Nothing at all fancy today, just a lot of work jam-packed into a mere 30-minute time frame.
Russian lunge jumps for height: 3 each leg, each round
single-leg high box (approx. 18″) step-ups: 135 x 5, 5; 155 x 4; 165 x 4; 4 (each leg)
ab wheel roll-outs: bodyweight x 10, each round
glute/ham raise (GHR): 40 x 5, 5; 45 x 5; 50 x 5, 5
5 rounds of this, subsequent to a good warm-up. If you do the math, that’s 20 exercises completed in approximately 20 minutes, with the warm-up and equipment/station set-up requiring another 10 minutes or so. So plenty of work, with very little rest. Now, I wouldn’t try to squeeze an exceptionally heavy and/or neurologically demanding workout into a 30-minute bracket, but this kind of “speed-endurance” type work is well-suited for a short overall time investment.
Inspiration, thanks to Nike
Ross Enamait — whose methods I find top-notch, and absolutely kick-ass — posted this fantastic Nike “commercial” on his site recently; tell me you’re not jacked-up after watching it.
Ahhh, brings back that old pre-game, ’bout-to-bust-outta-my-friggin’-skin feeling! I love it! And, like Ross, my favorite line here has to be:
2 miles from my house to the gym offers a perfect opportunity for a short fixie huck/warm-up prior to throwing around a little iron. An odd combination, I know. I was asked recently if I was the only fixie enthusiast/Paleo-proponent/physical culturalist that I know of. Well, I don’t know about that, but it sure does feel at times as though I were deposited here from an alien ship.
…let’s just say I’m a member of a very, very small subset 🙂
Today’s Workout –
My focus is still primarilly on unilateral, lower-body work, and today’s MetCon session did not deviate from that theme. The reps in each exercise are still fairly low, with the emphasis being placed on the explosiveness of every rep of each exercise vs attempting to reach some predetermined rep number. I moved smartly between exercises, but I did not allow much, if any, degradation in my form. Here’s how it shaped-up:
Post warm-up “bridge”: whip snatch to OHS, 3 sets of 5 at 95 lbs
The day’s combo: whip snatch x 5
single-leg clean* x 1 (left)
high box step-ups (front squat bar position) x 5 (left)
single-leg clean* x 1 (right)
high box step-ups (front squat bar position) x 5 (right)
muscle-up + L-dip combo (1 mu + 2 L-dips = 1 rep) x 3
rear foot elevated “elastic verts” x 6 each leg
~ all weighted exercises @ 135 lbs. 4 total rounds ~
The single-leg clean is simply, and in the end, a regular power clean — however, the pull phase is done with a single-leg emphasis; the catch is a normal, i.e., bilateral, catch. I do allow a “balance touch” with the off leg when needed (i.e., as fatigue set in). From the catch, I moved directly into the step-ups. The box height here is just below knee level. Notice that today’s step-ups were done with a front squat bar position; this translates to a bit more of a quad-dominant movement vs the normal back squat bar position.
Moving on to nimrods in the news…
The following quote is all you really need to see of this recent NYTimes article on obesity to realize we’re dealing, once more, with a blindered, simpleton take on diet.
“…The answer lies in biology. A person’s weight remains stable as long as the number of calories consumed doesn’t exceed the amount of calories the body spends, both on exercise and to maintain basic body functions. As the balance between calories going in and calories going out changes, we gain or lose weight.”
Ugh! To be fair, the author did interview a couple of dietary “bright stars” — and then conveniently dumbed-down their message. How is it that the sane voices in pieces such as this become so marginalized? I suppose it boils down to sound-bite journalism, and the general public’s reluctance to spend the time required to delve further into subjects that may lay outside their fields of specialization; a destructive, symbiotic relationship, of sorts.
I believe it was Dr. Richard Feinman (he of the Metabolism Society) who so eloquently equated the “calorie-in/calorie-out” theory of weight managaement to (and I’ll use my own wording here):
“…considering the affect of gravity upon an object, absent of friction.”
A nice corollary, I think. Real people and real metabolisms must operate in the real world. No consideration of how a type of calorie affects metabolic response is as ludicrous as the aforementioned consideration of gravity absent friction. A nice thought experiment, maybe; any real-world application, though, is not to be found.
And then there was this, uh…free-verse, anti-paleo ramble? Not sure what Ms. King’s “Problem with Paleo” is, exactly — maybe she thinks animals are shouldering the load and/or bearing the brunt of abuse so as to satisfy the faddish whims of hipster caveman wannabes? I dunno. My thought is, fine, be a detractor — I rather enjoy having my convictions rattled — but please come to the fray with a grounded, plausible argument for Chrissakes. Sheesh…
I refuse to end on a negative, though, and here to save me from that is a fabulous and recent TED talk given by chef Jamie Oliver. I’m quite sure everyone with a diet/physical culture bent has seen this by now, but I wanted to “store” it on TTP because I believe in Jamie’s message — and in his dire warning. Please show this to someone in your life who may not be as diet-centric as you — and for God’s sake, if you have kids, please, PLEASE pay attention. This really is a matter of life and death.
Are you down with the Robb Wolf and Any Deas Paleolithic Solution Podcasts over at Robb Wolf’s blog? If not, you really should be, as they’re a great source of Paleo diet information. Robb is a trained biochemist who was somehow able to shed the prescribed university brainwashing, put two-and two together, and come to the conclusion that the human body was built to motor on a Paleo-like diet. The Wolf/Deas collaborations — aside from being an enjoyable listen (good chemistry between these two) — are a series of Q & A discussions on all manner of dietary issues — all viewed, of course, through a Paleo-leaning prism. And Robb’s blog offers a good place for intelligent, post-podcast discussion. Head on over when you get a chance, listen-in, and join the fray — you’ll be glad you did.
In particular, check out the discussion associated with Episode 17, where I tossed-out the sous-vide/plastics leaching question that I initially brought up in this post. Paleolithic Solution reader/listener Mathieu Lalonde responded:
“I’m a chemist and I was waiting for someone to bring up this issue. I was personally horrified when I first read about “Sous Vide”, which means “under vacuum” in French. Take food, place it into a plastic bag, place the bag under vacuum, seal it, then heat it. I cannot imagine a better way to leach plasticizers into food. Especially with fatty foods. I would love to see someone study this. The phthalates would be trivial to detect by mass spec. Many plasticizers, including phthalates, are endocrine disrupters. I don’t care how good “sous vide” food tastes, I’m not touching it until the plasticizer issue has been studied and/or resolved.”
I have to agree with Mathieu, here. This just looks like too much of a plastics-leaching, perfect storm for me to feel comfortable with. For now, just roll with the ol’ fashion crock pot, and reserve the right to change my opinion on the subject later.
On to today’s workout…
Here’s the combo that I created on the fly this morning:
Jump Squats (3/4 position):
165 x5; 215 x 5; 265 x 5; 305 x 5
165 x 5; 185 x 4, 5, 5
Step-Ups (reps per each leg):
165 x 5; 185 x 3, 3, 3
45 x 5; 55 x 5, 6, 6
So, 4 rounds of that combo. I actually performed 2 additional rounds that were a “bridge” between the end of the warm-up and the meat of the workout (round 1). Build-ups, feel sets.
So, how did I come up with this beast? Pretty simple, really. First I identified the movement pattern I wanted to work — not the exercise per se, but the movement pattern — then I identified the energy system I wanted to utilize while working that particular pattern. At this point I begin to cobble-together particular exercises. In this instance, I knew I wanted to work the single-leg step-up — in my gym, that puts me in the power rack. I know from past exprience that I’ll use approximately 185 lbs for 3 reps each leg (and this rep range corresponds to my target energy system). 185 lbs also looks like a good btn push-press weight for me, so I’ll add that as well. Now I’ve got a bar loaded-up in the power rack at a height that, for me, is at roughly the 3/4 squat position. Hmmmmm, load-up the bar a little more, and I’ve got all the makings for some jump squats. As a bonus, look at the great potentiation potential jump squats offers to the other two exercises. Cha-ching! The pull-ups? They’re a natural push-pull companion to the push-press.