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Showing posts from July, 2010

Get strong, Get lean. But, be careful how you do it.

We all have fitness and training goals. And we use a variety of techniques to reach them. The truth is, a lot of them are pretty straightforward and a lot of them are over-hyped.

The downside to the variety of training techniques is that not a lot of folks really know exactly how they work and what's best for us, the individuals who use them. I wrote an article on the use of circuits that may shed a little light on combining strength and cardio and when its good and when its not.

Getting Strong, Getting Lean

Getting Strong and Losing Fat

To get strong, we lift weights. To lose fat we do cardio, right?

And who has time for all that?


So, about sixty years ago, circuits were invented.  It was shown that you could perform weight training exercises in a continuous circuit for 2-3 total sets and get both a cardiovascular and strength benefit.  But, how much benefit do you actually get?

The original circuits, done in the fifties and published in the book Circuit Training, by R.E. Morgan and G.T. Adamson, utilized such exercises as burpees, rope swings, clean and presses, barbell squats, wheelbarrow lifts, dips, pullups, and a few that I didn't recognize, but looked like fun like arm jumps across a ladder.  These circuits would vary in length from 10 to 25 minutes and although they were meant to strengthen, their main effect was cardiovascular. 

For years, circuits have been used with calisthenics, light implements, and bodyweight only exercises. Circuit weight training is a familiar sight in commercial gyms and healt…

Training Schedule July 26th - July 31st

Well, some exciting things have happened this week! First of all, we finally walled off the back area of the basement and that means, yes, the whining has paid off. We got an air conditioner! Now the workouts will only be horrible because they are hard, not because they are hard and you are doing them in a sauna.

Second bit of great news! I got a bench! Well, my husband bought a bench and I had forgotten how much I loved bench pressing. Definitely going on the regular schedule more often.

So, I did not check in last week with my weight loss which I'm sure seemed a bit suspicious to some of you. However, fear not, my methods are working and I'm down to 131.5 as of this morning. I have added in a 3 mile walk twice a week either pushing a stroller holding a pre-schooler or carrying a 25 lb back pack. Now, this is no ordinary walk, we have hills, lots of large hills. So, heart rate and fatigue come into play rather quickly (sometimes crying, me or the kid). Intensity is…

Training Schedule July 19th through July 26th

Monday July 12th

Back Squat 3x10
Press 5x5

Tuesday July 6th

Complete the following circuit at a moderate pace:
Rest one minute between sets
Jump rope 50 reps
Knees to elbows, 10-15
(alternative 10 chin ups or body rows, 10 hanging knee raises)
Bulgarian split squat right leg 15
Bulgarian split squat left leg
Kettlebell swing, 25
Perform 4-5 rounds.





Wednesday July 7th

This is a high intensity workout.  Make sure you have an extended warmup such as 20-30 minutes steady state cardio, body weight circuits, and/or dynamic stretches.  I will typically run 400 meters and then complete 30 reps of 6 different exercises that loosen the joints and stimulate all the muscles such as overhead squats, standing russian twists with a light bar, lunges, body rows, club bell swings, etc.

10 burpees
10 dumbbell thrusters
50 meter sprint
2-4 minutes rest

Thursday July 8th

Rest Day

Friday July 9th

Perform the following at a medium high intensity. 

Overhead Walking Lunges, 50 meters (use dumbbell, bar, plate,…

Training Schedule July 12th through July

First of all, I'd like to congratulate Adam Mathias on his MMA debut win at the Bull City Brawl Saturday night.  He won by unanimous decision.  30-27, 30-27, 29-28  It is a testimony to his hard work and skill.  Adam trains at the Triangle Jiu Jitsu Academy in Durham.





And, to get back to the mundane, in an article posted on my Back to Basics Training blog, I challenged myself to reduce my bodyfat and lost 5 lbs over the next  month by adding in some cardio and making some changes in my diet.  This week, I have made progress, albeit slow progress, but that's the kind that sticks around.

I did 4 workouts this week, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday and I added in 2 additional cardio sessions, one being a 3 mile bike ride over hilly terrain, the other being a 1 mile walk (over same hilly terrain) with 20 lbs in a backpack.  I am officially down 1.9 lbs (133.1 from 135) via my morning weigh in.  Now, that may be due entirely to other factors, so next week's weigh-in wi…

Back to Basics Training

Guess what?  I wrote a few articles where I talk about myself incessantly and then give a little bit of good advice.  Typical of us fitness bloggers, but you may find it useful.  Click on the links below to read the following two articles.


Fat Loss, What Does It Take?
Holy cow!

I've been trying to lose a few pounds over the past two months and instead, I've put on five. How can this be?

(click on above link for rest of article.)

Trying to Gain Wisdom Without Hurting Myself
Over the past two years, my fitness philosophies have been challenged, modified, and finally returned to their original form. And all I can say is thank God I'm not as wishy-washy as I thought I was turning out to be. As it turns out, fitness is pretty basic. It doesn't have to be complicated, it just has to be interesting and challenging enough to maintain the attention span of the participant. Doing a machine circuit and walking on the treadmill is neither interesting nor terribly effective for the…

Trying to gain wisdom without hurting myself.

Over the past two years, my fitness philosophies have been challenged, modified, and finally returned to their original form. And all I can say is thank God I'm not as wishy-washy as I thought I was turning out to be. As it turns out, fitness is pretty basic. It doesn't have to be complicated, it just has to be interesting and challenging enough to maintain the attention span of the participant. Doing a machine circuit and walking on the treadmill is neither interesting nor terribly effective for the long run and so its no wonder most folks abandon their gym memberships a few short weeks after their New Year's Resolutions and long before bathing suit season is upon us.

The key to working out effectively is intensity. And when I say intensity I mean all different ranges of intensity. This must be coupled with appropriate volume and by this, I mean how how many repetitions or sets of a particular exercise you are going to do or how long are you going to be doing said e…

Training Schedule July 5th through July 10th

Well, it is about 3 months until the Warrior Dash.  Time flies, eh?  So, if you're not doing it already, its time to start running.  And, don't forget about the mud.



If you are lifting heavy, steady state running for 20-45 minutes after your lifting sessions is fine and will not effect your strength, but you can split up your running and lifting days if you have the time.  Three each, per week, is a good aim.  In September, we will increase the number of running interval workouts aimed at conditioning specifically for the race.  For those of you doing more conditioning based workouts, there is still no substitute for running and one to two short runs (or running intervals) and one long run a week is going to become necessary now.  Work on increasing your distance and speed each week.


Monday July 5th

Barbell complex:
Deadlift
Hang Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
(after last press, rack bar behind the neck)
Split Squat, left leg
Split Squat, right leg

8 reps each, 5 rounds

Tu…