Pick a Pair of Paleo Workouts

“When superior people hear of the Way, they carry it out with diligence. When middling people hear of the Way, it sometimes seems to be there, sometimes not. When lesser people hear of the Way, they ridicule it greatly. If they didn’t laugh at it, it wouldn’t be the Way.”

Lao Tzu

It’s a stretch (to put it mildly) to consider either working out, or the Paleo life as a whole, as “the Way”, but I do like to think of it as “the Way” of the material realm.  I attempt to live my life, and do what I can, to keep the material me, as well as the spiritual part of me, ticking right on along.  I find that if the material part of me is happy, the spiritual “me” is more easily contented as well — and vice-versa.  OK, enough of the New-Agey-ness for now — let’s get to the down-and-dirty material elements.

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Another in the long line of 6:30 AM, kick-start the workday workouts.  This wound up being a variation of my Paleo, Sprint, Heave and Haul Workout. 35 minutes, start to finish, and yet another example of a high-intensity, short-duration, fast-twitch fiber promoting, functional workout.  And remember, our ultimate goal — workout wise — is to “flip the switch” of the fast-twitch muscle fiber promoting gene(s).  Our aim is to build a more powerful overall body; a body that is solid, lean, healthy (by default) and functional. Here’s the workout:

  1. 6 x ~60 meter sprints with approximately 20 seconds between each sprint.  I followed these 6 bursts with a 200 meter sprint.  It was approximately 35°F on this morning, so it was tough to get fully warmed up (due to my time constraints), and I never really did feel like I could go all-out at the shorter distance.  As the weather turns colder, my sprint distances will increase to compensate for the lesser “all-out-ness” of my initial bursts.

I then alternated between these two exercises:

  1. Elastic Medicine Ball Toss, as demonstrated here.  I think my medicine ball is approximately 35 lbs, so my version of this exercise leans more toward the strength-speed side of the power continuum.  And my “med ball” is a homemade model, finely crafted from an old basketball and sand.  5 reps of these, attempting to achieve maximum overhead toss height on each rep.  Note: the last time I did these, I concentrated on attaining maximum toss distance on each rep.  A subtle, but definite difference in exercise mechanics.
  2. Slosh Pipe Lunges x 20 reps (steps).

Three rounds of those two.  Then it was into the gym (I had a few extra minutes to squeeze something in) for this:

3 sets of 8, Lunge-Position Cable Flyes.  Paul Chek does a good job of demonstrating these here, at about midway through this short video (hat tip to Chris, at Conditioning Research, for digging this one up).  Now, I prefer to do more of a traditional flye movement out of this position, where PC demonstrates more of a pressing movement — but you really can’t go wrong with either version.

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Due to the day’s schedule (I left work early), I had a little extra time to devote to working out.  A nice little vacation, of sorts.  It felt kinda weird, though refreshing, not having to keep one eye constantly glued to the clock.   Also, I hit the gym on the way home, vise coming in at the ass-crack of dawn.  This meant my body was a bit more “primed” for being able to handle a more intense weight training session.   So with that set of pre-conditional “givens”, I pulled-off the following:

  1. Behind-the-Neck Split Jerks x 6 reps (alternate lead leg each rep)
  2. Regular Grip, Weighted Pullups x 4 reps

Three rounds of this superset. I really pushed the weight-to-speed ratio here on both exercises, as I had the time to incrementally increase the weight on both exercises until the speed (or “snap”) of the last reps faltered.

A quick aside: I’ve always had a “thing” for US Olympic lifter, Melanie Roach.  Not only is she beautiful, but she’s a superb athlete AND a phenomenal person.  Check out  this short video to see what I mean.  And, as an added bonus, she demonstrates fine form in the BTN split Jerk at approximately the 6:18 mark .  Thanks to Tracy, at A Philosophy of Strength and Health for finding this.

Next up was three rounds of this superset:

  1. High Pull (from the floor) x 6 reps.  Here’s a demonstration of the high pull from Staley Training.  I happened to use a clean grip for this particular exercise; the overall movement is the same, though.
  2. Floor Pullover/Press x 8 reps (Thibs, over at T-Nation, discusses this exercise here).  It’s one of my favorite “grunt it out” moves.  Really blast the “press” part of the movement with maximum speed.  I like to use an EZ-Curl bar for these, as it puts my wrists in a more favorable position for the pullover phase.

Today (Saturday) brings a much-needed day off.  I will be attending a wine tasting/ food sampling event later today which should offer a good bit of temptation testing.  We’ll see if I can survive with my Paleo street-cred intact.

In Health,


2 responses to “Pick a Pair of Paleo Workouts

  1. Kat,
    Sandbags are a great versatile, functional tool. And cheap, too. Lunges, overhead lunges, cleans, snatches, tosses — the only limit is your imagination. Right now, I don’t use them — but this has to do with storage issues and my access to other, comparable equipment (like the slosh pipe). But it’s always there on this list of tricks to pull out of the hat when I need it.

    BTW, I found that a great stand-in for a heavy kettle bell is a full propane tank (the kind used with gas grills). Works just fine for heavy swings. Just an FYI 🙂

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