Park workout 5-26-18

The last time we tried to do a “track” oriented workout, we were shot down since the local high school locked up all access to the track.

Jerks.

So, we changed the venue for this workout. We found a high school track that actually allows its tax-paying constituents to access the facility.

Sweet.

As we’ve established in the past – I’ll never shy away from a good session outdoors. I love exercising outdoors. And, it’s good for you too.  The anticipated high temperature today is 95 degrees F, so it’s a good thing we did this at 7am before it got HOT.

For today’s workout, we used two pieces of equipment…

  1. Aylio 3 Loop Fitness Bands
  2. Running parachute (I think I got it from Dick’s Sporting Goods)

Here was today’s structure:

  • Warm up
    • 100 jump rope – any variety/skill
    • 2 minutes double under jump rope practice
      • Double unders are a really solid jump rope skill that get the heart rate racing. They take TIME to get good at. I remember when I couldn’t do one. Now, I can knock out over 20+ in a set before I trip on the rope.
    • 400m jog around the track
  • Agility work (w/bands around ankles for all exercises)
    • Left/Right 5 step side shuffle – 1 minute
    • rest 1 minute
    • Single leg lateral step out (right) – 1 minute
      • Best way to describe this move – stand with your feet just outside of hip distance apart, and in a quarter squat position. Proceed to move your right foot to the side about 6-12 inches, and tap a target. Return your foot to the starting position, and step your foot out again to the target. Repeat this as fast as you can and as many times as you can while staying in the quarter squat position, and not letting your foot go inside of the hip distance starting point
    • rest 1 minute
    • Single leg lateral step out (left) – 1 minute
      • See description above
    • rest 1 minute
    • Plank jacks – 1 minute
    • rest 1 minute
    • Zig zag step forward – 1 minute
      • Best way to describe this move – stand with your feet together. With your right foot, step diagonally 45 degrees to your right. Bring the other foot to the right foot’s new position. Step with your left foot diagonally 45 degrees. Bring your right foot to the left foot’s new position. Step again with the left foot 45 degrees to the left, and bring the right foot together with it. Now step with your right foot 45 degrees to the right, and bring your left foot with it. Repeat from the beginning of the sequence as many times as you can
    • rest 1 minute
    • Zig zag step backward – 1 minute
      • Execute the same movements you would forward, but moving backwards instead.
    • rest 1 minute
    • Power jumps (feet hip distance apart the whole time) – 30 seconds
    • rest 30 seconds
    • Power jacks (hold a band in your hands – optional) – 30 seconds

and then…

  • Hurricane sequence
    • 3 sets total
    • each set consists of 3, 20 second sprints paired with 20 seconds of “other” work
    • Rest for 2 minutes before starting your next set of hurricanes
      • Set 1 – sprint 20 seconds, push ups 20 seconds – repeat 3 times
      • Rest 2 minutes
      • Set 2 – sprint 20 seconds, bicycle crunches 20 seconds – repeat 3 times
      • Rest 2 minutes
      • Set 3 – sprint 20 seconds, plank 30 seconds – repeat 3 times
  • Parachute running
    • This was just a fun add on at the end – some of the participants had never run with a parachute on their hips before
      • 100 yard sprint with parachute
  • Cool down – 2 minutes

 

The group really liked the agility work with the bands. Your hip flexors start to burn pretty quickly when you wrap elastic around your ankles and start doing stuff. All of these movements involved hip abduction (moving the leg away from the centerline of the body). Most of us could probably spend a little more time training abductor movements.

The hurricanes probably whooped us all the most. It’s a protocol that is beneficial for training VO2 max. The trick is that you really need to sprint HARD (I’m talking like all-out intensity – run like you stole something) to get the VO2 training result.

The workout clocked in just under an hour, and ate up about 565 C. We were happy with that.

The heart rate chart wasn’t a surprise. I figured it would spike during the hurricanes, and it did.

track workout 5-26 hr chart.JPG

After all of that, one of our members invited us back to his home where he cooked one of the best victory omelets I’ve ever had. And, that dude can poach a wicked egg.

 

Do you have any favorite spots to exercise outside? Any favorite routines? If so, please let us know. If you liked this post, please be sure to “like” and “share.” Thank you.

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Park workout 4-28-18

The original plan was to use the high school’s track to execute the workout.

But…

locked fence.JPG

Quick two second rant that is WAY outside of my expertise. Its total BS that a public high school track would be padlocked on a weekend. The tax paying citizens should be allowed to use this facility. Hashtag MY TAX DOLLARS NOT AT WORK!!!! A brief cursory search on the internet shows that I’m not the only person that thinks this. AND, a good majority of school districts think so as well. It looks like the usual protocol is to have it unlocked/accessible during non-school hours. In addition, I know I’ve seen another group use that track when we were doing stuff on the bars. So, North KC School district – BITE ME! Unlock that track!!!!

Oh well – we found a way to adapt and still have one hell of a workout. We moved the program over to the parking lot and ran back and forth like a group of cheetahs. The basic structure of the workout was focused around doing sprint-type running in the 100m stretches, and then doing some type of calisthenic or weighted move in the curved areas of the track.

The exercises to supplement the running were:

  • Farmer’s walk with 60 lb dumbbell
  • Jog with weighted bar overhead
  • High knees jump rope
  • Broad jump burpee

The parking lot area was pretty big. The stretch of lot that we used was pretty close to 100m (if you compare it to the track right across the street). To get our heart rate up, and maximize the amount of running/sprinting we’d do, we employed what I’ll call a “rabbit” approach. Basically, the rabbit would be doing the primary move, and the other two (there were three of us) would run/sprint back and forth until the rabbit was done.

Set 1: Farmer’s walk with 60 lb dumbbell

Subject A walked 100m with the dumbbell in his right hand, and then turned around and walked back the 100m with the dumbbell in his left hand. While Subject A did that, Subjects B and C were tasked with sprinting up and back (100m each direction) a total of 3 times. The “game” was to try and get your 3 runs in before Subject A finished is up/back farmer’s walk. This was meant to encourage you to SPRINT as much as you could. After a brief respite (waited for HR to go down a little bit), Subject B would do the farmer’s walk while Subject A and C sprinted. Finally, Subject C would do the farmer’s walk, and Subject A and B would sprint. The running load at the end of the first session looked like this:

  • Subject A: 1200m running, 200m farmer’s walk
  • Subject B: 1200m running, 200m farmer’s walk
  • Subject C: 1200m running, 200m farmer’s walk

Everyone said the same thing, “…man, my grip is toast…”

The farmer’s walk is a very sneaky-good exercise to send a shockwave through your body. Do yourself a favor and go as heavy as you can.

Set 2: Jog with weighted bar overhead

During my baseball years, coach would make us run from foul pole to foul pole holding our bat over our head if we did something wrong. I remember that sucking. I’ve seen this called a “waiter’s walk” on strength training websites. You can vary the ballast from light to heavy based on what you want to accomplish. 

For this, I filled a PVC tube with sand, put end caps on it, and duct taped the end caps. It’s a nice little weighted bar (less than 5 lbs) for mobility work. This structure is just like the farmer’s walk – except, the subjects run 2 times (up/back) instead of 3. Running load for this set was…

  • Subject A: 800m running, 200m weighted overhead jog
  • Subject B: 800m running, 200m weighted overhead jog
  • Subject C: 800m running, 200m weighted overhead jog

To get the most out of this movement, focus on locking out your arms, and keeping your chest/torso as upright as possible. You’ll really get in some good thoracic spine work that way.

Cumulative load so far: 2000m running, 400m weighted walking/jogging

Set 3: High knees jump rope

Somewhat different structure this time. The rabbit sprints up and back (200m total), and the other two subjects perform high knees jump rope until the rabbit gets back. That makes the rabbit “incentivized” to run faster because he doesn’t want to be a jerk and make people high knees jump rope for too long. Running load for this set was…

  • Subject A: 200m running, LOTS OF HIGH KNEES JUMP ROPE
  • Subject B: 200m running, LOTS OF HIGH KNEES JUMP ROPE
  • Subject C: 200m running, LOTS OF HIGH KNEES JUMP ROPE

Cumulative load so far: 2200m running, 400m weight walking/jogging, LOTS OF HIGH KNEES JUMP ROPE

Set 4: Broad jump burpees

Same structure as set 3. The rabbit runs up/back (200m), and the other two subjects do broad jump burpees until the rabbit returns. And yes, after all of that running, your legs do feel like jelly when doing broad jumps. Running load for this set was…

  • Subject A: 200m running, some broad jump burpees
  • Subject B: 200m running, some broad jump burpees
  • Subject C: 200m running, some broad jump burpees

Total workout load: 2400m running, 400m weighted walking/jogging, LOTS OF HIGH KNEES JUMP ROPE, some broad jump burpees.

Total workout time (including jump rope warmup – 44 minutes).

I can tell you – we ran hard for those 2400M. The heart rate chart was pretty good. Once of the subjects had his HR hit around 190 bpm!

4-28 park hr chart.JPG

As usual, a very well deserved victory omelet followed!

Bodyweight Begins: Park workout 3-31-18

Bodyweight calisthenics. I wish I had learned about this type of training when I was a teenager. The BEST fitness advice I’ll ever be able to give my son, and the BIGGEST fitness thing I’d tell myself if I had a time machine would be…

START…DOING…BODY…WEIGHT…TRAINING…NOW!!!!!

Agility. Mobility. Flexibility. Symmetry. Balance. STRENGTH. A well-constructed bodyweight training program can not only correct muscle imbalances, but it can also strengthen the supporting tendons/ligaments in a way that traditional single-plane weight lifting exercises won’t.

To quote Mark Lauren, “You Are Your Own Gym.” Great book. Great way to start yourself off on a bodyweight path. Buy it here on Amazon – You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises

If you want to be inspired, watch these people move…

And yes, women can kick some ass too…

I used to think that I had a decent exercise program, and that I was relatively fit. Then I started doing regular HIIT (high intensity interval training) work. I quickly learned that I didn’t have a very high VO2 max threshold. When I shifted to mostly bodyweight training and calisthenics inspired workouts, I quickly learned that I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was. Many years later, I have such an appreciation for the amount of work and training that goes into what you saw in those videos. It has changed my perspective on what actual fitness is. In my humble opinion, the ability to MANIPULATE, MOVE, and CONTROL your bodyweight through space is a true sign of fitness.

In addition to our weekly garage workouts, I scoped out a calisthenics park in the greater Kansas City area, and now we have a standing Saturday AM workout (weather permitting). And, working out outside is awesome to boot.

When we have the apparatus available, I like to program in some skill training, as well as mobility work, and a circuit to reinforce the skills while raising our heart rate. I also might throw in a special “burner” which I am today.

Warmup:

  • Jump rope 2 min – freestyle skills
  • Side twists (holding band or JR) – 25 sec
  • Chair squat (holding band or JR) – 25 sec
  • Side bend (holding band or JR) – 25 sec
  • Combo move (plank walkout -> spider lunge right -> side angle pose right arm -> side angle pose left arm -> left hip dip to ground -> return to plank -> spider lunge left…..repeat cycle – 50 sec
  • Scorpion twist – 25 sec
  • Soldier kick – 25 sec
  • Side leg raise – 25 sec
  • Gliding lunge – 25 sec
  • Egoscue shoulder sequence (elbow curls – 20 count, arm circles forward – 20 count, arm circles back, 20 count)

Skills:

Pulling – dead hang, scapular hang, hang w/knee raise hold, tuck lever hold, skin the cat – HOLD UNTIL FAILURE

Pushing – plank hold, one-arm plank hold, beginner planche hold work (lean shoulders out over hands in plank), frog stands – HOLD UNTIL FAILURE

Push/pull circuit do one right after the other, rest for 2 minutes between cycles):

  • Dip (assisted dip) – 3 x 6-10
  • Inverted row – 3 x 6-10

or…

  • Handstand (or pike) pushup – 3 x 6-10
  • Pullup (assisted pullup) – 3 x 6-10

Leg burner (3 min):

  • 20 seconds squat, 10 seconds squat hold x 2
  • 20 seconds squat jack, 10 seconds squat hold x 2
  • 20 seconds squat jump, 10 seconds squat hold x 2

Heart rate circuit (5 min):

  • High knee jump rope – 1 min
  • Double battle rope slam – 1 min
  • Jumping jacks – 1 min
  • A-skips – 1 min each leg

There were 5 of us, so we did it circuit style and moved station to station. My rotation was:

  • A skip (R)
  • A skip (L)
  • Double rope slam
  • Jump rope
  • Jumping jacks

I like this HR chart (max HR in the 170’s)…

HR 3-31

Overall, the group found this challenging, but liked it. The most visceral responses came from the leg burner circuit. At one point, of the participants was just kind of pulsing and shrugging (during the squat jacks), and it looked like she was kind of miming the sequence (I’m sure in her head she was doing the full movement).

You know it’s a good workout when one of your compadres asks you to pour their coffee for them during the victory omelet because her hands are still shaking.