This blog was created to help others in the process of getting fit and healthy by sharing individual observations and discussing alternative methods of handling challenging situations and choices regarding our health.
Although I liked the Beginner Kettlebell Workouts, they involved too much shoulder rotation (snatch, clean and press, military press) for me. I decided to finish out this week with the more balanced Kettlebell Workout from Women's Health (Saved by the Bell). The workout keeps the shoulder rotation down but provides a good variety of exercises. I will be exploring other Kettlebell workouts for the following weeks. As I increase my stairclimber intervals (the longest being 26 minutes), the less time I have for resistance workouts if I want to stay under my 60 minute time frame. When I go back to shorter intervals at higher intensities, I may reintroduce some cardio strength training again (complexes, timed sets, and tabatas) to maintain cardio intensity--my thoughts about this will be on my podcast this weekend. I am also trying to piece together some different yoga routines into my own DVD so I don't have to think about this as much and can just follow the DVD throughout the day (wake-up routine, flexibility routine, relaxing evening routine).
For the next four weeks I will be doing the Beginner Kettlebell Workout plan provided by MBodyStrenth.com. I will modify it for my purposes but the basic structure remains. There are three workouts and their rotation through the week are changed from week to week-this week they follow in order 1-2-3. Here is Workout 1 (Circuit of 4 rounds with 6-10 reps; exception is the Turkish Get Up with only 3 reps):
Turkish Get Up (I do a half get-up)
Clean and Press
Do the above starting with left side and the going through the right side; at the end of each side to Kettlebell Swings (2-handed) for 15 reps.
They have an interval plan but I am just following my stairmaster program -- increasing time each week as I decrease repetitions and increase weight on the Kettlebell Circuit. I will include video clips for each of the moves or the whole routine when possible.
Well, my temporary assignment is over but I learned some valuable lessons. 1) I can get a good workout in under 40 minutes without much equipment and 2) with some creativity you can do cardio without a machine and in a very small space. I had to rethink my Tabata routine because of the gym (no valslides, no cardio machine I liked, etc.) and I decided I needed to come up with exercises that could be do on their own and a few dumbbells. I came up with the following 3 rounds of Tabata, totaling 48 minutes.
Round 1: Push/Press-Reverse Lunge/Knee High-Plank Split-Lateral Crossover Round 2: Squat/Curl-Plie Jack-Burpees-Front Step Up Round 3: Front Squat-Reverse Lunge to Forward Lunge-Mt. Climber-Jump Squat
Now that I am back at my own gym, I will rework my routine and start over!
I picked up a work assignment over Valentine's Day and need to rework my workout to accommodate the gym location and time. I switched back to a timed-set based on Tabata and did my own 8 exercises. I did the following (started with an Energy Yoga Routine-Tara Stiles) -
Reverse Lunge (valslides)
Kettlebell Squat to Curl
Side Lunge (valslides)
Mountain Climber (valslides)
Lateral Step Overs
I had to use a towel instead of valslides because this gym didn't have valslides. I did the best I could do under the time constraints and location. Just make do!
I told you in a previous post that I was doing my final intervals incorrectly. They are supposed to be 60/60 work to rest, not 60/30 work to rest. So, I don't think I was getting enough recovery time (especially with the pyramids at the end of the strength training sessions). So, I have changed back to 60/60. However, I try to keep my cardiovascular sessions short and intense. Unfortunately, the high intensity interval training I am doing means I should be working up to 12 rounds of 60/60, meaning at least 25 minutes, meaning I may have to change my finishers or strength workout as I get past 15 minutes (which means in another week). Luckily, that is when I will be changing programs again. Another modification I will need to make next week is changing the alternating bench press to something that is more rehabilitative in nature. My left shoulder cannot lift much more than 20 lbs and with a limited range of motion. I realize this is a long-term issue and will need to continue to modify these moves--so, more rotator cuff exercises or specific exercises for pre-operative surgery. Another item I noticed while doing burpees (or squat thrusts), my arms are really short and inhibit the movement. So, I will either at a step (to allow for more room) or I will do a frog squat to shorten the leg of my bent knees. It changes the emphasis but allows me to do the motion without injury to my hands. One good thing is that fitness professionals are starting to realize certain movements do need to be modified so a larger group of folks can use them--turkish get up is a great example--and when I return to a kettlebell workout, you will see a number of variations on this particular movement.
In addition to the Men's Health Workout (see below), I complete the strength segment of my workout with a "finisher". This particular finisher is called the pyramid and I take 2 different exercises and alternate between the two starting with a number (say 10) and then progressing down to -0-. I chose jump squats and burpees. I start with 10 jump squats then 10 burpees, 9 jump squats then 9 burpees, etc. No rest in between. Each workout I increase the repetitions by 1 until I reach 15. This is followed by my normal cardio interval session. I found out I was doing these incorrectly and was probably over training a bit--I will discuss that in my next post.
This Week's Workout:
Supersets; 3 sets for each pair
Pair 1: Hang Squat 6-8/Alternating DB Bench Press 8-10
Pair 2: Squats 8-10/Pull Ups 8-10 (on gravitron)
Pair 3: DB Romanian Dead Lift 8-10/Curl to Press 8-10
Pair 4: Cable Wood Chop (on knees) 8-10/SB Crunch with Plate 8-10
I typically start with a lighter weight and higher repetition range (10) and progress lower repetitions and increase the weight so by the end of the 3rd workout I am doing my highest weight at the lowest repetition (6 or 8).