Balanced Existence

Achieve and maintain health and wellness within the modern human environment

Pick Heavy Stuff Up

Today’s workout was very simple. Deadlifting has been at the core of what I do for quite some time now. After beginning deadlifting in November 2008 I worked up to a 400lbs (182.5kg) one rep max over a 10 month period. However, I’ve recently had a break from deadlifting during which I focused on Zercher Squats as my main strength movement pattern. This is an example of same but different as the Zercher Squat involves much of the same musculature as the deadlift.

Now I’m working back into deadlifting it feels great to be back. Nothing is more primaly simple than picking something heavy up. The deadlift is a fantastic way to place a load on your body for the purposes of joint, tendon and bone health. Performed correctly as movement pattern practice the deadlift will also teach you to move safely in day-to-day situations with your whole body working as a single unit.

How many times a day do you bend from your lower back instead of sitting your hips back, bending the knees slightly and keeping your back straight? Straight. Not to be confused with vertical. Sadly, many do get the deadlift wrong, often by going too heavy too soon, destroying their form and their back in the process. This is the fault of the person. Not the movement pattern, which is as fundamental as the squat and lunge.

So, today after a very brief “warm-up” of three reps with 70kg, I hit a single with 120kg to ramp up my nervous system and then performed 10 singles with 130kg. If you’ve been paying attention the last three days you’ll have noticed that as the weight on the bar has gone up (intensity) the volume performed (number of reps) has come down.

The pattern will continue through to Friday. After which I’ll take the weekend off from deadlifting and resume on Monday with a higher weight (intensity) than I previously used this Monday just gone but with 15 reps (the same volume) once again. This is one of several programing concepts that we’ll take a closer look at soon.

If cardio is more your thing, here is a workout I enjoyed at the park the other day. Perform the following, one after the other for rounds:

A1) 800m run
A2) 1 pistol (single leg squat) left and right (l/r)
A3) 3 explosive clapping push-ups
A4) 2 pistols l/r
A5) 5 pull-ups
A6) 3 pistols l/r

Feel free to modify some things such as by using assistance for the pistols (hold onto a pole for balance if you need to, go all the way down if you can and remember to stay tight throughout the movement), the amount of pull-ups (or switch it to chin-ups or add a kip) or the distance run.

I set out to complete 5 rounds continuously without rest and found it a reasonably good workout. Certainly not a killer, but more interesting than simply running continuous laps of the park. You can always time your effort and try to come back and beat that time at a later date.

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The Joy of Two-a-Day’s

Front-loading your day by getting right on top of high priority tasks is a very satisfying feeling. You feel positive, productive, and not pressed for time. As a result stress is greatly reduced and best of all you simply get important stuff done.

Most days I like to lift something heavy. Pulling a couple of heavy reps really doesn’t take much energy. In fact for me I find it wakes me right up. I speculate that it may be a nervous system thing. Best of all, no matter what happens later on in the day I know I’ve gotten some quality movement in by front-loading it early on in my day.

Then, on days like today, when I have the opportunity and the energy I enjoy a second workout in the afternoon. Usually with a cardio slant if the morning was strength focused. I find two shorter sessions of exercise (two-a-day’s) are a lot less tiring mentally and physically than a single long session. Today went like this:


120kg x 12 singles

Single Leg Barbell Split Squat
60kg x 7 left and right (l/r)
50kg x 15 l/r


Tacfit Challenge Workout
Only having discovered this stuff yesterday I used today’s effort to complete the beginner level to become familiar with the moves. This challenge workout at the beginner level involves 20 rounds on the minute of:

2 quad hops
2 spine rocks
2/2 spring tripods
2/2 swinging planks

Leg Blaster
I found this little doozy through Military Athlete. After the Tacfit challenge I completed one round of this as a finisher. The most I’ve ever done in a single workout is three rounds in 15 minutes a couple of weeks ago. It hurt. A1 through to A4 is performed without stopping:

A1) 20 bodyweight squats
A2) 20 lunges (10 per leg)
A3) 20 jumping lunges (10 per leg)
A4) 20 jumping squats

Here is an example of the moves at the intermediate level of the Tacfit Challenge Workout which is 4 reps per exercise per round for 20 rounds on the minute:

For subscribers who can’t see the video you can watch it here: Tacfit Challenge Workout.

Here is a demo of the Leg Blaster:

For subscribers who can’t see the video, you can watch it here: Leg Blasters

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