Thursday, February 25, 2010

Post-Round 2 Recovery Week: RKC Man Maker + P90X Ab Ripper X

More test-driving today. On this morning's agenda: kettlebell training -- more specifically, Pavel Tsatsouline's "New RKC Program Minimum" from "Enter the Kettlebell!" As Tsatsouline puts it:
The New RKC Program Minimum will deliver
  • The conditioning of a world-class fighter;
  • Rapid fat loss without the dishonor of aerobics;
  • A back of steel;
  • Muscular, flexible, and resilient shoulders;
  • A skill base for the rest of the RKC drills.
Regardless of your goals, a simple routine of swings and get-ups makes a powerful introduction to RKC training ... these two moves will give you the biggest bang for your kettlebell buck.
The New RKC Program Minimum consists of two simple but ass-kicking workouts:

1.  Twice a week, do 12 continuous minutes of "Man Maker" training. What's a Man Maker, you ask? "Its template is simple: alternate sets of high-rep kettlebell drills -- swings in our case -- with a few hundred yards of jogging. Do your swings 'to a comfortable stop' most of the time and all-out occasionally." Sounds easy, but it's hard as hell.

[UPDATED: Just to clarify, the Man Maker video clip below shows snatches, not swings. I'm not yet proficient enough to do rep after rep of snatches without something going horribly, horribly wrong.]

2.  Twice a week, do 5 continuous minutes of Turkish Get-Ups, switching hands with every rep. Get-Ups sound easy, but aren't: You start by lying on your back holding a kettlebell up in the air with a straight arm, and "without jerking or unlocking the elbow, stand up and then slowly lie back down."

I did the Man Maker today, but instead of running, I did jumping jacks. And even after adding Ab Ripper X at the end, my total workout time today totaled less than half an hour. But it was brutal nonetheless. Ab Ripper X wasn't any more challenging than usual, but the kettlebell swings were exhausting. This is classic HIIT combined with resistance training for the legs. By the end, my glutes and hamstrings were on fire.

Quite frankly, I was worried I wouldn't be made into a man.