“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” George Bernard Shaw
I decided yesterday morning to perform the “‘indoors version” of one of my favorite outdoor workouts, The Paleo Sprint, Heave and Haul Workout. The entire workout clocked in at 35 minutes, and whereas a metcon centered workout shades a little more toward the endurance end of things (I would consider the majority of CrossFit WODs to be in this category), this combination of exercises is more of a prolonged, high-intensity, power bout. This is the “sweet spot” of where I like to train. All my other workout modalities (speed-strength, strength-speed, raw strength, RFI work, etc.) are designed to support — and ultimately, to improve — my performance on this type of workout, which is, I believe, indicative of what a well-trained, sprint athlete, ought to be able to excel at (in a GPP sense, technical aspects of the particular sport not withstanding). Let’s take a look at how it shaped-up (6:30 AM, prior to work, empty stomach):
- 3 x 40 yard (approximately), rapid succession, sprints. Sprint 40 yards, 1/2 speed for 40 (recovery), sprint 40…
- Power Snatch x 3’s
- Weighted Split-Squat Scissor Jump x 8’s (4 each leg)
4 rounds of that, followed by:
- Snatch-Grip High Pull x 7 singles (rest-pause fashion)
Now, I have the luxury of access to an indoor track (short as it is) that is right off the weight room, and this makes the transition between exercises practicable. Burpees or mountain climbers could be substituted for the sprints, however — or, if you have a basketball court in the vicinity, you could incorporate horses. Also, notice my workout construction here, especially the High Pull finisher. This really drives home the posterior chain triple-extension (hip, knee, ankle) power aspect of the workout. Sprinting, too (if in proper form), is a posterior chain dominant exercise. And the Split-Squat Scissor Jumps put quite a bit of stress on the glute/ham complex, if the landing is “stuck” and the subsequent blast-off is initiated, from a position of the hip being below the lead knee. If you get in the said position you’ll feel the stress migrate (as your hip passes down below the lead knee) from your lead quadriceps to the lead ham/glute. Of course, the hip flexor of the rear leg is worked in this exercise as well. By the way, the landing (or “stick”) position of this exercise mirrors what you’d want to hold in the split-squat QEI or LDI.
I even had some time remaining to squeeze in a little steam bath/cold shower contrast therapy. What a fantastic way to kick-off the week.
My thoughts on a certain find
There is an entire world of exercise-related information out there, so much so that one could easily drift-off into severe analysis paralysis when designing, or altering, a workout plan. Please keep this in mind, though — whether you mirror my workouts, or craft your own — focus on your own unique goal and design an effective strategy to support the acquisition of that goal. This strategy does not have to be complicated — in fact, if you cannot defend, in one simple sentence why you are doing a particular exercise at a particular time, and in the particular method (sets, reps scheme, etc.) in which you are performing it, you might need to rethink your strategy. Remember, the body requires much less in the way of novelty than the mind. Now, I’m certainly not advocating that you never alter your routine, or experiment with new exercises. far from it. What I’m referring to is repeatedly dipping into the grab-bag of novelty exercises at the exclusion of perfecting and bettering your performance on the basics.
Here’s a quirky clip to illustrate my point. Let’s imagine that a certain someone’s fitness “goal” is increased IPod sales (stick with me here; this will make sense, in a metaphorical way). How would we construct a workout plan supportive of the acquisition of that goal? Hopefully, not the Microsoft way, as in this clever example. Keep it simple, uncluttered, short and, above all, intense. Hat tip to Daniel Meissler for this find.