Evening workout.  Purposefully digging a bit of a recovery hole, here, as I don’t normally hit 3 tough workouts in a row.  Between now and the 29th, though, things will be pretty slack on the workout front.  Maybe some sprint intervals here and there, some Tabata-like stuff possibly – I’ll be traveling quite a bit, though, and experience has taught me that working out while on the road (particularly during the winter) is usually a non-starter.

Proper attention to auto-regulation was crucial in this workout, as I came in (I suspect) already in a physical deficit.  Just the right amount of stimulus would set me up for a good week of recovery/coasting/surplus rebound; too much, and I’ll have dug too deep a hole – or worse, wind up hurting myself.  As it turned out, and in deference to the previous two days worth of effort, I went even more conservative (damn, am I actually learning something in my old age?) than I would have otherwise opted, pulling the plug a round early on the push-presses and front squats on the first hint of a decrease in rep speed.  I definitely think I had one more round in the tank (being this was a strength-speed workout), but in this case I let discretion be the better part of valor.

Again, no sprints or sprint starts today (leaving the option open for some possible run-intensive work over the holidays.  Warm-up consisted of ballistics and ballistic stretching  foreshadowing  the movement patterns to come in the weighted portion of the workout.  CNS prime via bw jump squats, elevated-foot push-ups and muscle-up combos.

  • *bodyweight Jump squat, out of the hole x 3 (each round)
  • front squat: 135 x 5, 5; 185 x 3; 195 x 3, 3, 2
  • feet-elevated ballistic push-up x 3 (each round)
  • BTN push-press: 135 x 5, 5; 185 x 3, 195 x 3, 2, 2
  • *under-grip/over-grip muscle-up combo x 2 (each round)
  • reverse-grip pull-ups: 45 x 5, 5; 70 x 3; 80 x 3, 3, 3, 3

*Jump squats out of the hole: mimic a full clean/out-of-the-hole front squat movement here, exploding up from the bottom-out position, heel-centric, with a last minute toe-off.  The muscle-up combo is the old under (reverse) grip power pull-up with a mid-air transition to a regular grip catch, immediately followed by a regular grip muscle-up.  I need to film this at some point, as it’s easier demonstrated than explained verbally.

This workout begs the obvious question, though: why not just perform clean & jerks instead of front squats and BTN presses?  The short answer – it’s a play between my personal goals and exercise execution technique issues.  This was a tough, strength-speed emphasis workout, and I didn’t want to sacrifice muscular fatigue/inroading due to technical precision.  And you’ll notice that I don’t do a whole lot of full Oly lifts within any of my protocols.  Not because I don’t believe in them – I do – I just think that I get more bang for the buck (as viewed through the prism of my particular goal set) by doing the various Oly derivative moves, and not having to be concerned with technique breakdown of a full-on Oly lift as fatigue sets in.  I’m not particularly well built for the full Olys, so in order to pull off a technically good lift, I have to lighten the weight to a point where the weak-link (for me, the parallel point in the front squat) is not over burdened.  This usually leaves the other portions of the movement – especially the pull portions, for me – under taxed.         

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  1. Hey Keith,

    If you could ever find the time to film one of your workouts in its entirety including warm ups (and post it online) I think it would be an amazing resource. Granted, you’d have to find someone willing to film for 30 minutes straight, and judging from your schedule free time is extremely scarce, but it’s something to think about.

    I know that, for me, the visual aspect would complete the picture when it comes to everything you’ve been describing here.

    Great posts this week, by the way.


    • I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time, Justin, especially for the various, individual hybrid exercises that I incorporate. The problem is trying to find someone willing to hang out in a gym at 5:30 AM, pretending to be Quintin Tarantino (I aim high 🙂 ). To further complicate matters, my “box” is located 50 miles from my home, in the town that I work (just call me Mr. carbon footprint); that eliminates Meesus TTP’s filming expertise. It is one of my top priorities, though, and I’m waiting to pounce when the opportunity presents itself. Thanks for the interest, by the way.


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