3/17/10; “Warm-up” or “Workout”?

Warm-up?  Workout?  It all depends upon the intensity…

Pushed it pretty damn hard today.  Not quite to the point (to quote Robb Wolff) of “seeing white buffalo in the sky” (heh, I love that), but certainly to the point of gasping like a fish flung on the riverbank, and attempting to function on a pair of convulsing legs.  Good stuff.  Not smart to do all the time, for sure — but in pin-pointed, acute doses, it’s just what the (Paleo) doctor ordered.

So the thought hit me this morning, “hmmm,” myself asked.  “I wonder how metabolically taxing an extended (170 yards worth) hip mobility warm-up would be if performed with a 30 lb weight vest?”

Pretty damn taxing, it turns out.  Gasping, white buffalo, the works.  Tack on some snatch-grip low pull jumps and weighted reverse-grip pull-ups and you’ve got the makings for a real suffer-fest.

Here’s what it looked like:

mixed hip mobility work: continual motion & rotation through exercises x 170 yards (duck walk, lateral lunge [each side], skip lunge [each side]) with 30 lb vest –

snatch grip low pull jumps*: 225 x 5, 5, 5, 5

reverse-grip pull-ups: 45 x 7; 80 x 5, 5, 5

*Bar to belly-button, toes off the ground each rep.  Steady & controlled to the knees, then “shot out of a cannon” explosive.

4 wicked rounds of this.  As little rest as possible between movements.  The weighted hip mobility work with added weight is a real ass-kicker.  I’ve definitely found something that I’ll keep in the “favorites” rotation.  In the lateral lunge, I minimized the off-leg push-off as much as possible — effectively turning this exercise nearly into a “lateral pistol”.

I finished-up with a few sets of eccentric pistol box squats.  What we’re looking for here is a very slow and controlled descent to the box, 2-count pause (maintain full contraction – not an “off-load” pause), followed by a “snappy” concentric; “snappy” being relative, following all the preceding work.  4 sets of 3 each leg, using only bodyweight, box height was such that at bottom-out I was about midway between “ass-to-grass” and parallel thigh.  Attempting to keep from collapsing down upon the box is much harder than it sounds.

For all you Mike Mentzer Heavy Duty (and, by extension, Body by Science)aficionados out there, check out this Super Human Radio show, The Mentzer Files.

And on this St. Patty’s day, remember all you Irish kiddos out there, it wasn’t known as the “potato famine” for nothin’.  Be well, live primal, and eat paleo.  The “luck of the Irish” will only take you so far.

6 responses to “3/17/10; “Warm-up” or “Workout”?

  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of weight vests, Mr. Norris–they’re nifty, aren’t they?

    I used to take 4-mile hikes around my neighborhood wearing a 16-lb weight belt from Title Boxing plus a knapsack loaded to about 25 lbs. until my orthopedist warned me last fall to lay off sustained knee-pounding activity lest I wind up needing a knee replacement a lot sooner than I would like (I’m only 49 and want to put something like that off as long as I can).

    So I decided to go with more intensity in less time, sort of CrossFit style, and bought a 40-lb. plate-loaded vest on eBay:


    (A word of warning: You have to supply your own 5-lb. plates, and finding ones that are actually small and thin enough to load the vest to 40 lbs. was a chore–I had to order them through a local Gym Source store.)

    I live in a 4th-floor condo, with a back staircase that has 48 steps. Just did 10 rounds up and down wearing the vest plus a 1-lb. weight on each shoe (another eBay find) in about 12 minutes by my current crude timing device (my cellphone).

    I don’t run, just walk with as much forceful intensity as I can muster. Then I threw in some hassock squats and 20″ step ups for good measure. It’s much easier on the knees than a long, weight-bearing stroll, and gives a man that good ol’ jelly-legged feeling. I also find that the short vest, b/c it rides fairly high, stimulates lower-back activation and forces the other trunk stabilizers to get into the act as well.

    As I get fitter, I will add the 16-lb. belt to the mix, plus maybe ankle weights eventually. Should be fun.

    • I should mention That I did all my “vest” work in vibrams. Great, great stuff! And way to utilize your resources and environment, PJ. This is what it’s all about.

      • You are no doubt getting an added proprioceptive benefit from wearing Vibrams rather than “regular” shoes. I work out at home a lot barefoot or in stocking feet on wall-to-wall carpet, and the difference between doing, say, a lunge on a hard-rubber gym floor in trainers and doing one barefoot on carpet is noticeable. To the extent that Vibrams retain the instability of being barefoot, they must make all the stabilizers work harder. I may have to look into getting a pair.

        The staircase is like a perfect, built-in interval-training device right outside my door. My 10 ascents yesterday, for instance, took circa 30+ seconds each; likewise each of my 10 descents was the equivalent of an active-rest interval of about 30 seconds.

        I only wish the football field of the high school across the street had taller, steeper bleachers to clamber up and down!

  2. Could you please provide a link with definitions or videos of your various exercises? I’ve never heard of many of them and it’s difficult to visualize exactly what the proper form would be from some your descriptions.

    Thank you

    • No problem. I try to remember to do so, but sometimes I get crunched for time. Also, there’s no commonly agreed-to name for many of these movements, and that makes it hard to search for a clip. Of course, the immediate fix for this would be for me to bet busy shooting some clips. Any videographers available in the Rocky Mount, NC area?

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