Iron Works for 5/20/10, and the Easiest (and best!) Roasted Chicken You’ll Ever Make

The Rocky Mount YMCA — hey, it’s the place to be, especially at the ass-crack of dawn!  Today we have another workout from the Iron MetCon bag o’ tricks.  Here’s what went down:

barbell thrusters: 135 x 7, 7; 145 x 6, 6, 5
weighted, regular grip pull-ups: 45 x 7, 7, 7, 7, 6+ (stall)

Done as a superset, with minimum rest between sets.  Each rep completed an explosive a fashion as possible.  Bar returned to a full, legitimate rack position (high elbows, bar secure in the “rack”) prior to front squat descent.


high cable flyes (out of the lunge position): 60# x 10, 10, 8, 8
barbell good mornings: 135 x 10, 10, 10, 10

Again, performed as a superset, with very little rest between exercises.

The cable flye out of the full lunge position is one of the few cable-based exercises I really like.  The lunge position adds more of a full body element to an otherwise rather pedestrian movement.  The hands should travel an upward arc from approximately the level of the hips to the top of the head, with the elbows remaining slightly bent throughout.  For the good mornings: full descent (exaggerated, even — big, big glute/ham stretch), then explosive out of the hole.  Allow the back to round slightly, as we are, in fact, attempting to work the lower back with these as well as the glutes and hams.

Roasted Chicken, the Easy Way (how else would I make it?)

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First things first — get your hands on a good bird.  A good, locally-raised, truly free-range yard bird is a must.  Here’s where I get mine.  The difference in taste between free-range and “conventionally raised” (sad that “conventionally-raised” has come to mean what it has) is beyond description, and that difference alone is enough to make even a kitchen hack like me look like I know what the hell I’m doing with a pan and oven.

So the chicken I used here was approximately 3.5 pounds.  Rinse and dry ‘im off well.  You want the chicken to be thoroughly dry before sliding it in the oven, otherwise it’ll steam instead of roast, and that’ll not make for a nice crispy, brown skin.  Salt & pepper liberally, and stuff the cavity with rosemary and thyme — or whatever else you might choose (citrus of some sort, maybe).  Put it in a 450-degree oven and let it rip for 45 minutes or so.  Whatcha got on your hands after that is pure, chickenly heaven!

I put a small sweet potato in along with the chicken from the get-go, then about halfway though, I added the asparagus.  Both ended up slathered in chicken fat.  Out-of-this-world good!

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.