Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Tuesday March 31 2009. Dead Clean fun

We were closed yesterday while I drove down to Truro and back to pick up some Olympic weights for the gym. 

To celebrate the new equipment, we are going to do heavy deadlifts today making sure we are maintaining the form and technique we learned last week.

Deadlift - 3x3 (All)

Buy in: Skipping - max in 2 mins
21-15-9: Swings/Pull-Ups
Cash Out: Skipping max in 2 mins

Aqualifer/Centurion: 20Kg Swing
Optio: 15Kg Swing
Centurion: 10 Kg Swing
Civilian: 5 Kg Swing

Skill Work
Hang Clean to squat
We will be looking at clean progressions, so starting with the bar at various heighs on the body, work on hip drive and getting under the bar into the squat receiving position. Use PVC pipe or Olympic bar according to skill level.

Lets make it a good one people to make up for missing Monday.
Post weights and times to comments (or start a log at FK.UK).

Vires et Honestas

Friday, 27 March 2009

A Quick Fun Run (Saturday 28 March 2009)

Running. Yes running. I know some of you hate it, but it has to be done.

We are looking at intervals today. Interval training is a great way to build up endurance with short, high intensity effort interspersed with periods of less intense recovery.

5 Km interval workout
Jog 1600 m
Sprint 400 m
Jog 400 m
Sprint 400m 
Jog 400m
Sprint 200m
Jog 200m
Sprint 200m
Jog 200m
Sprint 200m
Jog 200m
Sprint 200m
Jog 200m
Sprint 100m
Jog 100m

3 Km interval workout
Walk 800 m
Jog 400 m
Walk  400 m
Jog 400m 
Walk 400 m
Jog 200 m
Walk 200 m
Jog 100 m
Walk 100 m

Post time to comments (or alternatively, start a workout log at FK.UK).

Vires et Honestas

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Friday Fun (27 March 2009)

Sorry guys, won't be there on Friday due to work commitments again. However, if you feel like a workout.........

Strength work
The Press (aka Standing shoulder press)

Metabolic Conditioning
Pyramid PT, (1, 2,3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) for time
1 Pull-Up
2 Sit-up
3 Squats
Multiply reps by level of the pyramid. So on level 2 do 2 Pull-up, 4 Sit-Up, 6 Squats etc

Aqualifer/Centurion: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Optio: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Legionary/Civilian: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Use assistance bands/jumping pull-ups as required.
Add weight to Pull-Ups if desired for higher levels.
Rest as little as possible between sets and reps.

Skill Work
Work on balance. Stand on one leg and hold it for 30 seconds, then switch legs. Now do it again with your eyes closed - fun huh?
Accurate proprioception is essential for all sports and physical activities. If you can't maintain your balance with your eyes closed it usually means your brain has trouble figuring out where your limbs are in space without a visual cue. Improving this function will transfer to all skill activities - especially those where you are inverted like a hand-stand. See, there is method to my madness!

Have fun with it - think of me stuck in my office with clients draining my will to live.....

Post weights and times to comments (or start an FK.UK training log!)

Vires et Honestas!

You are what you eat...

Don't ya just hate it when work interferes with training? Had to go to the office today to meet clients (for the "real" job) and ended up there from 7:30 am to 6:15 pm. Factor in the train ride and there was no way to make the sprint training. Had a real good session planned too. Oh well it can wait until next week I guess when I next coach the team on speed and agility.

So anyway, I'm in the office and we have a catered lunch - sandwiches and nachos, basically nothing I can eat. Made me start to think about nutrition and how important it is to top level performance. Most of the guys and gals who follow CrossFit use Barry Sears' Zone diet, tweaked for best performance. Others go Paleo, which is basically eating only foods that we would have eaten in the pre-historic times before animal domestication and farming were created (the paleolithic period, hence the name). Many paleo eaters are zone-paleo, meaning they eat only paleo foods but in Zone ratios. Seems to work for a lot of them.

Personally I have been following the Know How lifestyle from internet nutritionist Don Lemmon (who tragically passed away in an auto accident). This is different to the Zone in many ways, yet has some similar tenets to the paleo in that it determines that we biologically cannot deal with certain foods in certain combinations. I won't go into details, but this way of living (it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle) has worked for me and I recommend it to everyone. Recently though, I have been combining the KH stuff with a paleo approach and my results are coming thick and fast - workouts are improving, body fat is dropping. I just "feel" better and that's good enough for me.

The thing about Know How, the Zone and the Paleo diet is that none of them are "easy". They all require some form of commitment to get them to work which is where a lot of people fail. Most people today want the easy fix. Eat what they want and not exercise yet lose weight. Sure, you can lose weight on a heavily calorie restricted diet but your performance for life, not just exercise, will fall. You are much more likely to lose muscle weight than fat on these things. How many people have you seen who are "skinny-fat"? Sure, their BMI might tell you they are healthy, but I bet you their other, more important, readings will show otherwise.

Where am I going with this? Eat right people. Clean up your diet and work as hard as you possibly can in all your workouts. You want to see results, you have to work for them, To paraphrase an old TV show - "You want results? Results cost, and right here's where you start paying!".

If you want more information on Don Lemmon's Know How, drop me a line and I can point you in the right direction to get it in the UK. It's worth the time to get and read his book. Some of it is a real eye opener.

Relevant Links (all work/family safe at time of posting)
Don Lemmon's Know How
Zone Diet
Paleo diet
Robb Wolf's Blog - probably THE BEST resource for paleo advice and discussion

Clean up your acts people and the results will follow - that's a guarantee.

Vires et Honestas

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Thursday March 26 2009

The blog has been looking a bit sparse since we started. I will be getting the camera out to take some shots of the Garage gym and sprint workouts very soon. Promise.
Strength Work

Front Squat
All: 3x5 work sets

Warm-up sets as required.
Try to aim for a PB effort on the last set.

Metabolic Conditioning

Buy In: Max push-ups - 1 minute


Cash Out Max push-ups - 30 seconds

Aqualifer/Centurion: as listed
Optio: 20-15-12-9-6-3
Legionary/Civilian: 15-12-9-6-3-1

If you don't have a pull-up use either bands/assisted pull-ups or Jumping pull-ups.

Skill Work
Hand Stand progressions
(depending on skill level with these practise wall kick-ups, wall stand or the free standing hand stand)

Post time for metcon to comments (or better still, start a workout log at FK.UK).

Vires et Honestas

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Wednesday March 25 2009

Active rest- This doesn't mean you sit around on your backside all day!

Go outside and spend an hour doing something active but not too strenuous. Go for a bike ride, swim or even just go for a walk. Learn and practise a skill; get the handstand progressions working for you or try to master the frog stand again.

Do something, and have fun doing it.

Vires et Honestas

Monday, 23 March 2009

Tuesday March 24 2009

Today we will be looking at the Deadlift. This is one of the essential movements we all should learn on order to be truly functionally fit. If you can't think of a practical use for this exercise, then maybe you need to go out and do the week's shopping more often. Just try and pick up those heavy grocery bags from the floor without using the deadlift movement ;)

Form Work
Deadlift practise. Remember to keep the back flat and think "big chest" all the way up to maintain a good neutral curve of the spine.

Aquilifer: 3 x 5 @1.5 BW
Centurion: 3 x 5 @ BW
Optio: 3 x 5 @ 50% BW
Legionary: 3 x 5 with 15 Kg bar
Civilian: 3 x 5 with PVC pipe

Yes, the weight is light; we are aiming for form NOT strength work at this time. If you can't do all sets with perfect form, lower the weight and/or reps as required.

Metablic Conditioning
Buy In: Skipping - Max skips in 120 seconds

Box Jump
for time

Cash Out: Skipping - max skips in 90 seconds

Aquilifer: 40Kg/30 inch box
Centurion: 40Kg/30 inch box
Optio: 30Kg/24 inch box
Legionary: 20 Kg/20 inch box 15-12-9
Civilian: PVC pipe/Tuck Jumps 15-12-9

Skill Work - basic planche progression
Frog Stands - Try to hold for a total of one minute in as many sets as possible. If you can do 1 minute with arms bent, work on a progression to a straight arm hold for one minute.

Post total skips/time for metcon to comments.

Vires et Honestas

Introduction to the scaled workout system

Not everyone can come in and do all of our workouts at the fully prescribed weight or repetition scheme; that's why we take the first couple of sessions to evaluate the newly joined athlete to determine just what they are capable of. 

Some (OK, most) of these workouts push even the fittest of people to the limits and we want to make sure everyone is receiving safe and effectice training here at SPQR Fitness, but at the same time we want to ensure they are taking each session to the highest possible level.

To do this we are presenting to you the scaled workout system. After your initial evaluation you will be told what cohort you will be working with. Each and every workout will be scaled to a level appropriate for your cohort and once you can easily master them, you will be eligible for promotion to the next level.

In Descending order we present the SPQR Ranking structure (all links are on wikipedia and are work/family safe at time of posting);

Legate - General of the Army (OK, the coach)
Aquilifer - The standard bearers. Able to do all workouts as designed and with good form.
Centurion - Some minor scaling may be required but for the most part the workouts are done as prescribed. Intensity is high without sacrificing form.
Optio - Weights/reps are reduced. Intensity is increased but not at the expense of form.
Legionary - Weights/reps are reduced further. Practice on form is more important than intensity at this stage.
Civilian - New beginner. All workouts are scaled to ability with exercise movement pattern being the most important factor.

Workout Structure - You want me to what?!?!!
Workouts will be structured in a couple of ways. Normally we will look at a strength exercise using a 3x5 or 5x3 rep system. This will then be followed by a short, sharp conditioning routine that will get you moving and in to shape. Finally, the session may finish with a skill section. This is usually a brief 2-5 minute look at a skill progression or a gymnastic movement such as a handstand or planche progression.

Workouts may omit the Strength and skill sections and will just be a slightly longer conditioning session using strength/weight lifting exercises, gymnastics movements and traditional "cardio" based movement in many varied combinations.

You might see the terms "buy in" and "cash out" included in a Workout of the Day (WOD). Basically these are mini-skill sessions designed to warm you up and get you in gear for the workout main. Usually the buy in will involve a related skill to either the strength portion, the conditioning routine or both. The cash out could be related to the prior work, but is more usually an exercies that the coaching staff feel we need to visit ro reinforce the movement pattern a little better. It may or may not replace the skill section of the workout period.

Thats about it. If you have any questions on anything in the above drop us a line using the contact details on our main site and we will be happy to help you out.

Vires et Honestas (Strength and Honour).

Sunday, 22 March 2009

SPQRFit.com goes Live!!!

The SPQRFit website is now live. Right now the files are hosted at a temporary site, but this will change once the final host has cleared the DNS redirect.

Some of the pages are still under construction but that will change once the routine has been set.

In honour of the new site, it's only fitting that we have a workout to commemorate, so ladies and gentlemen I present to you "Maximus".

400m sprint
10 Hand Stand Push-Ups
15 pull-ups
20 Hammer Swings
25 Squats at 50% body weight

Repeat four times and post time to comments.

Note: Every round, change the side that you swing the hammer from.

Vires et Honestas!