12 minutes, 3 movements, 1 sore panther

With the Lost Trail 1/2 Marathon (my very first 1/2!) this weekend, I asked SFF to go easy on the feet and ankles. They’ve been touchy lately, especially after falling off that log in Yosemite.

After a VERY light and easy mile on the mill and about 10 minutes of ankle and calf stretches, my buddy Todd showed up and SFF unleashed our workout. Amazingly she actually did go easy on everything below the waist, including my hip flexors (I seem to wear those down on long runs). But, of course, she blew everything else right the heck up. Boom.

So this was the way of the day, 12 minutes to do a certain number of reps of 3 movements as many times through as possible. Tricky and rough, you blow through your reserves fast, and we had 4 different runs of movements to finish. Good times.

Round one was 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 dips. As many times through as possible in 12 minutes. I started on the dip tower but that didn’t last. I just weigh too much still to do full weight dips after pull-ups/push-ups. I moved over to the box, which was a more even level of exertion to the other movements. I managed to get through 6 times (so 30 pull-ups, 60 push-ups, 90 dips). On to round 2!

The second round was actually a touch less brutal, but the lactate began building quickly. It was 10 kettle bell snatch to press, each arm, then 10 full kettle bell swings (extended over your head, arms straight up). I used a 20lb kettle bell for all the movements and made 8 rounds in 12 minutes (so 80 of each, ouch).

Round 3 was just brutal. My buddy Todd, who is a serious athelete and in WAY better shape than I, put it best when he said “Damn man, this shit ain’t no joke”. Amen brother, amen. Movement 1 here is hard to describe, but imagine you have your hands and feet on the ground, stomach facing up in as close to a table position as you can manage. Lift your right hand and left foot and bring them together over your core. Bring them down. That’s a rep. Then do left hand, right foot. That’s rep two. Do that 20 times total. Ugg. Then we did pike/presses. Essentially get in a “downward dog” position from yoga, lower to plank then do a pushup, then back up to the piked “downward dog”. That’s a rep. Twenty. Finally mountain climbers to the outside of your hands was the movement but landing on my right foot was really irritating the injury I still have from the log fall so we swapped it out for me for 20 jumping jacks. I only managed about 3 times through on this one. The pike/press especially sucked at this point, as my arms were feeling quite a bit like jello.

Oh but we weren’t done, no! Round 4 brought it all home and added some glitz and glamour!  We started with a 15lb weight in each hand, held straight armed over our head. Walk all the way across the gym, then drop the weights and do 5 burpees. Grab the weights again, and walk back. Now do 10 “Arnold Presses”, essentially a military dumbell press starting from a position that looks like the top of a curl (wrists in) and goes to overhead while twisting (wrists out). 15lbs sounds light, but by this time it was rough just holding my arms up. Another walk across the gym, burpees and walk back, then 10 crouching flys, walk/burpee/walk then 10 behind the head tricep curls with a single bell. That’s one time through. I made just over 3 trips through.

A lesson to be learned from this type of workout is that often we get way too caught up on reps and sets. Sure, sometimes it is good to know how much, how many, etc. But sometimes you want to push yourself, and a timed workout of this kind really keeps you from thinking of how many total exercises you did. If you told me I would be doing this many total push-ups, burpees, pull-ups, dips, presses, flys, etc, I’d probably look at you like you were growing horns. But while I was doing them, I felt like I wanted to do more! I was competing against myself, against Todd, against the clock. Reps didn’t matter other than getting that next set ticked off so I could start again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my arms are going to fall off.

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