Thursday, March 22, 2007

Exercising on the cheap..

G.P.P. is both old and new, trendy and underground, valuable and utter crapola... like most things depends on application, and depends on whom you ask. So as is my wont, I gave it a try, and surprisingly (or not) I really liked some of it, and some of it was crap. But that's getting ahead of ourselves.

Let's start with the equipment:
4 mid-sized nonfunctional truck tires.
1 roll duct tape
2 sandbags, or kettlebells, or big funky rocks.
rope around 20ft of
1 16lb sledge hammer (optional)
cost:( assuming like me you can get the tires for free)
$60 (with the sledge hammer)
$20 without.

The workout:
20x overhead tire tosses (moderate pace, swing between the legs and extend fully, try not to let one land on my head)
50x sledge hammer swings (Full swing, full speed, not so sure about the effectiveness, I'll have to play with form and volume)
farmers walk (100 yards each way up/down hill w/ 2x75lbs in bear hug grip)
Sled drag (100 yewu/dh, 4 tires, facing away, ropes in hands, holy lactic acid!)
Sled drag (100 yewu/dh, 4 tires, facing tires, ropes in hands, pulling, see above)
Tire discus (20x each hand)
Sled drag (100 yewu/dh 4 tires facing away, ropes around waist)
farmers walk (50 yard obstacle course, work on stabilizing load around corners, very tough)
75x sledge hammer swings (seems a fair warm-up/cool down, and it's fun)
Next time I'll record times and rest time (I forgot my stopwatch)

I am not a big believer in high rep lifting, or in lifting objects in the same modalities that you would lift weights (as Alwyn Cosgrove calls it 'yard work training'). Doing a military press for 35-100 reps as a training method is counter productive whether it's a dumbell, or a big f-ing rock. However, dynamic movements (tire tossing, kettlebell swings, and the like) are very beneficial for athletes, and cannot easily be replicated in a normal gym environment. Also, things like sled dragging, and farmer’s walks are excellent for athletes in high intensity interval sports to gain muscular endurance, and lactic acid tolerance. These are simple movements that require a full body effort, which is of great importance when doing this kind of work. Doing this type of work with a less than full body movement is not challenging enough. Most gym-type movements that require full body effort are either too complex (Olympic lifts) to endurance train, or are far too demanding on stabilizing muscles (squats) so that as the stabilizers fatigue, and form breaks down before the full benefit is realized. So far the GPP work above seems to be allowing a significant training load without the same dangers. Effectiveness, it's still too early to tell.. but it sure is fun.

Fine print: I am a reasonably trained adult, I do not recommend this workout to.. anyone. I am not an expert, don't do what I'm doing. I am crazy. Those wishing to gawk at the weirdo can email me and I'll tell you when and where. If you happen to grab a tire and start chucking it while I'm not looking, I can't be blamed. Don't sue me.

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