Posts Tagged 'Insane Workout'

The Deck-athalon

I’ve come to expect certain things from my friend and personal trainer, Shawn Richardson. Like walking into the gym, seeing that sly smile creep onto his face just before he says, “Hey Bud-dy. You’re going to hate me today.” We’ve been working out together for over a year, and in that time, it’s evolved from something designed to help me slightly progress in one area or another into a weekly test of all-out endurance, which he basically designs to push us both in vast, unrelenting ways.

And which also, it should be stated, I sometimes fail. A couple weeks ago, he decided we’d go running barefoot on the pavement in 90+ degree heat. It took I’m-going-to-guess one-tenth of a mile before I was yelling, “Fuck! Shit! Ow! Fuck! OW!!! Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!” and then scampered into the grass, because my feet were actually starting to burn (and still hurt the next day). And yet isn’t it odd that somehow I felt like I had messed up or let Shawn down, because in the presence of such bold and unabashed craziness, a sane person will begin to feel like they’re the outsider.

So, anyway, moving on, our most recent workout was what I’ll call “The Deck-athalon.” You start with a deck of cards. Now of course, there are four suites, all with cards ranging from the TWO to the ACE. Each suite has two workouts, one workout for odd-numbered cards, one workout for even-numbered cards, with the JACK representing 11 (odd), QUEEN being 12 (even) and, just to ruin the sequence, KING being 15 (odd). So, that said, here were our exercises:

Pain Does-SO Hurt.

(NOTE: “HSPU” = Hand-Stand Push-Up)

Notice there that an ACE = a one mile run (in shoes). There are four aces in a deck. The workout ends when all cards have been drawn. Except but also, there are two JOKERS. And each JOKER doubles the number of reps from your previous workout, on top of that workout’s card count itself. To wit: If I draw a SEVEN-of-Diamonds, I have to do seven kettle-bell swings (times 2), so fourteen kettle-bell swings. Not bad. So I do those fourteen. Then I draw the next card: JOKER. I double the fourteen and do twenty-eight additional kettle-bell swings, for a total of forty-two. Which means for those thinking ahead, if you were to draw an ACE and run a mile, and then draw a JOKER, it’s another two miles. And then if by some mystical occurrence of cosmic hatred, you draw the second JOKER right after that, it’s another four miles, for a total of seven miles, plus three more ACES apart from that (None of which ACE-plus-JOKER stuff happened, it’s worth pointing out, but the fear that it could makes every time you draw a card a nerve-wracking moment). So, then here’s how our cards came out:

Feel the Burn(ing Hated For Shawn).

And now here’s how the workout started:

Jack of Diamonds: 22 Kettle-Bell Swings (11 x 2) (per arm)

Nine of Hearts: 9 Sandbag Lunge-and-Twists (per leg)

Five of Clubs: 5 Dead-Lifts

Ten of Clubs: 10 Single Arm Ring Rows (per arm)

Two of Hearts: 2 Landmine Tosses (in which you have a long barbell with one end butted up against a wall, and the other weighted with a heavy weight; and literally throw the side-with-weight up with one arm, then move to catch it with your other arm, sortof pendulum-esque but not quite) (per arm)

Seven of Hearts: 7 Sandbag Lunge-and-Twists (per leg)

Ace: One-Mile Run (1 of 4)

Eight of Diamonds: 8 Hand-stand Push-ups

King of Clubs: 15 Dead-Lifts (this was terrible)

Queen of Spades: 12 Renegade Rows (in which you do a) pushup, b) right-arm row with a dumbbell, c) pushup, d) left-arm row with a dumbbell [all of which equals exactly only ONE]) Or here, watch this guy:

Six of Hearts: 6 Landmine Tosses (per arm)

Nine of Diamonds: 18 Kettle-Bell Swings (9 x 2) (per arm)

Ten of Hearts: 10 Landmine Tosses (per arm)

Ten of Diamonds: 10 Hand-stand Push-ups

Keep in mind, that’s only 14 cards, meaning (with Jokers), there are 40 more exercises to do after this, including three more miles run and nearly all of the single-arm ring rows. The workout ended with the following sequence, which if you’re feeling like having fun you can reverse-transpose to the cards they were: 12 Hand-stand Push-ups/ 14 Kettle-Bell Swings/ 28 Kettle-Bell Swings/ 15 Sandbag Squat-Jumps/ 10 Kettle-Bell Swings/ One-Mile Run/ 30 Kettle-Bell Swings/ 6 Single-Arm Rows/ 4 Single-Arm Rows/ 12 Landmine Tosses/ 7 Dead-Lifts/ 8 Single-Arm Rows/ 3 Dead-Lifts/ 12 Single-Arm Rows.

The point of this whole spiel being not any kind of look-at-me-I’m-so-great type deal (since for every exercise involving weight, Shawn did a significant amount more weight than I did, and if one were watching the two of us working out, chances are one might unknowingly avert their eyes from the sortof-fit guy as they look upon the super-cut, Greek-statue type Shawn), but more of a progress report. I can do things now, even just going to the gym one day a week, trying to run at least one day, playing Ultimate Frisbee, that I couldn’t even begin to do a year ago. I’m unquestionably stronger now, and I have a better understanding of what I can and can’t do. There are lots of things in both camps, and the whole point of training with someone isn’t to become as strong as they are or to beat them, it’s to see their example, listen to their encouragement, and let them push you to as you start to learn how to push yourself.

A few weeks ago, Shawn and I were working out, and we had finished our, I think, fourth round of exercises. It was kindof the stopping point for the day, but I could tell that, despite my immediate inclinations, I had more in me, so I said, “I know I might regret this, but I could go another round.” The fact that I could say that and that I did are two definitive markers of the progress I’ve made. It’s not as purely visible as a six-pack of abs, but it is a physical, observable difference, which is the whole point of it anyway.

**You can check out Shawn Richardson on his twitter-feed here. He’s pretty dope.


It Has Come to This

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February 2019
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