Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Great beginning

I started a new routine focused on bodyweight warmups and four powerlifting movements. The workout went very well.

Pushups 10
Crunches 35
Superman 10
Repeat three supersets

Plank, Front, Right, Left
One of each for time

Lunge 3 x 10

And then two resistance exercises designed to get me strong enough for Dips and Chinups...
Lat Pulldowns 3 x 10
Wide, Mid, Close Grips One set of each
Triceps Rope Pulldowns 3 x 10
I'm within a couple of plates of lifting the full stack on both these machines. When I can do that, I should be ready to move up to the real thing.
This went very fast, not much more than half an hour, and is a pretty good full-body workout in its own right. I've been wanting to add bodyweight work to my skill set, but my bodyweight is a lot more than any other weight I'm lifting at the moment and the prospect has been pretty daunting. This workout left me feeling ready to go, but not worn out. I'll try to use the assisted dip/chins machine tomorrow and test how close I am to actually completing one of those exercises.

Today's powerlift is the Clean and Press. Here's Vasily Alexeev executing it with a mere 507 lb.

I want to learn this movement very well before I start messing around with very heavy weight. I did 5 x 5 with 65 lb. When you watch Alexeev, you will notice that the first part of this lift is explosive. You pull the weight with your legs, then your shoulders with enough velocity that you can dip under it and catch it on your chest. Alexeev's deep dip shows the kind of force and strength required to actually throw 500 lb up in the air, then catch it and stand up straight. The big man has a little stutter start to the press. I can't tell if he aborted a bad lift, or if he was just showing off by adjusting his grip. In either case, he finally shows you the last part of the lift which is to press the weight over your head.

We mortals don't get to bounce the weight off the platform when we're done. We have to reverse the whole dance, lower the weight to the floor, and then do it again.

So you can see that it's a complex lift with about 30 different ways to get hurt built right in. I'm starting slow.

The rest of the workout supports some of the muscle groups that are required to execute the lift. I did 3 x 10's of a Dumbell Curl to Arnold Press combination movement I thought I had invented this, but check out my new hero on the Gray Iron Fitness Blog.

I also did 3 x 10 supersets of Lateral Raises and Bent Over Lateral Raises (lifting dumbells up to the side like a very strong, sweaty bird)

The first brutalized my arms, especially the forearms and shoulders. The lat raises had them nearly paralyzed. I felt the famous "Pump" for the first time. It was very cool. ( I was horrified when I returned the dumbells to the rack when I realized that I had been doing my lat raises with 10 lb weights. My arms were on fire! I felt like Hercules! But like the treadmill, the iron never lies. I'm not so macho as I thought I was. I'll take it up just a little next time.

Again, this part of the workout didn't take very long either -about 45 minutes. A much more realistic length than what I had been doing.


Ah, my old friend the elliptical. We meet again. I came for a low impact butt kicking, and was pleasantly surprised at how well it went. The 30 minute interval workout was not really intense, but it got me soaked clean through and finally got my heart-rate up into the pounding zone. The whole time, I was fantacizing that I was running. It felt nice.

Some stretching, hot sauna, a check of the scale and a steaming shower and I was out the door in a little over 2 hours, (not three like my last routine.) If I got up the gumption, this is a workout I actually could do in the morning before work. But to be honest, that's a lot of gumption.

Time will test and proove its value, but I think this is a very effective workout. Tomorrow? Squats...


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