentle 84-day workout recovery regimen for those who suffered an injury or just starting out.
- Rebuild – An 84-day schedule for those who had been training before but are coming back from a short break.
- Strength – A more challenging 84-day protocol for those with a training history who need something more serious.
- Mass – A 49-day routine for those with a solid working out history who need to break through plateaus and start progressing again.
- Refine – The 35-day ultimate level schedule for those who want to reach their full potential.
All in all, if you start from the first level Bad45 offers almost 1 year of workouts. Whatever your level, you can keep going as required because of the in-built recovery strategy of the workouts.
Being a workout program with tactical, not bodybuilding foundations, recovery is finely tuned with a nice balance of intensity, frequency, volume, natural circadian rhythm, and anabolic/metabolic factors.
Natural Approach To Training
This is really a unique aspect of Bad45, aside from flexibility and simplicity. Few, if any, workout programs out there are so concerned and focused on how the human body reacts to a stimulus or stress, be it training, daily life, or extreme situations.
For example, the circadian rhythm, and even the several ultradian rhythms throughout the day, regulate our biochemistry in the 24-hour cycle, which has an impact on your anabolic or catabolic abilities.
According to Scott, this factor alone is so important to outrank even the best nutrition or the most well-crafted workout in priority for effectiveness. By optimizing the workouts around these factors, the Bad45 schedules promote the right environment for the hormones to burn fat, build muscle, and have a steady supply of energy throughout the day.
The workouts only last 20 minutes, with natural movements like push-ups, dumbbell clean and presses, burpees, and many more. Simple but challenging routines that, when performed frequently in short bursts, provide for the much-coveted EPOC, Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption.
Any Cardio Necessary?
Not at all. Those who hate treading on a mill or jogging for hours on end can breathe a sigh of relief. Bad45 does not advocate cardio, as its workouts offer better fat-burning capabilities than slow, steady cardio.
Scott Sonnon points out that the calories burnt while doing cardio are just a temporary state that ceases no sooner you stop doing it. No EPOC will ever occur with slow cardio.
However, the body weight and dumbbell sequences in Bad45 are designed to offer a higher intensity workout that elicits fat burning not just while working out but also up to 38 hours afterward, the ideal situation to burn off stubborn fat and show the lean muscles underneath it.
The intense workouts also offer an opportunity for the muscle-building hormones androgen receptors to be released for up to 48 hours afterward, as is the case with all the high-intensity exercises, but in this case without equipment or gym membership.
Bad45 also makes use of a unique “Intensity Wave” technique designed to naturally spike up hormone output when it starts slowing down. Again, this is a technique not found in other programs, one that naturally taps into your body’s natural response to the correct stimulus.
Having said all this, the exercises are still challenging enough to provide a nice cardiovascular workout, a win-win situation where you get several benefits in less time.
Is Bad45 Really Equipment-Free?
Technically, Bad45 is not 100% gear-free. On top of your own body weight and gravity you still need a pair of dumbbells, just one. Scott Sonnon gives a few basic guidelines as to what poundage you need when starting out, depending on your levels of strength or if you are a man or a woman.
So you do not need a rack of dumbbells, or even adjustable dumbbells, though these may come in handy. However, a simple pair of dumbbells is as basic as you can get and you can take them anywhere in the trunk of your car even while traveling or get easily get hold of even in the most basic hotel gym.
In essence, Bad45 is a cross between a calisthenics or bodyweight workout program with additional resistance offered from dumbbells. It can also be used stand-alone or in conjunction with other programs of the tactical range like Tactical Gymnastics, reviewed here, but only after you have completed a due cycle with Bad45 first.
Main Benefits Of Bad45
Digging into the program you come across a whole host of additional information that makes it even more valuable. For example, the workouts are designed to offer 3 immediate benefits for whoever is starting out, in this order:
- Increase in energy levels – The high-intensity workout has an impact on dopamine levels, which in turn kick-start a self-fueling cycle of better sleep quality followed by high and steady energy levels throughout the day.
- Quick fat-burning starting process – The improved sleep coupled with higher energy levels leads to a knock-on effect on fat-burning capabilities within the first week or two.
- Muscle building process – With good sleep, high energy and boosted metabolism, and everything in working order, lean muscle gains soon follow.
This program also carries other advantages like:
- It is time-efficient – The workouts are over in 20 minutes.
- It is straightforward and uncomplicated – Routines are simple, though not easy, and well laid out.
- It promotes functional strength with lean muscle mass and low body fat.
- It is adjustable for all fitness levels.
- It is very practical because it can be done anywhere.
- It helps you save money because you won’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment anymore.
How Does Bad45 Compare To Other Tactical Or Bodyweight Programs?
This is quite a unique program sitting between bodyweight training and resistance training, though the emphasis is on bodyweight. It is similar to other programs of the Tacfit range like Tactical Gymnastics or Six Degree Flow but is less complex and more geared toward progression through the basics.
This means it is perfect for breaking through plateaus if you are advanced or getting stronger and leaner if you are a beginner or recovering from a long hiatus or even an injury like Scott Sonnon did.
Bad45 is repeatable and complementary too, it can be used for as long as you need it to maintain you in peak condition year-round and it can also be used in conjunction with other programs when you are ready to do so.
A Word On Scott Sonnon And The Origins Of Bad45
Scott Sonnon is a world-class coach with one of the highest pedigrees you may have come across. He is considered by Men’s Fitness as one of the Top 24 Trainers in the World.
With an extensive background in tactical coaching for special elite forces and military personnel, he knows what it takes to be action-ready 24/7, year-round.
He has even been ranked by Cleo Magazine as one of the 6 most influential instructors of this century and is regularly featured in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Black Belt, and other magazines.
He had to overcome many adversities right from the start of his life, eventually becoming an adjunct professor of physical education at Penn State University, a US National Team Coach, and a 5-time world martial arts champion.
While running his RMAX International business for elite forces and military personnel with great success, he was struck again by misfortune during a training session teaching Jiujitsu to federal law enforcement.
He slipped and landed on the top of his head, resulting in a severe injury to his vertebrae and a massive setback in terms of performance, strength, mobility, and professional commitments.
Scott worked his way out of it in the usual fashion, with commitment and a natural approach to the body’s physiology and recovery abilities.
He quickly developed a method based on Bodyweight And Dumbbells, an acronym of BAD, that allowed him to fully recover and even make further gains in strength. This is how Bad45 came about.
What Do You Get With Bad45? – Components And Price
Bad45 is an electronic program that you can access immediately upon purchase through its dedicated website, it cannot be found in stores or in the physical version. The components are all smartphone, PC, and tablet friendly, so you can view the contents immediately.
There are several PDF manuals, video libraries, a start-up manual, calendars, and additional yoga drills and videos as bonuses. It’s a lot of materials and all of it top quality as always is the case with all the Tacfit range programs by Scott Sonnon.
As a result, the price is a bit steep by digital standards, $139 as of now, but you get what you pay for, a high-quality protocol designed by a leading expert in the industry that you can keep and follow for life.
Closing Thoughts – Is Bad45 The Real Deal?
Once more, Scott Sonnon has crafted another excellent plan of the Tacfit range, this time one less elaborate and more focused on the basics for progression in strength, lean muscle, and fat loss for civilian use.
It is the same plan he used on himself to overcome a serious setback that restored him to even more of his former strength. Because of its in-built simplicity, it can be implemented at home and on the move with just bodyweight drills and basic dumbbells.
The program’s effectiveness owes to Scott Sonnon’s huge experience and knowledge on what works for building muscle and strength the natural way and it provides a viable blueprint to being fit and strong 24/7, 365 days/year.
Jay always had a passion for fitness. A former skinny guy, he built himself 35 lb of lean muscle over the years using different training strategies, going through failures and eventually succeeding, and now wants to share his knowledge with those who value fitness as a way of life (See all posts by Jay Fielding).