Tricks for FAT LOSS – a MED Workout plus some comments on Intermittent Fasting

Exercise: You were BORN TO MOVE, and even a little bit of exercise will make you happy - I guarantee it. Lets get you moving!!

 

 

 

Hey mate,

 

I hope this finds you better than ever.

 

Since you asked for more real world examples, I thought I would give you an example of a Minimum Effective Dose (MED) style workout, tacked against some Intermittent Fasting.

 

I performed this workout today, and will give you detail of how it unfolded and the rationale behind it all.

 

This story starts YESTERDAY, for reasons I will explain below.

 

As you know I am a big fan of placing SLEEP as a priority for FAT LOSS. Or for that matter, health, performance, living longer, feeling superhuman, or just plain old boring “ridiculous levels of happiness”.

 

If you drew it, you could put “tired, sick, cranky and fat” at one end of the spectrum, and “happy, healthy, bursting with energy, and easy to get lean” at the other end.

 

This should be obvious, but so few take action around this, so for all those who continue to huff and claim sleep is not important…..

 

Your HORMONES are key for nearly everything you likely want (and don’t want) reflected on your body and your physical performance, and it is largely your hormones that dictate that spectrum above. Mess with them at your peril.

 

Back to the story…

 

Last night’s dinners was a hearty meal of grass-fed steak, quail eggs, broccoli, a green leafy salad, and a half glass of wine. I finished this by 8pm. I did this with a view towards not having too much in my system come sleep time (with a goal of better sleep quality).

 

Today I woke up at 9am after a monster (for me) 10 hours sleep. I have had troubles with stress, sleeping well, and the resultant cortisol issues for months now, so it was great to get in a big nights sleep. (The night before I got 9 hours, also great for me in the last month). Bring it on Kiwi!!!

 

So two good nights sleep in a row, strict adherence to clean eating, and I woke up to a beautiful blue sky feeling absolutely freaken amazing.

 

In accordance with my rules for when and where busy, stressed, or tired people should ever use, or NEVER use, intermittent fasting, I took the opportunity of feeling amazing, energetic and well rested (my first in many weeks) as a sign that my hormone levels were in a compartively happy place…..

 

So I promptly SKIPPED breakfast.

 

No breakfast and to wake up, as I always advise you to do, I went for a little walk in the sun (10 minutes) to get some fresh air and Vitamin D, and to get my neurotransmitters firing, before sitting down to my laptop with a big jug of ice water and a steaming cup of hot green tea.

 

I have been cutting down my intake of caffeine steadily the last week, with a big cup of green tea being the stand in for coffee this morning. I am not against coffee, ok ok, I FREAKEN LOVE COFFEE, but at the same time, I am well aware of how much better I start to feel and the impact on my sleep quality when I get my caffeine intake right down every day, and when I make sure that I get it in early instead of late in the day.

 

One and a half liters of water and two excellent blocks of work later, and it was getting close to food time.

 

Intermittent Fasting

 

I think that 95% plus of the benefits of Intermittent Fasting can be achieved with a 16 hour fast, while limiting the downsides more prevalent from longer fasts. In other words, I think the trade-off is optimum with about 16 hours between meals.

 

I will be doing a big post on Intermittent Fasting for you in the future, so don’t sweat it, but suffice to say I think it has its uses (but is not the be all and end all), works extremely well for some people all the time, is well suited to be used on occasion by other people, and should generally be avoided like the plague by people with chronically elevated cortisol, adrenal fatigue of any type, or mental disorders relating to food, but I digress…….

 

Allowing 16 hours from 8pm the night before would have me eating and breaking my “fast” today at 12pm, brunch time was coming up. (Remember I ONLY elected to do this based on feeling superhuman when waking)

 

I decided to exercise briefly before eating for a host of reasons, but I wanted it to be short, fast, and not too stressful on my adrenal glands (cortisol remember) or on my nervous system, and I was running out of time to get the workout in, my lunch in, then continue with my day’s meetings.

 

Notes follow below.

 

 

Enter a Minimum Effective Dose Workout 

 

2 minutes of foam roller (self myofascial release) with 30 seconds on each of quad/hip flexor, and IT band)

 

Goal: Remove Restrictions, Improve Mobility, Improve Tissue Quality

 

 

3 minutes of activation/mobility/dynamic warm up (see note 2 below)

 

Goal: Use some of that improved tissue work to immediately perform a series of activation and mobility exercises to improve movement patterns

 

Glute Bridges x 10 with adduction (5 second squeeze at the top) I clamped the foam roller between my knees for the adduction part to save time

Reverse lunges with rotation (arms overhead) x 6 each side – one of the BEST hip flexor mobilizers on the planet

Hand walks x 6 (also called Inch Worms) out as far as sore shoulder was happy

Walking quad stretch x 6 each leg with glute squeeze for 2 seconds

 

 

 

3 minutes of neural activation and full body warm up (see note 3 below)

 

Goal: as it reads, neural activation and full body warm up

 

For this today I skipped rope, 30 seconds flat out, 30 seconds very slow, for 3 “rounds”, totaling 3 minutes.

 

The 30 seconds fast I tried to move my feet and the rope as fast as I could. I included shuffles, side to side switches (think a boxer changing lead legs quickly) butt kicks and for the last 5 seconds, high knees to make this as dynamic as possible.

 

The 30 seconds slow, I tried to keep the rope moving at a steady pace, but was not cranking it, the goal to keep moving and have an active recovery.

 

 

 

3 minutes (and 19 seconds) of Kettlebell swings  (see note 4 below)

 

Goal: The “work” part of the workout – metabolic conditioning and hamstring/glutes strength endurance

 

100 x two handed swings with a 70lb bell without stopping. (see note 4 below)

 

 

Why 3 minutes and 19 seconds? Just before I grabbed the bell I hit play on my chosen workout song of the day, which happened to be 3 minutes and 19 seconds, and thought I would cruise to complete this in time…. Almost didn’t make it.

 

 

 

3 minutes of medium paced skipping without stopping

 

Goal: extend the “work” part of the workout with further metabolic conditioning, while forcing active recovery

 

This one was the most elective of the lot, and would be the first to go if wanting to shorten this further, but I wasn’t happy with my swings performance, so decided to add this in.

 

 

1 minute for 100 reps of band “pull aparts” with arms straight and done out in front of chest

 

Start with arms straight out in front of you, gripping your band (they vary greatly in strength/tension) about should width apart with an overhand grip.

 

Starting the movement by pulling your shoulder blades together, finish the movement by pulling your arms away from each other. Your arms will end up out to the sides then slightly behind you, the band will hit your chest. That is 1 rep. You can maintain tension on your shoulder blades by never returning the bands all the way in, or you can go all the way in all the way out, play with it.

 

Goal: try and counter the day’s sitting by working some volume in to my upper back, specifically aiming at rear delts and mid trap. You can mix up the focus of this and add in other muscles by adjusting hand position and arm angle, but assuming you are doing these with your arms straight out in front of you, this is what is going to be getting the bulk of the loading.

 

As I am recovering from a shoulder injury, these were done with the cute little pink band. Since we tend to sit a lot during the day in a shoulders rounded position, this causes what is called stretch-weakness in the scapular retractors (and frequently external rotator) muscles. Add to this that most people have vastly stronger internal rotators of the shoulder than the external rotators, and we have a need for corrective exercise. (You could also try NEVER SITTING, always walking with good posture and doing three or four pulling sets for your upper back for every set you do for your chest).

 

This is a phenomenally useful exercise and I highly recommend you start asap. They can be done throughout the day or at the end of workouts, and intensity can be modified by adjusting your hand position on the band and the band tension. Great for posture.

 

 

Coach and Author Jason Ferruggia shows how it is done here.

 

 

I got my bands at Elite FTS, but you can also get them at amazon.com or any local sporting goods store.

 

IMPORTANT: before you lay out any cash for any bands, go to a gym that has them and try out the various resistances. If you have never bought bands before, I recommend you also go to your nearest sporting goods store to make your first ever purchase. The range in tension is HUGE. Bands can be the little round ones with handles at each end (don’t grab the handles for this exercise) right up to big slabs of bands that are in a complete circle and can also be used for assistance or resistance in a number of other exercises such as pull ups (assistance), push ups, squats, deadlifts etc.

 

I have the latter in every size and use mine mostly for shoulder and upper back work, as well as for benching and press up varieties when I have a shoulder that works, grrrrr.

 

 

———

 

 

Here is how it all went down in terms of pre and post nutrition:

 

11.45 am – Athletic Greens, 10 grams of BCAA, 5 grams of l-glutamine, all mixed together

12.00 pm – Workout

12.25 pm – Athletic Greens, 10 grams of l-glutamine, 5 grams of creatine

Shower

12.50 pm – First Meal of the Day. (note: still protein and fat) – 400 grams of grass-fed steak (yes, again), big bowl of steamed veggies, fish oil.

 

I am dosing the glutamine and the AG since I had a gluten exposure on Friday that has left my GI tract in a mess. This regime (done about 4 times a day) will crush anything in a very short period of time. After this email I will eat again when hungry and go straight back into regular eating.

 

 

Some notes on the workout. 

 

This entire workout took exactly 15 minutes, start to finish.

 

If more pressed for time I could have just done 20 swings with a lighter weight to warm up, then gone straight into the 100 swings for a four minute workout, but I highly recommend you add these other parts to your workout sessions since they will help you perform better, give you a better workout result, reduce likelihood of injury, and basically make you a happy camper.

 

All of which will make me a Happier Kiwi, which is why I am writing this in the first place.

 

I follow a pretty similar workout sequence for nearly every bit of training I do. They aren’t always in there, but they are there most of the time, and they are pretty much always in this order.

 

 

Workout Order

 

a. Remove restrictions (foam roller and lately a baseball)

b. Activate (usually stabilizers) with “pre-hab” type exercises and then Mobilize with a serious of dynamic warm up exercises

c. Neural activation of some variety

d. Strength/Power

e. Strength endurance

f. Metabolic conditioning/energy system work (usually in the form of circuits, giant sets, strongman type training, or intervals)

g. Further foam roller work and stretching

 

In this case the swings took care of d (to a minimal extent if a trained athlete), e, and f, with a focus on the all important prime movers of the posterior chain (lower back, glutes and hamstrings)

 

Those of you have came to Athletic Greens via the 4 Hour Body already know my thoughts on swings…… but in other words, A GREAT exercise!

 

SUN: I did the workout outside on my deck (terrace). This gave me 15 minutes of fresh air and sunshine. LOVES IT.

 

Add that to my 10 minutes earlier and it gave me 25 minutes out in the sun. Nowhere near enough but far far better than nothing.

 

 

Note 1: Foam Rolling

 

When time is limited, I recommend you do only your tightest spots, and those most likely to impact on your performance. Invariably, people who SIT need to foam roll their quads and hip flexors. So this goes in at number one for me, and most likely for you too.

 

Secondly, since a tight IT band is more common than caffeine dependence in our society, and since some pretty important muscles connect to it and I LIKE my knee tracking properly, IT bands went next.

 

What is an IT band? The Ilio (hip) Tibial (shin bone) band runs directly down the outside of your thigh for the length of your femur. You will know it when you foam roll it the first time, trust me.

 

I got my foam roller from Amazon. It is an outstanding investment. Get the 6 x 12 if you travel a lot, I take mine everywhere. Get the 6 x 36 if for just at home. Make sure it is round not half or you won’t be doing much rolling.

 

 

Note 2: Activation/Mobility/Dynamic Warm Up

 

Again my focus here is on what needs waking up/mobilizing the most, not just in general, but thinking about what exercise I have planned later in the workout.

 

Glute bridges in all their varieties turn on glutes (and help turn off and stretch the hip flexors) nicely. This is generally a good idea for anyone who sits down, well, pretty much ever. (My other favorite is the Bird Dog exercise).

 

The lunge stretches, and just every every lunge variety, is a great way of mobilizing your hip flexors while prepping your body for exercise, since it reinforces firing patterns. Incorporate some today.

 

The hand walks wake up nearly every muscle in your body while providing a great hamstring, calf and lower back release, and the walking quad stretch is to ensure the quads and hip flexors are still loose (and glutes are firing, they go together) just prior to starting faster movement.

 

 

Note 3: Neural Activation and Full Body Warm Up

 

For me at this duration and volume this type of interval is far more neural than it is metabolic, and while I felt warm at the end of it and was beginning to sweat a little, I was not really puffing.

 

I did however, feel very very alive and ready for action. Mission accomplished. If I had kept going with the intervals, they would have eventually started to slow down, movement quality would have decreased, and it would have crossed into what I would consider metabolic conditioning.

 

A way around that would be to do 10 seconds “ON” and then 20 seconds “OFF” (or longer) to be able to maintain higher quality movement in the ON intervals if that was a goal for longer duration.

 

Today’s goal was to get the system going.

 

 

Note 4: Kettlebell Swings

 

While this had me breathing and sweating nicely, I am embarrassed to say that it was my GRIP more than anything else that caused me to have to drop the weight at 80 reps, shake out my hands for ten seconds, and then continue. I was almost not able to finish this in time.

 

In terms of the grip, it could just be the general lack of loading I have been able to give my arms with the shoulder injury (no pulling, rowing, or pull ups), or maybe I am just weening out. Either way, please don’t tell my strength and conditioning coaching mates, they will laugh at me.

 

You can do swings in sets and reps. Or you can play for total reps or total time. Choice is yours, but as minimal effective dose “choose 1″ exercises go, the two handed kettlebell or dumbbell swing is an outstanding option for beginners and advanced trainees alike.

 

 

There will be more posts to come on each of these elements, including Intermittent Fasting (and yes, I will most likely be eating a protein dense breakfast first thing tomorrow morning), so keep an eye on your inbox.

 

Whether your lifestyle leads you to follow the Minimum Effective Dose approach or not (I prefer slightly longer, more neural and more intense workouts, personally) I hope you incorporate elements of this sequence into some of your own training.

 

I am pretty confident you will thank me for it.

 

“100% Focus on Happiness”

 

That is my mantra, and it starts with phenomenal health.

 

 

Best,

 

Chris “the Kiwi”

 

www.AthleticGreens.com

 

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About the author
Chris 'The Kiwi'
So named because he comes from a little country in the Pacific called New Zealand where a small, fat, quasi-blind, and largely defenseless bird by the name of “Kiwi” is the national animal, and what we are called when we land in other countries. He is focused on using what he can remember from his studies for a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science and his cumulative years as a nutritionist and strength coach to help other people enjoy amazing levels of health and energy. He enjoys ticking through his list of life goals and meeting new people.
  • Alex Mann

    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for all the work you’ve put into posting this info for everyone to see. Been using AG for about 9 months with great results. I used to get sick 5-8 times per year and I haven’t gotten sick once in 9 months. Not the reason I started taking it, but a great reason to continue. I’ve started incorporating parts of your MED workout into my workout (esp while traveling), but I’m having a hard time finding out the proper form for the reverse lunges with rotation. Is there an existing video that demonstrates the technique you suggest? Also do you see value in adding weights?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Alex,

      GREAT work on your progress mate.

      I would love to use this as quote if that is ok? (you can say no, no problems there. Or you can say yes now and then change your mind at any time no problems there either, please let me know) “Been using AG for about 9 months with great results. I used to get sick 5-8 times per year and I haven’t gotten sick once in 9 months.”

      In terms of reverse lunge with a twist, bad quality video, but the form is fine here

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCglpflK72I

      Rather than adding weight, i would rather you did these in a continuous (reverse walking lunge with rotation) manner. Do the first 2 or 3 each side slowly and smoothly, and then push the last three faster. I will do a series of videos on all this warm up stuff, since i think it is important.
      I would consider adding bowler squats as well to the warm up: http://www.ericcressey.com/mobility-exercise-of-the-week-bowler-squat

      Eric Cressey is a friend and a strength and conditioning rockstar, if you
      can’t be bothered waiting for me to film things, he has a pretty cool
      series of programs on his site, I give him my unequivocal recommendation.

      For the training part of your workout, I LOVE reverse lunges, and
      definitely add weights (do this one side at a time, not walking in
      reverse). Dumbbells (one or two) in your hands by your side, a Barbell on
      your shoulders or in front squat grip, with your front foot on a low bench
      or step box, arms overhead with one or two DBs or with the BB in an
      overhead position – all rock and add great variety to your training.

      Hope you go after it! :)

      C

      • Alex Mann

        Thanks for replying so quickly, Chris.

        I think that’s great you want to use my quote; feel free.

        That video definitely uses a different technique than I was using, so I’m glad I asked. Also, reading Eric Cressey’s articles on the posterior chain gave me some ideas for resolving some long time hamstring/hip issues, so thanks for the introduction.

        If you’re ever in town visiting Dr. B, feel free to shoot me off an email and we can grill something up.

        Alex

        • Anonymous

          Sounds like a plan mate. I assume you mean Dr Berardi?

          • Alex Mann

            I was actually talking about Dr. Buhler. I visit him fairly often.

  • Josh F

    Can we hear more about how you crush gluten?

    • Anonymous

      Hey Josh, sure. Will bring it up again in another post. The short version, when i get exposed to gluten, i do the following:

      4-5 x AG during the day
      10 grams of l glutamine between 5 to 10 times throughout the day
      no gut irritants AT all, even the minor ones, so all chilies, nightshade family, and nuts are out.

      i have found that to really help me get back on track pretty quickly

  • Shewpdaddy@aol.com

    What is the walking quad stretch?

    • Anonymous

      Hey Shew,

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnfpg0xoExc something like this, you can do same leg same arm, or opposite like here. Main thing is to SQUEEZE YOUR GLUTE as you pull your leg to your butt, this causes your quads (and if you are very tight, your hipflexors) to relax a bit through a principal called reciprocal inhibition.

  • Nvoros3

    I agree with everything you said except the creatine- it’s been taken off the market here in Canada as it was linked to possibly causing serious side affects for some people. Everything here is strictly regulated after someone dies with too much of a substance in their system. You used to be able to buy it buy the jug in any health food store or mixed with caffein in pill form. But I must say you should be careful revealing that as a supplement as someone might take it- and thinking more is better – the dosage would be dangerous. Not everyone can take everything safely. I know what it is and what it does and understand why you are taking it as I am a dietetic technician and have studied food science/ nutrition and exercise in the clinical setting. I’m sure people want to emulate you and your success. Regards.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Nvoros,

      Thanks for the comment.

      If a government somewhere wants to knee jerk and ban creatine supplements they should probably ban aspirin, since aspirin, even at labeled doses, causes more deaths worldwide than creatine ever will each year.

      I have no issues at all with creatine. Especially taken in the 3-5 gram categorie the way I recommend it. Cheap, works for many to speed recovery, and occurs in food (about 1-3 grams per pound of steak, for example). Taking a bit just before bed has even shown signs it may boost growth hormone release while sleeping.

  • http://harshbatra.com/ Harsh Batra

    Chris I am very active playing sports on weekends – 4 hour long cricket matches. This weekend I added in squash and sometimes it is badminton. During the week I am doing separate kettlebell workouts this month for 10 minute sessions max; only doing 1 of the following each day – the two-hand swings, turkish getups, one-hand swings, snatch.

    Before doing any of these ‘main workouts’ or sporting activities, I go through a series of stretches which are the same mostly. These are – Pelvic Symmetry, Hip Flexor stretch (30 seconds each side), Bird-Dog (15 reps each side) and glute activation (15 reps, holding on for a couple of seconds on the top). This has kept me injury free thus far. My question is this, given the MED philosophy that you and Tim propagate, are these stretches enough? Your set of stretches are much more.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Harsh,

      As i mentioned in this post, i am WAY more into longer more proactive warm ups, and more complete exercise routines.

      “Whether your lifestyle leads you to follow the Minimum Effective Dose approach or not (I prefer slightly longer, more neural and more intense workouts, personally) I hope you incorporate elements of this sequence into some of your own training.”

      The sequence is key.

      It is a bit over detailed, but http://www.magnificentmobility.com/ is a good place to start. i am going to do my own dynamic warm up series at some point. I recommend you foam roll before every workout, and then perform 5-20 minutes of dynamic warm up exercises, before you start your exercise routine. The more bad ass an athlete you want to be, and the harder you want to train and the more you sit down at the more you will need to do. That DVD is a great addition to anyone’s library, highly recommended.

      Hope that helps!

      C

      • http://harshbatra.com/ Harsh Batra

        Thanks Chris, I just bought the magnificent mobility pack. Regarding the foam roller, does the DVD have all the foam rolling exercises? It would’ve been helpful if you had shown which ones you do before each workout.

  • Andrew Coven

    Kiwi,

    Awesome as always. I’ve been with you, AG, and 4HB about a year now and it’s all fabulous. When you do make some “in detail” blogs, could I recommend you spend some time dissecting the kettlebell swing and how to get warmed up and positioned to not injure yourself and know when to take a quick break or downshift? I, unfortunately, caused myself “tennis elbow” by loosening my grip and not doing the KB right, literally when I was getting tired just at 80 out of 100 reps (like what happened to you, but more with more chronic results.)

    • Anonymous

      Hey Andrew,

      Great comment, and thank you for your feedback. I would like to do a video series on a lot of things, the issue is time. Were/are you doing any push up varieties at all? What other exercise (if any) are/were you doing?

  • 808hitony

    Kiwi I to would like tomore about crushing gluten.

    • Anonymous

      Hey mate, sure

      Will bring it up again in another post. The short version, when i get exposed to gluten, i do the following:

      4-5 x AG during the day
      10 grams of l glutamine between 5 to 10 times throughout the day
      no gut irritants AT all, even the minor ones, so all chilies, nightshade family, and nuts are out.

      i have found that to really help me get back on track pretty quickly

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1752764614 David Schaefer

    I like the post Kiwi, I am a relatively recent convert to the KB although I have only worked up to 45# swings. I could probably move up another 10 pounds but that brings me to another question. I can get through 70 swings at 45 without much of a problem but if I go to 80 or beyond I run a good risk of throwing it through the wall. I am certain that if I took a 30 second or so break I could easily get through 30 swings reps. Am I better voff doing as many as I can consecutively or getting the overall number up through intervals? A new 55# KB hangs in the balance depending on your answer…Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      Hey David,

      A great question. I would get the overall number up through intervals (or “sets”) for sure. If you are 70 with 45 pounds then I would definitely grab a heavier bell and do say 4 or 5 sets of 20-25 reps with a good 60-90 seconds rest in between. A day or two later, I would play with the ligher bell, maybe in three sets of 50, but with 2 minutes rest (for example), a sample workout routine (for the swings portion of your exercise could be played with like this, assuming you have the new bell, and while you are order the 55 pounder, grab one quite a bit heavier (say 70) and one quite a bit lighter (say 35 or even 25) if you can afford it and you like kettlebells. The Missus gets going on the smaller ones, and you can start adding in more variety of exercise. You don’t need a horde of multiple KB’s but it is more fun this way.

      So with your 45# and 55#, something like this. Do a ton of glute bridges before your workout, and stretch your hip flexors often. Take whatever days off in between these below as you like, this is just in terms of workout order. This is an example only.

      Two options:

      Option 1: all two handed swings, two weights for bells

      WO 1: 5 x 20 with the 55# (this will feel easy after the first set and you get used to the weight) rest say 60 seconds between sets (or more if you need it) Do THESE AS EXPLOSIVELY AS YOU CAN once you feel comfortable
      WO 2: 3 x 50 with the 45# (120 secs rest) do these as smoothly as you can and focus on breathing and hip hinging (popping your hips each rep)
      WO 3: 5 x 25 with the 55# (same rest as WO1)
      WO 4: 3 x 50 with the 45# (90 secs rest)
      WO 5: 5 x 30 with the 55# (same rest)
      WO 6: 3 x 50 with the 45# (75 secs)
      WO 7: 5 x 35 with the 55# (same rest)
      WO 8: 3 x 50 with the 45# (60 sec)
      WO: 9: 5 x 40 with the 55# (this may feel very hard after the first one or your)
      WO 10: 1 x 100 with the 45# – this will feel pretty darn easy. so time it :)

      Option 2: just one weight (ie the 45#)

      WO1: 20/20/15/15/10/10/5/5 – ONE handed swings: swapping hands each set. so 20 L, 20 R, 15 L, 15 R, etc. this one hurts the lungs, but will spare one hand for half the time if your grip is the issue. Take as much rest as you want but TIME the total, your goal is to beat that total time each time if you can.

      WO2: 3 x 50 with the 45#: TWO handed – done as before in the above Option 1. Try to reduce rest each time.

      Just keep alternating those until you feel ready to let rip with 100 reps. Won’t be a problem.

      There are plenty more ways to skin this, but that should get you going.

      Err, the short answer. YES to the sets :)

      • Dave

        This is a great help, I am on it and will get back to you, thanks!

      • Dave

        Hey Kiwi, tried the one arm at 45 and it was awesome. I found out my left arm is considerably weaker than my right but got through it. Picked up the 45 with two hands to do some squats afterwards and thought I had the 35, I think this is going to work!

        • Anonymous

          Of course it is going to work!! :)

          Glad you are going after it mate. Make sure you follow “the weak side rule” – that means you always, always, start with your weaker left hand.

          Let me know how you get on.

          C

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1752764614 David Schaefer

            Hey Chris – this has been working great for the last two weeks, I have been doing every other day on workout option 2 and have gotten 3 workouts of one ( alternating arms) with 45 done and 3 sets of two with 45 (2H SW 3×50), alternating days. I feel like I can push through to 100 on the next training day – does that make sense or should I continue on the same path? I am also curious, if I can get through the 100 should I get a 55 and start with workout option 1? This has been a big help, more progress in the last two weeks than the last two months!

          • Anonymous

            Hey David,

            GREAT work. If you feel ready I would go for it on the 100 for the next training day.

            Time it, but aim for rhythm on this first one. :)

            Order the 55lber, I would also consider ordering a 72lber and a 35lber if you can budget it in. This makes shipping cheaper, and you can play a bit more, using the 35lber to start some pressing motions (1 arm military press) and more overhead work (snatches and clean and jerk) and use the 72lber for two handed strength work.

            You can start either option 1 or option 2. Or mix it up completely. There are a lot of ways to skin the cat.

            Going from 45 to 55 is a pretty small jump (considering that you can now do nearly 100 with the 45 in two hands, and 20 one-handed pretty easily now even in your left hand) you will probably find that you can do close to 70-80 out the gate with the 55 er.

            Keep going with the 45# in your current routine, but when the 55# gets there try doing this, since it seems to be going well for you.

            Play with the 55# two handed a little, maybe to 20 reps to warm up, then:

            WO A: 55#, but do the descending ladder of option 2 workout 1, alternating arms (20L, 20R, 15L, 15R etc).
            This is technically the “strength” day. Every workout, add 1 more REP to each set. So week two 21/21/16/16/11/11/6/6/. On each successive day, add one more rep, to the number of reps you add to each set. so each successive workout will look like this. You take ALL the rest you want for these, you are after quality. I am going to push you a little this time.

            20/20/15/15/10/10/5/5
            all plus 1 21/21/16/16/11/11/6/6/
            all plus 3 23/23/18/18/13/13/8/8/
            all plus 6 26/26/21/21/16/16/11/11
            all plus 10 30/30/25/25/20/20/15/15
            all plus 15 35/35/30/30/25/25/20/20

            – this last day will be the hardest day you have done. But by then, I think you will crush it.

            WO B: 55# 3 x 50 two handed with the 55#, starting at 75 seconds rest. Go like this in successive workouts, 60, 55, 50, 45, 40, 35, 30. This is the accumulation day. You are trying to do more work in less time.

            WO C: 45# 1 two handed set to 100, timed. After the second or third workout, of this, try the 1 arm alternative descending sets, using the 45#, but with NO rest, just to 100, timed.
            This is the blowout/endurance day. It is also a form of active recovery before you head back into in the WOa. You will find pretty quickly that your muscles are not tired doing this, just your lungs.

            Just go in order in each week, WO a, WO b, WO c, taking rest days as you like, I wouldn’t do more than 2 or at most 3 days in a row generally, for now. If you keep going with every other day, you will fly through it. Make sure you do plenty of glute bridges, bird dogs, and those lunge stretches to warm up.

            You will be surprised how quickly you can get strong and fit at this, so I hope you enjoy these days of dramatic improvement, and go after it.

            Let me know how you get on mate :)

            C

          • Anonymous

            OK Chris, this is great, I definitely owe you one, or twenty! Tried to order more KB’s from York barbell but they are out so I am looking elsewhere. I went for the 100 swings after my last post and made it, although the last 10 were tough. Did the one arm routine the next workout and then did the 100 again today, not easy but better than the last time for sure. Thanks so much for your help. It took about 2:30 minutes which probably isn’t great but I am working on it. I am trying to stretch as well as you outlined. If you want to indulge me for another 5 minutes I can fill you in on the rest of the routine.

            I typically do the KB swing, now as outlined by you. I then do two sets of 10 squats with the 45# KB, followed by two sets of a squat/swing. TF suggested these two exercises to improve your swing form in 4HB. From there I do two sets of 10 double KB rows with the 35#. I then do three sets of 10 curls with a 25# barbell. Finally to finish up I do one set of ten of the military press with the 35# and one set with the 25#. I try to do it all with as little rest as possible to keep the heart going, probably takes around 15 to 20 minutes in total. No real theory behind any of it, just picking things up as I go along. I would like to focus on the things that will give the most benefit though so if you think I am on the wrong track and can continue to help me out that would be great. In any case you have been a big help, the progress has been awesome. Definitely going to stick with it and get those new KBs!

          • Anonymous

            Hey David,

            I think for now you are fine, I think at this point nearly anything you do will help you if progression is built in. What I would like to see you start doing at the end of this particular cycle is begin to implement

            1) some unilateral leg work: one legged squats to a bench then later to the floor (then later while holding a KB), 1 legged romanian deadlifts, plus any of the reverse lunge varieties

            and 2) some anti rotational and postural core work. this could be front and side planks, then progress to marching arm planks, one legged planks, and rows from the press up position, for starters.

            lets get your rolling on this one, and let me know how you get on. though they are more expensive, I do like the kbells from dragondoor.com. the good thing about kb’s is you don’t have to replace them very often.

            C

          • Anonymous

            Hey Kiwi, checking in again. Got my 55# KB 10 days ago. Tried to start with the one descending sets but could only push it to 19 – I know one short, the did the rest (15/10/5). Today I got to 23 no problem (23/18/13/8/5/3, through in a little extra), it is amazing how quick it picks up. Still having trouble with three sets of 50 though so I have been doing 50/30/30/20 hoping to get to 50/40/40 soon and then nailing it. Thanks again for all of you help, I am sure I would still be doing 45 and 70 swings if I didn’t ask for help.

          • Anonymous

            Hey mate,

            Sorry about the delay, our whole AG team went away together for a pow wow, so was off email.

            Yes it is amazing how fast the body picks up when given the right stimulus and some progression. ENJOY these fast improvements while they happen. The more advanced you get, the harder you will eventually have to work for changes, but right now, you have a year or two of exciting times mate!

            Thank YOU for asking and far more importantly, thank you for taking action. Nothing is more annoying as a coach then someone who asks for help then does nothing.

            In terms of the 50/50/50’s what is failing you? Legs, lungs, back, grip?

            Please let me know. The more detail the better.

            What are you doing to warm up and in terms of glute bridges, bird dogs, planks, and any ancillary work?

            I hope you continue to go after it, and that your eating, sleeping, and vitamin d are all dialed in!

          • Anonymous

            Hey no worries on the response time, I thought you might send me a bill! Hope the retreat was good.

            With regard to the 50/50/50 I got to 50/40/30/20/10 last week, sort of improvising but also going back to more reps with more sets is better than a single longer set as I could probably get to 70 on the first one but then be toast. I would have to say the biggest issue is my grip, I feel like I am going to drop it. I get winded for sure but for the most part I can push through that issue. I did the one arm routine today and got to 25/20/15/10/5 and was pretty happy but again the grip was tough on the last few. It also seems that now my right arm on the one arm swings is weaker. I start with my left now based on what you said about starting with the weaker arm, does it make any sense that the right is now weaker or is it all in my head? I have to say for other exercises, like a military press, the right is still much stronger.

            In so far as stretching is concerned I do about 24 glute bridges, 30 bird dogs, counting each leg/arm extension as one, and about 3-6 kneeling hip flexor extensions on each leg. I have to say I am not a guy who likes stretching but it seems like if I want to keep it up I need to do it and I am giving it a shot. Should I be doing more here? I was thinking since I am only lifting every other day that maybe I could do stretching on the other days, would that help?

            I know you aren’t big in to distance running but I did a half last weekend in half this weekend in 2:08 which isn’t particularly fast but I am 6′ 4″ and 215 and I didn’t train at all since I have been focusing on the weights. It is interesting to me that the KB’s seems to do as much for my running stamina as running does but it takes a hell of a lot less time!

    • Anonymous

      Hey mate,

      Replying here, since these little squares are getting ridiculous. Apologies for the delay, my email alerts don’t seem to always work for some reason. And no, I am not going to send you a bill!

      How are you getting on?

      Try and keep going with the block sets (50/50/50) on those days.

      Definitely do a full dynamic warm up on the days “off” KB swings – to that you can add, and it will help your grip, the following:

      Kettlebell overhead waiters walk and farmers walk combo: hold a ligher KB overhead in one hand, and a heavier KB by your side in the other hand. Walk 20-40 meters, swap hands, return. That is one set. Do as many sets as you want as active recovery in between say push ups or sprinting intervals (nothing with grip – never do these before or between anything with grip).

      Try and crush the grips of each KB as you do these. They will assist grip, but also greatly in core strength, since your body is resisting all sorts for anterior and posterior and lateral flexion/extension and rotation.

      Let me know how you are getting on, it is probably time to completely change around this puppy.

      And for the running, if it rocks your boat, go for it. And I would much rather you did the odd half marathon out of the blue, than you ran and ran “training” for one.

      C

  • GM

    Kiwi — great post as always, your rambles always remind me to focus on health for 100% happiness.

    I’m working on reducing gluten after your last post, limiting to about once a week. Can you please detail your protocol to crush gluten?

    Thanks!!

    • Anonymous

      Hey GM,

      Thank you! Will bring it up again in another post. The short version, when i get exposed to gluten, i do the following:

      4-5 x AG during the day
      10 grams of l glutamine between 5 to 10 times throughout the day
      no gut irritants AT all, even the minor ones, so all chilies, nightshade family, and nuts are out until the gut is healthy and sure as heck no cheating.

      i have found that to really help me get back on track pretty quickly

  • Tjgannon

    So I have an email from you wanting me back and wanting to know why I left. How so I get to your blog to let you know?

  • http://gophoenixgo.wordpress.com/ Amagrude

    I’m finding these posts really helpful as I struggle with breaking through my current weight loss plateau. Please make it easier to review and find older posts. For example, I went digging for your comments on cortisol and ice baths and that took a whole lot of clicking because the “next” link on the home page takes you to your (empty) bio page and not a page with previous posts summarized on it. As it is, the only way I’ve found to get to older posts is to click the previous post link on the bottom one page at a time. (Think a zillion browser windows.)

    • Anonymous

      Hey Amagrude,

      GREAT feedback, thank you. Our tech whiz is on this as we speak. Thank you.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YZMHOW5AILJZTTBBPU7DZKNFW4 Margaret Looby

    Everything you say makes sense. I so want to be a “happier kiwi”! This is a big problem, I am disabled, SLE, severe osteoporosis (from chemo and high dose steroids ) from meds to control my disease. Of course followed up by chronic pain- to the point of needing pain management. Mind you, I have been off steroids for 4 years but it has taken 6 years to put myself back together. I had a pump inserted into my abdomen that travels around my waist and into my spine so the IV medication goes directly into my brain. Literally, NOTHING else even helped me to be able to get out of bed. I now have completed aqua therapy and have trouble in the northeast continuing this in the winter.Although I have moved from wheelchair to cane, most people don’t know how to connect me with real exercise- maybe in a chair. I am only inventing things on my own. I know I am dibilitated, if I don’t get stronger, I’ll STAY this way……HELP me PLEASE! I have 3 children, 2 are still at home….PLEASE!

    • Anonymous

      Hey Margaret. You need to track down a local physical therapist, and get them to help you get moving again. Get back in the water if that was working.
      In terms of the other markers of health, you need to ensure your diet and sleep are amazing. Go christhekiwi.com/start-here/ and read every link.
      C

      http://www.christhekiwi.com

  • Webbuyer2009lsr

    I liked the entire article, just wish there was a bit more explanation of the Neural Activation and Full Body Warm Up.

  • Linda

    i have back trouble what do you recomend. linda

    • Anonymous

      Hey Linda. I recommend tracking down a good Physical therapist, or very good personal trainer, and fixing it up right quick.

      http://www.christhekiwi.com

  • Shilpa

    Awesome post as always Chris … Really admire your work. Thanks for sharing.

  • guest

    more instruction pictures please…

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