Sunday, January 11, 2015

Just get it overhead

Continuation of blogging about shit that, in the past, I never used to do, seems oddly intriguing to me.  I spent the past half decade smashing keys about almost all bodyweight and not giving much of anything in routines.  After all, few things annoy me about our subculture quite like people who can't comprehend training without stuff, much less how to put together something as rudimentary as programming.  Both of these could be irrefutable proof that there just isn't enough thought out there going through people's minds when they decide their muscles need stimulation. 

So, I try to put some thought into my routines.  Once in a while, I find the thoughts produce a result that's worth sharing. Such is one of the workouts I did the Sunday after my first competition.  Apparently, I broke some sort of tradition that stipulates that you should do your best to mimic a statue in the subsequent days after a strongman competition.  Since I love to train as much as I like to kick the nuts of conventional training wisdom, I took my traditional goof-off day and did some kettlebell work. 

In case I haven't said it enough recently, I adore Ironmaster's kettlebells.  Not only are they square, (which really throws people off) but they also more than pay for themselves if you tried to buy a set of conventional kettlebells (ie a 35, 53, 70 and 97 lbs).  With the right pin set-up, its possible to adjust from 22-103 lbs with a nice, tight lock-up. 

Strongman appeals to my sense of practicality because so much of it is getting stuff off the ground and getting it overhead in one way or another.  There are many ways to do that, some more conventional then others.  So, that's what I decided my break from strongman training would do, even if I wasn't going to a traditional strongman implement. 

I hadn't done a kettlebell snatch since before I borrowed a piece of knee ligament from some random, dead guy.  Prior to having such a need for spare parts, I used to do these pretty heavy, sometimes up to 100 lbs.  Since I was still barely smart enough to do these with some caution, I did them with only 85 lbs. 

Next up, I grabbed two kettlebells, stacked 70 lbs on both and threw up some clean and presses.  Since my shoulder strength could use some work,  tried my damnest to not use any leg drive off the clean to press the KB overhead. 

Since that kind of fried my shoulders up but I still had a desire to do some overhead work, I rounded things out by adding more leg drive and doing double KB squat-presses.  This one I made a concerted effort to explode out of the hole and use that drive to push the KB's overhead.   I also do this movement only with weight I cannot press overhead.  That way, I have to add lots of leg drive. This movement helped me immeasurably in the yoke press part of my medley. 

This may have been one of the best routines I've ever put together for myself off the top of my head.  I've used the last two in tandem several times to keep getting shoulder work in even after they're fatigued.  I heard a strongman bring up an interesting point about his competition preparation.  He noted that for a while, he wasn't necessarily getting stronger, he was just coming up with different ways to move the weight in an effective manner.  That's kind of what I was aiming for with this workout:  practice getting weight off the ground and overhead in as many different ways as possible.

Mr "finding different ways".  Heard of him?
Of course, if one were to care about such things, this would also be an effective routine to make for a bigger ass and wider shoulders. It would beat the hell out waist training to achieve an hour glass figure.

These videos weren't demonstrations. They were actual sets. Yes, those are kettlebells. No they don't have to be done in high repetitions. I do all of these in low reps and as many sets of each as I can handle. That can change depending on how much manual labor I do but mostly in the 6-10 sets range, each. So, make a conscious point to throw off any preconceived notions about strength training that you have (When to train, strongman and kettlebells, kettlebells for high reps, etc) and put some creative thought into what you do. 

1 comment:

Gabe Gaskins said...


I also favor the 'minimal equipment' mentality.
New look is nice.