12/21/09, Speed-Strength Emphasis

Before I delve into today’s workout, I’d like to share what I saw last night at my local Barnes and Nobel store.  I enjoy, from time to time, perusing the diet and fitness section of B&N just to get a feel for what the rest of the world is fixated on.  Hey, some people get their kicks from horror/slash-and-gore flicks. Me?  I trip on a stiff red-eye, and the latest version of the “grapefruit diet” or “vegetarian panacea”; to each his own, I suppose.  Anyhow, what I saw (or didn’t see, more appropriately) was one of a dozen or more copies of Susanne Summers’ latest book, Knockout completely hiding from view the single copy of Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories.  This is not a “knock” on Ms. Summers’ latest offering – Knockout may very well be a fine bit of investigative and informative journalism, backed by sound scientific interpretation – wholly on par with Taubes’ tour de force.  I have not read her work and therefore will withhold judgment.  But does this not encapsulate our society’s overall perception of diet, though?  To be sure, GCBC is not an easy read, but from a diet prospective, would you even really ever need another book?  Interesting notion.  Also observed: a single copy of Cordain’s The Paleo Diet and a single copy of Eades’ Protein Power.  A myriad of various Zone-esk type works gracing the shelves; more on Barry Sears’ Zone theory (vis-a-vis, Paleo) forthcoming. 

On to the the day’s workout.  I should preface this by saying that I had a pretty tough fixie ride and stadium sprint session on Sunday (I also reeled-off approximately 100 elevated-feet ballistic push-ups, 10 at a time, in between stair sprints/hops/bound variations).  The obvious question would then be, “why on earth do a pull/push workout following that?”   The short answer is that Sunday’s workout was largely quad dominant (biking, stadium runs) and upper-chest/shoulder-dominant (highly elevated feet during the ballistic push-ups).  Also, I closely auto-regulated myself during this morning’s bout to ensure that I hadn’t misjudged anything.  The warm-up consisted of jumps, ballistics and light plyos (no sprints), about 10 minute’s worth.  I’d also classify the first two sets here as “transition” sets.

  • vertical jump x 3
  • *SLDL low pull with jump (feet completely clear of the floor each rep):135 x 5, 5; 225 x 5; 255 x 4; 275 x 3, 3
  • ballistic dips x 3
  • weighted dips: 45 x 5, 7; 80 x 4; 90 x 3; 100 x 3, 3

Verts and ballistic dips prior to each “weighted” exercise as a cns prime.

*SLDL = straight leg deadlift.  Actually, for me, the positioning here is somewhere between an RDL and a full, knees-locked, SLDL.  Why this position?  An attempt at minimizing, as much as practicable, quadriceps engagement in the lift (especially out of the hole) – and conversely, maximizing glute/ham engagement from the bottom-out to bar-at-the-knees position.  Now you have to be careful here – when I use the term “explosive”, I don’t mean “out of control”.  The SLDL position is an awkward start for the explosive low pull, and necessitates a quick, but controlled lift from the floor until the bar clears the knees.  From there on it’s full speed ahead.  As always, initiate the jump from the heels, transferring to toe-off at the last moment.  Too early a shift to the balls of the foot/toes engages the quads and chokes off the posterior chain involvement.  And remember, the PC is the body’s power house; don’t cut it short.

Chris, at Conditioning Research, recently posted about the “relaxed knees SLDL”; “relaxed”, of course, being a relative term.  All I’ve done is add a low pull and toe-off to what is being demonstrated here.  And, by necessity, I shifted gears and redlined once the bar cleared my knees vs. maintaining a consistent speed as is being demonstrated in Chris’ clip – which is an example of this movement done as a strength emphasis modality.    


7 responses to “12/21/09, Speed-Strength Emphasis

    • I think that, with the right handling, this could be aptly spun into a new reality show. Something to one-up The Biggest Loser?

  1. What amazed me at Borders last week, (same habit as you) was the massive expansion of the Skinny Bitch franchise. Two feet of shelf space!

  2. Definitely can’t wait to read the zone/paleo post. The paleo diet is one thing, but I’ve never been a zoner.

    Also I’ve never read Gary Taubes’ GCBC. But I’m definitely going to pick it up now. I love adding to the personal library. Keep those book references coming!

    Best Regards

    Steven Coe

  3. Keith!

    Looking forward as well to your insights on Zone!! Personally I am grateful for the zone. Zone was one of the most forward thinking diets I read 5 yrs ago and still is. It was the first to embrace a high protein intake (30%!!) and ultra high dose fish oil too which I think has high therapeutic value for a lot of people (globally) who are damaged by the S.A.D. (Poliquin and Robb appear to have even taken it further to 0.5 to 1 gram EPA DHA per 10 lbs body weight which I believe is amazing and good for those who need it, like me).

    When it comes to zone blocks… umm… I can’t even count my burpees…!! *haa* Anyhow the carb blocks were too high IMHO for anyone with ANY degree of insulin resistance… again… ANY who has been damaged on the S.A.D. Many people have come to this same conclusion, incl Robb and Nicki (and paying the price apparently for their progressiveness)… Mark Sisson… DR. Kurt Harris MD… YOU!!!!


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