Saturday, 30 January 2010

Full Throttle Fitness: W.O.W

When Cj told Coach Skala that he had a tasty Kettlebell workout planned for the session, she smiled knowingly. But that didn't stop her from putting everyone through the floor for the first part of the session. We generally keep our recovery brief, but after what Coach Skala put us through, Cj suggested a 3 minute break was in order before we all grabbed hold of the Kettlebells (the class appreciated why).

Here's What we got up to

Full Throttle Fitness: Work Out Of The Week

Warm up/ Speed & Agility: Cj Swaby

Joint mobility and dynamic bodyweight drills

Agility Ladder (in a relay fashion)

High knees single step per rung x 3 each
High Kness double step per rung x 3 each
High knees lateral single step per rung x 3 each

Still on the agility ladder we moved onto the infamous Bear Crawls

Bear Crawls up and down the ladder: single 'paw' per rung x 3
Bear Crawls up and down the ladder double 'paw' per rung x 3
Bear Crawls later shuffle: Single 'paw' per rung x 1

Section One: Coach Skala

20:10 x 15 rounds (20 seconds work: 10 seconds active recovery)

This is how it went down....

Double Kettlebell front squat into push press (20 seconds)
Kettlebells in the rack position (10 seconds)

After much cursing, we then moved on to another circuit which hit the parts other circuits don't usually reach.

Burpee into jump x 5
Press ups x 10
Crescent Kettlebell Swing x 15

Complete 10 rounds. The person who finishes first just gets to feel smug, or collapse to the floor (depending on preference).

Rest 3 minutes, then....

Section 2: Cj Swaby

It's been a while since we had done a timed Kettlebell set in a workout. The plan was to go for 15 minutes, but we were running over, so we stuck to 10 minutes instead. Here is the timed Kettlebell set (and what we would have done, in case you want to try it)

Kettlebell Complex: 10 Minutes

1) Single Kettlebell Clean & Jerk (Long Cycle) x 1 minute per arm
2) Single Kettlebell Over head Squat x 1 minute per arm
3) Traveling Single Arm Kettlebell swings x 1 minute total
4) Single Kettlebell Snatch into Windmill x 1 minute per arm
5) Traveling Single Arm Kettlebell Swings x 1 minute total
6) Single arm Kettlebell Clean & Jerk (Long Cycle) x 1 minute per arm

Total Time: 10 Minutes

We would have added

*Traveling Single Arm Kettlebell Swings x 1 minute total
*Kettlebell Tactical Lunge x 1 minute per arm

That would have taken us to the 15 minute mark (but who knows, maybe next week). Another session under our belts, we dusted ourselves off, peeled the sweat soaked clothing from our bodies and then hit the showers (well Cj did at least!).

Check the Workout of The Week video clip below to get an idea of how its done.

Full Throttle Fitness

Saturday 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Balance Physiotherpay, 113 Gauden Road, London, SW4 6LE.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Marathon Running: Getting It Twisted

So with about six weeks left until my annual run Hogweed Hilly Half Marathon, I've finally finished the Chi Running Book. I was following the book pretty much, with an occasional nod and an "a huh" then I hit page 175. This threw me off big time.

Hill running should be an essential part of all runners training, builds stamina, strength endurance and can be brutally great fun. Danny Dreyer's advice? If you hit a steep hill run it sideways (that's right) sideways. Now, this defies convention, but I swallowed my initial WTF?!! and heard him out.

"The beauty of this unconventional technique is that it engages the lateral muscles (side of the leg). These muscles are generally not used much when you're running on level ground, so it's like having a fresh set of muscles helping you out."

(D. Dreyer, Chi Running: pg: 177: 2004)

Really Danny? ok, lets put this stuff to the test. So out on my Thursday night run , I hit the hills at the back of Tooting Bec Athletics Track. Modest pace, nothing hectic. As the incline of the hill began to increase I adopted my new running stance(much to the amusement of onlookers). When I reached the peak of the hill I returned back to the 'standard' Chi Running technique, and you know what? my legs felt as if they still had a lot more in the tank. Pleasantly surprised and slowly chewing humble pie I returned home.

I don't know if the Chi Running technique will improve my performance (Hogweed will tell), but I do know that coming back off certain runs which would usually leave me feeling dented, I'm feeling pleasantly tired and not hammered, and that's good enough for me.

Next week I'll be comparing the clinical evidence for Chi Running V Pose Running
Until then, enjoy your marathon training.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Full Throttle Fitness - W.O.W

This week we spent a bit more time focusing on technique, making sure that everyone in the class was confident in performing the exercises. We were building on what we had done the previous week with some challenging pieces thrown in. As the saying goes, when we are under pressure we revert back to type, so we wanted to make sure everyone was on point.

The core session heavily featured Kettlebells (no surprise there right?). Here's What we got up to..

Full Throttle Fitenss - Workout of The Week

Warm up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Movement

Coach Cj's Section:

Double Kettebell Single Arm Turkish Get Up 1/3 reps x 2-3 sets

Take two kettlebells (one heavy one lighter) and perform a turkish get up with both kettlebells in one arm. This is a strength based exercises so keep the reps low. It's also fantastic for working on your grip.

Double Kettlebell Jerk 10 reps x 10 sets (25 seconds rest in between sets)

This challenging Kettlebell piece is great for developing total body strength endurance and getting your heart rate up. The 25 second rest period seems like no rest at all (but is always welcomed). Men used 16kg/ 20kg/ 24kg the Ladies used 12kg/ 16kg.

Rest 3 minutes then....

Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch x 8 minutes (we changed hands each minute).

Due to time constraints Coach Skala kept it simple and finished us off with a Burpee in to tuck jump ladder with a jog as active recovery. We started at 10 reps and worked our way down to 1.

It was a short sharp and effective session which wiped us out! We'll post the video of the exercises by Wednesday of this week (just experiencing technical issues at the moment!).

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Full Throttle Fitness: W.O.W

With training for the Hogweed Hilly Half in full swing, Coach Skala and Cj Swaby still kept the pressure on in this weeks class. We maintained the Kettlebell essential exercises in the workout, explosive bodyweight exercises and threw in some medicine ball work for good measure.

Fun was had by all. There were few frills, but Coach Skala and Cj Swaby kept to the core training principles that had all in attendance Metabolloxed! Here is the session break down and remember to watch the video clip below if you want to see what it looks like.

Full Throttle Fitness: W.O.W (Workout of the Week)

Warm up: Joint Mobility and dynamic movement (10 - 15 mins)

Main session

Section 1: Coach Skala

Complete as many repetitions of each exercise as you can in the given time frame of 1 minute per exercise.

Format: 1 minute per exercise. Rest 2 minutes between each round of circuit. Complete 3 circuits.

1) *Renegade Rows
2) Push ups
3) Bench Jumps
4) *Push up into Burpee

* If unsure how to do the exercise, check out the video clip below for a demonstration.

Section 2: Cj Swaby

45:15 second ratio. 45 seconds per exercise, 15 seconds rest for change over.

Complete 3 rounds of the circuit. Allow 30 seconds rest between circuits.

1)Alternating Kettlebell Snatch
2)Sandbag/ Powerbag Squat with Tornado Twirl
3)Medicine Ball overhead Slam
4)Double Kettlebell Jerk

We rounded off the session with a partner bodyweight carry relay. After initial injection of enthusiasm for intense exercise it soon degenerated into us just fooling around (good fun though). That done, we cooled down and stretched out, then gingerly headed off into the horizon.

Full Throttle Fitness

When? Every Saturday 12:15 - 1:15pm
Where? Balance Physiotherapy, Clapham, London
Price? 10.00 Guest List 15.00 Without

Monday, 18 January 2010

Effortless Injury Free Running

Or at least that's how they sell it on the cover. Chi Running. In December 2009 I attempted the 4 minute mile on the G-trainer Challenge only to fall short by 23 seconds. I decided that I needed to work on my technique and not so much my fitness or strength endurance in my legs.

A pristine copy of Chi Running had been slipped my way and I had decided to try it out, to see if it would help with my training for the Hogweed Hilly Half Marathon in March 2010, plus improve my time for the 4 minute mile attempt. I've been reading through the book systematically. Absorbing the information, then trying it out. So far so good. I'm injury free (from running at least!) and distances seem a lot more easily covered.

There is a lot of information on the internet about the validity of Chi running from a scientific evidence based point of view. Often Chi Running is compared to, or perceived as a poor version of Ramanov's Pose running. This is a valid comment, as Chi Running has not been subjected to as many 'lab' tests as has pose running. However, I will be using myself as a testing ground over the coming months, giving disinhibited feedback.

I don't necessarily agree with everything that is written in the book so far, but I'm putting my preconceptions to the side and will let the results speak for themselves. In the mean time watch the clip below to find out more about Chi Running.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Full Throttle Fitness - The W.O.W Factor

First session of the year and no holds barred. Coach Skala saw to it that those who had eased up off the training over Christmas duly repented. A sick kettlebell starter. Her part of the class was a truly character defining piece. Brutal.

Never one to be out done, Cj Swaby finished everyone off (literally) with a rather tasty body weight piece, which had him question even his own sanity. The team challenge was the icing on the cake, and after a few moments of recovery to collect our broken and scattered selves, we scuffled along the snow filled roads of Clapham for some highly nutritious pukka tukka.

The W.O.W factor? Well here's what we got up to in the Full Throttle Fitness Workout Of the Week (W.O.W).

Full Throttle Fitness: Main Session

Warm up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic movement pattern warm up

Coach Skala's Section


Kettlebell Piece followed by a 90 second static hold (as active rest).

Choose one of the following as your static hold.

1) Plank

2) Double Kettlebell Rack Position

3) Dead Hang (bottom position of a pull up)

4) Hand Stand (against wall or unassisted)

Holds can be varied through workout. But one type of hold must be kept for the duration of the 90 seconds.

*Single Arm Kettlebell Clean & Jerk x 3 minutes per arm
(*Kettlebell Clean & Press is an alternative)

Static Hold of choice x 90 seconds

Then Straight into....

B)*Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch x 3 minutes per arm
(*Dumbell snatch was used as an alternative)

Static hold of choice x 90 seconds


C)Single Arm Kettlbell Swing x 3 minutes per arm

Static hold of choice x 90 seconds

Then.... REST! 3 - 5 mins (believe me, we needed it.)

Coach Cj's Section

Format: Tabata protocol 20:10

Perform exercise flat out for twenty seconds, then rest 10 seconds. This equals one round. Complete 8 rounds.

Complete 8 rounds per exercise. Rest 45 seconds in between sets of exercises.

A) Out and back shuttle sprints

B) *Burps (think burpees without the jump).

*So its basically an explosive press up straight into a deep squat position then spring back down into the press up.

C) Gironda Crunches

The Finisher (Just for fun)

Then as the team challenge we partnered off with someone of similar weight, picked them up and shuttle ran across the room twice. Our choice of lifts were one of the following;

1) Fireman's Carry
2) Bridal Carry

Try this workout of the week and let us know how you get on. In the coming months we'll be filming what each session looks like so you can get the correct idea how each workout is done if you want to try it yourself. Have you got the W.O.W factor?!

Get Fit (Or Die Trying!)