Strength day

Good session tonight. I’ve replaced pistols with Bulgarian split squats. I was finding that the balance requirements of pistols were a barrier to the strength benefits. I added extra range of motion by having my front foot on a small stool, it makes them extra nasty as you can get your thigh well below parallel.

I love finishing with heavy carries, my whole body was complaining by the end.

Warm up:
Joint mobility
16kg KB – 10R/10L
L-sit – 2 x 12sec
HeSPU – 3
Adv tuck back lever – 3 x 12sec
Adv tuck front lever – 3 x 12sec

The meat:
Bulgarian split squat (with added ROM), BW – 5, 20kg – 5,5
Ring dip, 5kg – 5,5, 6kg – 5
One arm row, 24kg – 5R/5L,5R/5L,5R/5L

GHR – 5,5
One leg hip thrust – 12/12

Grip stuff:
Plate curl, 8kg – 6R/6L,6R/6L
Two hand pinch, 38.5kg – 4 x 10sec

Farmers walk, 28kg/28kg – 45sec carry/15sec rest x 4


A pull-fest, clubs and a failed experiment

I really enjoyed deadlifting last week and wanted to go a little heavier last night. I’ve had some success strapping weights to my heaviest two kettlebells for deadlifts so experimented with strapping the 20 and 16 together. I pulled thus in one hand and the 24 plus extra weights in the other. It didn’t really work. The two kettlebells were hard to manage and unstable, but not in a good way. I won’t be doing it again and definitely would not recommend it.

What did work is adding sone variety to my pull/chin ups. The different movements were done as a circuit but with plenty of rest, I’ll stick with that for the next little while.

Warm up:
Joint mobility
Adv tuck back lever – 3 x 12sec
HeSPU – 1
Adv tuck front lever – 3 x 12sec
HeSPU – 3

Ring pull up – 8,5
Weighted pull up, 9.5kg – 3,3
Weighted chin up, 15kg – 3,3

Deadlift – 72kg

8kg powerclub circuit
30sec on/15sec off x 3 rounds
Double shoulder cast – 13,11,9
Shield cast R – 14,11,11
Shield cast L – 14,13,12
Gamma cast – 18,18,18

Applying fitness and a strength day

There are many different motivations for getting fit. It could be strength, fat loss, endurance, bigger arms, mega pecs, all of the above, or something else entirely. Some of these are more admirable than others (but that’s not for here) but there is always a reason of some sort. I’d be amazed if anyone started a fitness programme because they couldn’t think of anything else to do with their spare time. For me it is strength, endurance and to learn cool bodyweight and grip feats.

Once a certain level of progress is met (ie stairs are no longer an issue or THAT dress fits again), it becomes more difficult to measure your fitness in real terms. It can just become about numbers, distance or weight which is great in the gym but does that mean anything elsewhere?

It is for this reason I like to have a non-gym physical activity as a way of testing if my fitness can be applied outside of the gym while also learning some new skills.

For a long time my non-gym activity was martial arts but I took a break from that earlier this year. Now I feel like trying something different have started bouldering, a style of climbing done to low heights with no ropes. It seemed a great fit with the bodyweight exercise I do. I went to my first session on Monday and it was great fun. I highly recommend it, or at least some non-gym activity – get out and use it.

Right, on with the workouts. A few changes to my strength workout last night. I’ve pushed the reps down and the weights up in a few exercises.

Joint mobility
L-sit – 2 x 12sec
HeSPU x 3
HS – 2 x 30sec
Assisted pistol – 3/3
Adv tuck back lever – 2 x 12sec
Assisted pistol – 3/3
Adv tuck front lever – 2 x 12sec
Assisted pistol – 3/3

Weighted ring dip, 3.5kg – 5, 5kg – 5,5
One arm row, 24kg – 5R/5L,5R/5L,5R/5L
GHR – 5,5,5

One leg hip thrust – 20R/20L

Plate curl, 8kg – 5R/5L,4R/4L
Two hand pinch, 37.5kg – 4 x 10sec
One arm hang – 10,12,12sec R/L

The hangover hundred

Two things to note today. First is that hangovers really suck once you’re over 30. Luckily a bit of exercise often seems to sort me out, even if it is the last thing I feel like doing. It’s as if staying on the sofa is accepting you feel crap and can’t do anything but getting up and breaking a sweat forces your body to get rid of the toxins. This felt tougher than it should have but did the trick.

Four rounds of:
16kg KB goblet squat – 5
Push up – 10
16kg KB H2H swing – 10

The hundred reps were inspired by this site –

The premise is that instead of setting lofty fitness goals for yourself you can instead just do 100 reps of something every day. It is easy to do, 100 reps takes no time, this workout was less than 10 mins. It would be a great way for people that struggle to get into the gym to make a positive difference on their health a wellbeing, or for someone to maintain fitness levels if life gets too busy or even a way get some work done if you’ve got a dirty hangover. It’s a great idea.

Big conditioning beats sugar

I am generally pretty relaxed with my diet. I focus on fresh veggies, fruit meat and fish and try to keep stodgy carbs to a minimum but keep the rules pretty relaxed. The only thing I am strict with is sugar.

Sugar is generally pretty awful for you (here’s a mammoth list explaining why – I find my energy levels and sleep are rubbish when I eat too much. That plus some diabetes in my family is enough for me to give it a wide berth.

This week has been different though. There has been a lot sugary treats in the office and I’ve eaten more than my fair share. I’m already feeling a bit skewed as a result so hit an evil met con last night with a view to kicking any sugar ills out of the house before they became too settled. It worked.

Joint mobility/dynamic stretching
L-sit – 4 x 12sec
Frog planche – 4 x 15sec
Adv tuck back lever – 5 x 10sec
Adv tuck front lever – 4 x 10sec

16kg KB snatch – 6mins, 15rpm, hand switch at 20,20,5 reps = 45L/45R

Met con!
56kg deadlift – 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Burpee – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

Finishing superset
DB front lever, 6kg – 8R/8L, 6R/6L
Weighted front plank, 5kg – 40,40sec

I did the deadlift/burpee met con a few months back in a quicker time. I did stick on an extra 8kg of weight this time and knock out 90 snatches just prior this time though so expected to slow a bit. Alternating between those to movements is a great combo. The burpees really sneak up on you though, a single deadlift at the end is a breeze but the 10 burpees the follow are a killer.

Strength day and managing stress

Slightly reduced workout volume this evening. I’ve got a hellish week at work this week and need to manage the overall levels of stress I’m putting on my body. Work, bad food, lack of sleep and exercise are just a few examples of life stresses and they all need to be considered when thinking about recovery. The idea was to keep the intensity up but do less in total. I probably overdid it slightly with the grip stuff though.

Joint mobility
L-sit – 2 x 12sec
Frog planche – 2 x 15sec
Adv tuck back lever – 2 x 15sec
Adv tuck front lever – 2 x 15sec

Box pistols – 5R/5L,5R/5L,5R/5L
Weighted chin up, 12kg – 5,5,5

GHR – 5,5

Two hand pinch lift, 36kg – 10,6,10,10
DB leverage wrist curl, 5/2kg – 2 x 10R/10L
DB finger curls – 2 x 20R/20L