Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Compressed Volume Upper Body Workout

Location: Woodcock Sports Centre, Aston University

5 Raise-assisted handstand push ups (3 plates for first set, then 4 plates for rest)
5 Weighted chin ups (15kg)
5 One-arm dumbbell bench press (each side) (28kg)
5 Basketball rollouts

I did this circuit 5 times.

Finisher: Rowing machine - 500 metres, resistance level 7 @95% effort

Total time: 27 minutes

Post-workout meal 40 minutes later.

I was hungry for some serious resistance work after nearly a week away from the gym, going primal / paleo in the mountains. My legs were still weak after 3 consecutive days of hiking and walking at the weekend, so I focused on upper body.

I wanted to hit all 4 of the exercises listed with 5 sets each - but realised I would not have time in my 30 minute window unless I gave myself no rest by cycling the sets – what I call ‘compressed volume.’ This can be pretty punishing and today was no exception.

Some joker has hidden/burst/stolen the medicine ball I normally use for basketball rollouts rollouts, so they were especially gruelling: I had to use a mini-med ball scarcely bigger than a coconut, which makes stabilising it much harder. I think this was also the first time I have done several sets of this exercise so it brought home to me just how demanding on the core it is.

I went straight into the rowing from the last set of rollouts despite still breathing heavily from the effort. I then gave it almost everything I had. In hindsight I should have skipped the rowing because my legs weren’t ready for it.

I gave my system a serious shock with this workout so I think I will now rest until Saturday, when I will perhaps throw in some deadlift and pistols if the legs feel up to it. I will imagine that I caught a good-sized animal with today's efforts, the meat from which will keep Mrs M and me happy until the weekend...