Thursday, March 31, 2011

More on Sled Pushing

This week I performed another comparison test with jogging to sled pushing. Again, sled pushing came out on top due to less time involved and of course the big one for me which is less stress on the joints.  Running can pound your joints.  Today I did 4 trips up and back.  This time I pulled out my video camera so you could see that I am literally walking behind the sled.  Even though I can easily run a mile right now and not breath anywhere near this hard. Yes, run too. I upped the pace two days ago after some sled pushing to see if my body adapted such that the running would be easier. It was.  Once the weather gets consistently better, I'll be able to drop the running completely in favor of pushing the sled.

Here's the video from tonight of my sled pushing:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Running versus The Root Hog - No Contest! - Part II

Fred Fornicola and I had a good dialogue by e-mail regarding my first post.  I think I need to make a few more points to clarify things a bit. 

First off,= my goal is never to feel totally gassed after cardio. In fact, I hate the feeling.  Fred mentioned the following:

"It would be interesting (and a good experiment)  for you to only do the root hog for a couple month's and zero running then go back to running and see if you can bang out the same mileage and pace your first time out."

I've actually done this experiment before and found that running becomes very easy after doing the Root Hog. I keep my pace on the root hog quick and with little rest between trips.  Overall, as Fred also pointed out, it hits the overall body differently than just running.  What I have found though is that after running, and then going back to the root hog, it feels I have not done much cardio wise during the period of time I did the running (in this case, the winter months).  Now, this again does not say you need to blast yourself doing cardio to get the benefit of cardio.  That's never my goal doing the root hog either.  I like the low impact nature of the root hog compared to running.  So, for me, running is not very good in comparison.  My right knee was injured my junior year of high school and it always "talks to me" when I go back to running after awhile.  So, running is just fine and dandy. It's just not my favorite due to the impact it has versus the root hog. And, I can get more done pushing a sled in a shorter time period too.  The bottom line again is due cardio and enjoy what you do!

I mentioned in another post about the body just loves to "stay the same".  What if I told you that you could work your upper body 4-5 times a week (yeah, I know who has time!?) but with a couple caveat?  And, that you just might find you can use the body's alarm response to jolt some new gains or it might be used coming back from a layoff. Yes, it is tricky. And, yes it takes more time. Think about how new people to lifting make fast gains.  Think about it and I'll explain more in my next post.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Running versus The Root Hog - No Contest!

As I mentioned in another post, during the winter I am forced to jog/run for my cardio.  Especially now since I purchased a new Sorinex Root Hog last summer.  I did not want to wreck it in the winter weather. Plus, the ice and snow make sled pulling/pushing an adventure.  My right knew of course finally started to rebel due to the running.  I've had this knee soreness off and on.  It stems from an injury my junior year of high school when I had a scope done on it.  Too many scopes were performed back in the 80's based on what I read.  Anyway, the weather finally broke this week and I pulled the Root Hog out from under the sheet.  Of course since it is early spring all the sand and salt on our street is still there from the winters. That increases the friction considerably making the Root Hog much harder. I used one plate (25lbs) and on the first trip down I could tell it was going to be an adventure.  The bottom was sticking like glue of course due to the sand and salt.  I made the trip back and I could already feel my lungs start on fire.  My legs were indicating "Not good Bill!".  The next trip up and back and I was smoked and breathing like a chimney.  I had increased the pace quite a bit.  I had to remove the plate to make the last up and back.  I was blown out.  Only 3 trips up and back.  I was gassed.  Now, the Root Hog has LESS impact than running because I am basically fast walking.  Keep in mind I could run a mile at a pretty fast clip and yet it was like I had done NO cardio for months.  Needless to say, running yet again sucks for cardio.  Let's see if my knee starts to feel better in the next month as well.  Man, I hate feeling gassed!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Alarm Response - Manipulating it for Quick and Significant Gain

The body likes to stay in equilibrium.  There is no doubt about it.  The body will adapt only when forced to adapt.  The body reacts to stimulus which is why we get stronger and bigger muscles when we use resistance training. Yeah, Bill, no a brainer. Duh!  Well, I have been experimenting with "alarming" the body to adapt quickly and make quick gains using the body's alarm response.  In fact, my KTA grip program hinges on this very concept of manipulating the body's alarm response.  It is very tricky and you tend to have to ignore the more normal signs related to physical training response (soreness, etc).  My theory is that most people can stand what would be the equivalent of training like a steroid user for a very short period or cycle of time.  And, then wait for the body to react.  I've experimented both with some cardio and lifting (besides grip programs where I have proven it works and works very well for a lot of people: The KTA Program).  The muscles for grip are a bit more tolerant to what would be considered radical training for a short period of time.

I'll talk about my first observations with respect to cardio and one of my experiments with myself as the guinea pig in my next post.