Wednesday, September 15, 2010

T-Nation - 10 Awesome Challenges by Tim Henriques

The kettlebell swing

Do you feel like your gym work has gotten into a rut - same exercises, same rep schemes, same TUT, week after week, after brain numbing week? Wow, that must suck for you.

No, no, no . . . I'm just joking.

Most of us get into a rut from time to time, whether it's work, gym time, or daily life. I have some thoughts on how to change this as far as gym time goes, but that's a different post.

In the mean time, you can break the routine by adding the occasional challenge workout into your week - something hard and fun to challenge your fitness and your mental strength.

This cool article comes from T-Nation.

10 Awesome Challenges

Sometimes even the most motivated weight trainer needs to be challenged, or better yet, open-palm bitch-slapped into action.

First, let's set aside all the "I weight train to be healthy" crap and start by being honest: You train because you want to be a bad ass, right? You kill yourself under the heavy iron because you don't want to "wallow in the seabed of mediocrity," as my old man likes to say. In short, you think "normal" freaking blows and the last thing you want to look like is normal. Well,

here's your chance to shine.

This beast of an article is your call to stand up and be accounted for. I've got 10 awesome challenges for you, complete with instructions and goals. Your mission is to pick a couple, give them a shot, and see how you measure up. Simple, huh? Sure, just not easy. Especially for a 3 sets of pec deck geek like you.

Yeah, I'm talking to you, Mr. Internet Keyboard Warrior 2010. Put up or shut up. Give these challenges a go and post your thoughts along with your weak-ass times in the discussion forum, and if you really want to shut people up (or provoke laughter), film it.

There, I've done it. I've taken off my white glove and slapped your pretty-boy face with it. Shall I call you Nancy at the same time? How will you respond? Hope your salty tears don't cause your mascara to run.

The 10 Challenges

1. The Prowler Punishment

Pushing the Prowler.

You know the Prowler, the torture device that Elite Fitness sells, the one that Dave Tate hates?

Here's the challenge: Put 90 lbs on it (a 45 on each side), mark out 30 yards, and do 10 trips total. That's it. Alternate pushing from the low handle and the high handle (high is much easier). Rest as long as you like, but I want you to record your time, so don't rest too much...unless you enjoy your current level of suckiness.

Anything under 10 minutes is very good; our gym record is 7:45. I seriously doubt many of you will even finish it.

2. Pull-ups, Push-ups, and Puke-Ups

I hate trainees that brag about their "relative strength." To me, you're either strong or you're not, so instead of finding some obscure context in which your meager lifts are impressive, why not just shut up and get strong in the basics?

That said, here's one for all of you spandex-wearing relative strength junkies: Complete 80 pull-ups and 240 push-ups. That's it. Superset them and try to finish each exercise in roughly the same number of sets (don't just do all the push-ups and then go do all the pull-ups). Rest as much as you want, but again you're recording total time.

Because this is conditioning, I don't expect perfect form on the pull-ups (especially once you're exhausted), so a bit of a kip is okay, but push-ups should be chest to the ground each rep.

Maybe that's inconsistent but that's how I feel about it, and I will hold you to the same standard that I hold myself. Furthermore, this is my test. If you want to create your own pansy workout where you allow half-rep push-ups, knock yourself out. Just don't post on this thread.

Our current gym record is 15 minutes; I think I might be able to squeak out 12 minutes in the future. Prepare to be sore the next day.

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