Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday's Workout

Strength Skill:
  • Weighted Pull-Ups
I managed fine with a 45-pound weight vest, but couldn't quite get my chin over the bar after loading it up with 50 pounds (about 40% of my bodyweight). Dammit.


  • Max rep 53-pound overhead kettlebell swings
  • Max rep Abmat sit-ups
  • Max rep double-unders in 2 minutes
Result: 178 total reps (swings + sit-ups) / 32 double-unders

The Tabata protocol consists of 20 seconds of all-out, maximum effort work, alternating with 10 seconds of rest. Typically, one does eight rounds. For the workout today, this meant doing 20 seconds of max rep kettlebell swings, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and then 20 seconds of max rep sit-ups, and another 10 seconds of rest. And immediately doing the sequence again, eight times in total. Once this is done and you're gasping for air, you try to crank out as many double-unders as possible in two minutes. Total workout time: Just 10 minutes.

Believe it or not, this was incredibly fun. I love Tabata intervals. They're efficient, intense, and flexible enough to accommodate just about any kind of exercise -- from sprinting and jumping to squatting and pressing. The Tabata protocol's been shown to be super-effective at increasing anaerobic capacity and VO2 max, assuming you're pushing yourself as hard as you can during those 20 second bursts of energy. Plus, it's more effective for fat loss than long but low-intensity training.