“Whoever has provoked men to rage against him has always gained a party in his favor, too.“
Hat tip to my friend Steve Hill for the Nietzsche quote. Good stuff, Steve.
So here’s an interesting find relating to something that I need to better moderate, specifically caffeine consumption. I drink a lot of coffee — strong coffee — and I’ve come to really like the idea of cutting caffeine dependency, then re-introducing caffeine to my system via the reinforcement of consumption idea. This technique appeals to me in a Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Black Swan kind of a way. And speaking of Mr. Taleb, here’s a recent interview he did with host, Charlie Rose. Interesting stuff. And, like Art DeVany, I believe Taleb’s assertions hold true not only in economics, but in the realm of diet and fitness as well. Especially his ideas on randomness, fractals and power law.
And this, then, serves as a nice segue into my having recently performed two workouts in a single day; one in the morning – prior to the workday (as is my usual) – and one in the late evening, following the workday. Why would one do such a thing, you ask? Well, quite simply, to randomly shock (in a good way, of course) the body. This was something completely out of left field, an event that my body could in no way anticipate (the way it does my routine morning workouts) nor has it prepared for. I wouldn’t advise doing this very often, due to the obvious overtraining issues that this method could easily ignite. However, it’s a wild card that can be kept in your hand for those now-and-again times when you feel like you need to rattle the cage just a bit. The last time I did something comparable to this was back on November 17th, with this extended bike ride; same idea then as now — to keep the body from drifting into a comfortable sleepwalk. It’s just a simple way to inject some randomness into an otherwise scheduled-to-the-minute world. Anyway, here’s how the day’s workouts played out:
Thursday, 6:20 AM, prior to work, on an empty stomach (last meal was at 8 PM Wednesday night).
- DB Snatch + Split-Jerk Combo, 7 sets of 2’s (each arm, i.e., R, R>>short rest>> L, L = 1 set). Then,
- DB Floor Press x 4’s
- PC-Grip Rack Low Pulls (Bar stationed at knee level) x 4’s
Three sets of the DB floor press/rack pull superset, at working weight. I had originally planned to perform DB rows for the “pulling” portion of this superset, but I decided to jack-up the intensity a bit by doing the rack pulls (with a power clean grip) instead. I felt exceptionally “on” both during the workout and throughout the rest of the day. That’s when I decided I might try to squeeze in another workout in the evening, after work. Of course, in order to pull this off, I had to be primed, physically and the Gods of scheduling and work-blow-ups had to cooperate. By 5 PM, though, everything was still (amazingly, at least scheduling and work-blow-up wise) a go. I dropped back by the Y on my way home for this:
- Weighted Dips x 7 singles (rest-pause fashion)
- Weighted, Palms-facing Pull-Ups x 7 singles (again, rest-pause fashion)
I did these in a superset fashion (i.e., 1 rep of dips, 1 of pull-ups…), until I’d done 7 sets of the pair. Then,
- Barbell Lunges, 3 sets of 3 reps, each leg, followed by
- Split-Squat Deadlift, 2 sets of 4
For the split-squat deadlift: straddle a barbell at a 90-degree angle (from a normal deadlift position, perform a lunge over the barbell. Now you’ve got one foot in front of the bar, one foot behind, right? Cool, that’s right where you need to be). From this position, grip the barbell as you would for a regular deadlift. You can even use the over-under grip if you like (I do). Now it’s just the bottom one-third or so of the lunge — and this exercise really works the bottom portion of this exercise, without fear of “losing” the weight creeping in to wigg you out. Now, obviously you could do this exercise with heavy dumbbells as well — and, I do — sometimes. But a couple of things happens when you do this exercise with a barbell (1) I’m forced to hold a more upright body position and (2) I like having the natural “marker” of the barbell hitting my glute/ham intersection as an indication of my having performed the exercise to the correct height.
After this workout, I did a contrast steam bath/cold shower combo — both for its regenerative properties and for the element of relaxation it provides. Chris, at Zen to Fitness, wrote about the steam bath portion of this combination here. I usually don’t have time for such luxury following my AM workouts, so this this was an extra nice capper to a tough day — both work and workout-wise.