This Will All Lead To a Bonus Work-Out

Newark, Delaware has an amazing atmosphere.  The town was congested and busy for Saturday’s playoff game, but when I woke up this morning it was desolate; there’s a small town vibe on the weekends, and Sundays start slow.  As I drove around campus this morning, I noticed that there was an abundance of people running.  Way to go Newark!

You may have not expected that reaction, but I’m pretty excited about these people waking up early to exercise; it shows that they care about their health.  They care enough to run when it’s 34 degrees out, because they were all breathing steam like high-powered cardiovascular dragons! Or this guy:

I’m sure that a large percentage of the people I saw were college students, and are dedicated to their exercise regimes.  I’m not sure how many older people like waking up early and getting outside, but I applaud the exercise efforts of everyone I encountered.

While I’m not a fan of distance running (or steady state training in general), it certainly does have it’s place in a well developed program.  When weight loss or sport-specific training is required, steady state work is required.  The weight-loss client needs to create a caloric deficit to lose weight, and athletes competing in endurance sports need to actually run, cycle, swim, or row to get better at their sport.  Outside of a handful of goals though, you know that dedicated steady state work isn’t very high on my priority list of what people should be doing.  Fix your posture, fix the way you move.  Become more mobile while getting stronger.  Improve your work capacity.  You can do these things without steady state cardio.  However, you can’t go hard all of the time.

If you’re resistance training and/or performing some sort of high-intensity interval training every day, you’re bound to be over-training.  In the days that you’re not lifting or HIITing, you might want something to do so you don’t go crazy.  Enter aerobic training for recovery.  Low-grade activity can provide you with a number of benefits.  You increase cardiac output, perform important movement patterns, improve bloodflow to soft tissue, and reduced Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.  If you’re an avid lifter, you that can DOMS can be a total pain in the a$$, so you may be interested in reducing it.  Also, I used that pun because my glutes are actually killing me.

After having a dead-leg from Monday morning until Thursday night, I was more then ready to go on Friday morning.  After numerous front squats, Romanian deadlifts, and a Zercher reverse-lunge**/farmers walk/ TRX- RFESS finisher, I walked out of the gym already feeling some soreness.  And it’s gotten worse all weekend.  The 2 ‘Circuit Sunday’ videos that I’ve put up have been all upper-body based circuits, because I think that people forget about the upper body when they consider complex training; it’s usually squat and lunge variations.  I’ve been using circuits like that on Sunday nights, and I plan on doing the same thing tonight, with a few adjustments.  To deal with this uncomfortable awesome feeling in my legs, I’m going to add in a number of different exercises to open up my hips and bring blood into my legs.  It won’t be nearly enough to create any damage, but it will set me up for a good lower-body workout tomorrow, while increasing the cardiovascular demand of my workout tonight.  It’s cold and dark, and I’d rather not leave my house, so I’m going to be working out right in my room.  I’ll be taking advantage of my little fitness gadgets and demonstrate some creativity.  With a collection of bands to choose from, a TRX, a pair of Valslides, and an Iron Gym for chin-ups, I’m ready to go.  You might not have all of this equipment, but you should add them to your Christmas List.  Bands are only a few dollars, the Iron Gym and the Valslides are only $30 each, and the TRX is so versatile that they should give them to new children the day their born.  They’re also on sale, so head over to FitnessAnywhere.com and buy one for somebody you love.  (If you’re wondering, I don’t have any affiliation with TRX; I just think it’s a fantastic piece of equipment that you can use to train anywhere at anytime, and that epitomizes functionality to me.)

I’m going to figure out exactly what my workout is while watching the 2nd half of the Ravens/Steelers game and the Order of The Phoenix.  Then I’ll share with you what I found.  In the meantime, you can watch this awesome video of cats playing patty-cake.  Seriously.

Alright, so here’s what I came up with.  I tried using my TRX and the door anchor that I picked up at the Perform Better Summit this past June, but I felt a little uneasy about flying through row complexes.  Maybe next time I’ll try it with a rafter in my basement.  The bands were attached to one foot of my bed.  I used a Pro Monster Mini Band from ELiteFTS and a 1″ SuperBand from Perform Better.  The Monster band was used for the unilateral exercises (overhead press and sideplank/row) and the superband was used through out the Squat-to-row combo.  The rest of the workout occurred after 10 minutes of foam rolling and a dynamic mobility warm-up.  Each pair of exercises was repeated 3 times.

  • A1 ValSlide Reverse Lunge w/ Band Overhead Press, 10 reps per side
  • A2 Side Plank w/ Mini Band Row, 10 reps per side
  • B1 Push Up w/ ValSlide Mountain Climber, 20 reps
  • B2 Squat-to-Row w/ SuperBand, 20 reps
  • C1 Kneeling Adductor Rock-Back, 10 reps per side
  • C2 Chin Ups, 8 reps

As you can see, it wasn’t a very intense workout, but it definitely had me huffin’-and-puffin’.  I found that the B superset was definitely the most demanding; both components were full body exercises.  After the fact, my legs feel much better than they did in the past 36 hours, and tomorrow morning should feel even better.  A simple, off-day workout like this is short, simple, and FUN.  It increased my heart rate, made me sweat, and I feel wide awake.  (Maybe that isn’t the best idea at 11pm on a school night?)

Performing some low-grade activity is a great method to recover from muscle soreness, and to ensure you have a bit of movement in your life everyday.  If you’re sore, get up and move around!  Moving your muscles will help you feel refreshed, and prepare you for your next ‘hard’ workout.  In my case, that’s tomorrow, so I’m going to go wrap up my night with a warm shower and some stretching.

**Zercher Grip Reverse-Lunges could be the most awesome reverse-lunges ever.  I could swear I felt my testosterone boost on every single rep.

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