Friday, March 19, 2010
Iron Gym Workout Bar review
I decided to practice Pavel Tsatsouline's "Grease the Groove" protocol, discussed in this article (PDF). The basic idea is to do tons and tons of volume spread out over the day while lifting completely within yourself. With chins, I started off doing sets of 2 and 3 whenever I passed by the bar (conveniently installed in the doorway to my home office). I started with around 30 reps per day, and gradually increased up to 60, with sets of 5 comprising about half the volume, and singles, doubles and triples the rest.
I've even incorporated my Gymboss Interval Timer into the workouts, by timing intervals of 60, 90, 120 or more seconds, and doing a prescribed number of reps every interval for 10, 20, 30 or more minutes. For example, the other day I did doubles every 90 seconds for 30 minutes, for a total of 40 reps. It breaks up the work nicely, and I don't feel fatigued at all. Since I got the bar, I've missed about 2 or 3 days total, and have done at least 25 reps on the remaining days.
The bar also has a pushup feature, which I must say is PERFECT for my leverages. When I was a teenager, I religiously did 50-100 pushups every day, and soon developed shoulder and back issues. Bench pressing, pushups, or any horizontal push motion with my hands in the typical position have always caused me grief. The Iron Gym has a neutral-grip grip area for pushups, allowing a nice, deep motion which is completely pain-free for my shoulders. I've started in slowly, with a couple sets of 10 over the past few days, and am planning to up the volume on those bit by bit, too, perhaps doing half a day of pushups, and half a day of chinups Pavel-style, to keep getting in regular upper body work.
As I was writing this post, I realized I should have taken a video of everything to really hammer home what this thing does. I do EVERYTHING with a neutral grip, but you can do supinated, pronated, wide-grip, regular, or narrow-grip chins, a few pushup variations, and some other stuff that I'll probably never try. I'll put up a proper video review in a few days.
I also finally managed to get myself downstairs to the garage for a proper training session on Wednesday. I did some light powercleans, push presses, and front squats, and it felt great. Even 20-minute workouts here and there are exhilarating, and I have to remind myself and push myself to get training whenever I can squeeze in a workout.
Train hard everyone!
If anyone out there is interested in seeing what I might be able to offer you, in programming, technique critique, or anything training-related, just email me at email@example.com
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