It’s been quite a while since I’ve written about my training, but I’ve gotten a few training-related questions lately. So I figured I’d put in some digital ink and talk a bit about it. This is in no particular order but if you’ve purchased the Home Gym Health and Strength Plan you know I have a framework: 2-3 training sessions per week plus endurance, fast on Mondays–have a morning/evening routine.
Being able to do the side split has always been a goal. I’ve tried a lot of different methods. The one I find to work best by far is isometric stretching.
Right now I’m following Tom Kurz’s instruction from Stretching Scientifically. Focusing exclusively on the side splits for isometric stretching.
- 2 sessions per week
- 3 sets of stretching
- In each set, there are 2-3 contract/relax cycles
- The last contract cycle is held for 30 seconds
- By the third set, I attain peak depth
- No arms are used to hold the split–you must develop the leg strength. Your legs must power you out of the stretch
- 1 minute rest between sets
The main difference in the split training now is I never use my arms to help. The result is a new type of leg strength I haven’t had for a long time. This is a key benefit with isometric stretching. Incredible strength in extreme ranges. It gives you a type of wiry strength with incredible body control.
Matt Furey Neck Bridge
I say Matt because I first learned it from him in Combat Conditioning. Though Anthony Bove in Spartan Health Regime comes close to the same exercise.
Basically you work to hold a bridge on just your feet and head, arching back until your nose is touching the floor. I do this one once or twice a week.
I’m always training movements, but occasionally I shift the focus a bit. It was all barbell for about 3-4 months and now I’m doing more kettlebell. I’m still using a barbell for squats and bench presses and sometimes deadlifts. But I’m doing more KB swings than deadlifts. Also doing cleans and military presses.
- KB swings 3×10, explosive
- KB cleans 2×5, will move up to 3×5
- KB press 3×5, gradually move up to 5×5
- Curl 2×8
- Bench press 2×10 or 1×10, 1×6, 1×4 – increasing weight as reps lower
- Dumbbell row 3×8-10
- Squat 3×10 or 1×10, 1×6, 1×4 – increasing weight as reps lower
Split training follows the squat
I’m hitting this 2 times per week. If you’ve seen the Home Gym Health and Strength Plan you know that of 3 main workout days, I like to do one that is more endurance focused.
I was doing escalating density training with bodyweight chins and dips, but today wanted to focus on Furey’s Royal Court and throw in some pull-ups too. That looked like:
- Pull-up 2×8, 1×7
- Hindu squat 1×51, 1×31, 1×10
- Hindu push up 2×20
- Stretching with rope
After getting up I drink 2-3 glasses of water then do joint mobility and go for a walk or do breathing exercises. Been doing a lot of the Jowett calf exercises lately.
I need to work on increasing my walking. For endurance I’ve been doing 10 minutes on the rower followed by 10 minutes of punching bag work. Problem is that the impact, which came on too suddenly, hurt my shoulders. So I have to chill out on that. I want to up the rower to 20 minutes or so now that the boxing is out of the picture. Rowing is a great exercise.
A few of these supplements I consider quite important. For example, in the Nordic countries, Cod Liver Oil was always important because it contained vitamin D, which was needed in the winter months. You should consider getting your D levels checked and see if you need to supplement. Magnesium is important for the heart and other functions. Most people are low in magnesium. For the B vitamin, you can tell if you’re low by seeing if your tongue is cracked. It’s just a simple check. Finally, I like to take the protein powder on days that I train with weights.
- Cod liver oil
- Magnesium Glycinate
- Vitamin D – note that I sometimes get a formula with vitamin K included as well, which can keep calcium out of soft tissues
- B complex
- Protein powder
Water fasting every Monday
This is a great digestive break. I haven’t done anything more than 24 hours since last August 2020. Going beyond 24 hours can be a bit of a challenge. The Bragg’s recommend longer fasts several times per year. I’m not there yet. Still, this is a great health practice that I think more people should include.