Monday, May 18, 2009

My Current Workout

Hey, I just wanted to give you guys a taste of what I'm doing with all my home gym equipment right now. This is the basic format that I build my workouts around. I'll give you some of the twists that I've come up with to burn more fat later in the Pulse series.

Here's the basic progression, which comes from Pavel Tsatsouline in his book Enter The Kettlebell! Strength Secret of The Soviet Supermen.

This is my version of the "Rite of Passage" program. The Rite of Passage is to be able to press 50% of your bodyweight and snatch a 24kg (53 lb) kettlebell 200 times in 10 minutes.

M: Light workout
T: "Variety" or off
W: Medium workout
R: "Variety" or off
F: Off
S: Hard workout
U: Off

On variety days, feel free to perform other workouts: do other kettlebell drills, calesthenics, just keep it light and easy. Or take the day off.

On the light, medium and hard days, what I do is alternate sets of chins and presses in a ladder format. You could easily substitute dips and chins if you don't have kettlebells or dumbbells, or just do the presses. You could also alternate bench presses and rows.

I do these as "ladders", meaning you take a short (5-90 second) break in between the sets. You can take a longer break after all the sets in a series are completed. Clarence Bass explains the technique here, and the reasoning here.

These are in the sets x reps format.
Week 1: Light 3 x 1; Medium 3 x {1,2}; Hard 3 x {1,2,3}
Week 2: Light 4 x 1; Medium 4 x {1,2}; Hard 4 x {1,2,3}
Week 3: Light 5 x 1; Medium 5 x {1,2}; Hard 5 x {1,2,3}
Week 4: Light 5 x {1,2}; Medium 5 x {1,2,3}; Hard 5 x {1,2,3,4}
Week 5: Light 5 x {1,2,3}; Medium 5 x {1,2,3,4}; Hard 5 x {1,2,3,4,5}

On the light days, do one clean and many presses, the medium and hard days, perform a clean before each press.

A kettlebell clean and press in good form

Take two days off and test your new maxes with a heavier kettlebell or dumbbell, or test the number of pullups or dips you can now do.

I vary the pullup type on each workout as follows:
I roll two six sided dice and the result indicates the pullup type that I do:

2: Towel Chin
3: Mixed-Grip Chin
4: Wide-Grip Chin
5: Narrow-Grip (hands touching) Chin
6: Standard chin
7: Standard Pullup
8: Narrow (thumbs touching) pullup
9: Wide Pullup
10: Neutral (palms facing) grip pullup
11: Side-to-side pull (pull to left hand, then pull to right hand)
12: Side grip pullup

If you know about probability, then you know that I will be spending most of my time doing numbers 5-9 and less time doing the outliers, so I designed the workout to focus on the basics in the center and only occasionally get into the weirder pullup variations. This is the idea of "different, but the same". You want enough variety to force your body to keep adapting, but not so much that the stimulus is random. Not enough variety leads to staleness (the guy who is still doing the workout that he learned as a beginner) and too much leads to a failure to adapt (just doing Crossfit WODs). The key words then are, "different, but the same".

Each workout is "finished" with swings or snatches. I roll two six sided dice again to determine the length of the finisher, from 2-12 minutes, and I perform 50-60% of my max snatches on the light day, 70-80% of my max swings on medium day, and 100% all out on the hard day. Again, this uses the "same but different" principle, by changing the difficulty and length of the rounds every workout.

I've just completed another cycle with the 32kg (70 lb) kettlebell. Since I weigh 100kg (220lbs) this is 32% of my bodyweight. My next "official" bell is the 40kg (88lb-40% of bodyweight) but I also have another 70lb kettlebell with 10lbs of plates duct taped to the bottom. This throws the weight distribution all off and makes it harder to clean the weight properly, so I'm hoping to bypass the 80lb "ghetto 'bell" altogether and move straight into the 88lb 'bell.

Coming up on Wednesday, a post about an 80s fad that I think should come back. Stay tuned.

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