Thursday’s training was, well, interesting to say the least.
I had big plans for myself – thought I was going to push the volume on the Half-Kneeling Presses (HKPs) and bang out 50 reps per side with the 24kg, but once I got into the training, everything changed.
Just as an aside, I am approaching training from an intuitive perspective during these 30 days. Each day is basically what I think I need to do based on what I have done. For example, the Get Up Sit Ups are coming along nicely. So on this day, I left them out because I didn’t feel like I needed them. I keep the Lunges in the program because I really need them – they are an opponent I feel the need to conquer. And as such, they are really coming along – much more stabile than they have been since I can remember. I am gaining much more control over them in each and every rep as well.
Here’s how the day’s training broke down.
(As an aside, I have really been focused lately on the “Random Practice” concept – where I am practicing several skills in each session. Each skill I use builds on the previous skill/drill. Not a new or novel concept, but very valuable for learning “whole” exercises/skills like the Get Up. Hence, all the lunges…)
A. Walkouts x10
B1. HKPs: 24kg/15
B2. Lunges: Bodyweight/15-20 each leg
B3. Half Kneeling Windmill with Cervical Rotation: 16kg/5,5
Perform circuit twice. Rest as needed – approximately 60 seconds between drills.
C. Get Up 16kg/1,1
- HKPs: These felt better than they ever have. I was really able to “lock in” on the kneeling leg. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t get any popping from my subclavius on my left side while pressing with the left arm. Lat fired more than normal. Right hamstring worked harder than normal.
- Lunges: The first set, I elevated the front leg on a phone book and hit 15 reps. Those extra 2 inches in hip flexion on the front leg made for some new proprioceptive input. I decided to get rid of the phone book for the 2nd set and just focused on the movement. I was finally able to push from the back foot into the front foot while standing. It’s amazing the lack of coordination I had in this movement. Hamstrings, gluts, and Vastus medialis all fired the way they should have.
- Half Kneeling Windmills: This is the area I had been actually been a little hesitant to get into because of the lack of hip mobility and the lumbar hyperextension I had been experiencing previously. I decided to perform some cervical rotations, a la Kalos Sthenos, during every rep and it really made a difference in the alignment of my pelvis.
On the left side, with left arm in the Windmill position, I literally had no idea where my hips were. Nor how to use them. I’m not sure which rep it was, but it was on the first set, I heard 3 sequential and loud cracks come from my right hip while my right knee was down. It didn’t hurt a bit, but something happened. On the next set, in the same position, my right leg started shaking uncontrollably. It wasn’t at all unnerving, but it was very interesting to watch.
I also was unpleasantly surprised between the noticeably major differences in how the left and right sides felt. The right side felt normal – natural. The right side felt, well, almost like a first date – awkward, uncomfortable, etc. By the end of the second set, I was feeling better about the left side. I had more control, more coordination, and more muscular activation.
By the time I got to the Get Ups, I was spent. Neurologically, the combination of the previous 3 exercises must’ve fried me. I only hit one rep on each side with the 16kg. I felt much, much more put together, but boy was I shaky and tired! Pretty freaky!
Overall, it was a fantastic training session. I was surprised that what I had written above took a full 50 minutes to get through.
Single hand and single kettlebell training really show you your asymmetries and highlight your dysfunctions. Since I chewed up the sides of my pinky fingers doing 2 Hand Swings on Tuesday, I figured it was as good a time as any to re-introduce the 1 H Swing. I had an aversion to these since my pelvis comes unglued from the rest of my body. This day didn’t disappoint. Same was true. As I swing with one hand the hips/pelvis rotate toward the opposite side of the body. For example, swing left hand, right hip leads the backswing and vice versa. Admittedly, it is much worse with the left hand.
So, I modified them to the best of my ability. After trying to correct on the fly, I performed dead-stop 1 H Swings. Essentially, you line up your hips, hike the kettlebell, and then recheck your hip alignment. The repeat. It works to a point. I only used 24kg kettlebell, but it was more than adequate to do the job.
25 minutes later, I was done. Sweating. Lower and upper body pumped. Breathing heavy.
What is truly amazing me is how time truly flies doing these workouts/training sessions. I literally get lost in the process. And it’s all without trying. I recall Jeff O’Connor telling me he could spend about 2 hours just messing around with various components of the Get Up. When he did, I thought to myself, “how boring!” But now, I can see why.
The more I play and massage the Program Minimum concept/design, the more and more value I place on just these two simple exercises. The reality is, there is nothing simple at all about either of them. In today’s fitness landscape where we move toward “in-the-moment” entertainment-style workouts and forget about long-term results, there is so much good to be had physically and psychologically in these two movements.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the next two weeks hold in store for me.