A fine demonstration of power and grace
One key element to an improved time efficiency in the weight room is the skillful grouping together of exercises so as to (1)minimize transition time between said exercises and, (2)minimize the exercise-to-exercise set-up/breakdown time. Now obviously, ogling (or worse yet, chatting-up) the babe with the fab-o bod needs to be curtailed if we’re even going to attempt to bust one out in a half-hour or less. Oh, I know. It hurts. But, hey — there’s a time and a place for everything, my friend; a time and a place. Gotta keep your eye on the prize while in the gym. So, as an example of what I mean (exercise wise), let’s look at the particular combo I cranked-out in just shy of a half-hour’s time this morning. 3 full rounds, at weight, of the following:
(1) Behind the Neck Barbell Push-Press, X 4 reps
(2) Weighted Regular-Grip Pull_ups, X 4 reps
(3) Split-Squat Stance Jump Squats, x 5 reps (each leg)
Now this little jewel of a combo was a manifestation of equipment availability, time (or more specifically, a lack thereof) and micocycle “scheduling”. I use the term “scheduling” loosely here. What I mean by that is, I’ll take a quick look at my workout logbook to see what movements, plane of motion and methods I’ve utilized most recently, then I’ll attempt to cover what hasn’t been worked in a while.
As an example, contrast this workout with my last weight session (DL/SLDL combo, BB Floor Presses and DeVany-style BB curls). Look back to last weekend’s workouts (stadium running, biking, field sprints and more biking). See the contrasts between these workouts? See the difference in the planes of motion, in the methods? I’ll talk more about mixing and matching methods in a later post, because this can become just a tad more complicated. Most folks, though, don’t have to give this a second thought — but for the benefit of those who want to push the performance envelope just a bit more, we’ll give it a visit.
Back to this morning’s workout. You’ll notice that I’m working primarily in a vertical plane of motion — an over-the-head push-press tagged-up with regular-grip pull-ups. So, I’ve got a vertical push and a vertical pull thing going on. Now, in my last weight room workout I did a horizontal push (the floor press) combined with — whoa, hold on a minute, pardner — a vertical pull. But see, this vertical pull was from the floor. Different animal altogether.
Now, all that said, the best laid plans of mice and men, of course, sometimes get f*%&@#-up. There are times when I get in the gym with a plan in mind, only to find someone camped-out in the power rack (usually doing friggin’ curls; uhh!). So, what to do if you have to — God forbid — repeat a plane of motion? Meh, don’t worry about it. First, change the exercise (from what was done last time out), if at all possible. Change the method, change the tempo — find something to alter from the last time out and roll-on, brother, roll-on. Life is way to short to worry about all the small stuff. Power Law works like this sometimes; and it’s actually to our advantage. Learn to embrace it.
And a little reminder: the intent of this blog is to demonstrate an ongoing, real-world application of, what I consider, the most productive, enlightened and “correct” ways and means of diet and fitness as I currently understand them. There are a plethora of material — both on-line and traditional — that do a much better job than I ever could of explaining the “whys”. Some of what I feel like are the best on-line sources of such information are listed to the right on my link roll. Think of me as the implementation guy. I am what Click and Clack, the Car Talk Brothers are to automotive engineers.
Having said that, I will toss out an endorsement to Art DeVany’s private blog. In my humble opinion — and I don’t get a dime for saying it — this is the finest, one-stop clearing house for all the information you’ll ever need to go all-out primal — or Evolutionary Fitness, in Art’s terms. Before you spend anything on a single supplement or workout-related toy — hell, I’d even say before you get a gym membership — do yourself a favor and sign up for Art’s site. You’ll be so glad you did.