I have a list of things that I want to write about, and there are frequently topics on the list that don’t necessarily warrant a full on write up. Here are 3 of those things, which are important but don’t need an APA formatted college dissertation.
Farmer’s Walks in Power Circuit
At this point, you probably understand the value of carrying heavy stuff. Farmer’s walks, suitcase walks, bear hug walks, overhead walks-they all have a role in strengthening your entire body, building muscle, and helping to make the strength you build in the gym transferrable to all of the other stuff in life that you want to dominate.
The problem is, I routinely struggle with where to put them in a program. Do I use them in a conditioning circuit at the end? Possible, but depending on the conditioning plan for a given day it might not make sense. They’re quite taxing, so pairing them with a main lift isn’t something I’ve ever loved, either.
Something I’ve been doing more frequently is pairing a jump, a carry, and a medicine ball drill together after a warm up, and that’s been the best place that I’ve found to put them. 2 that I’ve used in recent programs are:
1A. Box Jump 3×5
1B. Med Ball Slams 3×10
1C. Farmer’s Walk 2-3x:30-:45
1A. 1 Leg Medial and Lateral hurdle hops with a mini bounce 3×3/each
1B. Cross Behind MB Side Toss 3×8/each
1C. Goblet Walk 2-3x:45-:60
Jumps and throws for power, but also to rev up CNS
I’d like to piggyback on the topic of jumps and throws here with what else they’re amazing for: getting woke AF.
We all know that feeling of being tired and sluggish and not really in the mood to train. Maybe you didn’t sleep well the night before, or maybe you were in a stuffy meeting room all day getting your soul sucked out.
Training might be the last thing you want to do, but getting yourself to the gym, getting warmed up, and moving into some box jumps and medicine ball throws often times primes you up for a great training session.
If not, it’s ok to audible to a less stressful workout on these kinds of ass dragging days, but give it a shot and see if it helps wake your system up a bit more than 5 minutes of slow elliptical-ling.
If rest times aren’t long enough, then you’re not doing HIIT
High intensity interval training is a great tool for fat loss and improving your work capacity. Problem is, a lot of people think that they’re doing it but are really just doing steady state aerobic work or threshold training. Not a bad thing, but it’s important to know what you’re doing and why.
With HITT, you are performing work at a high intensity for a short period of time, which jacks up your heart rate. You then rest for a period of time, giving your heart rate a chance come back down, so that you can repeat another interval at a high intensity.
An example would be on an Airdyne bike where you pedal like you stole something for 15-20 seconds, and then rest until your heart rate returns to a level that will allow you to do another interval at the same intensity as the first, and so on.
The problem that most people make is that they don’t rest long enough, so their heart rate doesn’t go down enough, and then they can’t work at a high intensity anymore. It becomes a middle of the road output, but feels like you’re dying.
Wearing a heart rate monitor can be helpful here, depending on what tool you’re using for intervals. Simply work really hard for 10-30 seconds, then rest until your heart rate returns to about 70-75% of your max heart rate. (Estimate this as 220 minus your age). Repeat this 8-15 times.
If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, just work at a 2/1 or 3/1 work to rest ratio. For example, if you are doing 100 ft intervals on the ski erg, and the first one takes you :30, then make sure to rest :60-:90 seconds. This will ensure that you’ll have enough recovery time to attack each interval with enough intensity to really do some work.