Thursday Morning (6/10/10) GPP, and Good Eats on a Buck a Day? Yeah, Right…

Nothin’ fancy about this one, just a straight-up, down-and-dirty, early morning GPP iron session.

farmer’s walks: 100 lb DBs for 1 lap (150 yards) x 1, 1, 1, 1
whip snatch + OHS: 115 x (3, 3), (3, 3), (3, 3), (3, 3)

Want to make 115 lbs feel like a friggin’ ton?  Whip snatch and overhead squat that piddling amount following a hundred-and-fifty yards worth of farmer’s walking with a pair of 100 lb DBs.  I did two “sets” of 3 each round — with a minimum break between the 2 “sets” — because I couldn’t perform 6 straight; not with anything resembling decent form, anyway.  I completed each lap of the walks with a single short break about midway through; had to take 2 breaks, though, on the 4th lap.

I followed that 4-round lovely with an additional 150 yards of farmer’s walking; this lap, though, with a break at the half-way point for some Nautilus 4-way neck work: 50 lbs x 10, front and each side and 60 lbs x 10 to the rear.  I reduced the tempo with these to 5/0/1/0.

Good overall workout.  The real key to pulling off this kind of a session is the same as in pulling off a successful HIT/SS session — battling the mind’s incessant calls to “throttle-down!”.  There’s just not much for the mind to fixate on during a farmer’s walk other than the suffering that the body is enduring.  I played mind-jedi games (20 more steps, 19, 18, 17…) and concentrated on “walking the line”, which also doubled as working the hip girdle even more (moving toward a “crossover” step.  Using these techniques, I was able to squeeze out a little more distance between breaks.

I Appreciate the Guy’s Moxie, I Really Do — But…

…but this seems to me more like a speed-shift into the metabolic-derangement fast lane — all for a low low $1 a day!! — than any kind of long-term “bargain”.  Hey, there’s a reason why these foods are cheap — for the most part, they’re subsidized by the government.  How many coupons do you ever see for grass-fed beef or locally grown vegetables?  Good food might cost me a little more than a buck a day, but I’ll gladly pay it.

2/23/10, A Different Shade of MetCon

So simple on paper; pretty friggin’ tough, though, in practice:

Farmers Walks x 200 yards/120 lb DBs: (time for each “walk”): 3:20, 4:14, 4:37

Feet-elevated Ring Flyes: x 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 10+2

Pistol Squats with 25 lb plate: x 8, 8 (each leg)

I began with a superset of farmers walks and ring flyes, then moved into a superset of ring flyes and pistol squats.  Farmers walks were done in bursts of approximately 20 to 40 seconds (with as short a recovery as possible) until the full 200 yards was covered — the total time for covering the full 200 yards is noted above.  In performing the ring flyes, my feet were positioned such that they ended up just above shoulder level, in the “down” position of the movement.  I hit momentary failure at 10 on the last set, paused a few seconds, then hit the last two reps.

A couple things to note here.  First off, notice that each burst of work here feel into a time frame of approximately 15 to 40 seconds.  Again, this was not by accident; my intent today was to place emphasis on the Glycolytic pathway.  For an excellent primer on energy system pathways, see this post from Phil Davies’ Sports Fitness Advisor.

Secondly, farmers walks are the most underrated exercise I know of.  You want a tight core, hulking traps and Mark McGuire forearms?  Do farmers walks for appreciable distance (time under tension) and with a heavy pair of dumbbells (or a heavy set of whatevers).  I won’t even mention the benefit to the lower body.  All the wrist curls in the world won’t come close to punishing your forearms in the way heavy farmers walks will.  Low tech for sure, but functional, with a capital “F” my friends.  Ring flyes with elevated feet are pretty tough on the core as well; think planks to the nth-degree — oh yeah, with the added bonus of a little bit of chest/shoulder work as well.

Right leg is catching up fast.  Time to start jacking up the weight in the pistols.

2/15/10: MetCon, Sans Glitz

If you’re looking for PX90 or Beachbody, this ain’t it.  No spandex during the workout itself, no perfectly-timed, post-workout whey protein parfait following.  You won’t ever see this type of a workout packaged in a pretty, well-produced DVD offering because, really, who the hell is going to actually do something like farmers walks?  And more to the point, how are you supposed to make a farmers walk…er…exciting?  Well, hell if I know, and G** damned if I care.  Excitement I’ll find elsewhere; in the gym and on the track I’m looking for results, pure and simple.

First off, a nice, sweat-breaking warm-up; then the fun began:

Three rounds of the following.  I didn’t bring a stopwatch, but this would be a good one to try to repeat for improved time.  Roughly 20 minutes worth of work, if I gauged the wall clock correctly.

Framers Walk: A pair of 120lb DBs x approximately 180 yds.  Stop for re-grip as necessary (straight-leg deadlift to set weights down and on recovery/resumption).

Thrusters (Via bastardized use of the hack squat machine): 330 x 6; each rep as explosive as possible.  Imagined “press-putting” the sled for distance.  That kind of explosive.

(Edit 2/20/10: here is a link to the Alantis equipment site.  Click on “Power Squat” from the left column listing of equipment.)

Cable “Samson” Flyes: 60lbs x 10 reps, each rep explosive.

Three rounds of that, and I was pretty much blistered.  Noted that the hack machine sled results in an approximate 10-degree-off-perpendicular, end-of-range angle.  Perfect for thrusters.  My next effort will be to re-engineer this thing specifically for thrusters — handles instead of shoulder padding, an ever-so-slight, up-angled deck.  Something similar to this idea.  I’ve got some very specific ideas about such a device.  There are a very few machine-based movements that I think transfer well to the “playing field” — this is one of them.

“Samson” flyes look a little something like this clip, though I perform the movement in a much more dynamic fashion, with a little bit of hip kick to get the motion started from the bottom-out position.  Imagine having two tough-shelled coconuts that you’re trying to crack open at the top of the movement.  Of course, I don’t slam my fists together, but you get the idea.  Adjust the weight properly so that the intent to move the weight fast will result in close proximity fists, but no busted knuckles.