Pushing physiological limits, and the study thereof, is indeed an exciting aspect of exercise science. And, as ABC’s Hungry Beast points out, “…few of us have any idea about what it takes to produce a world-beating result… “. To that end, check out this fascinating clip, wherein Kirk Docker deconstructs the machine that is Shane Perkins, Australia’s fastest track cyclist.
Fascinating, yes — but of what relevance does this have to the pursuit of attaining and maintaining optimum health? Well, the same relevance, I think, that the NASA programs ultimately had on trickle-down technologies (think Teflon) used in everyday life. What we can glean from studying these superhuman performances can indeed be used — if modified correctly — in the training of mere mortals looking for enhanced quality of life.
If we consider, once more, my health-performance curve, it’s not difficult to ascertain exactly where on the curve that Shane resides; decidedly (and unapologetically so), in the land of C.
And more power to him; he’s exciting as hell to watch and to study. But to the extent that the general population — those who ought to be concerned with easily-achievable, overall health and well-being — continues to equate “health” with the exploits of the Shane Perkinses of the world, only exacerbates their reluctance to engage in any fitness program whatsoever. Why do anything, when I sure as hell can’t do that? Part of conquering the American (and increasingly so, world-wide) health crisis will be the wholesale paradigm shift away from equating “health” to superhuman athletic performance, and the athletes who produce those performances.
An Autoregulation example
I’ve fielded quite a few questions as of late regarding the real-life execution of Autoregulation, and I figured that filming an actual utilization episode might help to clear things up. As I state in the clip, the Autoregulation template can only be considered just that — a basic recipe, and no more. Watch an expert chef, like Meesus TTP, create an actual gourmet meal by using a recipe as little more than a rough guideline and you’ll know what I’m getting at. Some things you can only learn from time in the kitchen — or time under the bar. It has to be — pardon the cliche — a process.
The Autoregulation weight selection template for the 5 to 7 rep range is simple enough:
1. 50% of expected 6-rep max for 10 -12 reps
2. 75% of expected 6-rep max for 6 reps
3. expected 6-rep max for maximum repetitions
4. adjusted load (according to the performance of set #3, with a target of 6 reps), again, for maximum repetitions.
Of course, we have a preliminary warm-up (and/or “feel-out” sets) for most exercises prior to diving into the 50% set. And most times (as in the example below), my entire workout is built around the Autoregulated exercise. Sometimes, though, I’ll Autoreg two back-to-back exercises in the same workout. The beauty of Autoregulation is that it can accommodate this kind of variance quite well; flexibility being the hallmark of this method. Consider Autoregulation the adjustable wrench in my Physical Culture toolbox. Come on out to the 21 convention next month in Orlando, and we’ll drill even deeper into this most useful concept.
The week’s workouts
Sprints, jumps, tire flips and rope climbs
Hella fixie ride! HEAT!
(A1) trap bar DL (low grip): 155/12, 245/10, 335/6, 425/5, (3+2)
(A2) ARX overhead press: HR/3, 3, 3, 3
(B1) powermax360 shoulder circles x 30 seconds, reverse circles 2nd round x 30 seconds
(B2) seated DB clean & press: 45/10, 10
Volume day; 10 sets of 10
(A1) high bar back squats: 185, 10 sets of 10
(A2) chins: bw, 10 sets of 10
Thursday, 6/16 (see the clip of this workout above)
(A1) dips: bw/12; 45/10; 70/6; 90/6, 6 (autoregulated)
(A2) snatch-grip high pulls: 155/10; 175/7, 7, 7, 7
(B1) ARX dip negatives x 3
*each set of dips was preceded by approximately 7 to 10, CNS activating push-pulls on the Powermax 360.
Volume/Metcon: approximately 20 minutes of the following:
30 seconds on, 15 seconds recovery of 6 different powermax360 movements, followed by alternating hi-box step-ups with 135 lbs (about 30 total steps). Wash, rinse, repeat…
Sprints: 10 x 100 yards (blast 40, cruise 60 format) + 5 x 120 at a straight 75% effort. Tire flips, jumps, monkey bar hi-jinks and rope climb shenanigans.
Mark Sisson, author of “The Primal Blueprint”, to visit Efficient Exercise
If you happen to be in the ATX on Friday, June 24th, at 7PM, c’mon out and join us as we welcome Mark Sisson to the “epicenter of Physical Culture”, and more specifically to Efficient Exercise’s 45th and Burnet Rosedale location, for an informal pot-luck dinner.
Mark, of course, maintains the ever-informative “Mark’s Daily Apple” blog, and is the author of (among other works), The Primal Blueprint.
The event will be hosted by Austin’s own Primal Living Meet-Up Group, so this is a great opportunity not only to meet one of the guiding stars of the Primal Living movement — Mark Sisson — but to also chat-up the local members of this fascinating group of health-minded individuals.
So bring your favorite Primal/Paleo dish, and come join us for some stimulating conversation and warm camaraderie. Austin’s own Snap Kitchen will be providing some Primal/Paleo-friendly goodies as well, so don’t miss out!
And hey, all of our peeps over at Crossfit Austin, I want you guys to know that y’all are more than welcome as well. C’mon out and help spread that good, Austin, Physical Culture vibe!