I hope you had a stellar week! It was beautiful here in Nashville this week so I took my dog on a few walks and got outside as much as possible. So if you were wondering, “where’s an informative blog post from Andy?” Fear not baby bird, I’m here to feed you.

Week of 4/20 Recap:

I did not smoke weed. Although my beautiful home state of Tennessee is one of the largest producers of the Devil’s Lettuce, I didn’t get into it.

I did have a productive week though!

Last weekend I attended the USA Weightlifting seminar at Tennessee State University.

I got the opportunity to learn the Snatch, Clean, and Jerk, as well as all the warm-ups and regressions to help teach some of my clients and athletes. I also get to add USAW to the list of credentials after my name. Ya know, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Here’s some media for your enjoyment, 315 lb Clean from my buddy Cody, in super slow mo of course:

Overall, I really enjoyed the course, although my snatch, clean, and jerk all need some practice. They were much more difficult to learn than I expected, and in an effort to put as much practice into them as I could, I treated it almost like an all-day Crossfit event, where I just repped, and repped, and repped, until my hands were raw.

..and then I could barely move the next day. Seriously, my shoulders were so sore I could barely perform any of the lifts. That didn’t matter much because the second day was a mock-meet, so we didn’t do as many practice reps as the first day.

To be honest, this disappointed me a little. I wanted to LEARN THE DAMN LIFTS and I was having trouble, and not being able to practice more really frustrated me.

At any rate, I made a few friends and most of them were really good at the Oly lifts already, so I’ll be going to train with them in the coming weeks so I can feel more manly about my Olympic lifting prowess.

Will I use them with clients? Mmmm maybe. I’m not sure yet. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them and see them as a useful tool. But I have to remember who I’m working with on a day to day basis:

the general population.

They don’t get sweaty palms and bug-eyed when they think about exercise and lifting weights like I do. They don’t like tearing calluses and learning new ways to have their asses kicked all the time.

Plus many of them move like the Tin Man in winter (NOT WELL) which of course doesn’t bother me either. The point is that we have other goals and other obligations and if one day they’re able, we may look at some Olympic lift progressions. If not, I’m not going to sweat it.

Lastly, my most recent contribution to the Men’s Health MVP site was published. I talk about smart ways to spend your tax refund. You can read it HERE.

Friday Finishers

Recently, I’ve been adding “finishers” to my workouts.

What’s a finisher? It’s basically a metabolically challenging mini-workout tagged on the end of your regular workout. It’s intended to get your heart rate spiked, sweat pouring, and shed some body fat <– of which I picked up plenty over the winter months.

Here’s what I’ve been doing after Upper Body Lifts: Row Ergometer sprints: 30s work/60s rest

Week 1: 5 of those

Week 2: 6 of them

Week 3: 7 rounds

Week 4: 8 Rounds

After Lower Body Lifts: Prowler (sled) Sprints, down and back once (about 20s work) with the remainder of a minute to rest (about 40s)

Week 1: 5

Week 2: 6

Week 3: 7

Week 8: 8

**Why only 5 (or 6, or 7, or whatever)?

Because it’s easy to remember and it’s easy to accomplish in about 10 minutes or less. Remember the point of a finisher is to “finish off” the workout you’ve already done. Not kick your ass all over again.

Plus if you do the math, that’s 20 total sprints in week 1, just spread out a little (I do two upper body lifts, and two lower body lifts, each week)

By the end of week 4, that’s 32 total sprints.

Find the time and energy to do 32 total sprints in one extra workout in the week. I dare you. I bet you can’t

This way I can accumulate the work over the 4 days I work out. Boom. Problem solved.

This week I’ll change the interval time to 45s work, 60-75s off, and start over at 5 sprints again. With the sled, I’ll add more weight

That’s progress my friends. It’s short, sweet, and to the point.

Here’s a handful of other finishers I’ve been playing with:

F1) 100 skips on the rope

F2) 10 barbell bicep curls

*repeat for 10 total sets (1,000 skips and 100 bicep curls; GUNZ BROTHER!)

 

And most recently, this little KB Complex/Ladder:

Using either one or two Kettlebells:

1 Swing, 1 Clean, 1 Squat, 1 Jerk

2 swings, 2 cleans, 2 squats, 2 jerks

3 swings, 3 cleans, 3 squats, 3 jerks

…and so on until you complete 5 reps. If you used 1 KB, you have to do the whole complex over again on the other side.

It’s called a Ladder, or more specifically, an Ascending Ladder, because you’re adding a rep to each exercise every round.

If you want to know what a Complex is, check out my post about them HERE.

Or you can watch this short demo about the workout I just laid out:

“But Andy, you only did part of the workout you talked about!”

Let’s have a pop quiz: Why did Andy only do 3 reps in the above video, when he clearly told us to do 5?

A) The video demonstrates enough without making you watch Andy lift (or struggle..) for several minutes

B) the guy pounding away on the treadmill in the background is super annoying and he’s sparing you

C) the KB in the video is 55 lbs and a little more aggressive than Andy anticipated

D) Andy’s not in that great of shape to do the whole complex in one round without resting (he did just lift a lot before this)

E) All of the Above

If you guessed E, you’re right! Give yourself a pat on the back for completing my blog post and guessing Andy’s shortcomings with KB Complexes

I hope enjoyed your stay today, and I hope you learned something. If you did like it/learn something, let me know and share this with your friends. If you didn’t like it, let me know too, or blog about it. Whatever you’re into.

Have another wonderful weekend and get your swole on today!

Now for more COFFEE

Andy Van Grinsven

About Andy Van Grinsven

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