Phenomenal Article (Mental Strength)

Posted: June 24, 2011 in Our Philosophy

If you read no further, read THIS ARTICLE. Summarises everything I love about training and put me up to updating the blog.

Ross and I have been pretty busy of late – an exam around the corner, a throat infection, a dissolved gym membership and the pure elation of an empty flat.

Needless to say, though it has been not possible to strength train maximally, we haven’t let training hard slip from our grasp.

We’ve been doing a metabolic circuit I threw together early this year. It works quite simply:

Upper body push – 20s
Core Exercise – 20s
Speed squats (bw) – 20s
Upper body pull – 20s
Core Exercise – 20s
Jump squats w/ rotation – 20s
Repeat Above
1 minute Plank

That’s one round. Rest for one minute then repeat.

The idea is that you do each exercise as hard and as fast as possible, with the core work being as strict as possible. We tend to vary this with each round – first round planks, second round side planks, third round dorsal raises, etc.

When this first became a training modality for us both, we were exhausted and slowed at the end of the second round. After about 12 weeks of doing this every second/third day, we managed to blast an entire 5 rounds with an unrelenting pace that had us both consider that we might be dying…thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

Key points of this regimen:

Developing power/power endurance – pushing/pulling as powerfully as you can and doing it for extended amounts of time has a pretty well established training effect…you get better at doing things powerfully and you get better at doing them for extended amounts of time.

Aerobic/Anaerobic Capacity – you will without a doubt be out of breath during these circuits. Think of it like this – you’re pushing and all the blood goes to your arms, then suddenly, just when you’re feeling warmed up, you’re restricting your breathing with a core exrcise. 20 seconds later and you’re jumping up and down, legs beginning to draw blood and ache, only to pick up something heavy and rattle it against your rib cage a couple of times before yet more breath restriction followed by even more lower limb punishment. Essentially, just when your body is starting to adapt and provide nutrients for one muscle set, you fire up another.

Breathing restrictions – Everything you do in this circuit robs you of the ability to breathe maximally. Your core is engaging the entire time…this further limits oxygen consumption which makes a pretty standard workload feel like climbing Everest with only a pair of Y-fronts strapped to your ankles for comfort.

Be strict – you work on time and intensity. Everything you do has to be on time and on the mark with regards to intensity – all out.

1 minute plank finishers – these are, IMO, the most horrible part of the work-out. It’s all quite chaotic until at last you have a solid minute of just planking out, out of breath, aching all over and being as strict as you can in your position where time is all you have to ponder.

Be utterly relentless – I know this is a repeat, but seriously, every movement you make is of prime importance in this regime. Everything is all in and the prize you get at the end is knowing that you’re forging an able body with an iron will. This can, if you want it to, carry over into your personal life. Try, at least once in your life, to deny yourself the pleasure of relaxation in light of something drastic and terrible. You might surprise yourself.


Mark Twight had the 300 cast performing similar work-outs, whilst also testing their ability to lift, jump and throw.


For now, maximal strength training has to be put on a side-line (at least until the beginning of July). However, this training circuit has reminded me how much I love intense cardiovascular work…perhaps I’ll look to Strongman work-outs in the near future.

Ciao, for now.


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