My New Favorite Exercise: The Barbell Pullover

While trying to make my way into being capable of something like a Spartan Race, I’ve had to step back and look at every exercise I do. With three days per week taken up with running, I don’t have all week to train.

Well, I do, but I don’t. I mean, I have more free time available than most due to the nature of my job, but I also have to practice with a longsword, prepare food for the family, etc. I just don’t want to spend all day training.

Besides, I live in South Georgia and it’s freaking HOT!

Anyway, I take a look at what exercises I was doing and I also watched a number of Spartan Races themselves. Now, not all obstacle course races are Spartan Races, so I watched a bunch of those too.

My goal was to look at what would be demanded of me so I could tailor my training accordingly. In the process, I started doing a movement that’s become one of my favorite exercises: The barbell pullover.

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Starting Strength Part Deux: Back To Basics

It’s time for me to get back to basics and that means back to Starting Strength. Yesterday was week one, day one back on things, and I definitely felt it.

But the question is, just why did I go back to something I’d progressed beyond?

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Dave Goes Barbarian: Bench Press A Planet

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What? No, we’re barbarians, here. Not superheroes. Though, spoilers will be dealt with appropriately.

Dave, what are you saying?

I’m saying you should be bench pressing a planet. Probably every day, depending on volume.

Dave, I thought we were talking HEMA and-

Yeah, yeah: I’ll get to that. First, though, we need to talk basics. Why is that? Because I’ve been going untrained for months and coming back hurts. While the end goal here is to support my HEMA work, and build general physical preparedness for the next 60-120 years (what? I’m optimistic), there’s a lot to do to get to the point where I want to be. And that starts first thing in the morning. With push-ups. Continue reading “Dave Goes Barbarian: Bench Press A Planet”

Why I Stopped Dismissing Bodyweight Training

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For a long time, I refused to do any bodyweight training. I didn’t like it. I didn’t enjoy the idea of doing pushups and pull-ups. Especially because, for a lot of that time, I couldn’t really do any of those.

However, I’ve come to recognize a few things, including a little bit about myself. In particular, my formerly snobbish attitude on bodyweight training.

Now, I think it’s a solid method of training and here are some of the advantages of it. These are all things you should at least think about when it comes to training modalities.

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Are Fitness Classes Better Than Individual Training?

 

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I kind of hate fitness classes. I’m not sure why, either. I’ve done them before and I genuinely hate the blasted things. Even when the training modalities are things I like, I find that I get sick of the methodologies behind these classes very quickly.

However, I ran across a study that claims classes are more effective in multiple ways than individual training.

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Training Scars

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Yesterday, I looked down at my palms and looked at the start of my training scars.

At least, that’s how I opted to look at the blister trying to form on the top of my palm. Calling them “training scars” makes me feel a bit better about what they actually are. Continue reading “Training Scars”

Is ‘Greasing The Groove’ The Secret To ‘Farmboy Strong’?

Once again, I’m reading Pavel Tsatsouline. I can’t help it. I like the Mad Russian.

Right now, I’m reading The Naked Warrior, his book on calisthenics. Mostly, it focuses on just two exercises, which doesn’t do much for me, but it does talk a great deal about the concept of “greasing the groove.”

I’m sure Tsatsouline isn’t the originator of the idea, and I know I’ve heard it for years, but the basic idea is that you do a submaximal lift with a lowish number of reps and before you realize it, you’re stronger than you realized.

It’s made me wonder if it’s the key to being “farmboy strong.”

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The Kettlebell Overhead Press

Is it the king of overhead pressing, or just a pretender?

The overhead press is one of the most important movements in resistance training. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a barbell, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or a big old rock. It’s important.

Once upon a time, the measure of strength wasn’t the bench press, but the overhead press.

While it’s prominence has fallen in many ways, the overhead press is still pretty damn important. Even while focusing on the kettlebell snatch, I’m still making it a point to press with a kettlebell too.

There are a lot of people who claim that pressing with a kettlebell is the bee’s knees.

But is it?

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What To Look For In Training Modalities

Everyone needs to train. In my not so humble opinion, everyone needs to get off their butts and do some kind of training.

But the problem is that there are a lot of different ways to train, and most people don’t really have a clue how to deal with the plethora of options. Especially when there are so many scams floating around in the fitness world.

So what do you do? Luckily, I’ve done some thinking on the topic.

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The Difficulties Of Evidence-Based Kettlebell Training

When I started down this rabbit hole of looking for evidence backing up kettlebell training, I figured it wouldn’t be that hard. After all, the blasted things have been around for centuries. There are pictures of old-time strongmen like Eugene Sandow hoisting the things.

Anything that old and that linked to historic physical culture should have a lot of research behind it by now, right?

Eh…not so much.

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