Archives For April 2012

The Whole9 have put together an awesome 3 part series (READ THEM! 1, 2, 3) where prominent Strength & Conditioning Professionals answered the question “If you could only do 5 exercises for the rest of your life, what would they be?” Assuming your goals are general health, fitness and longevity, and not a specialized sport.  The answers were really cool, and the overlap in answers is easy to see-but I’m going to make it even easier for you below.  You’ll also notice that almost all of us who contributed to the article “cheated”….especially Dallas (it was on his site!)….we picked exercises that weren’t just one movement, we picked things that were more complicated, or we said things like “derivatives” or “variations”, and that’s because 5 isn’t a realistic thing to do for the rest of your life.  I have a post coming up on why the “less is more” idea may not be best for everyone (especially those looking for “performance”), which is sure to cause contention and discussion.  Now, on to the analysis.

Here are the raw numbers, from most to least. There were 12 experts, so a total of 60 possible exercises.  According to this, squatting is king…but we sorta knew that already, right?

Squat 7 (Overhead 2, Front 2, Goblet 1, “all” 2)

Deadlift 5

Turkish Getup 4, Pullup/Chin 4, Clean and Push Press/Jerk 4 (2 power clean, 2 full clean)

Lunge 3, Sprints 3, 1 Arm Row 3 (on trx, bent over, any)

Pushup/Plan 2, Crawling 2, Airdyne 2, Rotation/Anti Rotation 2

1 mention: Dips, Walking, Swim, 1 arm press, mobility drill from Cressey, broad jump, running, step ups, man makers

Now that we have that, let’s organize these into push, pull, hip dominant, knee dominant, single leg stance, rotational, and “core”.  This gets tricky because the complex exercises can fit into more than one category, so they can count for more than one in this section.

Push 10 (includes: presses, pushes, & crawling also)

Pull 18 (includes: DL’s, swings, cleans, pulls)

Hip Dom 8 (includes: dl’s, swings, cleans, I didn’t include the single leg stuff)

Knee Dom 7 (includes: squats, (I didn’t include the single leg stuff)

1-Leg Exercise 12 (includes: lunges, TGUs, step up, sprinting)

Rotational/Anti Rotational 15 (includes: general ro/antiro, carries, crawls, 1 arm row/press)

“Core” all of them!  The only direct core work assigned were 2 planks, and 2 specific anti rotation-however, the complex exercises chosen will handle the core.

So, looking at this we have 9:5 pull:push, 4:5 unilateral lower:bilateral lower, & a ton of ro/antiro work recommended.  So take a look at your program, and if it is missing this type of set up, understand why you aren’t quite as awesome as you’d like to be.

Next, I’m going to provide a week routine utilizing the info above, and suggest how you could incorporate this.  Now, I’m not picking 5 exercises, I already did that….I’m taking all the info from above and mashing it together in a bad ass routine, that would be great for health and wellness, and also performance (will note performance additions).  Adjust the sets & reps to fit your own personal goals and abilities, this is likely how I’d do mine, since I don’t like really high volume for my own body.  Additionally, if you can do a morning walk of 20-60 minutes while drinking coffee/tea before breakfast..please do it as often as possible-and go to http://www.mobilitywod.com/ and DO IT.

**Please please please, if any of these exercises hurt or you can’t do well, sub an easier version that you can do! **

General warm up each day (this is a tough workout load-but it’s only 3 days. the warmup alone is hard :

3 paired sets of crawling and the cressey mobility drill linked above

3 paired sets of multi directional lunges and 1 arm row variety (partial to the trx version from Dan John)

5 circuited sets of TGU on each side, 10 goblet squats & 10 swings (for added “fun”, add a press in every position in the final set of the TGU)

Monday:

5×3 Heavy Front Squats and weighted pull-ups (you’ll own the rack for a while)

8×2 Clean & Press (barbell or KB-do what you’re good at or learn the other)

1 set max rep pushups

Carry sequence: single sided 20 yard waiter walk, 20 yard rack walk, 20 yard farmers walk, same hand without putting weight down.  Do 3 sets per side.  (extra tough “performance” addition, add 5 reps of 1 arm presses before the waiter walk, 5 reps of squats before the rack walk, and 5 suitcase deadlifts before the farmer carry)

airdyne or rowing machine for 15 minutes, only breathing in and out of the nose

Tuesday:

go for a walk or a swim, and do some unweighted TGU’s and the Cressey Mobility Drill.  (“performance” add-on: hill sprints)

Wednesday:

5×3 Deadlift and single arm OH Press

3×8 Weighted chins and farmer hold step ups

10-20 single broad jumps (depending on knees and landing ability, otherwise sub heavy swings), (“performance” sub 5 sets of triple broad jumps)

sled/sandbag pushes or drags about 5 difficult sets. (“performance” add-on: hand over hand sled drags, this is a horizontal 1 arm pull, start at the end of the rope and pull the sled til its at you, do it about 3 sets per arm–or you can do the plank row)

air dyne, run or rowing machine for 15 minutes, only breathing in and out of the nose

Thursday:

go for a walk or a swim, and do some unweighted TGU’s and the Cressey Mobility Drill.  (“performance” add-on: hill sprints, do either tues or thurs, probably not both!)

Friday:

3×10 Over head squat and pullups (pullups do 1/2 of your estimated max reps)

8×2 Clean and Push Press/Jerk

1 set max out pull-up and immediately follow with max out pushups

Carry sequence: single sided 20 yard waiter walk, 20 yard rack walk, 20 yard farmers walk, same hand without putting weight down.  Do 3 sets per side.  (extra tough “performance” addition, add 5 reps of 1 arm presses before the waiter walk, 5 reps of squats before the rack walk, and 5 suitcase deadlifts before the farmer carry)

air dyne, run or rowing machine for 15 minutes, only breathing in and out of the nose

Saturday:

go for a walk or a swim, and do some unweighted TGU’s and the Cressey Mobility Drill.  (“performance” add-on: hill sprints, do either tues or thurs, probably not both!)

Sunday:

RELAX. Maybe eat some delicious ice cream.

**Again, don’t do things poorly, or that hurt!  Find a trainer that can teach you, and if you’re in San Diego…that could be me, check out the contact info**

Was really cool to jump on this podcast with Anthony Renna of the Strengthcoach podcast, http://strengthcoachpodcast.typepad.com/the_strength_coach_podcas/2012/04/episode-100.html

Thanks Ant!

TGU progress

April 16, 2012 — Leave a comment

Pretty excited that I’ve managed to get my BB getup to 64kg on each side…looking for that 70kg mark by the end of the month.  Here is a little bit of my “warmup” from yesterday.

 

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RKCI

Cliff Harski

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10/10 More Than Just a V Neck Aficionado

By Colin Cooley / Silver Spring, USA

Clif embodies everything an RKC should be: humble, attentive to detail and strong. Plus his pecs look magnificent shirtless.

Bottoms Up!

April 7, 2012 — Leave a comment

Not beer guzzling this time…just some pressing work in the gym today

Here is some discussion on FB with Ben Bruno about this

    • Ben Bruno Nice work. So far I’ve tried seated, standing, half kneeling, and floor press. I think half kneeling is the hardest of those for me. I like them all though. I’m definitely going to stick with them and see how it influences my other lifts.

    • Clifton Harski I thought they’d help push up my other lifts…but I’m not getting that actually. I can bottom up press the 36, and regular press the 40, but not press the 44!

    • Ben Bruno Interesting. When I first added in ring pushups and dips, I was horrible at them. After some practice, it got to where I can now do just about as many with rings as I can without, and my pressing went up a little bit. I’m hoping for that effect with these, but we’ll see. It’s only been a couple weeks. 36 is very strong! I can only do 20′s.

    • Clifton Harski

      I think these stability/motor control improvements don’t do enough to challenge the primary movers, and that’s why they don’t actually increase total dip amount, kb press amount etc. Now, they do allow for much better control and performance at sub maximal loads-which I believe to be hugely important to athleticism. Also, you and I are already fairly strong…so of course it makes sense that lighter loads aren’t enough to overload our prime movers in the standard version of the exercise….yet I still think these types of more proprioceptively rich, stability focused drills are important.
      57 minutes ago · Like
    • Ben Bruno Good thoughts. I also like them as a way to work through a full range of motion on a movement that otherwise might be painful with heavy weight. For example, heavy overhead work bugs my shoulder, but these are fine. After a few weeks of doing them, my shoulders already feel better and I think I’ll have a better chance of being able to overhead press if I chose to try it down the line.

      40 minutes ago · Like
    • Clifton Harski

      The bottom up overhead work really challenges those rotators, since their job is to stabilize the shoulder, and not be prime movers (primarily anyway), so for people with past rotator cuff injuries, they can be awesome (if not done too early in rehab of course). This same reasoning is why I actually like getups so much, gotta be strong and stable in many different shoulder positions

Not much of a post here, except it was cool to get on the Paleo Solution along with Erwan and Jamie. check it out!

And here is a post about it over at MovNat!