Easy as 1, 2, 3

I’ve been playing around with a new workout idea the last week or so and it’s been successful enough that I thought I’d share it. I call it “1,2,3” and it’s a general approach that you can take to just about any exercise(s) you can think of. It can be used as part of a workout or, as I experimented with today, your whole workout. I call it 1,2,3 because it’s literally that simple. 1,2,3 refers to the number of reps you do in a minute and can be used in literally countless ways.

It’s an offshoot of the concepts of time under tension, isokinetic contraction and one minute sets. In this approach every set takes one minute and is a done with a constant speed. This is nothing new as people have been playing around with these concepts for a long time with good results. What I’ve been doing is taking the ideas and giving it a new twist.

1-2-3

1-2-3 is how many reps you do in sets 1,2, and 3.

Set 1 – 1 rep takes one minute. This means 30 seconds to go one way and 30 to return to the start. This is SUPER slow and should be a constant speed the whole time.

Set 2 – 2 reps in a minute. Each rep takes 30 seconds to complete, meaning 15 seconds up and 15 down. Still slow but not super slow.

Set 3 – 3 reps in a minute. Each rep takes 20 seconds, 10 up and 10 down.

Pretty straight forward. You can use it for one exercise or several, your choice. If you choose your exercise/weight correctly, it is VERY difficult to do. As an example, this is what I did today…

Pull, Push, Squat

*1 minute rest between sets

1 pullup

1 pushup

1 squat

2 pullups

2 pushups

2 squats

3 pullups

3 pushups

3 squats

4 pullups

4 pushups

4 squats

12 sets totaling 30 reps (10 each exercise), which took me about 25 minutes to complete and was a nice overall workout. If you haven’t tried a one minute pushup or pullup I suggest you give it a shot. The key is to go really slow. If you can do 1, then try the 2 rep set, and so forth. You might be surprised at the workout you can get in a few minutes with just a few reps. The slow speed really challenges your strength through the entire range of motion and is great for developing muscular control. There are dozens of variations off this concept I’ll share as I experiment and develop more ideas.

If you give it a shot let me know how it goes!

 

 

Back & Core 5

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The latest in the Back & Core series, designed as the next progression for intermediate movers or a stand alone for more advanced movers. 

Back & Core 5

Forward/Backward Roll
Side Roll
Pistol Squat
Pistol Squat Roll Standups
Table Hip Swivel
Back Bridge
Floating Scorpion
Side Plank Reach Under
Side Plank Overhead Reach
Rolling Log
Scissors
Beast Birddog
Beast Hop Throughs
One Arm Squat Thrust
Elbow to Ankle Lunge
Wall Walk
Hanging Leg Raise
Hanging Knee Raise
Hanging Side Crunch
Hanging Twist
One Arm Hang
One Arm Hanging Leg Raise
Side Swinging
Seal Drag
Seal Slides/Backward
Bow Crunch

8 True Tests of Your Overall Fitness

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I’m a sucker for fitness tests. I know how pointless and/or meaningless many of them are and how limited they are in assessing true fitness but any time I come across a fitness test I just can’t help myself, particularly when this is the headline from Runner’s World:

8 True Tests of Your Overall Fitness

Just because you run doesn’t mean you’re in shape, as one Runner’s World editor discovered.

I have seen a lot of runners that aren’t too fit for things other than running so this caught my attention. I was a bit skeptical as always but interested nonetheless. After reading it, however, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was a pretty good overall fitness assessment. 

Basically it’s an adaptation of the 8 Tests of Overall Fitness from a book titled The Better Man Project by Bill Phillips. For the full scoop and much more detail, including the corresponding Men’s Health Fitness Standards, here’s the link.

Of course, I had to put myself through these to see how fit I am. Here are the tests and how I fared…

Check 1: Is Your Core Weak?
Test: Extended Prone Press Up
Standard: Keep body flat and hold 10 seconds
K2: Pass

Check 2: Lower Body Power
Test: Broad Jump
Standard: 8 feet
K2: 8 1/2 feet

Check 3: Anaerobic Endurance
Test: Squat, Curl & Push Press 30% BW
Standard: 20 reps in 1 minute
K2: 27 reps

Check 4: Mobility
Test: Wall Squat
Standard: Full depth squat
K2: Pass

Check 5: The Beep Test
Test: The Beep Test
Standard: 12 rounds
K2: 8 rounds

Check 6: Upper Body Power
Test: Clap Pushups
Standard: 10 reps
K2: 20 reps

Check 7: The “Go” Muscles
Test: Deadlift
Standard: 1.75 times bodyweight
K2: 1.91

Check 8: Flexibility
Test: Sit and Reach
Standard: 17″
K2: 18″

Overall, I passed 7 of 8. Not bad.

Looking at the tests I passed easily:
Core
Anaerobic Endurance
Upper Body Power

Passed by a little:
Lower Body Power
Go Muscles

Barely Passed:
Mobility
Flexibility

Failed:
Beep Test 

Probably could have predicted the results to be such. 

Overall a pretty good overall test. Now I know what I can work on a bit. I tested the Beep test again today and made it to level 9.2 so hopefully it won’t take long to master. 

Here’s a video of my efforts:

A Couple Full Body Gym Workouts

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 As I continue to wait for the ever decreasingly likely phone call invitation to American Ninja Warrior, I keep myself busy with varied workouts. The last couple just happen to have been in the gym…

Tuesday

Foam Rolling and Stretching

Lat Pulldown
5 sets of 10-12 reps, increasing weight each set.

Circuit 4 sets
Hanging Iverted Shrugs 10-15 reps
DB Lateral Raise 5 reps
DB Full Raise 10 reps
Bicep Curl (BB or DB) 10-12 reps
Behind Neck Deep Press 8-10 reps
Walking Hop Lunge 24 total steps

~20 Minutes of misc work with no real order or structure, including:

Hamstring Drops
Hanging
Cable Reverse Flys
Deep Pushups
Body Row
DB Pullover
Hinge Row

…and a few other things I can’t remember at the moment.:)

Thursday 

Warm up:
Jump Rope
Kneeling Fire Hydrant
Tipping Bird
Ostrich Twist
Skin the Cat
Shoulder Dislocates
Xiaopeng Forwards

Power Clean 
5 reps, 2 warm up sets and 4 work sets

2 sets:

Hamstring Drop
GHD Sit-up

Circuit, 2 rounds:
Standing Triple Jump
Pushup Bouncing
One Arm Hanging
Handstand

Misc sets of:
Dips
Body Rows
Planks

Some videos of above exercises…




Climbing, Lunging and Handstands 

Today I headed over to Sender One climbing center and ended up doing a pretty neat workout. 

After some rowing, balance work and general warm up I did this circuit. 

Rock Climbing
Walking Lunges
Handstands 

I would climb for about 5 minutes, then grab some DBs for 24 lunges (12 each leg), then work on handstands for 30-45 seconds. After a few minutes rest I went back to the rock wall and started the circuit again. Five circuits took about 45 minutes and was a great all over workout. 

Ninja Training

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It’s that time of year again where myself and tens of thousands of other hopefuls apply and are now awaiting word from American Ninja Warrior. In theory the west coast competition happens in mid March which means you’re hoping for a call sometime in February. If March comes around and you haven’t heard anything it pretty much means start training for next year unless you want to be a walk on (which unfortunately means camping out in Venice Beach for a week and a half which most people, myself included, aren’t going to do). 

Although 50,000 applicants for 600 spots means the odds are forever not in our favor, most ninjas keep prepared just in case. So I’ve been doing my usual training program the last couple months which has been unstructured, sporadic and intuitive in hopes of keeping a mild baseline of ninja-fit. I’m not nearly where I was last year because life has pushed my priorities elsewhere but I’m still doing ok grand scheme. 

In general I still train the same ways and keep as much variety as I can. As a goid example the last week has seen 3 “workouts”…

Mild Ninja training:

Rock Climbing/Basketball Shootaround

Gym: 5 circuits of increasing weight for about 10 reps:

Straight Arm DB Flys
Bridging DB Triceps Extension 
Walking Lunge
Hanging Side Crunch & Skin The Cat

I just bought a razor scooter to incorporate as well and can’t wait to play around on that. 

I’ll be sure to share if anything good happens on the ANW front!

The Couch Stretch

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One of my favorite stretches. If your back is a problem, this might be one of the best ways you can help straighten things out.

Bare 5

*If your back bothers you, your hips are tight, your knees hurt, your shoulders are stiff, your posture has gotten worse, you generally want to feel better or all of the above, this post is for you.*

As a general rule, the more life goes along the less people move. We go from high volume, varietal, intense and dynamic movers to increasingly lower volume, lower variety, lower intensity movers that are mostly stationary and static beings.

While kids move all the time in a hundred different ways and with great intensity and change, adults (even teenagers) move very little, with fewer and fewer movement patterns that aren’t too intense (or have too much intensity) when we do move. Add a few too many hours sitting at a desk, in a car or on a couch and the result is many of our joints and muscles lose their mobility and strength…

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Birthday Workout

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I often like to do age related workouts on my birthday to celebrate the end of a year and beginning of a new one. For a few years it was timed Franzens, which came to an end at 35 because I just couldn’t wrap my head around 35 of those as fast as possible. This year was like most of the others where I use my age as the rep number and do a bunch of exercises for that day’s work. 

Kyle’s 38th Birthday Workout

1 set of 38 reps:

Jumping Jacks
Pushups
Deep Squats
Ring Rows
Lunges 

38 reps each:
Over multiple sets, did 19 reps before moving on to next exercise then repeated circuit once more for 19 reps each. 

Handstand Hold/Walk
Cliffhanger/Fingertip Pull-ups
Jump Squats/Split Switch Jumps
Ring Dips
One Arm Hang

10 exercises, 380 reps. About 50 minutes. Not a bad way to finish the year. 

Return to Fitness & Videos

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After a little break from exercising and a big break from posting about it I have decided it’s time to get back into it. I’ve been playing around with a few new things lately so I thought it would be nice to share them on the site. 

Most of my personal fitness has been light the last two months as made it a point to separate from working out. I took it easy for the most part with a few light things here and there and enjoyed a two week vacation with lots of golf, pool time and bike riding. 

I returned to regular life with a ninja warrior competition last weekend and got back in the swing of things with a trip to a local university for some play and exercise…

Here’s a few other exercises I’ve been incorporating lately…

Glad to be back!