“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

One of my personal favorites from the Nautilus line, and an Efficient Exercise mainstay


That picture above is of the old school, plate-loaded, Nautilus pullover.  “Best of class” when it comes to the old school machines.  And plate-loaded because, let’s face it, the weight stacks on the newer models just don’t go heavy enough, brah. Plus, who doesn’t like the clang and rattle of old 45 lb plates? And I say “old school” because ARXFit’s 21st century technology is quite literally a horse of another stripe when it comes to machine-based training tools.  The difference, you might say, between an old, battleship heavy Corona typewriter and my new, spiffy, Mac Air.  The difference between Hemingway, and (my all-time favorite) Cormac McCarthy.

But here’s the thing: sometimes there *is* a place for the “thunk, thunk, thunk” of an old typewriter.  It’s the right tool, at the right time, for the job.  And sometimes I’d rather read the short-and-direct of Hemingway vs the rambling, Faulkner-like, McCarthy.

And fuck it — sometimes I’d rather just sprint my fool face off, or power clean until my iffy-at-best form completely crumbles. The workout equivalent of a Frank Miller graphic novel.

Ok, so I’ve completely blown that metaphor to bits.  But you get the idea.  It’s all about tools for effect; modalities for outcomes… horses for courses.  [bctt tweet=”It’s all about tools for effect; modalities for outcomes… horses for courses.”]

In the workout below, the plate-loaded pullover *was* the right tool.  The target here was volume.  And specifically, volume work for the back.  And one of the best tools for this particular job is — you guessed it — the old school Nautilus pullover.

 A1) Nautilus pullover: w/u to 280/7

A2) Nautilus bi curl: 130/7

A3) strict front BB overhead press: 135/7

seven total rounds

B1) Nautilus leg press: 400/15

B2) Nautilus leg curl: 130/12

2 rounds

The “A” portion of this workout was a nice volume contrast (7 rounds!) to all the max effort strength, plyometric, and Oly-derivative work that I’ve been doing lately.

The “B” portion is simply some assistance work for the lower body.  “Greasing the groove”, as it were.  Weaving that in amongst some floor based mobility work.

Kinda-sorta related – I love the Cool Tools site.  I’m a sucker for innovative tools that rock.  Be it ARXFit, or the newest app. Lately, I’ve been groovin’ on the Push Strength device.  A great, inexpensive alternative for measuring bar speed (and from that, force, power, etc.).  In future posts, I’ll elaborate a bit more on how I use this very cool tool in my own workouts.

And I guess you could consider supplements as a “tool” of sorts as well.  I do.  That said, the temperature has already busted well over the 80 °F mark a few times this year here in Austin.  For me, that means I’m spending a lot more time out on the fixie getting my ride on, and out on the football field getting my sprint on.  It also means hydration and electrolyte balance is a huge concern.  No better option for that than ID Life Hydrate.   I’m all about leveraging technology; what I’m not about, though, polluting my body with less-than-optimal ingredients and needless additives.  Compare ID Life’s Hydrate ingredients to any of the “ades” out there and you’ll see what I mean.  Of course, I’ve also done the pinch of sea salt in distilled water thing, too, which is all fine-and-dandy. Sometimes, though, I need something that entices me to drink more (and that has a bit more nutritional umph), so I’m happy to have viable options.

Dogs as tools?  Yeah, dogs as tools.  And world-changing, Neanderthal-drubbing ones at that.  At least according to anthropologist Pat Shipman, in her latest book, The Invaders.  An extremely interesting hypothesis, indeed.

And finally, this: the Barbell Shrugged crew (who’ll be out at Paleo f(x) again this year) interviews Jim Wendler, of 5/3/1 fame. There’s a lot that I can relate to, here.  The rigors of college football, the transition out of the sport and finding something to scratch the competitive itch and, most importantly, getting back to lifting for nothing else but for the sheer love of lifting.  Or, in my case, the entire spectrum of just staying fit with a lot of different modalities and methodologies; waving intensities and weaving modalities. It’s a good one, for sure; make time to check it out.

In health, fitness, and ancestral wellness –






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