Strongman Update: All KINDZ of GAINZ

*Bonus points if you get the reference in the title 🙂

Saturday was another BIG training day for me.  Bad weather + no access to Alcovy High’s weight room meant one thing: Beachbody workout, y’all.  P90X2 has some of the best research behind it, and is absolutely one of the best programs BB offers.  Remember, I’ve said that I’m focusing on sport-specific training as I march on to Strength Camp in a few months.  That means a lot of cardio or bodybuilding-style workouts are just a waste of time for me right now.  BUT!

P90X2: PAP Upper and PAP Lower are a perfect fit for my goal of training useful, explosive strength.

P90X2_PAP-UpperIf you don’t know, PAP stands for Post-Activation Potentiation.  This style of training uses strength moves, immediately followed by explosive “plyometric” movements.  The research has shown that, for example, heavy squats immediately followed by a sprint or explosive jump leads to better performance in the second event.  It sounds backwards, as if the pre-exhaustion of the muscle would hinder the second event’s performance, but our bodies are just amazing machines.  The recruitment of additional muscle fibers leads to a temporary jolt of beasty-goodness to your sprint/jump/whatever.

PAP Upper and Lower both use complexes of 4 moves, done quickly in sequence, 4 times in a row.  The routines aren’t building additional strength, especially with the light weights involved, but it’s training my central nervous system to utilize my strength on demand, generating maximum power under stress.  If that ain’t strongman, I don’t know what is.  Also, PAP Upper features a guy that looks like he should be my brother.  Seriously.redheadguyphoto 2 (2)

So with PAP Upper in the tank, I moved on to some event-training.  I don’t own a prowler sled, but I do own a van.  I practiced “keg-carries” by sprinting, holding my wife in front of me, followed by van + family pushes.  Each part was 100 ft.

DUDE.  If you want to work on conditioning, go push your car for short bursts.  It’ll humble you.

After that, it was on to 50 lb ball-tosses.  I’m working on making the most out of my hips as I hinge forward.  I’m playing around with how much of a “squat” motion vs. a “deadlift” or “good-morning” motion to use.  Any thoughts about this?  It’s a weird event and I’m thinking mainly caber-tossers* would be able to offer any insight.  *And yes, you should Google “caber toss.”  My distance is improving by inches each session.  I feel very strongly now that no technique change is going to give me several more feet.  I think powerlifting, specifically squats and standing press, will have the biggest impact.  It’s basically a brute-force movement:

“Throw this 60 lb ball backwards as far as you can, however you want to do it.”


Okay, that’s my update from the weekend.  If you’re enjoying my journey or if you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!  Even better would be sharing a link to this Strongman stuff on Facebook, Twitter, and the rest.

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