Zombie Survival Story

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A Real-Life Look At How ZAW Will Save YOUR Life

In the last blog post, we covered that the End Is About To Begin, and introduced the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout. We talked about the fact that it’s the only workout specifically designed to help you survive the end of the world.

Now, a lot of people aren’t yet convinced that this will work the way Rog and I say it will. We don’t feel that we can convince, so we expect to have some doubters who just refuse to take the plunge no matter what. Oh, well. Can’t save everyone, I suppose.

However, in the interest of saving as many people as possible, we thought we’d give you a little insight into why it’s so useful. And to make that more fun, we thought we’d construct a little story—starring YOU.

Here’s how the story begins: you’re navigating through an old complex, maybe a school…


You’ve made a good supply run, and you’re loaded with goods. You’ve got the essentials like water, but you also managed to pick up a slightly tattered but still-serviceable coloring book for Megan, the 6-year old girl in your camp. She’s going to love that coloring book. You’ve picked up items that your group needs to survive, just like they need YOU to survive.

There you are, laden with supplies and then you hear it: the moaning; that awful, guttural sound that indicates the undead are near. You hear the shuffling feet getting closer. You spot them just around the corner…and they spot you.

If it were just one or two, you’d be fine; your trusty hatchet would make short work of a pair of walkers. But this is at least a dozen. You can’t reach for your pistol; the noise would only draw more of the ambling freaks.

Battle is simply not an option—you need to run for it. Thankfully, because of your phase one training with the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout, you’re confident that not only can you outrun them, but also that can maintain a quick pace long enough to get to safety.

You turn a corner looking to be a hasty retreat and bolt out the doors, only to find yourself in a school yard. Awesome, open space. You see more zombies on the other side of the court yard, and adjust your path to avoid them. Running as best you can, one arm pumping, the other arm clamped down on your backpack to protect your precious supplies, you turn up the juice and increase your pace to a dead sprint, looking for an exit—and see a dead end.

The yard ends just where another building beings; a low, squat looking building with brick walls and a tin roof, you realize that it’s an equipment shed. Perhaps you can get inside? No, no. Dumb idea. You’ll get trapped. If you can’t go through, you have to go up and over.

You make a bee-line for the building, noticing as you do that it’s probably only about 12 or 13 feet tall. With the right moves, you can get up there. The dead are fast closing behind you; you can hear their grunting and breathing only a few dozen yards away. You’re trapped between two walls: one made of brick, and the other made of rotting, reanimated flesh. As you come flush with the building, you throw your backpack onto the roof without pausing, and look around for options. And then you see it – a dumpster.

It’s not super sturdy, but you can definitely use it to get on the roof, if only you can get it close enough.

Fuck—it’s too heavy to move! What the hell are you gonna do now? Wait! It’s close enough to the wall; with a good jump you can make it. Phew!

The dead are too close to come up with another plan, and this is your only shot. You climb nimbly onto the top of the dumpster, say a quick prayer, and leap into the void, aiming your body as best you can at the building.


Your arms reach the metal roof and scramble for purchase, making contact with a loud bang, while the rest of your body smashes into the wall. “Still alive, still alive, still alive,” you mutter under your breath, as you begin pulling yourself up. You’ve gained a few inches, and then suddenly—bam! You halt in your tracks.

A zombie has grabbed hold of your jeans! He—no, she, you realize, looking down at the decaying form wrapped in a filthy t-shirt bearing the likeness of none other than Justin Bieber—she’s got you and is trying her best to pull you down. Your ankle is out of reach of her filthy, snapping teeth, but you know if she manages to pull you off, you’re done for.

Your grip is strong, hardened by weeks of heavy deadlifts; your lats are stronger, forged by weighted pull-ups. You’re not going to be pulled to your death by a single zombie, especially not a little girl zombie in a goddamn Bieber T. No fucking way.

Summoning all your strength, you grasp the roof as hard as you can and heave, pulling first your chin, then your chest over the lip. You swing your free leg wildly, managing to get it over the side. You flail the trailing leg savagely, tearing it free freeing it from the grasp of zombie Carly Rae Jepsen just in time—as you swing your second leg over the roof, the rest of the horde catches up, including a tall, gangly zombie would could easily have pulled you down.

Rolling away to safety, you take a deep breath. Trying your best to rest a bit and recover, you feel something moving down at your ankle. You glance down at your jeans, and realize that the little zombie girl’s hand is still attached to you! It’s moving, but slowly. You stare with a sort of bemused detachment and flick your leg, sending the hand back over the side to join its owner. The growl of the undead below you is undeniable–those zombies are pissed.

You smile to yourself and jump down on the other side of the shed, which is blocked on in three places by walls. The dead, thankfully, are locked on the side. You set off back to your camp at a brisk jog, knife in one hand, coloring book in the other, leaving the dead behind to moan in consternation as you get away.

On your way back, you can’t help but think how close it was, and how lucky you are that you were physically prepared for such a drastic escape. Imagine if you weren’t prepared, though?

You might have been traversing through an abandoned office building being chased by shambling creatures of un-death. If you weren’t fast or agile, what could have happened? How embarrassing would it be if you tripped over a rolling chair only to have a filing cabinet land on your ankle, lacking the burst strength to free yourself? Pretty much the worst way to go out.

That didn’t happen to you, though. Because you realize that in the zombie apocalypse, you have to be strong. You know that in the zombie apocalypse, being able to do a pull up isn’t just about bragging rights—it’s about survival. Being able to pull yourself up (and over) a roof is vitally important, as you just saw.

Good thing you did all those pull ups.

Good thing you have a high level of relative strength.

Good thing you aren’t just “strong” but also incredibly strong for someone your weight.

Good thing you had just the tool to do this.

Good thing you listened to Roman.

Good thing you completed The ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE SURVIVAL Workout—because THIS is exactly what it’s intended for.


The above story is a pretty fun ride through what a day in the life of a post-apocalyptic world would look like; but as fun as it is to read, it probably wouldn’t be a lot of fun to live through.

But the fact is, if you needed to live through it, you could, because of ZAW.
In fact, Phase Two of the program is designed to help with just what you needed in this story; designed to help you solidify the improvements to your endurance and work capacity you made in phase one, and to increase your relative strength beyond measure.

You might ask, how exactly are you going to do this? Good question.

When it comes to programming, this is accomplished by starting with heavy training: basic exercises like deadlifts and squats, with volume that fluctuates weekly. We build on this with density circuits, and then round it out with mid-distance running a few times per week.

Phase two, in particular, is a killer, but, then again, so are zombies; so if you’re ready to improve your explosivity, power and relative strength to the point where the zombies are running from you, you need to get started with the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout like NOW.

And because we want you to get started, we’re hooking you up. Below is a sample of one of the Phase 2 workouts. A mixture of heavy movements and density training to round things off.

Kill this workout, and then kill some zombies.





Workout One


Workout Set A – Barbell Deadlifts

Set Up: Perform the prescribed number of sets of Barbell Deadlifts, resting 3-5 minutes between sets. The number of sets you perform will vary during the Phase.

A)   Barbell Deadlift (Trap Bar/Sumo acceptable)

  • First Week of Phase Two – 5 x 3
  • Second Week of Phase Two – 6 x 3
  • Third Week of Phase Two = 3 x 3
After your last set of deadlifts, rest 2 minutes and proceed to workout set B.


Workout Set B – Density Circuit

Set Up: Perform exercises B1-B4 sequentially, in a circuit fashion. This is a density circuit performed for time. Perform as many rounds as you can in the allotted time, which will vary during the phase.

First Two Weeks of Phase Two: 10 minutes
Third Week of Phase Two: 15 minutes

B1) Bodyweight Squats – 20 reps
B2) Inverted Row – 5 reps
B3) Jump Squats – 10
B4) Side Plank Rotations – 10 each side

Rest as needed between exercises and rounds, but keep in mind, you’re being timed; the density is the name of the game, so get as much work done in that time period as you can.


Okay, there you have it–one of the most bad-ass workout from one of the bad-ass phase from the most bad-ass training programs ever created.

Remember, the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout is the ONLY training program specifically designed to get you fit enough to slay the undead, protect your family, and survive the end of the world.

And since the end of the world is potentially coming THIS FRIDAY, ZAW is on sale for almost 50% of until then.

2021 Update on the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workout

Okay, here’s the deal. When we wrote this workout all these years ago we didn’t actually think there would be an apocalypse. Well, it looks like civilization is about as close you can get to one. With that said, we took Zombie off the market. BUT.

If you send us an email ([email protected]) and tell us you want it, we’re making exceptions for those really determined to be prepared for the (apparently upcoming) zombie apocalypse.





Coming up next we’ll get another post covering a very controversial topic…

How ZAW relates to CROSSFIT… 

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

Comments for This Entry

  • Cammy Stange Kuhl

    Roman... since you are an avid fan of zombies, check out this unbelievably fun charity run page on FB...

    October 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm

  • Jen Brice

    This is super interesting! The thought of being fit and ready for the zombie apocalypse is comforting, good to know there are tools out there to help those of us who care enough to survive and thrive in the end of the world. :)

    February 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm

  • Leo Campos

    Just purchased this (after reading about it in Josh Hillis's blog), and tried a "test run" last week. BTW last year I trained for a marathon, so in reasonable shape...and imagine my surprise when after doing Phase One for one week my legs were sore! Damn! This is going to be hard-ass. Can't wait!

    January 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

  • On Writing…and Sex

    [...] Just like in the sheets, it’s hard to get better at anything by just watching the highlight reals. You have to get your hands dirty. I’ll write about anything – honestly. You just may not get a chance to read it. Experiment with different styles of writing in order to see which ones suit your personality. If you want to put them up on a blog for feedback, go for it. Just realize that these posts may have a splatter affect since they might not be related to each other. In my case, I’ve set my blog up to be open to a variety of posts. If your blog is about fitness, but you want to write a short fiction piece, it probably doesn’t fit with the other posts on your blog. (Note: It can be done. Roman did it and received exceptional praise BUT he had a goal in mind –...) [...]

    January 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm

  • David Arroyo

    Just purchased the program John, looking forward to the learning experience.

    December 21, 2012 at 5:00 am

  • Jesse Boyer IV

    Great program!! I'm very glad it finally came out!"

    December 21, 2012 at 2:16 am

  • Phyllis Mar

    I like your new picture up above and it's obvious that you've leaned out your look. But I sure will miss those chubby round cheeks.

    December 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm

  • Anonymous

    I agree, this is really bad taste, not to say horrifying. You're implying that even after a Zombie Apocalypse, there will still be Justin Bieber T-shirts? At least we can rest safely, knowing he will be the first to go, along with the crab fearing yogis.

    December 20, 2012 at 5:45 am

  • kedric93

    Brilliant post John, you should be getting a phone call from Mr. Snyder for his upcoming zombie movie. Crazy awesome as always. thanks, -kedric

    December 20, 2012 at 3:35 am

  • larry

    What equipment do i need for this program?

    December 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm

  • Anonymous

    I think it is in bad taste and now I am making up my mind to unfollow you. This spiritual topic is very serious to hundreds of thousands and even millions of souls worldwide who are the spiritualists, make fun of anything you like but don't make fun of spiritual things... You do NOT know enough to speak on it, you are oblivious to real things taking place within society that have deep spiritual implications for humanity. Get with it or lose it.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm

  • Lian Munday

    Always love reading your stuff, currently working to get ready for the day :-)

    December 19, 2012 at 8:24 pm

  • Darren

    It's hard to not feel like a badass superhero leaping over fences and repeatedly ratcheting the undead. I can't wait to start this and I'm hoping the end of the world isn't Friday so I can at least see if ZAW kills me.

    December 19, 2012 at 2:59 am

  • Neghar Fonooni

    Two things: 1-You are the best fitness writer out there. No contest. 2-When the dead rise and the world goes to shit, I think I have a pretty good chance. But if anyone has any doubt, they should buy ZAW. Or die. Those are really the only options.

    December 19, 2012 at 2:04 am

    • John Romaniello

      Thank you, Ms. Fonooni. Much appreciated.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:11 am

    • Jon_PTDC

      #tehFonooni you are afraid of crabs in the sand therefore I predict you will be one of the first to fall when the Zombie's rise. Also, Zombie's hate yoga. So, uhhh, that's another minus for you. I mean I'll miss ya. We had a good thing going there for a couple years. I feel like our friendship was at a good point. But when the Zombie's rise it's not all for one and one for all anymore. It's "throw the crab-fearing yogi's in a pile and run". Sorry.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:45 am

    • Joel Marion

      This is inaccurate and if there is no contest, how can i win? this is a monopoly!!!!!!!!!!11!!1

      December 20, 2012 at 12:49 am

  • Kevin Sotak

    I felt like I was being chased by zombies when reading that. Golf clap to you sir Roman, mad writing skills.

    December 19, 2012 at 1:13 am

  • Harold

    ZAW vs. Superhero Workout: What is the difference between each program's primary fitness goal?

    December 19, 2012 at 12:14 am

  • Lara

    First off... Lolz to the coloring book! Second, I knew you were a great writer. But oh man, you're quite the badass story-teller. Mah baaad! I truly enjoyed that. Just as much as I love watching The Walking Dead. Definitely looking forward to starting the ZAW!

    December 19, 2012 at 12:00 am

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