Wednesday, May 26, 2010

[Iron Dragons] 5 Minutes to Fame

5 Minutes to Fame
Workout courtesy of Eric Bradshaw

Setup: 4 stations, approximately 30-40 m apart
Station 1: Push-ups
Station 2: Sit-ups
Station 3: Burpees
Station 4: Sister Mary Catherine

3 Rounds for Time
- Round 1: 5 reps, Round 2: 10 reps, Round 3: 15 reps

Suggested variations:
- Pyramid: 5 rounds, 5-10-15-10-5 (or 10-20-30-20-10)
- Explosive/jumping pushups
- Pushup burpees
- Increased distance between stations

Post up times with any variations

Sunday, May 16, 2010

[Body] A Taste of Tabata

I have recently taken up an interest in personal training. I have no formal training, nor am I the best ...yet ;) But I'm very passionate about seeing people become better in all areas of their lives. This includes my involvement with the U of T Iron Dragons dragonboat team and my workouts and adventures with friends.

The workout below provides a taste of Tabata. The Tabata routine takes any exercise and turns it into a high-intensity interval workout. As a general overview, one would take a given exercise and perform 8 sets of 20s ON and 10s OFF. ON periods are used for executing repetitions. OFF periods are for resting. The goal is to execute the highest number of repetitions.

The following workout was done with Lorraine and Fiona. The routine is 16 minutes of high intensity training. There are no rests. Their scores are posted below. Post scores to comment.
  • Squats: depth, hips below knees. weight mainly on heels. stand all the way up.
  • Pushups (*knees): Chest to the ground for guys. Girls have the option of using knees, but must use either knees or feet for all 8 sets.
  • "Break Dance": Start in a pushup position (facing 12 o'clock). Shuffle to kick your right leg out to your left (to 9 o'clock) and balance on your right arm, resume pushup position, and then kick out your left leg to 3 o'clock and balance on your left arm. Both legs count as 1 repetion.
  • Burpees: Squat completely. Kick out. Kick in. Jump up. Land back in squat position. Easy :)
  • Note: The descriptions are merely supplementary. Please post any questions you have or search online for descriptions.
Scores: Record your reps for each 20s set. There are two ways to record scores for Tabata workouts: 1) Total number of reps per exercise, and 2) Lowest number of reps per exercise. When posting scores, use the 1st method (total number of reps).

Do your best!

== Scores ==

Squats: 133
Pushups (Knees): 87
Break: 45
Burpees: 29

Squats: 135
Pushups (Knees): 82
Break: 50
Burpees: 28

Monday, May 10, 2010

Coffee: Learning to Let Go

A good friend of mine introduced me to the No Meat Athlete's blog post on quitting coffee. I find that I identify with Matt, being an avid runner and a coffee lover. One of my favorite posts he wrote was about coffee talking. Here's an excerpt of what coffee has been telling me:

Hi Josh,

How's it going? I know things are a bit rough now, but don't worry, it's going to be okay. I know you tried to quit me before. You even went 2 weeks without even touching me! The "coffee purge", haha! That's a good one :) I'm not trying to make fun of you, but let's face it -- you can't live without me. When people think of you, they think of two words: coffee and running. Rejecting me is like rejecting yourself.

Things have been much better after you decided to drink again. It's for the best. Yes, I know, you feel like you've been run over a truck. Okay, fine, I tempted you with a new drink: the Grande Quad Long Americano. But I had to! I would have lost you if I didn't. You were about to get back into your whole "coffee purge" thing. I could sense that you're still not fully addicted to me. But hey! Isn't it beautiful? Four beautiful shots of expresso. And bless that Starbucks barista who introduced you to the long version of my expresso. You even had it two days in a row! Saturday and Sunday! Don't you feel great! Okay, the random heart problems, the messed up feeling in your body and head, it's only temporary. You'll get used to it. Good things are worth fighting for, right? And besides, you age faster ... I mean, life goes by a lot quicker with me :) It's more exciting this way! Trust me. I have your best interests in mind (since you and I are the same, my interests are yours, right?)

Hope you are well. Have an awesome coffee-filled week ... I mean life! It's going to be awesome!

Until next time,


Okay, in case you don't know me, I'm trying to get off coffee. It's a slow process, but I'm learning to let go. Matt's (The No Meat Athlete) primary motivation for quitting coffee and becoming vegan was to reach his fitness goals, among them including a Boston Qualifier. Cutting "drugs" and unhealthy foods was his way of achieving his goals. While I will not be following the same path (i.e. cutting meat), I'll be following the same idea in principle. I'll be trying to cut things from my life that stop me from getting to where I need to be.

Hebrews 12:1-3.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

There are many different goals I have and things I need to cut to get there. My goals include fitness goals, career goals, financial goals, personal development goals, and so on. To start, here are my current fitness goals:
  • Boston Qualifier (3:10): current focus - base endurance and half marathon time
  • Bodyweight: Bench Press, Squats, Deadlifts (10 reps by end of June)
  • 20 deadhang pullups (end of June)
  • 150 strict pushups by GWN (50 by end of May)
Post up any fitness goals you have and let's keep each other accountable.

To close, I picked up John Maxwell's Talent is Never Enough. I am finding the book quite helpful in finding focus and motivation in achieving my goals. More on this in future posts.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Iron Dragons: Land Practice (May)

Now, let's change things up a bit. My last couple posts were about my ongoing battle with coffee. (As a brief update, I'm getting better, controlling how much I drink. I have a medium coffee from Timmy's right now ... which doesn't really count lol)

This post is about being strong in body.

Iron Dragons

The Iron Dragons is a dragonboat team from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (more info
here). This year, I have the great privilege in joining the coaching team of the Iron Dragons.

In these upcoming posts, I will post the workouts we do, with a brief description. I will also have a running list of individuals with their scores. Whether or not you are part of the team, you are welcomed to post your scores and provide feedback / comments / advice to our training. Please note that this is only a snapshot of our training and does not reflect the U of T Iron Dragons etc (insert disclaimer). Oh yea, I may end up naming my workouts random names ... please let me know if there is a formal name and have failed to reference someone.

Okay, on to business!

Land Workouts

1. Iron Death (ID) 1.0
a. 100 squat jumps for time*
b. Max time plank hold*
c. 3x1min max rep pushups*
d. 3x1min partner leg raises
e. Mini pushup circuit (10 wide, 10 military, 5x2 leg raised, 10 diamond, 10x2 alternating - 1 hand forward, 1 hand back): 60 reps total
*Scores recorded

1. ID 1.0 Notes
a. Squat depth (hips below knee level). Drive through heels. Sit back and avoid bending forward too much at the waist.
b. Straight plank, active core / upper body.
c. Pushups: full depth (chest / chin to the ground). Ladies have the option of using knees, but must use the same form for all 3 sets.
d. Partner push in all directions for full ab workout
e. Full depth not as important. Go as deep as possible and complete all reps. Use knees if necessary.

Running Scoreboard

Name (Date): 100 squat jumps, max plank hold, 1 min pushups set 1, set 2, set 3

All are welcomed to try out these workouts and post scores (see format). Please ensure proper execution of exercises.

Tony (2010-05-06): 2:39, 1:58, 47, 22, 13
Amanda (2010-05-06): 3:22, 1:17, 23*, 18*, 20*
Sarah (2010-05-06): 3:24, 5:14, 40, 32, 32
Josh (2010-05-06): 3:17, 3:00, 40, 25, 20
Sameer (2010-05-06): 4:35, 3:00, 38, 18, 11
Darrell (2010-05-04): 6:02, 2:10, 40, 28, 19
Jordan (2010-05-04): 5:37, 2:12, 22, 25, 15
Kris (2010-05-04): 5:50, 1:37, 37*, 19*, 22*
Brian (2010-05-04): 6:08, 2:30, 30, 11, 9