Dare Mighty Things

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Warrior Workout

I can't resist. Like any self-respecting endurance blogger I must open up my "training journal" and let everyone take a peek inside. But first...my take on a recent fitness "phenomena" ("gimmick" sounds sort of negative). I've read and heard a great deal of chatter lately about a very popular exercise program available through the TV. As an exercise physiologist this stuff is what I do. I'm sure you've seen it on TV and you probably know someone who's "doing it". You know what I'm talking about, it begins with "P" and ends with "X" and has a number between 89-91 in the middle. I hesitate to call it out by name for fear of some twisted cyber-fitness retaliation. Enough said. Don't get me wrong, I've paused countless times on the infocommercial. Who hasn't? It's really pretty tempting stuff. The packaging is nothing short of brilliant. Perhaps I'm bitter that I didn't sell this to the right people 5 years ago when I started doing it. Wait, me a generation X'er you ask? No, I was doing the real McCoy before muscle confusion made it into the popular vernacular. Don't be confused, any exercise system will work if there is an unconditional commitment to it's execution. The real question is this...what exactly does "work" mean? I read a great deal about getting "ripped" on their advertising materials, but is that really what endurance athletes are after from their resistance training routines? Does being "ripped" equate to injury free metabolically efficient performance? If you look great on the beach does that mean PR's at your local trail race? When this system's time has come and gone, what's next? Tell you what I'll do...I'll see your slickly packaged beach body exercise routine and I'll raise you one movie-based popular exercise system! That's right, the 300 Workout! Riddle me this, who looks better on the beach than a Spartan warrior? All kidding aside, when I heard about this exercise routine last summer I was admittedly skeptical. Very skeptical. Then I tried it and it happened, I became a believer...of sorts. The original workout is based on a series of six movements (the pull-ups are repeated) and 300 total reps. After running through it for a couple of weeks I thought it was interesting, but probably lacked the lumbo-pelvic-hip stabilization work that I feel is crucial to a solid endurance performance foundation. So like any decent exercise physiologist I went to work and tweeked it creating what I now believe is the optimal resistance training system for...me. Wait, surprised I'm not touting this as the "best thing since remote control television"? Don't be. What works for me probably won't work for you, but you may be able to lift one or two nuggets and apply them to your own programs. So, without further adieu I present Workout #1 of my own Warrior Workout;

1.) Rope crunch
2.) Pull-ups [narrow, wide, parallel, and underhand grip]
3.) Torso twist (physioball/medicine ball)
4.) Deadlift (dumbbells)
5.) Back matrix (physioball) [chop, flye, and scap retraction]
6.) Push-ups [military, lateral twist, split reptile walk, and inverted]
7.) Bicycle crunch
8.) Side step-UP to reverse lunge
9.) Scorpion twist (physioball)
10.) Floor wipers
11.) Hip extension (roman chair)
12.) Clean & press (kettlebell)
13.) Standing cable chop
14.) Bicep curl/tricep press [I often race sleeveless...pure vanity]
15.) Pilates full crunch

*Each exercise is performed for 20 repetitions.

I have actually designed four separate workouts with all different exercises and I rotate through them sequentially. These workouts take roughly 45-60 minutes and are performed only twice a week. I am an endurance athlete after all not a power lifter.

Credit is where credit belongs. One of my favorite websites for new exercises is maintained by fitness guru Ron Jones and of course the inspiration for this madness comes from the original 300 Workout...

1 comment:

  1. Cool work out Chris. The only pull up your missing is the corn comb.

    You're right about any workout will work as long as you do it on a repetitive basis. What P90X has given me is structure and goals along with the nutrition that has helped me loose tons of weight. In addition my flexibility has improved greatly. Heck I'm even falling less.

    Keep up the great work!