Tag Archives: tabata

Starting Strength

I think I’ve decided on a new routine to ease myself back into weight training. Compound movements are certainly the way to go, as I want to build usable strength for Judo, as opposed to vanity exercises (Hello, bicep curls!)

Starting Strength, authored by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore, is much touted as a great way to get introduced to weight training with free weights, and also see results. And despite keeping to a compound movement routine to some of last year, I still very much see myself as a newbie: I’m just not very strong when you look at it in the context of how much I am lifting compared to my own weight.

I have found a great modification to this routine, by Sean10mm.

There are lots of versions of the “Starting Strength” workout floating around the internet, with various modifications done by different people. This is my take on the same basic workout. It is a simple strength training workout intended for people new to weight training. All the fundamentals are the same as the original Starting Strength workout, and most of the exercises are the same. The changes I made were pretty minor.

The changes in question revolve around replacing some of the more complex exercises with ones which are more beginner-friendly (Some exercises REALLY need a coach in order to ensure proper form). On the coaching front, I love Gayle Hatch’s old-school approach.
In addition, dips and chin-ups are introduced.

The routine is designed to be performed three times a week (see his post for the full details, including the exercises!)

Monday – Workout A
Wednesday -Workout B
Friday – Workout A

Week 2:
Monday – Workout B
Wednesday – Workout A
Friday – Workout B

This is fine: three times a week is how I used to schedule things.

We’ll see how I get on. I’d be aiming to do the tabata sprints at the end of each workout too. Could be quite punishing. It would also all need to be fitted into a lunch hour (dropping Dips and Chin-ups would be allowed, as then the routine would revert to the original Starting Strength one!)

There is a great thread elsewhere on the Internet which goes into further amounts of detail on the basic Starting Strength routine. Note that the quote below also has the more complicated Power clean exercise replaced with something more beginner-friendly (Pendlay Rows):

Workout A
3×5 Squat
3×5 Bench Press
1×5 Deadlift

Workout B
3×5 Squat
3×5 Standing military press
3×5 Pendlay Rows

Interesting toy time:

I personally have never really had the desire to do pull-ups in my living room, but this Powerbar seems like quite a cool gadget. Hook it to a door-frame and away you go.

Tabata Attempt #1

So, in reference to my original post on the subject of Tabata training…:

It was the gym tonight, and I tried out the routine mentioned in the above post (20/10 interval training on a treadmill, with the incline set high to keep the speed down, so jumping on and off can be done without severe injury).

In total, 12 minutes including the warm-up. Certainly a killer! I could probably have bumped up the speed a little bit, but I didn’t want to risk taking a tumble when still getting used to the system. And it did feel a little strange to be jumping to straddle the treadmill every 20 seconds.

But it felt right. To be specific, it felt like I was being pushed as in Judo Randori or Shiai. Very equivalent: Bursts of doing something, then a rest period.

After that, some cable-pulley work and some very experimental squats with a barbell. I need to go back to this when I return to work and my usual gym, so a good way of warning my body 😉

Tabata fever: Treadmill

Ah, so Tabata training CAN be performed on a treadmill.

This is a run Tabata on treadmills done at 12% grades, and an appropriate speed for the individual. They will start with a warm-up and then get into 20:10 x 8! Foot pull speed is very important as the slower the pull you will begin to push and end up fatiguing much sooner.

Video, courtesy of CrossFit and Newport Beach.

20:10 is the typical Tabata interval (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest).

Speeds used: 7 – 7.5mph.

Not that I will actually have much access to a treadmill over the Christmas period. Hmm, will have to translate it to a track somewhere…

Winding up for Christmas

It’s that time of year when Judo winds down a bit. People stop training due to the temptation of mince pies, and clubs close until the New Year.

It was hard to leave the house now that the heating is back, but I went along last night to a club I rarely get the chance to visit.

It was a great session. Constant activity throughout, and a good combination of static and moving Uchikomi, fitness and Randori. I think it was the energising sort of session that I needed. There wasn’t any technique training, but you pick up a LOT by working with higher grades, and there were a fair number present.

It was very cool for there to be a genuine cage fighter present – Gary Turner. And he is probably one of the nicest, down to earth and helpful people I have met in the sport. I have recently switched to more Judo-oriented fitness training (such as Interval training and weight movements which mimic those of Judo), and he has a lot of experience and recommendations in this area.

In particular, I should be looking a little into Tabata.

My current aim is to focus on conditioning as opposed to strength (I am carrying too much useless weight right now). A loss of 10kg should fix it, nothing major. I rarely think to myself, “I did badly because I’m not strong enough”. It’s getting tired and technique that lets me down.

Working on these should also increase my speed, as I am too static sometimes.