“Keep it Simple, Make it Significant.” These were my intentions last night as I walked into my gym to train. I had some energy to burn but I didn’t have a plan. I pulled up a playlist and started an athletic, dynamic warm up. My warm up then turned in to practicing hand stands and eventually I decided I was going to challenge myself to some pull up volume. I wanted to see how many pull ups I could accomplish in one workout.
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Last Friday night, Girls Gone Strong hit the 10,000 mark on our Facebook page. That was a pretty monumental point for us considering we’re still a very young movement. I was so inspired last Friday night by the reception of GGS, I wanted to know what being a Girl Gone Strong meant to those who are connecting in.
It’s because of the GGS community that our message is spreading. It’s time for the community to share their individual voices and how they embody being a GGS. I also opened the opportunity to the men incase they wanted to highlight a GGS in their life.
I started receiving emails and read everything from conquering addictions, to setting PR’s in the weight room to raising children. We had feedback from all over the United States, plus London, Australia, Amsterdam, Singapore, Canada and many more locations. Girls Gone Strong is global.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to those who took a moment to share yourself and contribute to the power of this blog post. I can’t find the words to express the satisfaction I felt and countless smiles I had while reading each entry.
Last but not least, with the recent passing of Whitney Houston, they’ve been highlighting many of her songs. I was listening to “Greatest Love of All” and my goodness, does she get it right… Her lyrics couldn’t be more fitting for a GGS:
“I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows. If I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity. Because the greatest love of all, is happening to me. I found the greatest love of all, inside of me. The greatest love of all is easy to achieve. Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all…” – Whitney Houston
Now, without further adieu…
“The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking.” – Mia Hamm
I thought about this quote on Saturday a few times when I was bent over, at the point of exhaustion, during my sprint workout. No one was out there with me, just myself and the drive to push beyond comfortable limits.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my “Saturday’s at the Turf and Track”. I posted a track workout I did however it wasn’t my standard session due to some discomfort with my left quad. Going into my most recent session, I was extra aware to avoid a similar occurrence because I really look forward to these track days - just me and the open field – I absolutely love it.
This past Saturday was a success on all fronts. The weather was great, the field was all mine, my body and mind were in sync with the demands and I ran the hell out of myself. I actually felt like my whole body got worked to the max and not a weight involved. In fact, my abs are always sore after my track workout and not a single, isolated ab exercise will be found on this day. Sure we can finesse the technique and mechanics of our sprints, but in my opinion, these are one of the most elementary and best exercises for a sharp physique and overall athletics.
My current, traditional sprint workout from Carter is as follows:
Ahhh, you all know I love a good strength and conditioning challenge. I haven’t shared a lot of my personal training videos lately and that is simply because I keep some of Carter‘s program design private as it is his intellectual property. The following however is a new favorite of mine and one I must share!
We are in the home stretch of my figure prep for the Arnold Classic and I am proud to say that I still have as much hustle in my training sessions as I do the stage physique. I am also very pleased to report that my back has been pain-free (knock on wood) since I started this prep. I no longer consider myself an injured athlete with a fear of flaring up my low back. Though I am still cautious, I am confident in my health and movement.
Right now, Carter has me on a two-a-day schedule that is heavy with cardio or as he prefers to call it, Energy Expenditure Work . I am also strength training four days a week with two push / pull days, a quad dominant leg day and a hip dominant leg day. At the end of each strength training session, I have the beloved CONDITIONING!
As you know, I love to push my limits when it comes to conditioning and cross the finish line with the hardest effort available despite fatigue setting in. The following is my current conditioning segment on Friday’s push / pull training session. I have recorded the entire circuit from start to finish so you can see I do indeed practice what I preach. You can also see how hard we train and I still have the GO behind the SHOW.
Push / Pull Conditioning Circuit
Reps and Regulations:
- Explosive Burpee into Pull Up x AMRAP
- Vertical Thrust x 8 – 10 reps
- Jump Rope x 15 seconds
- Complete 5 ROUND in as little time as possible
The other beautiful component of this circuit is the self-regulation. The objective is to take as minimal rest as needed, however, you may take as much rest as you need to complete the circuit. The burpee / pull ups are AMRAP (as many reps as possible) so that is relative to your abilities and the weight of the vertical thrust can be selected based on your strength abilities. Even further, this circuit can be measured and progressed simply by cutting down your rest time and or adding weight. It’s all about relative intensity baby!!
Have at it and enjoy!
Video filmed at Under Armour’s Combine Training Center (UACTC) and a special thanks to Mike Whitman.
The chin up and pull up, much like the push up, are some of the best exercises you can do for pure relative body strength. These require little equipment, minimal technique and get you the most bang for your buck in terms of strength, muscle recruitment and development. Plus, who doesn’t like to feel strong ripping through several repetitions of chin ups and push ups.
Some of us are limited in repetitions when it comes to traditional chin ups and or pull ups due to relative body strength (how strong you are relative to how much you weigh). The Chin Up Drop Set is a great way to increase your reps in a set by reducing the difficulty of the chin up as you fatigue.
I use the Perform Better Superbands for assistance in my Chin Up Drop Set. In case you don’t know where to find Superbands, you can click on the image below to shop for these exact Superbands. These are a fantastic tool for those who need assistance building up to bodyweight chin ups as well.
I am back on a daily undulated training program for my upcoming Figure Competition. Check back later this week as I show you exactly how we incorporated the Chin Up Drop Set into my high rep, Pulling training day!