17 December 2009


With the way people move about today's world as multi-tasker's consistently adding items to their schedules it's no wonder that the excuse, "I haven't got the time to train" is relevant. On the other side to that is an old school mindset that training sessions are long-winded and can exceed two hours. I, even with a fairly open schedule, would not hesitate to put the kibosh on such nonsense. Don't misinterpret my intentions - long, hard, grinding training sessions are some times necessary for establishing depletion in your body's fitness; however, we will touch on that later. For now let's focus on a much shorter duration of training.

The difference between and also the key factor in a short, quick, get-in get-out training segment and a long, hard grind that makes it just as effective is intensity. The level of intensity that you bring to your short training stints will be the determining factor in your success or failure. Short bouts of hard charging fury are found in several training methods. These include methods like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), density training, and circuit training. The purpose of all these training techniques lies in the ultimate goal of maximizing the fitness benefit in a limited amount of time, mostly sub 20 minutes.

HIIT aims to challenge the individual with usually between six to ten intervals where you are tasked with a given exercise to perform at maximum body output for a short duration followed by a rest period. Rest periods are usually run on a 2:1 ratio of exercise to rest. An example of an HIIT session would look like this:

Hill sprints
3 min. warm-up
60 sec. sprint
30 sec. rest
8 sets
3 min. cool-down
Total work time expended: 18 min.

A favorite technique of mine and one that we will put to good use is density training. Density training is a highly effective method of increasing your repetition numbers in a given exercise. This technique can be put to use in a few different formats.
The first way is to start with a set time, let's say 20 minutes. Next choose your exercise, we will select a 20 foot rope climb. The goal is to climb the rope every minute on the minute for the extent of workout. Whatever time that remains within the minute after you have completed your climb is your rest interval. The second way of putting this method to use is by performing the maximum amount of repetitions possible in a given time. If we took the snatch, the workout could look like this - max snatches performed in ten minutes. Similar to the last technique the final way to use density training is to establish a set number of repetitions for an exercise, for instance 100 burpees, and then you go to town completing all repetitions as fast as possible.

For tomorrow's workout session we will be utilizing the final method - circuit training. This training implement is as simple as it sounds. A series of exercises are arranged in a sequence of completion, the individual then sets out to complete all the prescribed repetitions of each exercise with no rest until the completion of the circuit. Our training circuit for tomorrow is the following:

6 Rounds
5x muscle-ups
10x sand bag cleans 100/60 lbs.
15x kettle bell swings 60/35 lbs.
20x sledgehammer swings each way (total 40x)
1 min. rest

As always this workout is interchangeable with exercises that will work for you, and can and should be scaled to meet your fitness level. Some suggestions for substitutes:
3x pull-ups/3x dips for 1x muscle-up
barbell, dumbbell or any other object cleans
dumbbell swings, burpees
ball slams, wood chopping


  1. You need to post the workouts ahead of time...at least 3 days in advance. Also, I would encourage you to come up with substitute excersies that do not require a gym (since I don't belong to one)...I will try to follow with no equipment other than my bike and 2 15lbs dumbbells...

    go figure...

    Address one's pain threshhold...the difference between exhaustion transformed into agonizing pain, such as the inability to stand, sit, or walk after a super set of cleans & squats...versus pain of contorting one's body into mishapen forms meant only for naive sadists...

  2. Well I for one modified the workout to accommodate a changing schedule.

    4 Rounds
    5x muscle-ups
    10x heavy bag cleans 80 lbs.
    15x kettle bell swings 60 lbs.
    20x ball slams

    4 Rounds
    5x muscle-ups
    12x burpees