Thursday, September 30, 2010

PWO#4: Week Zero

The workouts will be published in blocks of one week's worth at a time. At the conclusion of the 8 weeks, I will then release the whole schedule as a single document here.

The following needs to be said: Depending on what YOUR goals are, this workout program may or may not be for you. Whether this plan will help you reach your goals depends on not only your current physical state, but also what sort of loads/weights you choose to use or have available to use. MY overall reason for publishing another workout series is to give options for our readers. If you decide to make adjustments to what I publish, I suggest these guidelines:
  • If you are looking for the blend of strength-endurance, follow the workout as closely as possible. This is not a pure strength program, and it is definitely not a pure cardio program either. Many of the MetCons use heavier loads than you might be accustomed to.
  • For "light" MetCons (circuits), use a weight that allows you to complete all the repetitions in a given exercise in a single set. If you find you are required to put the KB down and take a breather DURING A SET, you are probably using too heavy of a weight. Rest is probably needed BETWEEN exercises or rounds, but not before a set is complete.
  • For "heavy" MetCons (circuits that call for heavier weights and low rep numbers), the weight should be such a burden that the low repetition numbers is challenging. If you are breezing through it, you're defeating the purpose of a "heavy" MetCon.
  • If you don't have heavier KBs for the strength-building sessions, then you should probably double (or triple) the repetition numbers. For example, if the workout calls for 3 KB snatches @75#, and all you have is a 55#KB, bump that number of reps up to 6 or 9. You will get a different physical adaptation from this session by altering it in such a way, but that's what you get for not having the right equipment!! It is no longer a strength-building session, but rather a stamina one.
  • Let's put it this way: If you are looking to get stronger, use heavy KBs. You might consider cutting some of the rep numbers to cause this. If you are looking for more cardio-respiratory endurance or stamina, use a lighter KB and bump up those rep numbers.
  • Avoid changing up the exercises. Do the prescribed exercises, and change something else (reps or weight). The exercises are programmed in a specific order over the course of many weeks. This is a PROGRAM. We're not cherrypicking random WODs. There is variety, not randomness. Randomness means there is not a plan, rather programming is left nothing more than the roll of dice. I, on the other hand, have a plan.
  • Mono-modal WODs are those that only incorporate one exercise or one movement. An example of this is the US Secret Service Snatch Test. Some of these "tests" will be repeated over the few weeks. Be sure to record your "scores" to gauge progress.
Before setting into the PWO#4 ask yourself some serious questions.

  • Do I have a KB that is so heavy I can only muscle it up (jerk) over my head less than 5 times at best while completely rested? Or can do less than 10 high pulls (to height of chest) with?
  • Do I have a KB that is moderately-weighted so that completing eight to ten strict standing overhead presses with it is nearing failure? Or that 10 F8H hand-offs is challenging?
  • Do I have a KB that is light enough that I can do hand-to-hand (H2H) one-handed swings for 20 total hand-offs? Or can do 10 TGUs unbroken on a single side?
These are some guidelines as to what I mean by heavy, medium, or light KB loads. If you are missing one of these three KBs, you will need to make some of the above listed adjustments. If you try to go through the whole PWO#4 with only one KB (example: a man using 35#KB), you can surely do it -- but you will have to make some changes in repetition numbers and will see a different adaptation in your body than someone with the heavier options available. I myself will be out of town for one week during the campaign -- I will have to make repetition number adjustments based on what limited KBs I can bring along.

Also, if you are so new to kettlebelling that you don't know what most of the above verbage means, either click here for a glossary, or go back to PWO#2. As I've said before, strength-work with a KB for a beginner is a recipe for disaster and injury. Couple that up with some of the H2H juggling, and one will likely get hurt. Beginners: Go to PWO#2 and learn all the movements first. Prepare your body with a light load, at maximums of Range of Motion, at higher rep counts, with good form.

Happy kettlebelling.

1 comment:

Tom G said...

Lou, you are one writing fool. I commend you on all your great work and effort to spread the gospel of functional fitness. Your passion is contagious.
Tom G