Archive for the ‘workouts’ Category

Body Weight Workout

Posted: March 9, 2014 in Fitness, workouts

While flicking through the internet one day last week I came across Al Kavadlo and also BarStarrz whose fitness routines were unlike anything I have ever seen before. My first thought – how cool would it be to be able to do some of this stuff myself? My second thought was ‘I’m 48, these guys are fit as could be, I’ll never manage anything like that’. My third thought was ‘let’s give it a shot anyway’. So that’s the fitness plan for the next couple of months.

I’m really struck by Al Kavadlo, not only is he doing unbelievable fitness routines, but he does it with a big smile across his face the whole time.

AlKavadlo-Pistol-Squat AlKavadlo-Flag

There are plenty of times I can’t manage the smallest of grins at the gym, never mind beaming happiness. Fit as could be and with a positive attitude, now THAT’s a role model!

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to manage anything to the level Al is at, but its worth a shot. If nothing else it should make gym training a lot more interesting. I spoke to my trainer about this as a plan. We had a stab at some basic exercises about a week ago which clearly showed what I couldn’t do, along with a few bits I’m not too far away from (there is some light!). That resulted in the following workout, so that’s what I’ll be concentrating on for the next while.

Workout 1.
Warm up by doing 3 sets of these 2 exercises
Swings from the bar 20 reps – increasing the range each swing
Bear crawls 5 metres forward and backward

Worm – walk out on your hands as far as possible then slowly walk the feet back up to hands and repeat x 5 reps (3 sets)
Superset with:
Hanging from bar with bent arms/stabilise your torso and use a running action with legs x 30 secs (3 sets)

Dip bar leg raise 3 x 10 reps
Superset with:
Hanging knee raise 3 x 10 reps

Pull ups 3 x max reps
Superset with:
Dips 3 x max reps

TRX inverted row 1-3 x max reps
Superset with:
Press ups 1-3 x max reps – these are depending on time/energy

Workout 2.
Usual warm up circuit

Single leg squat and reach 2 x 10 side
Poliquin step up 2 x 15 reps
Deadlift – follow present set/rep structure
TRX single leg squat 3-4 x 10 side – if this is a problem then perform the version off the bench with a med ball for a counter balance. However the TRX version will allow a greater range of motion.
KB walking lunge 1- 2 x 10/side (max weight) depending on time/energy

As for the first week or so of training its gone OK. The exercises are very new compared to anything else I’ve done before. So at this stage I’m concentrating on the mechanics and trying to get form, but its going OK. The bar swings is the one that has caused me most difficulty, but I’m getting better at them. At the end of the upper body workout my arms feel so pumped I can barely move them, I hope in time as my body becomes accustomed to the exercises this will ease off.

Variety is the spice of life and exercising is no different. I’m already wondering if being able to do a muscle up by the end of the year is reasonable goal?

As for the big grin, that may take a lot longer.


Kettlebell Complex

Posted: January 26, 2014 in Fitness, workouts

I always assumed that as I got fitter doing things at the gym would become easier, the exercises I struggled with in the past would become easier and therefore I’d have an easier time as my fitness improved. In fact there would come a time when I could cruise through a gym workout whilst barely breaking sweat. Great theory, but nothing like reality! Once you can just about do something its time to move onto something else more challenging.

Now my trainer introduced me to kettle bells, which to those of you who have been spared such things look just like this:

kettlebellsThere are all sorts of exercises you can do with these things and as you can see they come in a range of sizes. So the permutations are endless. I’ve used them in the past as part of a workout, but my trainer ‘kindly’ showed me how to do a complex with these things for “a quick full body work out.” Oh its quick all right, I go from fresh-faced to exhausted in about 4 minutes flat. The complex is a series of exercises performed one after the other with two kettlebells. In my case:

  • Press up
  • Stiff leg deadlift
  • Row
  • Swing
  • Clean
  • Reverse lunge
  • Push press

I start off with one of each, then two, then three, then two and then one.

If you think I must be doing this with the big purple kettlebells at the end, I have to disappoint you. Instead I’m using two of those little yellow ones (12 kg each). My workout has 3-4 sets of the complex. I probably spend longer sitting on my ass between sets than it takes to do the set in the first place. Today I managed four sets although I was hardly a thing of beautiful motion towards the end of the last set.

Despite all the gains I’ve made in my fitness, I’m still astounded just how tiring a workout can be and in this case so quickly too. Apparently the trainer wants me to aim for a complex of 1,2,3,4,3,2,1 as opposed to the current 1,2,3,2,1. I have to say that looks like a life-time away. But then again, it wasn’t that long ago I thought I’d never be able to pull ups either.

Currently I have yet to see anything in the gym that exhausts me quite as quickly as kettlebells. So when time is in short supply and you still want a serious work out I have to recommend you reach for the kettlebells, but don’t say I didn’t warn you first about how tough it can be.

Warm up – 8 mins Cross trainer

Upper body workout:

  • Medicine Ball press ups (3 sets 12) raise feet on step for extra challenge
  • TRX pull up (3 sets 12) single leg
  • Landmine Press (3 sets 12 @ 7.5kg)
  • DB 3 Point Row (3 sets 12 @20 kg) Aim for sets of 20/24/20 kg
  • Standing DB Curl (3 sets 12 @ 2 x 10kg) Hammer Grip
  • Dips (3 sets 12)


Lower body workout:

  • Deadlift (3-5 sets @ 95 – 110 kg) vary the sets and load per day
  • Reverse Lunge Cable Row (3-4 sets 12 @20kg) or KB Reverse Lunge (3-4 sets 8-10 per leg@ 2 x 16 kg)
  • KB Front Squat (3-4 sets 12 @ 2 x 20kg)
  • TRX Bodysaw (3 sets 15)
  • Standing band press (3 sets 10 per side)