Monday, April 23, 2007

The Glass Effect

Cindy began training with me at equinox in Palo Alto way back in October of 2006. Since that time she was consistently 3-4 times a week, rarely out, and never quit.
People stumbling upon the 'muscledriver' during a workout in Equinox automatically assume she is some sort of genetic marvel swinging 16-24 kilo kettlebells, doing dead hang pull ups, and performing other magical feats.
Cindy came in with a very strong lower body and good cardio from road biking, but other than that she was basically starting from the same place everyone does. What was the magical ingredient? Proper training, and hard work.
By proper training I mean that once we had built a sufficient base of strength using more traditional methods we mostly stuck to whole body compound movements such as Deadlift, Squats, Shoulder Press, etc. and Russian Kettlebells, push ups, pull-ups, etc.
Now that I am out of Equinox for a few weeks before deploying we are 'bridging the gap' so to speak by doing more advanced strength work such as tire pulling, and covering the kettlebell fundamentals again in preparation for the RKC certification she is planning on attending.
The point that I am trying to hammer home here yet again is that we often impose weird limitations on ourselves because we make silly assumptions. I very recently thought about this concerning strongman training. Most people watch strongman events (I did the same) and think "Oh, that's that 'strongman' training."
Yeah, I don't want that. I don't want to be a 'strong man'. Of course people might be concerned they will become giant thick necked monsters. These guys eat two actual horses each day to get that big, so don't worry about it. Stuff as simple as dragging tires or standing in a field throwing big rocks will most likely make you stronger than any carefully contrived weight training plan. Most often people just cannot believe this because you think all that stuff in the gym must be necessary.
Think again.
There is one caveat to this though, in that it would be easy to injure yourself if you do not know what you are doing, because you are putting your body under a lot of stress. How to prepare? Push Ups, Pull Ups, Squats. Set a number of push ups for yourself each day and meet it by doing them in sets throughout the day.

Below is some video of Cindy and I at The Dish in Palo Alto doing some training. You may note her shoulders overextending out on some swings, an issue we have since corrected. Also, something to be aware of in your own training, is how on occasion on the lest rep her form breaks down. This is a common occurence in all athletes. We maintain perfect form throughout the exercise, and when we feel we are 'done', the form breaks down.

1 comment:

  1. this looks like a very diffcult but worth while workout. when you get home jordan i would very interested in giving this a shot!