AGILITY CHALLENGE – 2K

Can you handle it?

2000 reps of agility related FURY!

Okay – so long story short, I fell down my stairs at home back in September, and tweaked my shoulder. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. It annoyed me a little bit when doing yoga, push ups, dips, etc. Just thought it was a nuisance, so I kept going. When I started the LIIFT4 program on Beachbody On-Demand, I found out how jacked up my shoulder really is.

On the shoulder day, in my 2nd set of overhead shoulder presses, I realized that I’m actually injured, and needed to stop right away. I’m not talking discomfort from challenging myself – I’m talking sharp pain. Lesson to the masses – know when you are actually INJURED, and SHUT IT DOWN!

So, I resolved to take a break from any form of resistance training on my shoulder for the next three weeks, and just let it chill. I’m not in a sling or anything – I’m just avoiding any type of direct repetitive stress that causes immediate discomfort (no push ups, no down dog, no dips, no pull ups, etc). I’ve found I can jump rope, so that is nice.

I didn’t want to be a total sloth during this period, so I decided to focus on lower body stuff. I’ve spent some time on the elliptical for 25 minutes at a clip, and I’ve been doing jump rope work and agility ladder work. One day, I decided to ram those two together, and create a workout. Thus, the 2K Agility Challenge was born…

Equipment needed:

Structure:

2k challenge

This is a 13 round workout. The first 8 rounds go for 3 minutes of work, 1 minute of rest. The final 5 rounds are all core-centric, and on the ground. 30 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest. Why 30 seconds? Because I hate core workouts.

Your goal is to try and hit the numbers in the “baseline challenge.” If you hit those numbers throughout the workout, that gets you to within 5 reps of the 2K challenge. If you go over on some, and under on others, that is fine. The key is to try and hit 2K total reps in the allotted time.

The jump rope portion is pretty simple. Jump rope for 3 minutes. COUNT YOUR REPS and write them down. Here is the one rule. The first 100 reps have to be on one foot. Do 50 reps right foot only, then 50 reps left foot only. After that, its freestyle – do whatever you want.

Pro Tip – high knees jump rope is FAST.

For agility ladder heisman shuffle, check out this video from Insanity: Asylum. Each time up the ladder counts as 1 rep. Up and back counts as 2 reps.

For agility ladder hop scotch, check out this video here. Each time up the ladder counts as 1 rep. Up and back counts as 2 reps.

For the reverse crunch, just lay on your back with your legs straight out. Pull your knees into your chest. Straighten your legs back out. That is 1 rep. Don’t let your feet touch the floor.

For the leg lifts, just lay on your back with your legs straight out. Lift your straight legs into the air until they form a 90 degree angle with your torso. Lower them back down w/o touch the ground. That is 1 rep.

For the c-sit heel tap, get into a c-sit position and hover your heels off the ground. Now touch your heels to the ground. Raise them back off the ground. That is 1 rep. Its a small movement – your heels should be no more than 6″ off the ground when you raise them.

If you check out my 12/20 workout reps (in the chart), you’ll see that I blew past the 2K challenge requirement. The first time I did it, I was around 1800 reps. I figure 2K is a nice starting challenge threshold for the group (I’ll be running the Wednesday workout group through this gauntlet). I think I can go even higher if I go high knees for ALL of the reps after the one-legged reps in jump rope. We’ll see. Just going to play with it for now. Could also increase the time threshold on the core work at some point.

Anyway – have some fun with it, and post your results below!

Did you try the Agility 2K challenge? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this post, please click “like” and share! 

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Garage Workout 8-1-18

i'm back.JPG

I’m reusing the same graphic (above) from the last garage workout post. Its been like two months since our last garage workout.

We suck.

The hiatus this time was much longer than the previous break in action. Hopefully we’ll keep the momentum going. I think everyone feels motivated to get back into action. One of the regular members said he feels, “…soft…”

simpsons blubber

The trouble is syncing our schedules. Of our normal group of 5, three of them travel about 40% of the time for work. Trying to get us all into the same parking garage on the same day at the same time is like trying to herd a bunch of cats that found Walter White’s product.

Editorial note – if you don’t get that reference, go binge watch Breaking Bad right now.

Since I’ve been very pushy pully and yogiy recently, I decided to incorporate all of that into a nice “welcome back” session for 3 out of the 5 of us.

Two of us were traveling.

Huge surprise.

Here is how the morning broke down…

We did what I’ll call the “Yoga Tower.” Usually, the tower is a hellscape of ramp work and then some moderate rep and moderate timed bodyweight movements. For today’s session, I modified it.

  • Ramp 1 – run @ 50%
  • Landing 1 – sun salutation A
  • Ramp 2 – lunge
  • Landing 2 – sun salutation B
  • Ramp 3 – run @ max
  • Landing 3 – sun salutation A with dancing warrior
  • Run to ramp 4, but stop and do balance series
    • Standing knee raise
    • Tree
    • Extended leg w/toe bind

Normally there is another ramp, but since they are re-staining the woodwork on the garage, we would have been huffing fumes for the next ramp and landing. I’m sure we would have had a nice deep downward dog with our minds expanded, but I decided to err on the side of caution.

supertroopers

The group seemed to like that a lot. The dancing warrior sequence got the most acclaim. Next we moved inside to the pull up bar for THE BASICS.

I’ve written about THE BASICS before. Its a simple routine authored by Al Kavadlo.

5 sets, 10 reps

  • Pull up
  • Dip
  • Hanging leg raise

Due to time constraints, two of the participants only did 4 sets, but I quickly squeezed in the 5th set. Call it OCD, but my mind would have revolted if I didn’t complete the 5th set. I needed closure dammit! I’m glad I did the 5th set. This marks the first time I hit 10 reps on all 5 sets for the pull up work. Looking back, it was probably due to the extra rest in between sets (since we had to share the bar between 3 people). But, who cares – I’ll take the win!

We then proceeded to hit First Watch and enjoy our victory omelets (or other applicable breakfast food). For me its the omelet. Love me some omelets.

 

Do you have any fun and off the wall places that you like to work out? If so, please tell us all about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share.” Thank you!

Garage Workout 5-23-18

i'm back.JPG

Hello garage workout – my old friend. I missed you. I’ve probably said it before, but I’ll say it again – the parking garage at work is probably one of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment. Between the ramps and the stairs, there are a ton of things you can do to program a workout.

Putting all of that aside. I love doing a workout outdoors. Between the fresh air and the sunlight, there really isn’t a better way to “play” as an adult. I think that is in our DNA – playing outside is fun.

By far, my favorite garage workout of all time is THE TOWER! The cool thing is, my fellow garage workout’ers agree that THE TOWER RULES!

the tower

The idea is pretty simple. You start at the bottom of the parking garage. You do some type of activity up the entire length of the first ramp. When you get to the landing, you perform two exercises either for reps or time. Then, you recovery jog to the next landing, do something new up the length of the 2nd ramp, do two more exercises at that landing, and just keeping doing that same pattern until you reach the top of the garage.

We have 4 ramps in our parking garage. Money!

Running is the easy one. I tend to get the most groans when I program lunges, frog jumps, bear crawls, etc. Basically the stuff you’d hate doing for high reps on a level ground – yeah, I program that crap up a ramp!

Since this is usually an assault on your lower body, I aim to program upper body and core work in at the landings. On rare and torturous days, I’ll program in some burpees or even some plyo leg moves if the ramp programming is “light” that day.

On to the workout…

 

  • Warmup
    • 300 jump ropes – various skills
    • 120 jumping jacks – 20 reps each of various skills
  • Round 1
    • Ramp 1
      • 75% sprint
      • Chest slap plyo push ups x 10
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 2
      • LUNGE
      • Full jack plyo push up x 10
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 3
      • Bear crawl
      • In/out push up x 10
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 4
      • 75% sprint
      • Dive bomber push up x 10
      • X crunch x 15 + 5 second hold on last rep
  • Round 2
    • Ramp 1
      • 75% sprint
      • No momentum push up with plyo “pop” at the top x 10
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 2
      • LUNGE
      • Rotating clock push ups x 12
        • Start in plank position at 12 o’clock, do a push up, plyo jump your hands to 1 o’clock, do a push up – repeat this entire process until you go around the entire “clock.”
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 3
      • Bear crawl
      • Full superman push up x 10
      • X crunch x 15
    • Ramp 4
      • 75% sprint for half the ramp, then frog jumps the rest of the way
      • Full jack plyo push up x 10
      • X crunch x 15 + 5 second hold on last rep
  • Cooldown
    • just pace back and forth, and assess our lives

This bad boy weighed in at a 436 C burn on about 44 minutes of work (all in). The heart rate chart is pretty nice…

tower hr chart.JPG

…things got real during round 2. When I finished my second round of bear crawls, and saw the HR meter at about 170 on my wrist, I said, “…yeah, that’s about right…” Due to the limitations of wrist equipment properly measuring HR activity during non-running moves, I’m always pleased when it hits 170 or higher. That means I’m really working! In reality, I’m probably pushing the 180’s and/or close to my maximal HR.

The victory omelet at First Watch couldn’t come quick enough.

I think my heart rate just finally returned to normal about 4 hours later. Kidding 🙂

 

Do you have any fun and off the wall places that you like to work out? If so, please tell us all about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share.” Thank you!

Basement Sessions – 5/7/18 – Handstand Push Up Training

As part of my overall training program, I have certain strength “skills” that I aim to train at least once per week. By focusing on these skills and “progressively overloading” the resistance/difficulty, I’m able to realize strength gains. AND, I’m able to do this without lifting weights. These skills are bodyweight skills, and I use the ability to manipulate my body in space to make the movement easier or harder. Bodyweight training is a great way to build functional fitness, and you can do it virtually anywhere without equipment.

Today is handstand push up day!

Continue reading Basement Sessions – 5/7/18 – Handstand Push Up Training

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.

Garage Workout 3-30-18

Email to Brad…

“Can we do a WOF?” (basically asking can we do a workout on Friday)?

Ask and ye shall receive!

My company spent a good amount of $$$ last year putting in a gym. Its mostly a collection of cardio machines, but they did get two things right:

  1. They put in a pullup and dip tower (HOORAY!)
  2. They put in 3 water rowers (AWESOME)

Whenever possible, I like to incorporate one or two of those features since pulling movements (in my experience) are one of the least trained movements out there. Its a shame how many “fit” people can’t do a single pullup. Pullups are one of those desert island exercises for me (if you were stranded on a desert island, and could only do a couple exercises for the rest of your life, what would they be?). Easy.

  1. Burpee
  2. Pullup
  3. Hollow body hold and/or rock

desert island

“Yes Wilson, we are doing burpees again.”

On to the workout…

Row 5×500

rest 1 minute between each 500m

————————–

3 rounds total, rest 1 minute between rounds

Jump rope active recovery for 1 minute between exercises

20 pushups

10 jump lunges (each leg)

20 frog leg raises

10 single leg RDL (each leg)

 

Overall this was a GREAT workout, and the group loved it. It checks all of the boxes. We burned through stored muscle glycogen with the 2500m row, and trained some pull movements at the same time. THEN, we moved onto training some push movements, as well as hip/knee movements, AND some great core work. We did all of this with active recovery in between each exercise. I really like this heart rate chart:

HR garage 3-30

Nice heart rate spikes during the 5x500m row session. Then, notice the misc peaks during the rest of the program. Those are the jump rope intervals.

Good Friday!