Workout Report: Caveman Gym 6/4/11

Posted: June 5, 2011 in Workout Reports

A while ago, I purchased a workout interval timer from Gymboss. I’d seen a few people, like kettlebell swingers and so on, use these fancy interval timing machines to let them know when to go and when to rest. For some types of training, this is a pretty productive way to do things, and it’s easier than squinting at a big wall clock or constantly fiddling with a watch as you’re trying to complete a really grueling workout.

Yesterday, I had a chance to finally put the little machine into action, as I had a day off and the weather was nice. I have toyed with the idea of intervals for training work capacity, and I find them especially useful for the caveman stuff, as it tends to challenge the whole organism pretty well in most cases.

The timing I programmed called for five cycles of one minute on, one minute off. (Just two sequential one minute intervals that ran five times over.) I had already tried this interval with kettlebell swings, and found it to be sufficiently challenging that I’d be getting a good workout out of it.

My first exercise was snatch-to-slam with the slam bag. Not only would this warm up my whole body, it would also provide that core/closing angle hip movement that is hard to find in most traditional exercises. Finally, it would be a “twitch” exercise, as you throw the bag down as hard as you can with each rep. I found that this complex, as it’s the slowest of all of them to perform, is a good beginning salvo, and probably is the least stressful of all of them. If I were to do more cycles in a row, however, my hands would have been the first thing to give out, as the slam element stresses the ends of your fingers significantly.

The second cycle was 100 lb sandbags, stone-lift style from the ground, lifted over head. Almost like a clean and press, except with a sandbag. This one was not kidding around. By the third “on” minute, I was sweatin’ to the oldies. Great stuff.

The third cycle was box squats using the bucket and the 150 lb sandbag. I can’t tell you how long a minute seems when you’re doing this exercise. No part of your body can hide, not even when you’re seated. The surprise, I think, was how much my arms would begin to burn as I crossed the 45 second mark on each interval.

I had planned to do bucket swings for a full evolution, but after two intervals, I was suffering like a dog, and called it quits.

The whole workout, from set-up to walking away, took less than 40 minutes, but I looked like I’d had a bucket of water poured over me. It was really efficient, and it felt good.

Today, I’m somewhat surprised that I don’t have much lingering soreness. It appears that I’m beginning to have somewhat decent muscular endurance, at least for movements that I’m inured to. I look forward to trying more combinations of exercises. I think the “sweet spot” is probably three exercises, as that gives you a rip-ass workout in about 35 minutes, provided that you don’t dawdle between “sets.” All killer, no filler. I highly recommend that everyone try this type of work, at least sometimes. It’s a much different feeling than your standard strength workout.


Happy Lifting!


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