Archive for February, 2011

Power Workouts

This week I lifted 3500 pounds within the duration of the Spice Girls’ Wanna Be song.  I’ve been going through a Spice Girls phase recently, but that’s not important.

In 1 set, I lifted 100 repetitions with a 35 pound kettlebell, using the swing.  Here is the kettlebell swing, with the usual electronic background music found in workout videos.

To work myself up to 100 repetitions, I used a density training plan:

Sets Repetitions Total (Sets x Reps)
25 8 200
20 10 200
17 12 ~200
14 14 ~200
13 16 ~200
1 100 100

I started each set on the minute, so the first row workout took 25 minutes, the second row took 20 minutes, etc.  I did this 3 times a week, progressing to more repetitions when it felt relatively easier.  Total, it took me 4 weeks to get through to the final 100 repetitions in 1 set.

The advantages of power workouts using this density path type are both in efficiency and effectiveness:

  • it combines both aerobic and anaerobic exercises
  • it takes very little time to complete the workout
  • it builds strength for doing strenuous work in a short period of time, which is power
  • it requires a minimum of equipment
  • it is versatile; you could do body strength exercises, sprints, throwing cement blocks, lifting bags of sand, …

The disadvantage is that it is relatively boring to do one exercise for a month.  The other disadvantage is that passersby saw me humping the air with a weird object while I was in my garage listening to the Spice Girls, if you consider that a disadvantage and not good advertising!

Overall, I am quite happy with this method.  I think it is a good match for my interests.  I feel stronger and more capable of lifting, carrying, chopping, as well as sitting around in an office chair.

This month I am going to move on to the kettlebell clean, which is a little more challenging.  I don’t know if there is an end.  I think the primary thing I am going after is to increase ability and skill on one or two focused exercises each month, so strength is improved in a more slow, but intense, way.

I should note that I just learned about kettlebells.  I’m surprised about their lack of popularity, as they seem like a good tool to cross train for many different sports.  My main goal is to be capable of doing strenuous, physical work for one 8-hour day at a moment’s notice [for the Zompoc].

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