October 17, 2011

October Workout of the Month

This month’s Workout of the Month is designed to train two popular areas very well and to incorporate some preventive strength training as well.

Part I

The first stage of the workout is Blob Deadlifts for Max Repetitions with One Minute Time Limit. I chose this one because many members have listed Block Weights and Blobs as one of their main priorities.

I have done this dozens of times in my training with good results. I have varied the time limit from one minute, as shown here, to unlimited time, going until I can no longer get the Blob to knee height.

For this stage, you will need some sort of Block Weight. whether it is a Blob or even a York does not really matter. It could be an inverted dumbbell, a hand-sized stone, or even plates taped together with the smooth sides out.

You will have the Block Weight on the floor between the feet. I like to shade the Block Weight off to one side, whichever arm is going for the lift. This seems to optimize the lifting angle somewhat.

From there, you simply perform a deadlift, either set it down or drop it down, and then go for another deadlift. As far as alternating or repeating hands, there are no rules. The name of the game is to get as many deadlifts as possible. Of course if one hand is quite a ways in front of the other, then you might have a discrepancy in the number of lifts you get per hand, but this is not a problem.

I do suggest you make an effort to keep each hand stimulated equally, but that is not to say you will ever be able to keep their strength levels even. You may indeed see that your hand that is stronger in Grippers is better at wide pinch like this, just from setting the grippers so much with that off hand.

Below is the video demonstration of this lift. I shot this with my new training partner, Eric, who I am starting to ramp-up in volume now that he has a base of strength. In the video, I use a Fatman Blob and Eric uses a Next gen 37.5-lb York.

Part II

For Part II, we are going to be focusing on the end-range of the Gripper close, the Finish. We will be using the choked grippers which you put together after watching the video from earlier this month. Most people set their grippers at or near parallel, but you could also choke them to the credit card width as well if you wanted to.

When you close the gripper, I suggest doing Blast Force Closes to develop your crushing speed and power. I feel this will carry over very well to pulsing the gripper shut if you miss on an initial attempt.

I like 5 sets of singles with each hand on this type of isometric / near isometric gripper training. I started doing this one week about 3 weeks ago and have felt very good about my Gripper training since then.

Part III

For the final portion of the workout that I have for you this month, we will look at Reverse Curls. Now, if you do not have an EZ Curl Bar, I suggest you either 1) go get one or 2) Use something else that hits this portion of the forearm. This movement works great for keeping epicondylitis away and for recovering from it.

As far as the loading on this movement, I suggest you start out very light. Now that I am just about completely pain free in my epicondyles, I am loading at 50-lbs added, which is just about the heaviest I ever go on this – I think I did triples or fives with 90-lbs loaded one time and just didn’t seem to get much out of it.

I have also gone with just the bar sometimes as well, especially if I am having pain in that area. For instance, two Novembers ago I started getting pretty substantial pain in my left forearm near the epicondyle and loading with 25’s was just too much. Once I lightened the loading to just the bar or with tens on each side, it made a huge difference.

This can be a very therapeutic maneuver if you give it the chance to be and it can also pack muscle onto the backs of your forearms as well, so have at it, my friends!

Sorry for having to shoot footage on two different days. I shot the whole thing with Eric on one day and somehow screwed up the angle of the camera on the Blast Force Closes and the EZ Bar Curls. I was going to shoot the whole thing over again the next day when I figured it out, but my hands were so blasted from the Blob Deadlifts that I could barely lift it. So I kept that intact and just re-shot the other two.

Enjoy my friends, and as always, please post in the comment section if you have any feedback, questions, or want to know how to perform work-arounds or to better taylor the training to your individual needs. By doing this, you are helping me better provide you with worthwhile content. It is not a hassle to me in any way.

Thanks and all the best!