101 Kettlebell Workouts: Escalating Density Training (EDT) Part Two
Working with EDT again...
My first EDT session was on 1/7/2010. You can read about how this get started HERE.
I have since got back on the EDT bandwagon while incorporating the Tabata Protocol into my cardio and active recovery workouts.
I'll give you brief update into "my world" and then tell you about my current training program and then open the floor up for a little Q&A. Sound good?
OK. My life since July...
I had periodontal surgery. Years (1990-2002) of smoking, a genetic disposition towards the condition and lack of dental insurance over the years (read lack of dental visits) resulted in this necessary treatment. Bottom line here, not fun. Post surgery resulted in a very confused immune system and exercise became sporadic. Recovery took the pole position as I raced to heal. Even 3 months after the surgery my teeth were so sensitive that anything going into my mouth that was less than 85 degrees was nothing short of a kick in the groin. What used to be an average exercise routine for me suddenly induced a state of over training. I had canker sore off and on and fought off 2 colds. Normally, I get a cold once a year between December and February. Between September and October I had 2. Insane for this health nut. I am however amazed at the body's ability to heal itself and grateful for my health.
I am also happy to report that 5 months later I am finally back on track as far as training.
So now I need to get back to where I was. I have set three goals. One was to press an 40 kg Kettlebell. Another was to Snatch my 24 kg bell 200 times in 10 minutes. Finally, I'd like to do a One Legged Squat or Pistol. I wanted to regain the strength and endurance I had in June (prior to the surgery) and I can't think of a better way to do that then the program you're about to see... my intention is 6 weeks on this training program and then I will evaluate the current situation and decide whether or not to continue on in this fashion or get back back to the more traditional Enter the Kettlebell routine.
When I last did EDT it wrapped up like this.
Last workout was done 2/21/10. It was a lower body session. My last upper body session was 2/18.
The final tally for the upper body day looked like this:
- Double Clean & Press with two 24kg bells. 11 sets of 5. 55 reps total. I added 22 reps
- Pull Ups. 11 sets of 5. Again, 22 additional reps!
- For the Ring Push Ups I started with my feet on the floor, by the end I had done 100 reps with my feet elevated on a 2 foot box and matched the repetitions with my old school chest expander!
The final numbers for the lower body came in at:
- Double Kettlebell Front Squat with 24 kg Bells ended at 40 reps. A 16 rep increase.
- For the Romanian (Stiff Leg) Dead lift, I was able to match the 40 reps.
- My Box Squat Pistols started out with 5 stacks (look to the right there) and I was able to lower the box 2 times and end up 7. The plan there was every time I could get 10 solid single leg box squats per leg, I'd go one stack lower and up the swing reps.
- Bulldog Swings wound up at 7 sets of 10. A 25 rep increase.
The New Training Program for Now...
2 Days of EDT alternated with a Cardio/Active Recovery Day. I plan my rest/off days to coincide with the days my real job's schedule makes it difficult to train.
EDT Day 1
20 minutes of 1-Arm Clean and Squat alternating with Pullups followed by 15 minutes Ring Push Ups and Old School Chest Expander.
Notes on the Drills of Choice: I have found that 5+5 reps on the 1 Arm KB Clean & Squat can go a long way towards training proper form, practicing abdominal pressurization, the general use of tension to create strength and developing strength endurance. Pull Ups work the rest of the muscles that didn't get to play during the squat. Push Ups between gymnastics rings lowered close to the floor fire up the core and lots of stabilizer muscles making it a great choice for getting back in the game. The Chest Expander drill is great because it's old school, fun and gets me weird looks. And it targets the shoulders and upper back where the push ups missed.
Cardio/Active Recovery Days 2 & 4
My Active recovery/Cardio Practice will consist of working through all or some of the following depending on my level of perceived fatigue:
- Qi Gong Recharge by John Ducane
- Club Swinging Essentials
- Kettlebells from the Ground Up
- Tabata Style Snatches
EDT Day 3
20 minutes of 1-Arm Clean and Press alternated with Box Squat style Pistols followed by 15 minutes of Hard Style Swings.
Notes on the Drills of Choice: At this point I want to spend this session working on pure raw strength and explosive power generation. These drill will do nicely. For the Clean & Press I will use a 32kg bell and for the Box Pistols I will use a low box. 40 kg Bell for the Swings.
What Happened Last Time?
Well, there was some obvious improvements in strength. I also found that my technique improved. Squats and Pistols are still my nemesis but mark my words, the Pistol will fall. I am more confident in my squat, which is good. I improved in driving up and out of the squat using my heals and not trying to lift with my head and shoulders. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Kettlebell Front Squat is one of the best Ab exercises you can do. In continuing on with my training, I will continue to work on maintaining laser focus, especially towards the end of a training session. This is where fatigue management becomes so important. Just because you're feeling it and getting tired doesn't mean you get to compromise form. I will continue to diligently train and strive towards a perfect repetition even when I'm smoked.
Escalating Density Training has also been an amazing little journey in developing the "just one more" mentality. Now, please understand, more is not necessarily better and quality is far more important that quantity. Let's just get that part straight. Now, once that is established as a principle, meaning that idea won't change, you can then focus on "just do one more." Whether that one more is one more perfect repetition or one more perfect set, being able to set aside fatigue and the little voice telling you you've had enough and press on is a skill and technique that will pay dividends outside the scope of this hub and dissipate into all aspects of your life.
Taking on the challenge I gave myself to complete all 101 of David Whitley's workouts has been so rewarding in it's own right. The concepts of keep moving forward, keep chiseling, keep working, keep learning, and keep growing solidify deep into my being.
The strength gained in the physical is minuscule compared to what it can do for your spirit.