Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pomodoros and Pushups

[Post by Cliff Harvey]

There are times when the body feels a little beaten up and the energy to train hard, or the time you have available to get to the gym, field, dojo or box is lacking.
But often even when time, energy or even motivation are lacking, there is still a nagging desire on an underlying level to move, to be active or to challenge the body in some way.

During these times we have a choice. We can:
- Not train.
- Push through the lack of energy and simply train.
- Do a different activity purely for the fun of it.
- Change our training structure (work soleley on movement, technique, or drop the volume or the time under tension).

Or we could do a combination of some of these. None are better than any others. There are times when we need to rest, and there are times when we need to learn how to front up and get the job done is spite of things not being (or feeling) perfect.

Today...in fact this week, is one of those times when the body feels like it needs a change or a break. I've recently come back from a great (but busy) speaking trip to Canada, am rehabilitating a few niggling injuries and am working long hours on several business and teaching projects. Previous to leaving for Canada I was also training very intensely - consisting of up to: 2 x Kettlebell sessions, 3 x Olympic Lifting sessions, 1 x CrossFit WOD and 5 x Jiu Jitsu sessions, for a total of round 12 hours of pretty intense training per week.

This week will be a much more low-key, and after a good squat session with 'The Beast' Dave Fitzsimmons and Andy Rodgers yesterday, and  stack of writing, business development and prep to get through today, a slightly different tack will be needed for training...

Enter: Pomodoros and Pushups!

I have for a little while now been using the Pomodoro Method to help stay focussed, and more importantly to remind myself to take breaks.
I thought this could be a great opportunity to 'grease the groove' in pushups and get some residual, low intensity activity into an otherwise fuill-on work day in which I won't be able to get to the gym or dojo...
Even if you can't get to the gym you can still train your body!

So here's how it will work:
After every 'Pomodoro' (25min work block) I will perform pushups at a set cadence (doesn't matter whether it's fast or slow) and terminate the set when the cadence begins to slow, well before actual fatigue or failure (the point is to get a volume of work done, not to go to muscle failure).

Early morning
Set 1: 43
[Spent most of the morning driving around to meetings - several hours elapsed without any PUs]
Set 2: 27
Set 3: 23
Set 4: 42
Set 5: 31
Set 6: 47
Set 7: 55
Set 8: 60
Set 9: 54
Set 10: 43
Total Pushups during the working day = 425

Notes:
I had meetings through the day and so there were periods of time that I didn't do pushups. hat's not important as simply having a structure to remind yourself to MOVE is the key with this exercise.
Rep variations were due primarily to cadence (faster reps = less time under tension) and to longer rest intervals if I had been in meetings.

Next time I'm going to do 'Pomodoros and KettleBell Swings!'... stay tuned.