The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”
Super Bowl Sunday afternoon: The perfect time to hit some pregame fixie intervals, barefooted sprints and ballistic decline push-ups. Add to that some fairly warm weather, and the sweet sounds of baseballs heard pinging off of aluminum bats and twacking into gloves from the confines of Clark-LeClair stadium, and one would get the feeling that spring cannot be too far away!
I began and ended this session with some fixie interval sprints around G-Vegas and the ECU campus. While at the ECU soccer complex, I hit some barefooted sprints, and ballistic, decline push-ups. The arrangement looked like this:
1. 5-second, all-out sprint (approx. 44 yards)
2. Decline Ballistic Push-ups x 10
3. 5-second all-out sprint (approx 44 yards)
I completed 6 rounds of that complex until I hit my pre-established drop-off in the sprints (on sprint 11 and 12). So, why a 5-second sprint? Good question. And the not-so scientific answer is that it just so happens to work out nicely with the pre-measured and marked, 44-yard width the regulation soccer field penalty box. It also falls well within the <10 second ATP-PC energy system I wanted to work. I fall about one stride shy of hitting the 44-yard mark when fresh, so it really gives me a good goal to shoot for. This workout fell in the middle another inadvertent IF day; also notice that this was the second of two day’s worth of back-to-back sprint workouts as well. I don’t usually perform back-to-back, high intensity work, but I just couldn’t let the day slip by unappreciated, sprints and fixie riding being my sacrifice to the Gods of fantastically good weather 🙂
Tuesday morning at the Y, and my “normal”, workday morning routine; up at 4;30 AM, coffeed-up and at the gym by 6:15, throwing serious iron by 6:30. Here’s what ensued:
- Whip-Snatch + Overhead Squat, (1 WS + 4 OHS) x 2
- Regular Grip, “Power” Pull-ups x 7
4 full rounds of that, followed by:
Snatch Grip High Pulls, 2 sets of 3 reps.
So, what exactly is a “Whip Snatch”? Well, I think you’ll be rather disappointed in any explanation I can conjure in regard this movement. Think of it as a high, high, friggin’ high, Power Snatch. Think, “hip it and whip it”. With a wide snatch grip, stand all the way up with the bar. Then, dip down (or, more precisely, push the butt out and back), so the bar just hits the crotch — or, more to the point, in the nook between your hip and upper thigh formed via pushing your butt out and back — explode into the jump and snap it out. Now, pair this with 4 overhead squats. Reset (just long enough to re-establish proper grip) and repeat. By the way, the girl in the OHS demo, Nicole Carrol, is a flat-out fire-breathing, bad-ass. All of her exercise demos are spot-on. Now, there’s no magic to the 1-4 rep combo, in my execution here. Quite simply, I can hit about 4 OHS reps in good form with my near-max whip snatch weight. Two back-to-back bursts of that is quite a load. One thing, technique wise, about the WS and OHS is this: you’ve really got to concentrate on pushing the butt out and back. Be proud of what your mama gave ya! Seriously, though, it is essential to the proper execution of the exercise, forcing both engagement of the hams and glutes, and ensuring balance and a full range of motion.
Now, you’re probably wondering just what the hell a “power pull-up” is. Check out this video from Tyler Southwick, clips of him performing some various forms of “power pull-ups”. Now Tyler makes these look effortless; I can assure you, however, they are not. And although the grip is not as wide, you can think of the power pull-up as a pretty close approximation of a reverse whip snatch.
Let’s move on, then, to Thursday morning, again at the YMCA. Here’s what was on tap:
- Clean Grip Low Pulls (from the floor) x 3’s
- Russian Lunge Scissor Jumps x 3’s, each leg
- Weighted, “Kipping” Dips x 6’s
I wanted 4 rounds of this, but ran short on time and only managed 3. About 25 minutes worth of work, once I reached my working weights. I talked a little about kipping dips, here. The Russian Lunge Scissor jump is demonstrated here, at the :34 second mark. I use a heavy dumbbell, and attempt to achieve maximum height on each jump — which is to say, I use a weight heavy enough so that my max effort only allows me enough height to just complete a good scissor. Also, I stick the landing in an extreme low position.
I had a nice day of sprints planned for Saturday, but had to battle plumbing problems at home instead. Ah, the joys of home ownership. I tried to console myself with self-talk of “randomness” in workout scheduling being a good thing, but it didn’t do much to alleviate the pain of screwing around with household plumbing issues with the beautiful weather on hand. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. On the bright side, the plumbing issues have been resolved once and for all <crosses fingers>, and I’m not too much worse for the wear.
As an aside, I fasted from Friday night to Saturday night; too busy being “Joe the plumber” to think about food.