Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Nothing-day

First and foremost, Happy Easter! Now that that's out of the way...

Happily deciding to do no exercise today.  I got a bit cocky last night and blew things out of the water with a combined kettlebell/sandbag/bodyweight interval workout.  I piggybacked the workout from the website, an AWESOME site, focusing on unconventional training-something I'm hugely in favor of.  As I get into my 30's now (save the sighs for later), I'm putting more and more of a precedence on functional training and strength.  It's paying off as I've never felt more "all-around" fit before.

For years I've been focusing any training I do toward a specific athletic event.  Be it, ice hockey, lacrosse, football, MMA, triathlon, cycling, mountain biking-whatever, I've trained to mimic the movements in those sports and strengthen my performance on the field/trail/road/etc.  With my athletic career coming to a close (figuratively speaking-it's not like I'm getting paid to compete.  I'll compete for fun now and for the challenge, but I wouldn't say it's the overwhelming priority at the moment) I'm switching the focus to training for life.  Everything I do in the gym is dedicated to making me a healthier and happier individual for the LONG TERM.  For example, I lost a lot of strength when I concentrated on endurance sports.  Yeah I was strong on the bike/run, but I was no good at picking things up and putting them down.  Even if you're not a meathead, you've got to admit that many of the tasks we face each and every day in life involve picking up objects and putting them down.  It's inevitable.  Therefore, moving into a different phase of my life-one that will be focused more on building a life and family with my future wife, as well as all the things that come along with that, it's going to be important that I be a strong individual in ALL aspects, not just in riding a bike.

Going back to what I said before, never feeling so well-roundedly fit in my life is really defined as being a jack of all trades.  To me, the importance of physical strength, mixed in with stamina (or endurance) is huge.  Yeah, it's impossible (if you want to be at the highest level of either the endurance game or the strength game) to have both.  People will argue with me, but you've never seen a Kenyan marathoner in a powerlifting contest have you?  And likewise, you don't see those big dudes and girls in the Olympics with hundreds of kilos over their heads winning the local 5 or 10k right?  Anyhow, for the vast majority of us "regular" folk, having a good combination of both is perfectly achievable and in many more ways, much more of an advantage as we progress further in life.  Longevity is much more likely with a healthy body that can perform all the tasks put before it, than with a body designed specifically for one, and only one purpose.

Accordingly so, this is the workout that I did last night.  Again, it's one that has modified from an existing workout.  I added in some sandbag work to mix things up, as well as made it into an interval workout so that I could use my new Gymboss ( timer.  Sometimes new toys give you good ideas!  The workout is meant to be done Heavy and paced well.  DO NOT SUBSTITUTE FORM FOR WEIGHT!  Here goes:
5 rounds of 30 seconds at each exercise followed by 15 seconds of rest before moving on the the next.  Take 1-4 minutes to rest between rounds.  1 round consists of:
-2 Hand Kettlebell Swing
-1 Leg Alternating Deck Squats
-Sandbag Cleans
-Air (Hindu) Squats
-Double Kettlebell Cleans
-Alternating Low Lunges
-Kettlebell Figure 8 (Slingshots) to hold
-Sandbag Shouldering (Alternating)
-Clapping Pushups
-Kettlebell Snatch (left)
-Kettlebell Snatch (right)
-Long Cycle Double Kettlebell Clean and Jerk

All together this workout should be, if done to 5 rounds, 30 minutes of actual "work".  Of course your heart rate will stay up for the entire duration, and I won't get into the science of that, but if you're fit, you'll find the "work" to be WORK, and the "rest" to be REST.  You can adjust the rest periods accordingly (15 seconds can be more or less, that's just what I suggest and used), but remember that the idea here is heavy weight paced accordingly.  Again, if you're fit, the 15 seconds should be ample time in which to recover from the previous effort.

For me, this workout felt great.  I completed the 5 rounds in good shape and didn't feel overly cooked by the end.  This, of course, is a sign that I'm nice and fit.  I was honest with myself about the weights, actually surprising myself with the amount I could use for the duration of the workout.  I was fully prepared to be humbled with my original choice of weights, but was happy to find that I never broke form.

Today, as stated before, will be a rest day.  I pushed hard at times this week, taking my normal "once a week" rest day, but am feeling a bit more like I need another day in which to rest my body a bit.  These strength and conditioning workouts are much different than the traditional weightlifting and endurance work I've done the last few years, so I tend to be a bit more on the cautious side when programming my weeks.  In all, though, I'm stoked with where I am and looking forward to continuing this trend.

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