Since I did a power PT on Sunday, today’s session would be all about sustained strength (aka “strength-endurance,” “prolonged strength,” or “strength-over-time”), featuring “fun with kettlebells.”
For the ramp-up to get my blood moving, I did a simple set of ten push ups on my Perfect Push Up (or are they “Ultimate Push Up”–I’ll have to check that out) handles, then a set of 20 swings with the 32 kg kbell.
Then it was the “Secret Service Snatch Test” (SSST), a simple but brutal set, using the 24 kilo bell. Basically, you have ten minutes to do as many kettlebell snatches as you can, anyhow you like. Totals for both hands add up, you can set the bell down if you like, just don’t quit your swingin’ ’til the timer goes off.
It’s been a long while since I did one like that, so I basically sucked. I did an even one hundred, by doing five sets of ten each hand. I think I still had plenty of go–overall energy-wise, but being my first time in a while, I took it easier than I will later. I could feel my forearms getting pumped, so I didn’t push it.
Since my grip was getting pumped, my next set of sustained strength was five minutes of Turkish Get Ups (again with the 24 kg). One of my fave exercises, for some reason. That got some sweat rollin’, too. My ankle was up to it, and the 24 is light enough that I didn’t notice much more pressure on it than if I was just getting up and down without the bell.
After that, some dynamic stretching á lá Kwan Lee’s “Strength & Flexibility” Systema DVD (which is a good addition to training protocol).
Today was also a fasting day. I’ve been experimenting with Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat fasting protocol. I’ve noticed that it’s been relatively easy to follow, once I got used to eating during the day. Hmm. That sounds odd, I know.
His method is super easy, in the sense that one of the things he’s trying to accomplish is to break people of certain obsessive-compulsive behavior toward food and/or eating. He wants this to fit easily into your life style.
There are other protocols out there that I’ve looked into. Most of them are pretty good in many ways. Warrior Diet, Leangains, and Fast-5. What each of those have in common is a timed fast every day.
Warrior Diet is 20 hours fasting, four hour eating window. Fast-5 is 19 hours fasting, five hours eating window (the “5” in Fast-5). Leangains is about 18 hours fasting, six hours eating window.
Fast-5 is the easiest in terms of instructions, in the sense that nothing else is stipulated in the diet, other than don’t eat for the appropriate time, then eat whatever your normal life would have you eat during the eating window. It works fairly well in social situations because more than likely you’d be having your first meal at dinner, with is convenient for eating with family and friends.
Warrior Diet is much more complex, in the sense that the author, Ori Hofmekler, outlines a whole philosophy that the diet, and its accompanying lifestyle spring from. What he’s trying to accomplish is a lifestyle that’s based on freedom and passion, and one of the cornerstones to that idea is being free from slavery to multiple daily meals is one major step in that direction (though he gets pretty specific in terms of eating certain foods in certain orders). From a lot of the comments and reviews I’ve read on different sites, a lot of people don’t get that thread. But that may be in part due to Hofmekler’s writing, too. He says over and over that you CAN do this or that, but you can also do it this way. But it’s all packed in there quite densely sometimes, so his multiple suggestions may be easy to miss. Sometimes he seems to contradict himself with suggestions that say, “however you want to practice is okay, just make it work for you,” and “if you’re doing this, you’re not doing the Warrior Diet.”
Martin Berkhan’s Leangains is a method that’s also pretty specific. His thing is a combination of fasting/eating window with very targeted and specific nutrition. I haven’t seen a book out by him yet, so I don’t know what his specific nutritional guidelines are, except that he likes to rotate low carb with moderate carb eating. Typically, I think, the moderate carb eating will be as part of post workout “recovery” meals.
Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat stipulates two musts: one to two 24 hour fasts a week, and make sure to do adequate strength training. Then he says that when you resume eating after the fast, don’t eat a big reward or recovery meal, just a normal meal to break the fast. He likes the 2×24 hour fasts because he believes it integrates into your life better. A lot of the Paleo crew agree most with this philosophy, as it is not an every day occurrence, and therefore the body reads it as more random (more “intermittent” from their perspective).
By integrating into your life very easily, it’s more likely to be sustained. For a lifetime. The benefits of intermittent fasting are becoming more and more known, and more research is being done to confirm earlier findings, on humans.
I could go into all that here, but the post is becoming a monster, so I’ll leave that for later.
To conclude, I’ve found that over the years of trying these different protocols, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m almost never hungry for breakfast until after 1030 (awakening at 0600). I can eat, if I must, before then, but usually no earlier than like, 0900. But I can usually go until 1130 or noon without becoming uncomfortably hungry.
Trying Brad’s method, I’ve already gotten to the point that a 24 hour fast is not only doable, but easy. Will it provide me with benefits? Well, here’s to experimentation, and finding out! Oh, and one other thing: it fits in perfectly with Systema. The earliest book they put out years ago recommended two days of fasting a week. Hunh. Whaddya know.
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