“What are you training?” asked ex-MLS player/now BB employee Johnny Alcaraz while watching me do 30 reps (each side) of step-up convicts last night, which reminded me that I hadn’t reported on my training in a while and should probably share this phase with the world. Muscular endurance was my answer, which I followed with some details on my particular block that’s also targeting pelvic and scapular stability. “But mainly muscular endurance.”
I’ve explained why you’d want to train muscular endurance in other articles. For a detailed explanation click on the summary below:
What 30 reps does is train your glycolytic energy system. As I said in an early post, the glycolysis is what allows a fast 100 meter sprinter to win at 400 meters. Essentially, it’s the system that uses glycogen and oxygen to recharge your body’s anaerobic system.
That article explains why women might be drawn to training muscular endurance (it ensures you can’t build bulk) but it’s also extremely helpful for almost any athlete except those in complete power sports, and even those will benefit from training this system enough to keep it efficient. Its downside is that gym sessions get long and the workouts hurt.
During 30 reps sets you can actually feel your system load change. The weight you use may seem impossibly light during the first 6-10 reps. Around 15 (or less later in the workout) you’ll start feeling it. At 20, the point where most traditional weight exercises end and about as long as your can reasonably hold your breath under duress, you’re muscles will begin to give out as you change systems. From then on it’s a fight to the finish (providing you’ve used enough weight which takes a little practice). If you do these sets correctly you’ll be dying (in my case screaming) to get your last five reps done.
This time around I’ve put a spin on the Workout From Hell format, essentially supplementing P90X2 movements. Those of you who’ve been following along know that I altered my original round of X2 when I hurt my back (getting tripped running down a mountain). It recovered quickly but I’d already designed a 3 block hangboard cycle (will be published in an article if I like it) and a supporting training that includes a three week block of muscular endurance. Here’s the workout I’m doing 3x a week. You will notice a lot of instability. Next week I transition to PAP.
Full Body 30
Functional warm-up (stability ball [SB] moves that open X2 workouts)
Plank – 30 sec
Wall Angels – 4 contractions held
Heel slide – 15 reps each side
Calf raises – heels straight, in, and out: 10 each
YT Fly on SB (see X2) – 30 reps
Darin squats – named for Shakeology’s Darin Olien (I saw he and Laird Hamilton doing these in a workout), you support yourself holding onto a bar and squat back and forth on each leg, extending the opposite leg straight (like a reverse hurdler stretch). 30
Superman (prone) pull down – lying on a bench on stomach in superman position, pull downs with a band 30
Toe Raises – Tibealis Anterior exercise, back flat on wall feet out in front raise toes 30
END OF “WARM UP”
V-Rows – Row from the V position (legs and back raised for instability) 30
Pullovers on a stability ball – 30
Step up convicts (see X2) – 30 one side
Fingertip push-up 30
Step up convicts (see X2) – 30 other side
Bridge leg lift – 6 x 30 seconds or 3 each leg
Banana (supine) pull down – 30
Super Skaters with lateral hop – skate slow and then jump 30
Push press – 30
Side plank leg raise (see X2) – 30 seconds each side
Curls in a lunge – 30
Upright rows – 30
Front tri extension w/band in a lunge – 30
Reverse curl on one leg – 30
(REPEAT EVERYTHING AFTER THE WARM-UP)
Neuro-integreated stretch (see X2 PAP and Plyo)
pic: extended side plank on unstable platform – note down turned toe for glute med activation.