“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”

~ Will Rogers

Another hella-busy weekend coupled with a stint of lackluster weather kept me from getting in any sprint action on Saturday and Sunday. That’s a good thing, I suppose, from a randomness prospective, though not much consolation to my twitchy, “gotta workout” (or play, at least), nature. Take notice my shift to a higher rep scheme, more in line with the 25 for a bigger engine motif. This shift is an attempt to stave-off going into a full-on bodybuilding-type workout mode. My son’s senior year baseball campaign begins the first week of March, so I’m predicting that my workout frequency (weights-wise, anyway) will take a hit during the March to late June season. The limited overall workout frequency, then, coupled with this shift to a higher rep scheme, should have me primed for another headlong plunge into a more power-oriented block by this summer. That’s the plan, anyway. For now, though, let’s take a gander at what I accomplished this week in the gym.

Monday morning at the Y

I woke up this morning feeling a little “off” and a tad phlegmy. I think my body is actively fighting a respiratory infection of some sort. I’m not feeling really bad per se, just a little sluggish. It didn’t seem to affect my workout so much as it did my post workout, balance of the day feeling. Here was the morning’s workout, done as a 4-round complex:

  1. Power Snatch x 5’s
  2. Weighted, Regular-Grip Pull-ups x 6’s
  3. Weighted Russian Lunge Scissor Jump* x 10 total scissor jumps

*I gotta say that I love this exercise. Strength, power, balance – you’ve got to be firing on all cylinders to pull this off with a heavy weight. And, it’s one of the few “globo gym” friendly power exercises out there. If you lose it with a heavy dumbbell, the resultant crash isn’t too disruptive to the machine-and-treadmill clientele.

Front Squat Form, Perfected
Front Squat Form, Perfected

This guy’s trainer really knows what he’s doing.  Just look at that form  🙂

Wednesday morning at the Y

Still a little green around the gills. Not down and out, really, just still fighting whatever funk has decided to take up residence in my lungs. I’m quite sure that if I wasn’t Paleo, I’d be seriously down for the count. Here’s Wednesday morning’s workout:

  1. Bent-Over Row to RDL to Low-Pull Jump* x 5 reps
  2. 1 DB Snatch + 5 Single arm Presses, each arm (limited leg push)

5 rounds of that little two-exercise jewel. Notice that my total reps for each complex fell within the 25 rep range.

*For this particular complex, (1) perform a normal barbell bent-over row, but on the eccentric portion, stop with the bar just below the knees. You should now be in the perfect starting position (weight on heels, butt pushed back as far as possible, chest up and out, nice bow in the back) for an RDL (Romanian deadlift). Now (2) perform a normal RDL motion to bring the bar to mid-thigh, then (3) explode into the PC-grip low-pull jump. Return the bar to the floor. All of that is considered 1 rep. I recommend using a weight that will allow your feet to just come clean of the floor on at the apex of the explosive jump.

Moving on to Friday morning, again at the Y

I think I’m just about over whatever it is that’s been keeping me down. I’m at least over the hump. There’s been lots of flu/upper respiratory infection being passed around my work place. Kind of ironic (or not?), being that I work in pharmaceuticals. Maybe I had the beginnings of what these other folks had, but it just couldn’t get a good foothold on my Paleo-primed system. Anyway, here’s what came down Friday morning at the Y:

  1. PC-Grip Low Pull from the floor* x 5
  2. Weighted Regular Dips x 5

5 rounds of that superset; again, notice the total reps performed over the course of the workout for each exercise.

*The weight used here was heavy enough to prevent my feet from leaving the floor at the apex of the pull; that doesn’t mean, though, that I didn’t attempt to get air on each rep. In fact, in my warm-up sets, that’s exactly what I did. You can think of this exercise as a very fast deadlift that culminates on the toes and in a hard trap shrug. Remember to push through the heels until just prior to lift-off.

Friday evening at the Y

Shitty weather is on the way for this weekend, which means that, more than likely, any thoughts of sprinting will have to be let go. If I do get a chance to squeeze in a run of some sort, I’ll just limit the intensity as need be to compensate for this additional weight room session. This was a nice little complex/superset that took all of 25 minutes or so to complete:

  1. Squat Drop + Jump Squat + BTN Jerk x 5 reps
  2. Weighted, Regular Grip Pull-ups x (3 rounds of 7, 2 rounds of 6)

5 total rounds of that, then a half-hour’s worth of steam bath/cold shower contrasts.

This is the best squat drop demo I could find, although she is doing the exercise un-weighted. The parallel, “stick” position is critical to this exercise, though, and that is what I wanted to emphasize in linking to this particular demo clip. I performed mine, of course, with a weighted barbell held at the “high squat” position (as opposed to the low, power lifting position). After sticking the drop squat, I eased up to the 1/4 squat position and adjusted into to a good jumping position (feet a little closer together, weight on heels), then hit a jump squat for as much air as I could generate. After landing, and a quick repositioning of the feet, I hit the BTN jerk. It’s a rather tiring complex, to say the least.

Another exercise that would work well in a superset with weighted pull-ups would be the Push Jerk Recovery. Thanks to the guys at Straight to the Bar for pointing this one out.

No sprints over the weekend, by the way, due to the abysmal weather.  My time would have been well-spent, it seems, in the building of an ark.

In Health,

Keith

4 COMMENTS

  1. Keith,

    Quick question/observation. I read through your weekly workouts mostly to gather ideas for new exercises to keep things fresh, but also to see how other people train. So, how do you avoid overtraining? Or when do you know that you are overtraining?

    Seems like some weeks, I can (and have) hit the gym three days in a row, but I vary the body part and rarely hit the same target muscle group without giving it at least 3-4 days rest. Especially if I’ve had some good days, the next day I feel like going right back to the gym.

    • Andy,
      Keep in mind that it’s very difficult to actually overtrain; under-recovery, however, is what will get you. And I don’t mean to be flippant. Many people confuse overtraining with mental and/or CNS burn-out — doing the same type modality day after day. If you look at my workouts, you’ll see subtle modality shifts (usually) intra-week, and most definitely inter-week. Not a big shift, but enough. For instance, I might concentrate on the power modality for an entire week, but I’ll shift between the speed-strength and strength-speed applications workout to workout. And the recovery aspect is no joke. You have to take into account all of your daily stresses; not only do they add up, but they creep up on you, too. I know that if I didn’t have a stressful job to deal with, I could probably double my workout capacity and/or load.
      That said, if you were and athlete in serious training, we could easily (though it’s a bit time consuming) more closely measure and monitor your day-to-day output and drop-offs. This would allow us to push your system right to the edge. For our purposes, though, we can just keep subtly shifting things up, and go by how we feel.

  2. Keith,

    Thanks for the response. The term ‘under-recovery’ really puts things into perspective. Interesting that you mention the effect of work. This last few weeks has been controlled chaos for me and I’ve definitely noticed that some things are a bit off – exercise-wise.

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