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.