Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Rest of the Story...

Russian Fatigue Cycling from Beyond Bodybuilding by Pavel Tsatsouline is a training program designed to keep things simple while creating enough variety for you and your body to not get bored and stagnant. 

In Power to the People, Pavel taught us about the traditional, simple and highly effective power lifting cycle.  Train often, add a little weight each time, when you reach your max, take a couple days off, reduce the weight and start climbing again.  Kind of like a self-imposed Sisyphus style of training.

What Russian Fatigue Cycling basically looks like is this.  You take a group of exercises with the same sets and reps and then arrange them in a comfortable line up that targets the whole body.  That will be Workout A.  Workout B will be exactly the same as Workout A except you will change the order of the exercises.

This style of training will have you training a lift once early in Workout A, but then training the same lift later in Workout B.  Essentially cycling your fatigue.  For example if your Workout A starts with pull ups and you can bang out 4 sets of 8 pull ups when your fresh, can you still knock out 4 sets of 8 after doing 5 other taxing lifts?

Training and planning your training can be confusing.  When you change things up, you're sore as hell the next day because your body has been introduced to a new stimulus.  But does that mean new gains?  Not necessarily.  Programs sold on T.V. endorse "muscle confusion" as the end all be all of training.  When you look at Wikipedia's description of P90X, it has this to say:

"P90X's advertising emphasizes "muscle confusion", a method of cross-training and periodization achieved through switching the order of exercises and incorporating new and varied movements. Muscle confusion prevents the body from adapting to exercises over time, resulting in continual improvement without plateaus."

Is the last sentence as confusing to you as it is to me?  If the body can't adapt, how can it improve?  Beyond Bodybuilding puts it like this:

"Scientists who study complex systems - the human body is one of them - know that in order to thrive, these systems must teeter 'on the edge of chaos'...  If the training schedule is totally erratic...  you get very sore but you are not building much muscle and even less strength."

Think about it, the last time you helped someone move, did you get ripped or just sore?  A buncg of lactic acid  pooling in your arms and legs does not necessarily mean you're getting buff, ripped or stronger.

Fatigue cycling will give you the best of both worlds.  Structure that allows the body to actually adapt to the stimulus you're giving it and enough variety to keep it guessing.

So what happens when you plug Kettlebells into the mix?  That's exactly what we're going to find out...

I have an affinity for the past.  I have always been drawn to the Old Timey Physical Culture type stuff.  So why wouldn't I exercise in a similar fashion? 

The warm up I use is either Qi Gong Recharge or Super Joints.  From there we get into training.

Workout A

  • Pull Ups 4 x RM
  • Renegade Rows with 24kg 4 x 5
  • 1 Arm Clean & Press with 32kg 4 x 5/5
  • 1 Arm Clean & Squat with 24 kg 4 x 5/5
  • Push Ups between 24's 4 x 10
  • Iron Cross with 16kgs 4 x 5
  • Chest Expander 4 x 10
  • Hanging Leg Raises 4 x 12
Workout B

  • Push Ups 4 x 10
  • Iron Cross with 16kgs 4 x 5
  • Chest Expander 4 x 10
  • 1 Arm Clean & Squat with 24kg 4 x 5/5
  • Pull Ups 4 x RM
  • Renegade Rows with 24kg 4 x 5
  • 1 Arm Clean & Press with 32kg 4 x 5/5
  • Hanging Leg Raises 4 x 12
I've also thrown in a conditioning/active recovery session to be done in between workouts A and B.

Workout A1

  • Goblet Squats and Pumps 3 x 5 in a circuit
  • Club Swinging Practice Movements 1 - 5 alternating each movement with 1/1 TGU's with a 24kg
  • Snatches 12 minutes EDT style
  • Stretch out
Workout B1
  • Same as Workout A1 only I'm doing Swings with George the Bulldog instead of snatches
I'll do Workout A, take a day off, then A1.  Workout B, rest a day, B1.  Then repeat.  This is how I've been spending the last part of September and how October looks.

As I am still working on writing one Hub (on Hub pages) for all if David Whitley's 101 KB Workouts, I will be plugging Stacking and Tabata into the conditioning parts and some of this will pop up on YouTube shortly as well.

I'll keep y'all posted!

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