On-the-Fly Paleo Grub, and Time Under Load

Being creative with the ol’ leftovers is another important piece to maintaining Paleo sanctity.  I live by leftovers, and yeah, sometimes the combinations can seem a little odd.   Go figure, as I’m just a little odd as well.  I think everyone would do well, though, to bust free from the old “that food is for breakfast” or “these foods don’t go together” rut.  Just another useful mind-tool, my friends, to keep you all on the Paleo straight-and-narrow.  Again, this ain’t gourmet, but it wasn’t half damn bad.

Since last Saturday’s kick-ass workout at Efficient Exercise of Austin, Texas, I’ve been leaning toward some higher time under load (TUL, or time under tension, TUT, as some term it) workouts.  Of course, being true to my Conjugate sensibilities, this is only a leaning-toward, and not, so to speak, a change in direction.  I’ll still have workouts emphasizing max effort, speed (power), and strength-endurance, however, you’ll see TUL work take a front seat in the near term.  For how long?  That I don’t know; I’ll ride the TUL horse until I sense that I need to saddle-up a fresh steed, or until my priorities change.  This is how it goes; there are no definites.   Also, I’ve been riding — a lot — and as such, I’ve cut back on my quad-dominant work in the gym, just as I would cut back on my posterior chain work if I were hitting (running) sprints hard.  This is the personalization of workout planning.  To do otherwise — to blindly adhere to a cookie-cutter workout without taking into account my lifestyle and recreation choices — would be to invite regional overtraining and, eventually, injury.

Saturday’s iron works –

feet-elevated, ballistic push-ups: bodyweight x 6, 6, 6, 6

flat cable flye (on a Swiss ball): 60 x 10, 7, 7, 6

bent-over reverse cable flye: 30 x 8, 6, 6, 6

Rep tempo is vastly important in any scheme that emphasizes TUL, and I utilized a 40X tempo (eccentric/turn-around/concentric) today in both the flat and reverse cable flyes.  Note that, in reality an “X” (fast as humanly possible) concentric equates to approximately one second.  As a general rule of thumb, I tend to fall into the Charles Poliquin camp when it comes to correlating TUL to hypertrophy work; 30-ish to 70-ish seconds per set seems to be the sweet spot for me.  The next obvious question is, “ok, how many sets and/or exercises per movement pattern, then?”  Personally, I try, in most instances, to do no more than 1 exercise of a similar movement pattern — in most instances.  Nothing is set in stone.  Usually, though, I try to pick a weight that, under my chosen tempo, will totally zorch me in that particular pattern within a per-set TUL of between 30-ish and 70-ish seconds and an overall, cumulative TUL of between 90-ish and 180-ish seconds.  You can see that this leaves much room for variance and plenty of wiggle-room for set/rep manipulation.  And, again, this is for a hypertrophy emphasis — this, of course, would not apply if the emphasis were, say, speed-strength (power) work.

The movements above were done as a 4-round, compound set, with very little rest between movements.  I followed that up with a little Nautilus 4-way neck work:

front, left and right sides: 35 lbs x 10
rear: 45 lbs x 10

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Will mastering TUL make me swole like the cats in that slideshow?  Well, maybe so.  Hercules, and the Greek Pugilist: The Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sport, UT Austin

And a quick look to what’s ahead:

Monday, weather permitting, I plan on taking the ol’ fixie out to huck the Tour De Raleigh, coupling that ride with a trip to the NC state farmers market, and a run to Trader Joe’s for a coffee and Greek Yogurt stock-up.  On Tuesday, look for the write-up on my most excellent workout at the hands of Skyler Tanner, of Efficient Exercise in Austin.  For a preview, you can check-out the video clips posted at the Efficient Exercise Youtube page.  Here’s a compilation of the entire workout, and here’s a clip capturing Skyler’s expertise in coaching me through the leg press portion of the workout.  This level of professional coaching and guidance is priceless, allowing the trainee (me, in this instance) to focus totally on the “doing”, and leaving the manipulation of the many variables, in Skyler’s control.  Much more on this Tuesday.  ‘Til then, have a great holiday weekend!

OUR BODY, The Universe Within — and — Workin’ Out the Travel Kinks

I’m back, now, from a whirlwind trip to Austin, Texas; it was great to visit with family and friends, and get back, even for a short while, to the great state of Texas.

The Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sport, at the University of Texas, Austin

A couple of the trip’s highlights: taking in OUR BODY, The Universe Within, at the University of Texas’ Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, A trip to my all-time favorite bike shop, Mellow Johnny’s (where I engaged in some serious fixie lust), and an absolutely kick-ass, trainer-guided workout at Efficient Exercise of Austin.  The trainer?  None other than Skyler Tanner.  15 minutes of true HIIT/SS training that thoroughly wiped me out.  I’ll have a write-up on Skyler’s 15 minutes of Keith-pummeling up soon.  This style of training is quite a departure from the manner in which I normally go about business, and I gotta tell ya, the notion of training “what you suck at” was never more apropos.  More — much more — on that eye-opening experience later.

Mellow Johnny's, this cyclist's Nirvana...

So I’m quite possibly the world’s biggest wuss when it comes to traveling.  It takes me days to readjust and “get right” after the experience.  Don’t get me wrong — I love being at my destination — I just don’t tolerate the “getting there” very well.  I am thankful, though, that I was able to get a full-body hammering in during this particular trip, as it made my overall travel re-adjustments — and this workout, as well — go much more smoothly.

Note: my initial intent today was to hit some high-hang Oly bar power snatches.  I subbed for those for Creds, though, at the last minute.  Why?  I just felt like I wanted to introduce a bit more of a unilateral element following my bilateral work this past Saturday.  So here’s what I ended up with this morning:

6 rounds of the following complex, very little rest between movements.

creds (single-arm dumbbell snatch, each arm): 70 x 2; 80 x 2; 90 x 6 sets of 2

feet-elevated (approx 24 inches) ballistic push-ups: 30lb vest x 3

ab wheel roll-outs (on feet, little as possible ground-knee contact): bodyweight x 10

I finished up with some Nautilus 4-way neck work, 30 lbs x 12 (404 tempo) front and each side, 40 lbs x 12 (404 tempo) to the rear.  Funny thing: for whatever reason, I was thinking about what part of my physique has changed the most over the years.  For me, that has to, without a doubt, be my neck.  Nothing builds a bull neck like bangin’ heads with lunatic fullbacks and oversized tight ends.  I miss that.  The big neck, that is — not the brain scramble incurred as a direct result of sculpting that neck  🙂