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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is going to be a way for me to see what happens if I try an idea I've read about. August 2005, I finally got off my sedentary skinny butt and started up with walking and golfing. Late 2006, I began running, broke my leg, oops, began doing upper body stuff early 2007 and last year I did running and the upper body work.<br><br>
One thing I've found over time is that my idea of fitness continues to evolve. So I don't know if I ever was a runner runner, now I'm tending to see running as a component to help achieve the fitness I would like to achieve. So I've been digging around and googling and all kinds of stuff.<br><br>
But let's get to the more specific point of this here thread -- for those unfamiliar with the idea, Tabata intervals are named after the Japanese researcher who found that a protocol of 20 seconds maximum effort followed by 10 seconds of easy effort/rest and repeated 8 times would produce significant gains in subjects' VO2max values. I've been playing around with these some since early in the month, mixing up various types of exercise activities to get some new workouts in. I've done them with sledgehammers and tires, medicine balls, push ups, pull ups, and I've thrown some Tabatas into runs.<br><br>
I came across an interesting message board thread yesterday:<br><br><a href="http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=20405" target="_blank">http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=20405</a><br><br>
I read and I thought, kewl! Or cool! I don't know. So I've decided to see if I can do the same idea with push ups, pull ups and squats. I'm hoping that it may help me some with the power part of strength, if I can get a static hold with something I can do well, but I'm not so good at explosively moving myself or an object.<br><br>
Yesterday, I did the push ups and pull ups --<br><br>
Push Ups<br>
Rd -- #<br>
1 -- 15<br>
2 -- 15<br>
3 -- 10<br>
4 -- 8<br>
5 -- 3<br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">6 -- 6</span><br>
T -- 57<br><br>
Here's where I learned that it's in the 3rd round of intervals that it begins to suck. This is where I began to feel like my muscles wanted me to stop. It just kind of hurt. You can see in the 5th round I could hardly do anything, my body had begun to feel noodle like. That gave me some recovery I guess because I was able to squeeze out 6 reps in the final round.<br><br>
Pull ups<br>
Rd -- #<br>
1 -- 9<br>
2 -- 5<br>
3 -- 4<br>
4 -- 3<br>
5 -- 4<br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">6 -- 3</span><br>
total -- 28<br><br>
This was kind of humbling. But this ends up requiring a bit of different pull up maybe. My first round of 9 were pretty much deadhang pulls, but in the second round I started kipping a bit. I'm not good at kipping pulls, people say you shouldn't kip on pull ups but actually it's a nifty bit of whole body coordination, one that I would do well to learn here. I was bloody glad when this was over -- my arms were throbbing.<br><br>
Today I did the bodyweight squats, with a medicine ball to ensure even descent level for each rep.<br><br>
Squats<br>
Rd -- #<br>
1 -- 11<br>
2 -- 11<br>
3 -- 11<br>
4 -- 10<br>
5 -- 9<br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">6 -- 9</span><br>
Total -- 61<br><br>
Not such a big drop off here from the first round to the first, but by the 3rd round it definitely became uncomfortable with each time going up feeling like a little bit of hell on earth.<br><br>
It'll be interesting to see what happens. I wonder if over time the whole it starts to feel sucky feeling will come later or if the 3rd round will always mean welcome to the suckfest.<br><br>
This may or may not have any effect on running skillz, but I figure it fits in well into what I want out of becoming fit.
 

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I did Tabata squats at CrossFit last week. We did a total of 4 minutes (including the rests). I think I bottomed out at 16. The hardest part, for me, was making sure that my form didn't suffer with each successive round.<br><br>
Tough workout - and cardio, to boot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I can push the squats harder next time I do them. I held back some maybe because of the experience with the push ups and pull ups where it was extremely hard to pump out the reps in the later rounds. It got tough squatting in the later rounds, but I never had the sensation like I wanted to stop or take a break, just that gradual decline in the number of reps.<br><br>
But it's amazing how just a few minutes can totally asskick you.
 

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I saw one of the Crossfit videos featuring Tabata intervals (I believe it was pushups) where the people had to learn to parse out their effort so their numbers stayed constant through the interval.<br><br>
Is that the general idea for building up the numbers in general i.e. picking a number you think you can be consistent with for all the intervals and then upping the number from there on out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I suspect that either way is going to stress your body to produce improvement, either the start off going all out and hanging on for dear life method or the try to parse it out evenly method. The advantage of going all out from the start is that you'll likely leave nothing in the tank by the end -- you will have done as much work as you were capable of doing. The disadvantage may be if performance degrades so much in the later rounds that you aren't getting any real work accomplished, in that situation perhaps the evenly divided parsing method might come closer to using all your work capacity to better results. It's hard to say.<br><br>
I'm inclined to try to do this as the way the threadstarter in the linked thread did it -- go all out from the very beginning. I'll see what happens.<br><br>
I'm also considering using the Murph workout as another way to measure progress. Every 4th week instead of doing the tabatas, I'll do Murph --<br><br>
1 mile run<br>
100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats<br>
1 mile run<br><br>
It'll be interesting to see what happens with my ability to do Murph. I will be honest and say the prospect of my first Murph in 4 weeks is a bit scary.
 

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Just got back from my CrossFit Elements class where we finished with tabata squats.<br><br>
OUCH.<br><br>
We "rested" in the down position. Excruciating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That sounds harsh.<br><br>
You must be asking about the sledgehammer and tire routine. Take a long handled sledgehammer and a tire on the ground, start swinging and slamming the sledgehammer into the tire as fast and hard as you can. Oh yeah, you do that, it's a total body workout, legs and back driving the sledgehammer up, arms and abdominals bringing the sledgehammer down. There's a reason why carnivals had the old sledgehammer and bell setup to give guys and gals a way to show off how strong they were.
 

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I wondered if you really meant sledgehammers? apparently so.<br>
We chopped wood, not for fitness, for heat, but it gave me some hot upper body fitness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Squats won't be done until tomorrow, but I have done the tab intervals for the pull ups and push ups.<br><br>
Pull ups:<br><br>
We don't have exact comparison on pull ups because I taught myself how to do kipping pull ups during the week. Once again though, it was in the 3rd round that it got to feeling really tough, I'd have to do 1 or 2 kippers, break, and go back up again. Still, I think even if I had done kippers last week, I would have seen an increase. We'll see what happens next weekend.<br><br>
Push Ups<br><br>
I was really pleased with the effort here. I did the push ups after the pull ups this week, so my arms were already a bit fatigued. I'll also didn't feel it get hard too badly until the 4th round, and while my cumulative numbers in the final rounds were about the same, the latter round push ups this week were done with much better form.<br><br>
One silly thing, but if you ever want to feel an incredible chest, shoulders, upper back and upper arms pump, doing the tab intervals with pull ups and push ups will do that.<br><br>
Tomorrow I'll take on the squats. I've also been considering adding ab wheel rollouts from my knees possibly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I saw a huge improvement in the squats. I was expecting this though, last week's first interval set was a bit of feeling it out and I resolved to try to go harder on this week's set.<br><br>
Squats:<br>
More squats in every corresponding round except for the 4th round where the onslaught of 43 in the first 3 sets made itself felt in a "*!*!(#(#)* kind of feeling. I then vowed to come back as hard as I could in the final 2 rounds and got more reps than the 4th round. I was happy to get double digits in reps every round. Who knows what will happen next week, but I hope to get somewhere up between 80 and 90 total reps.<br><br>
Doing the squats like this will get your heart pounding. By the time I was done it almost felt like my heart was going to break through the ribs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another weekend, another session of tabatas were done, pull ups and push ups Saturday, and squats this morning, Sunday.<br><br>
Saw a slight increase in the pull ups numbers, most of it in the first 3 rounds.<br><br>
The final 3 rounds were tough. I'm hoping that I'll start seeing more improvement in the late round numbers.<br><br>
The push ups were disappointing. Maybe it was due some that I was doing heavy lifting again this week with muscles involved for push ups.<br><br>
Big improvement over last weeks' number, especially in the later rounds. It was tough, I went hard. After finishing the squats I walked rather funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's good to see a few folks poking their heads in here. I don't know if everything I try to do is good for running, but with where I am now I tend to view running as a subset of exercises for an overall idea of fitness I'd like to work towards. Which is why I end up exploring stuff like this.<br><br>
I'm also now 2 days away from taking on Murph. 1 mile run, then 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats in whatever order and partitioning I desire, followed by another mile run. It'll be interesting to see how that goes and then how my times improve on Murph as the year progresses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It was brutal. I just finished it up about 5 minutes ago. I was sweating like crazy during the pull ups, push ups, and squats section. I can't tell you how nice it was to slash off the 15th hash and know I just had 5 to get through.<br><br>
Squats felt super nasty near the end. I had to walk portions of the second mile run.<br><br>
Time of 58:31<br><br>
1 mile run -- 8:17<br>
100 pulls, 200 push, 300 squat -- 38:32<br>
1 mile run -- 11:42
 

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wow. Thinking about 300 squats makes me wanna barf. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
I might have to try this though as my running is going to slow down. I can at least do the push ups and the squats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Another weekend and again time for more fun with the tabata intervals. Pull ups and push ups were done Saturday morning, squats were done Sunday late afternoon.<br><br>
First up, pull ups --<br><br>
Some more improvement with the pull ups, but I don't know if it was because of increased pulling strength in my upper body. What I noticed was that my kip and hip extension were much more powerful and sustained over the prior 2 kipping pull up sets and that helped generate momentum to get me up over the bar.<br><br>
Next up, push ups --<br><br>
I was hoping for more improvement than this, thought I might be able to do 75 this time, but it didn't happen. It might be an upper body fatigue issue at present -- Thursday's morning hard lifting workout featured a number of missed targets. Which perhaps makes my impression about the hip extension and kipping improvement as being key to the pull up increase more solid in its understanding.<br><br>
Finally, squats --<br><br>
This was pretty sweet. I was uncertain how my legs would do after Sunday morning when I had run 10 400 meter intervals at a much better pace than what Jack Daniels' Vdot tables would recommend for my estimated Vdot of 35. Maybe the intervals did knock of a few repetitions, but I reached triple digits and every one of the rounds in this set were greater than or equal to my highest number in the week 2 numbers. The big difference I felt was down in the butt, the glutes, over the past 2 months I've become aware that my butt muscles were rather dormant, inactive, not being used to the purpose they are meant to be used in hip extension. A month ago doing the tabata squats it felt very much like the quads were doing all the work, now the quads still do lots of work but I can feel the glutes doing a lot more. Again, that fits in nicely with my impression of the kip improvement in kipping pull ups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had meant to write down about how my perceptions of the later rounds, 4-6, are changing now. They still feel pretty sucky, but my body and mind seem to be adapting to handling that feeling. I still feel uncomfortable but with the squats on Sunday even when my thighs began screaming and getting that feel of almost cramping up, I was able to just keep powering through and reach 15 reps in all those rounds. The squats are intensely cardio since I am able to maintain nearly the same number of reps every round, I think the pull ups and push ups are still more about developing strength at this time -- it can be seen that the dropoff is much more severe than with the squats.<br><br>
It should also be pointed out that this isn't the extent of my training with the muscles for these movements, so don't think it's just a matter of putting in about 10 minutes of training with these tabata intervals each week and you'll see the reps increase -- these are meant to help spur some cardio adaptations along with providing an imperfect measuring stick for overall progress with regard to strength and cardio fitness.
 
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