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Showing posts from September, 2012

Hypothermia when its warm outside

Yet another Tough Mudder training session, this time in the rain with some Fall-like weather. There were only four of us as some folks decided that rain meant they could stay inside on the couch and snuggle with their wives while waiting for their breakfast casserole to bake . . . I'm not bitter, I swear. I wasn't cold or hungry or anything like that. :)

 Actually, I'm just kidding. Our training session today was rather refreshing. Unlike the previous weeks of overwhelming heat and humidity that forced me to wring out my clothing and my braid with regularity so that I wasn't weighed down by my sweat collection, today was nice. It started out about 70 degrees with a light rain. We added some miles and obstacles this week bringing our grand total up to 7 miles and 14 obstacles. It was pretty tiring, but we got through it in just under 2.5 hours even though we raised the wall and added in a belly crawl. By the time we were finished, it was 60 degrees and there w…

100% RAW Mid-Atlantic Championships

This past weekend I took my son, daughter, and one of my weightlifters to the 100% RAW Mid-Atlantic Powerlifting championships.  And it was awesome.  Before I get into the events of the day, let me explain a little bit about this competition.  Powerlifting is a strength sport that focuses on a small selection of strength lifts.  The squat, bench press, and deadlift are the most typical lifts seen, but some federations include some others such as the strict curl.  There are over 40 different federations in powerlifting that have their own sets of rules, competition schedules, and records.  When I was looking for a federation to have my children compete under, my friend Ryan Hale, coach for the Wolverine Powerlifting club in Iowa, recommended 100% RAW.  This federation bans the use of specialized gear and drugs to assist competitors.  The only equipment allowed are belts and wrist wraps.  Additionally, this federation has an "11 and under" age group and allows competitors to …

Have Fun, Get Strong!

To say I'm working on a couple of projects right now is an understatement.  I have a tendency to stretch myself a bit thin with my training and teaching projects, but only because I have so much fun doing this stuff.  One of my most recent projects is designing a strength program for one of the "specials" classes at my children's elementary school.  It will be challenging, but I'm really looking forward to seeing if I can get these kids excited about getting stronger and most importantly, having fun doing it.  I've been working on designing a sixteen week program for third and fourth graders and I'll post some of the programs as I figure out what works and what doesn't.

That aside, I've been training two of my kids and a few other students for a power lifting meet on September 22nd.  I think its a good thing to introduce strength training to kids as soon as it is safe and possible and I've learned a few things along the way.

First things fir…

Tough Mudder Training: 5 Weeks Out

We just finished our third conditioning workout for the Tough Mudder and it was tough to say the least.  Today we completed 11 obstacle stations repeating the Wall, Over/Under, and Crawling stations an additional time.  So overall, we started with a 1 mile run and then ran an additional 700 meters after every obstacle.  The obstacle stations were as follows:

Monkey Bars:  45-54 bars in a row without stopping.  Since we're using my kids playset, this required a lot of stopping and turning.  Additionally, we've banned the use of momentum and everyone had to grab each bar with both hands.  Its harder, but will help us get up the inclined monkey bars on the Tough Mudder Course.

The Wall:  We added another board to the top so its now at 7 feet.  Everyone, including all the women were able to get over the wall without assistance, getting a hold on the top is the only challenge.  Well, aside from the bruises and wood burns all over our calves and thighs.  Important point to make her…

Circuit Training

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 health ce…

Obstacle Course Race Conditioning

Whether you are training for a Warrior Dash or a Tough Mudder, it wise to condition yourself for the combined efforts of running and climbing.  Or crawling.  Or jumping.  Or whatever your race has in store for you.  Switching back and forth between endurance and strength efforts is a bit harder than doing either in isolation.  And a lot more tiring.  The good news is that it doesn't take a long time to adapt to this sort of conditioning so if you have your strength base in place and your endurance base in place, taking a few weeks to combine the two will ensure that your race day is much easier.

This past weekend, my Tough Mudder Team, the GeriAtrocities, had our first group conditioning session.  The Tough Mudder is unique in that it is not a race and encourages teamwork amongst the participants to get over the obstacles.  In fact, some of the obstacles are literally insurmountable without help from your fellow Mudders.  The goal of our training this weekend was not just to begi…