First off, it’s always a huge honor to be a guest on a podcast, but especially on Matt Schifferle’s Red Delta Project podcast yet again. It’s been a while since we’ve chatted, but we made up for lost time quickly. Check it out on iTunes: Exploring Freestyle Workouts w/ Adrienne Harvey – The Red Delta Project Podcast or his website.
40kg of fun…
One of the things I mentioned in the podcast is that I’m still adjusting my training to balance with the occasional endurance challenges that come with the 3-5 hrs a week of Systema training that’s now in the mix. Matt was interested to hear about that, but also was curious about the workouts I’ve been doing here in the backyard which include giant rocks, throwing stars, throwing knives etc. along with the usual kettlebells and calisthenics.
First of all, full disclosure, before moving up here I’d been wanting to practice both Systema and learn how to throw sharp things for a number of years, but just did not have the space or the opportunities in the area. Simply put, I needed to be somewhere with a great class, and I needed access to a private backyard. Finally, I have both. YAY! Beyond that I hadn’t much thought about how this might come across in terms of how people on the internet may perceive the workouts going on over here. I’m still doing plenty of interesting kettlebell and bodyweight only workouts, but I’ve added in quite a bit of other things, and mainly because they’re a whole lot of fun.
But, I’ve had to alter my training to make space for them, and I’ve had to modify what I’m eating a little bit to account for the extra activity, especially the more endurance aspect of the 1.5hr Tuesday and Thursday night Systema group classes, especially if I have a private lesson with one of the instructors beforehand. Simply put, there are a few more small sweet potatoes and apples on the menu than before.
It really is great to have more training options, while I enjoyed working out with kettlebells and bodyweight exercises in parks in Florida, the cleanliness and privacy of an actual backyard (and a larger indoor space) is fantastic. While I don’t mind talking to people, occasionally the uninvited “color commenary” or the “oh so this is what it’s like to be a d-list celebrity” moments were sometimes a bit much.
Speaking of kettlebells and such… there’s a site-wide sale going on at Dragon Door right now – 25% off of everything when you order by midnight, Thursday, August 10 using coupon code AUG17
The other night I’d felt like working out, but just in a sort of general sense, and it seemed like a good enough excuse to break out with a favorite Dan John classic (scroll down about 1/3 of this page to see the original). While he designed this to go with the 10,000 swing challenge, I’ve liked it on its own for a good general conditioning workout. Since I needed to keep my grip for the next day, I opted to do all 500 swings “hand to hand” style which also allowed me to add a short set of pullups to each round in my variation:
- 10 swings
- 1 get-up left side
- 15 swings
- 1 get-up right side
- 25 swings
- 1 get-up on each side
- 50 swings
- crow practice
- 5 strict pull-ups (I added a rep each round, so by the time I got to the 5th round I did 9 pull-ups)
This was a nice use of time for sure. I would take a short break between rounds to just tidy something up for about a minute then I’d get back to it.
Afterwards, I started thinking more about the rep ranges and how it would be a great way to introduce one of my new (but already very fit) clients to longer sets of kettlebell swings–it was also a good excuse to teach the hand to hand swing, there’s plenty of motivation once that set of 50 comes around. So I designed a version of it that would work for the middle of our session and which would be meaningful work even if we only went for 2 rounds. I didn’t know how much time it would take to get the h2h swings and some other skill drills down before starting on it, so I built in the idea of going anywhere from 2-4 rounds total. This would also leave time for us to work on the pieces of the get-up we were working on separately as part of an active cool down.
Here’s what we did, using various appropriate kettlebells. I’ll include what was chosen for this session to give you an idea. Please adjust the weights to your situation:
- 10 hand to hand kettlebell swings (12kg kettlebell)
- 5 goblet squats (20kg kettlebell)
- 15 hand to hand kettlebell swings (12kg kettlebell)
- 10 push-ups “you pick” variation (client likes the challenge of spiderman push ups! YAY!)
- 25 hand to hand kettlebell swings (12kg kettlebell)
- 5 tactical lunges each side (12kg kettlebell)
- 50 hand to hand kettlebell swings (12kg kettlebell)
Needless to say that’s a lot of work in a short amount of time, even if you only have time for 2-3 rounds of it!
Stay tuned, next time we’re going to talk about two variations of a very fierce tire battle, and how to scale it for nearly any situation! Got that idea from Zach Even-Esh’s awesome book The Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning–one of the best books about creative outdoor workouts with rocks, tires, tree trunks, kettlebells, sandbags and more! 🙂