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Saturday’s at the Turf & Track, Vol 2

“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.

Saturday's delightful view...

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:

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Saturday’s at the Turf & Track

I haven’t posted in a while. My blog is not a low priority, in fact, it’s been on my brain a good bit as I’m excited to reveal a new and improved site in the near future.  On the flip side, when I’m not training clients or training myself, I’ve been spending a good bit of my free time studying for my CSCS. By the time I’m finished reading, my mental energy has been spent and I’d rather get up and move than write.

Anyhow, that all said, I’ve been training as regular as I always have - minus a bit of the cardio.   My weekly training schedule is typically the following:

Monday - Strength, Power and METABOLIC day
Wednesday – Lower body STRENGTH
Thursday – Upper body STRENGTH
Saturday – Track Workout
Tuesday, Friday and Sunday – I freestyle with outdoor runs, recovery work or a rest day

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Strong Legs are Sexy Legs!

 

Alli McKee

Alli McKee

  

I love the feeling of the heavy bar on my back. The initial lift as I un-rack the weight and settle under the bar. Backing out of the squat rack and situating my stance. My entire body is comfortably under tension as I lower down and then drive through to the upright position while feeling everything work together.

Today was a lower body training day and I can feel myself regaining my strength back each week. Despite a herniated disk problem that limited me in the last show season, I feel my body is working very well for me this time around. My body fat is coming down at a great pace and my strength is going up each week – it’s a beautiful balance to have.  I just reached 135lbs again for four sets of eight on my back squats. Although I’d like to see my squat climb more, I’m happy to be doing more than my body weight – hell, I’m happy to be doing them at all :)

I have a very good feeling for this season. My mental and my physical state are in sync and it’s a lethal combination! I’m training and dieting like a winner and it’s so much fun right now. I am really enjoying the time spent on creating myself this time around. I love the release I get from training, the challenges I work through and the social aspect as I have been floating between my three gym locations. I’m blessed to work for such a phenomenal company, FX Studios which is partnered with Under Armour. The energy from my colleagues and the fitness enthusiasts around me are making this an incredible go-round.

I was at the Under Armour facility today for a lower body training day. Still the same pattern I mentioned in my previous post about the strength emphasis followed by diverting movements.

For those of you who like to follow the training or gather ideas for your own training, here is what today looked like:

A Dynamic WarmUp:
1. 5 minutes of jump rope
2. Hip Circuit:

  • Double leg hip bridges x 8
  • Single leg hip bridges x 8 per side
  • Fire Hydrants x 8 per side
  • Forward circles x 8 per side
  • Reverse circles x 8 per side
  • Superdog x 8 per side.

3. Bodyweight Super Leg Variation:

  • Bodyweight squats x 16
  • Bodyweight reverse lunges x 16 total (alternate legs)
  • Bodyweight split jumps x 16 total (alternate legs)
  • Bodyweight squat jumps x 8

4. Overhead Squat with a dowel rod x 8 reps
5. Front Squats with the naked barbell
6. Back Squats ( 2 sets of 8 ) with progressive weight building up to first working set.

Note: I always vary my warm up depending on the muscle emphasis for that day, but I also keep certain movements consistent for proper muscle activation, CNS activation, mobility and movement prep. Again, there are so many ways to structure warmups, have fun with them and pair your training knowledge with common sense. :)

The Strength Component:

Again a lot of this can be tailored to your abilities, likes / dislikes, needs, etc. but here is a glimpse of a lower body workout for me at the moment:

1a. Barbell Back Squat 4 x 8 – 12 reps
1b. Push ups (think of all the various versions to choose from) x 20 reps
1c. Core / Abdominal work

2a. Reverse Lunges (Barbell or Dumbbell) 3 x 12 per leg (NOT alternating!). (Note: for added challenge and range of motion, elevate your front foot on a weight plate)
2b. A pulling movement (ie: TRX rows, band rows) x 20 reps
2c. Core / Abdominal work

3a. Stability Ball Leg Curls (single leg if you’re able) 2 x 15 – 20 per side
3b. Core / Abdominal Work

Conditioning / Finisher:
The options here are endless as well as the structure of the intervals and intensity. Today I challenged myself to 75 flights of stairs. Another gym I have access to is only a 1/8 of a mile from the other. It’s in a building that is 25 stories high. I LOVE running the stairs. It’s task oriented and it’s hard as hell each time I get to the top. It takes me roughly 4 minutes to the top, 1 minutes to rest and 4 minutes back to the bottom.. repeat 3 rounds today for a total of roughly 27 minutes.

Again, lots of options from sprints, Airdyne bike intervals, etc. I have been having a blast mixing it up this season.

Stay tuned for more training suggestions to come!!

 Wishing you Health and Happiness,
Alli McKee

100 Rep Kettlebell Complex for Fat Loss

Ok, I’ve had my Ra-Ra moments, let’s get back to training :)

For the last few weeks, my training regimen has been demanding and fun! I wanted to jump-start my fat loss early this season and started with two-a-days right out of the gate. My training weeks have looked something like this:

Monday – a.m. cardio, p.m. lift (A day)
Tuesday – a.m. cardio, p.m. lift (B day)
Wednesday – a.m. cardio, p.m. lift (C day)
Thursday – p.m. cardio
Friday – a.m. cardio, p.m. lift (A day)
Saturday - lift (B day)
Sunday – rest
Monday – repeat week, beginning with C day

I imagine my workouts will change over the next few weeks but so far, the results have been very favorable. I have come down several percentages of body fat already.

My workouts have been structured to get a metabolic response. I still have a strength emphasis (ie: upper body push, upper body pull or lower body) but they are structured to be more total body taxing. I am also moving more quickly through the training session (although they still take me the better part of 50-80 minutes depending on the day).

My dominant muscle groups for the day (ie: pulling) still focus on 3-4 sets of each pulling exercise (ie: BB wide grip bent over row, DB bent over row, pull ups, lat pull down, etc.) They would be paired however with diverting exercises such as core work, lower body movement or the contrast of pushing…although nothing to exceed the challenge of the primary exercise… more for activity, recovery and the efficiency of the workout.

After the strength portion of the workout, I have been wrapping up with different metabolic finishers. I look forward to these the most in the training session. I love the “suffering” as I feel weary out but keep pushing to the finish :)

complex is a string of exercises back to back (using the same piece of equipment) without rest until fully finished. One of my favorite complexes at the moment is on my Pulling day. I do a 100 Rep KettleBell Complex x 3 Rounds. Here you go friends, give it a try!!

100 Rep KB Complex
Right side KB swing x 10 reps
Left side KB swing x 10 reps
Right side KB clean x 10 reps
Left side KB clean x 10 reps
Right side KB snatch x 10 reps
Left side KB snatch x 10 reps
Right side KB racked squat x 10 reps
Left side KB racked squat x 10 reps
Right side KB push press x 10 reps
Left side KB push press x 10 reps

I prefer to use a timer so I can keep track of the time it takes me to complete a full round and the time I take to recover. I have been completing the KB 100 Rep Complex in roughly 3 mintutes and rest about 2 minutes.

Perform 3 rounds and you should be feeling pretty smoked at the end of your session with a metabolism that is geared up for burning fat for many hours to come!!

(**weight choice** I’d select a weight you find challenging through the complex. Make sure you are not “arming” the kettlebell and actually using your body for the proper technique. Also be sure not to compromise your form by selecting a weight that is beyond your control)

Final Notes: The KB Complex, like any other complex, can be structured in so many different ways. Have fun making up your own versions. Try all left side, than all right side. Work the complex from the last exercise to the first. Change the exercises all together, change the piece of equipment. You see, the options are endless and up to your creativity.

Have fun! and send feedback!

Alli McKee

Farmer’s Walk Complex for Conditioning

In the last post, “Training Day: High Rep Pulling”, I mentioned the Farmer’s Walk Complex as a metabolic finisher at the end of my training session. We have resorted to the Farmer’s Walk Complex to accompany some of my upper body workouts because of it’s friendly nature on my back. Not to mention it’s effectivness when it comes to a strength oriented, conditioning finisher.

The Farmer’s Walks have been a long time event in many of the Strongmen competitions. They usually entail a tremendous amount of weight and various distances traveled. For more about the traditional Farmer’s Walks, check out this post on Bodybuilding.com titled, Farmer’s Walk by Corey St. Clair.

In today’s version, you’ll notice the weight is significantly lighter than a traditional Farmer’s Walk and a moderate rep range is completed for the exercises. The reason behind is that we’re not trying to gain strength from it, but rather complete a longer duration of activity. I chose a weight that is challenging, but also ensures I can get through the entire complex… several rounds over. ;)   This Farmer’s Walk Complex is completed for a metabolic response.  

As you will see in the video below, the end points are about 25 yards apart. I complete my exercises at one end, carry the dumbbells up and back (either in a shoulder or hip carry) for a total of 50 yards and continue all the way through the exercises before stopping.

The entire Farmer Walk Complex takes roughly 3 minutes to complete, rest for 1 minute and repeat 3-5 rounds.

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You can get very creative with the Farmer’s Walk Complex. You may include any variation of exercise choices including all upper body movements, all lower body movements, unilateral movements, bilateral movements and so the list goes on. Your only limitation is your imagination. For more ideas on Farmer’s Walk Complexes, check out Nick’s blog post here and for the ins and outs as to why we use Farmer Walks and program design specifics, check out Nick’s Farmer’s Walks for Fat Loss article on T-Nation here.