Spartan WOD for Tuesday, 8.14.12 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition
~By James Villepique CSCS & Hobie Call
This WOD is a pyramid based, time regulated workout. This means that the exercises are timed, done back to back, and that the monitored rest periods will dwindle. All that’s needed is a weight plate, a dumbbell, and a staircase next to an area where you can do short bouts of cardio.
This workout will get you into a peak functional fitness, ready to dominate any obstacle race course, or, essentially, any physical task or endeavor that you might find in front of you.
Let’s get to work…
Cycle 1 – 5.5 Mins Per Exercise – 1 Min Rest
Cycle 2 – 5 Mins Per Exercise – 50 Seconds Rest
Cycle 3 – 4 Mins Per Exercise – 40 Seconds Rest
Cycle 4 – 3 Mins Per Exercise – 30 Seconds Rest
Cycle 5 – 2 Mins Per Exercise – 15 Seconds Rest
19.5 Mins Exercise – 3.15 Mins Rest = 22.20 Mins Workout
Weighted Stairs: We start by taking the weight plate into our hands at the bottom of the stairs and preparing for one quick cycle. There are basically two ways you will be going up and down the stairs, straight forward, and sideways.
During both balancing acts, it’s important to keep the weight close in to the body to alleviate some of the excess tension on the lower back, while not babying it, and to ensure that the weight wont slide here and there making a slip or fall likely.
When going straight up and down the traditional way, go slower if needed, but keep your head up rather than watching your feet. Use solid footing, but don’t stop, all the way up, turn around, and then come back down always keeping the weight in the heels. To increase difficulty, raise the weight plate above the head and hold it there. This will place far more stress on the core, and burn extra calories.
When going sideways, the feet stepping up should alternate, in multiple ways. Not only should the feet take turns in which goes up first, but switch from placing it in front, and in back, of the higher foot. It takes a little getting used to, but the plus side is that you’ll be training your mind and internal balance mechanisms along with the legs, hip complex, and all the slow twitch muscles involved in holding the plate continually against gravity.
Free Form Wall Sits: Too many people do wall sits that allow basically the entire upper body to rest against and lean on the wall. To burn extra calories and increase the work load, do sits in space without a crutch, holding the weight plate either against the chest or above the head.
Squat low, and then sit still for the prescribed amount of time. This not only taps into the slow twitch muscles in the lower body, but again, all the countless muscle fibers, joints, ligaments, and tendons involved in balancing the body and preventing you from going to your knees or falling over.
Intense Cardio: It’s not true that cardio must be extended experiences. While most physiologists will tell you that 12 continuous minutes of exercise that forces you to breathe really hard will do the trick, this workout should keep that happening the entire 20 minutes. The intense cardio can be anything from sprinting, to running in place, or burpees.
Whatever works best for the area you’re in, keeps the body moving at a fast clip, and utilizes drastically increased amounts of oxygen. With this directly in the middle of the circuit, it makes the last half extremely challenging and keeps the muscle tissue in a state of playing catch up in terms of supplying the needed glycogen and filtering lactic acid buildup.
Pilates Plank Kicks: The core is crucial, and planks are the best in terms of suspended animation and prolonged tension, but there’s always room to make things more difficult. Keeping the Pilates principles of maximum body control, deliberate movement, and precision muscle targeting in mind, get down in a traditional plank stand on elbows and toes.
Keep the time split in half between both legs for each bout of this exercise, and alternate kicking one leg like a scissor kick above the ground. This is going to continuously tip your center of gravity, and bring into the mix a plethora of tissue that would otherwise simply be under tension without movement. Within seconds you’ll understand why this is such a popular exercise in Pilates. It burns countless calories by using so much of the body at once, demand body control, and precisely targets integral sections of the musculature that deal with nearly all human movement. These kicks can be done on both sides for the oblique muscles as well.
Creative Dumbbell Press: This one is a little tricky, but a fascinating exercise that nearly everyone gets excited to try upon first being shown. It’s like mixing a one armed dumbbell chest press, a plank with transverse motion, a pushup, and a dumbbell back row into one continuous motion. It’s best to do sets of five per arm before switching, as that will cut down on situational time.
While in a traditional plank position with one hand on the dumbbell, and the other on the ground about shoulder width apart, begin with a pushup. Then, as you come up to full arm extension, bring the dumbbell up and perform a back row. Now, instead of going back down, twist your torso around so that you’re on your heels rather than your toes, wait for the body to square on one arm, and then perform a chest press with the dumbbell.
While at first it will seem awkward for the shoulder joints, when done correctly, deliberately, and slowly at first, you’ll see that it’s actually a rather fluid and natural series of movements. The amount of calories burned and muscles used goes into overdrive. Reps, sets, and weights are good tools, but nothing compares to focused movement and great form.
Afterward all five cycles, the entire body from head to toe should be aching and the post workout oxygen uptake substantially increased for hours. A few tips for maximizing the leaning down potential are to drink extra cold water during rest periods, and eat a post workout meal with plenty of protein saving carbohydrates within 20-40 minutes.
Always remember that working out to lose body fat has a lot to do with training the mind as well, above and beyond the contraction of muscle fibers. The more control of our body we have, the better our form is for whatever we do, from creative compound dumbbell exercises, to sitting up straight in our chair at work or at home.
Because the rest was kept at a minimum and slowly dwindled, the intensity on the musculature was incredible at the molecular level, releasing tons of fat devouring enzymes expediting the breakdown of bloated adipose tissue cells.
James Villepigue & Hobie Call
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